RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 22:07:28 BST

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 17:07:28 -0400
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    >From: Trupeljak Ozren <>
    >Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    >Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:18:25 -0700 (PDT)
    >--- Vincent Campbell <> wrote:
    > > <Without religion you wouldn't have Bach's music.>
    > >
    > > I don't think Bach makes up for the Inquisition.
    > >
    > > Vincent
    >No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! :)
    >Seriously, though, if you believe that you can quantify the suffering,
    >and thus also quantify the feeling of pleasure, Bach wins clearly.
    >Inquisition period was rather specific, relatively short lived, and not
    >many people (in absolute numbers) had the opportunity to experience
    >her. Bach's music is going to stay with us (arguably) as long as we as
    >a species can enjoy the music, and that has already been longer then
    >the period of mass atrocities done in the name of Inquisition. Future
    >millions will also enjoy Bach.
    >the idea behind, though, that religious and political authorities
    >caused far more suffering to untold millions then their support of arts
    >and sciences could ever remedy, is a valid one. I am at loss how to
    >compare the two, though...
    >All of it lead directly to more diversity, and thus, is good by the
    >book of evolutionary ethics. (the unwritten one that I subscribe to ;)
    If evolutionary ethics means looking at the evolution of ethics, casuistry,
    and morality that wouldn't be too big a deal. OTOH if evolutionary ethics
    means defining morality in terms derived from evolutionary biology, there
    may be serious problems. Analyzing "the good" in terms of something else,
    such as what one finds revealed in nature is wrought with difficulties. If
    one perceives the natural state as "red in tooth and claw" or "dog eat dog"
    and takes this descriptive "is" and carries over the hump as a presciption
    for morality or an "ought", that may a very flawed undertaking. I think this
    is akin to the "naturalistic fallacy" of G.E. Moore, but his precise
    arguments are far better than I could muster and are found in his _Principia
    Ethica_. Others here could probably muster better than I.

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