Re: Grad program on memetics?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sat 09 Oct 2004 - 19:34:11 GMT

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    At 08:14 PM 08/10/04 -0700, Scott Chase wrote:

    >--- Ray Recchia <> wrote:
    > >
    > > Scott,
    > >
    > > The point of the talk was religious belief is used
    > > in war to inspire troops
    > > and to justify violence. People who believe that
    > > God is on their side will
    > > for example will take extraordinary risks because
    > > they believe that God
    > > will protect them and even if they die they will be
    > > going to heaven.

    There is good reason for similar meme based motivations clear back when our remote ancestors were all hunter gatherers. If you have to kill the neighbors and/or take horrible risks of being killed yourself, it is essential to believe some such meme--usually with heavy xenophobic overtones.


    >I wouldn't forcefit the notion of communist ideology
    >being a religion, but instead that religions are based
    >upon ideology like communism is.

    I have thought about this for close to two decades and would put it this way: I would not call communism a religion, but it is in a larger class that includes religions and competes with religions for human minds. My argument is that religious memes generally are exclusive in a person. Communism displaces religions in human minds, so it certainly has this characteristic of religions.

    Keith Henson

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