Re: Faith-based memes

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Fri 17 Jan 2003 - 19:38:38 GMT

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    >> In numerous posts many of us have pointed out the fact that you
    >> can't argue
    >> with memes of faith. People on both sides of the argument will refuse to
    >> see what they don't want to see in opposing arguments. So to continue
    >> arguing about it is a complete waste of time. It's not a matter
    >> of who is
    >> right and who is wrong. It's a matter of meme dominance and we
    >> on this list
    >> should know that better than anyone. When someone posts endless
    >> arguments
    >> in support of a faith-based concept, it is equivalent to spam.

    >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.
    >Hope this question makes sense!

    If I may, in my opinion having faith in X means believing in X without any real reason. I guess beliefs are more widespread than faiths, for the simple reason that off and by itself adherence to a faith is ill-founded. This is contrary to beliefs which should be accompanied by some motivation grounded in reason (for instance evidence and logic).

    The defenses faith-based memes have at their disposal are usually designed to successfully deflect or counter skeptical scrutiny of such memes. The most successful such memes are the ones that are guarded best. A most effective form of one such defense is to bestow fear upon the owners and make them become convinced that they cannot prosper without clinging to the faith-meme at hand. For example, "the faithful go to heaven and the unfaithful end up frying in hell". Fear is an excellent ingredient in the soup of persuasion.


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