Re: morality and memes

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 17:33:23 BST

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Significance of "As We May Think""

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    Subject: Re: morality and memes
    Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 18:33:23 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Philip Jonkers <>
    > Interesting question Vincent. I feel that individual animals living in
    > solitude know no morals.
    > That is, they will stop at nothing, including killing or wounding other
    > animals of their species, to get their
    > share of food. Social animals are a little different. It simply isn't good
    > for the species to have no
    > stop at getting food if it damages the wellbeing of fellow social
    > group-members. So here's
    > some set of morals desired however basic and primitive.

    Hi Philip,

    I do not entirely agree with this, though !
    I understand where you are drifting at, but such a point of view is inbedded
    in the political correctness of this time.
    What I mean is this.
    Lets consider the concept of a multicultural society. These days such a
    concept is something inevitable but is it also desirable !? If you agree or
    not is not the point, but the notion that your opinion is noted is. It seems
    that nowadays people experience this as a problem.

    Everybody understands what Ramadam is, everybody understands why
    some people go to church where others go to the mosque, everybody
    did bought some vegetables in a shop run by a Marokkian, but futher
    than this nobody goes. Everybody has the right to express his or hers
    cultural characteristics and behavior in the ways it should be done, but
    that doesn 't mean we have to take all the time this in our account !
    We give the impression to the public and to some minority groups that
    they are special and need special care. In that way we give them privi-
    leges where there are none needed. Such things lead to misunderstan-
    dings, agression and intolerance.

    To go back to your comment, in the context of natural selection where
    survival is the highest priority, getting at food and in the meanwhile
    damaging social structures or the wellbeing of fellow man is * good * !
    Regarding this memetically, the evolution goes that fast that we can 't
    hold on to such social structures anymore_ these are individualistical
    traits where no collective has a grip on. You may change laws, the
    constitution of the land for that matter, but that is something what the
    people don 't want_ they want to survive, whatever it may cost.
    Memes don 't care about morals, some are bound to them I agree,
    but in every way, if it necessary they will betray any of the moralistic

    The major problem of today, IMO, is that all ideologies, whatever they
    might be or what might be their bias or origin, don 't have any inbedded
    understanding of what the considerations of any individual is and might
    be ! Oh, we do have the slogan that everybody is equal and oh so diffe-
    rent, but everything is based on the former and not on the latter !
    We must begin to make * differencies *, collective laws and order, but
    wherein everybody can find their own ' morals '.
    Maybe it is time, to lay down not only our testament by the notary, but
    also to which morals we wish to be bound, live by them and stick to them!
    To some degree, IMO, collectiviness is passť !



    > Regarding memetically. Morals can be expressed linguistically. So they are
    > intrinsically memetic
    > or culturally transmittable. If morals lead to increase in fitness of the
    > group at hand moralistic memes
    > may flourish. So yes, morals can very well be memetic and yes they can
    > have a biological basis.

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