Re: Faith-based memes

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 12 Dec 2002 - 03:57:24 GMT

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    At 05:50 PM 04/12/02 -0500, Lawrence DeBivort wrote:


    >Can you say more about WHY faith memes are hard to argue? I am thinking
    >that we call it faith _because_ it is hard to argue, and so am asking what
    >you and others might suggest is the technical basis for the hardness.
    >I will also say that I agree that it is hard, but would not agree that it is
    >impossible. You may recall from posts of long ago, I have suggested that
    >having a belief is akin to an action: we hold beliefs based upon the
    >(subjective perceived) advantage they offer us in doing so.

    I have made a claim on this topic that a metameme is involved. Faith/religious memes exist for the purposes of explaining
    (i.e., reducing anxiety) the unexplainable. As Dawkins has observed, this puts this class of memes outside the intellectual area where such argumentative tools as logic, mathematics, or the scientific method can be used.

    So a metameme has arisen. It is about tolerance and one thing it incorporates is a reluctance to directly argue about "faith based" memes.

    And I have also argued that faith type memes have been useful in reducing anxiety, and improving the survival of the grief stricken. This class of memes has been around so long that our genes have co-evolved with it.

    More detail on my metameme arguments if you search the web.

    Keith Henson

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