Re: Little Dutch Boy

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 02 Feb 2006 - 19:27:10 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Little Dutch Boy"

    At 11:05 AM 2/2/2006 +0000, Chris Taylor wrote:

    (Keith wrote)

    >>Pascal Boyer says similar things about religious memes. In _Religion
    >>Explained_ he provides list of "beliefs" that we can sort into those that
    >>make plausible religious beliefs and those that do not. He does not
    >>explain exactly *how* people can make such decisions, but we obviously can.
    >>He also makes the point that the kind of meme that becomes a dominate
    >>religious belief depends on the level of the society. State level
    >>societies have religions that are different in kind from the ones of more
    >>primitive people.
    >So is this like (ecology again) the one tiger to a mountain idea? Does
    >organised religion in a sophisticated culture support more elaborate 'high
    >maintenance' ideas? Shamans at the lowest level of extremely fragmented
    >groups and an oral tradition just do 'worship the eagle that circles us on
    >a daily basis', codices plus priests at the next level up, evolving
    >ultimately to TV evangelism and megachurches at another).

    And eventually to a substantial part of the population falling away from religions as has been recently discussed.

    >What sort of memes can evolve/invade/persist in these different environments?

    Definitely the right questions. Important questions, the kind that knowing the answers to might keep you from getting killed, say by mobs of fundamentalists sacking the homes of the unbelievers or beaten to death in jail as a parole officer said would have been my fate.

    Consider history and don't say it can't happen!

    Keith Henson

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