Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 21:13:18 BST

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    From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
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    Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 22:13:18 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Scott Chase <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 11:07 PM
    Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science

    Hi Scott, you wrote,

    > If evolutionary ethics means looking at the evolution of ethics,
    > 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> is

    << My general conviction is that we, in a sense, suppress our inner-
    instincts. It would be better to say, we ought to be, because we see
    tru' the consequences_ we have learned this partly due to trying and
    But, we all know that sometimes we can 't control those instincts, due
    to psychologicals disorders, social stresses, etc or due to specific
    circumstances.. family matters, provocation etc.

    Society in general makes it so that everyone is committed to control
    himself_ we have to show responsibility for our own actions and deeds.
    But, like I said, sometimes we can 't do this.
    Than are genetical, memetical, psychological thus biological (f)actors
    of such a nature that they can 't be controlled.
    In those cases the urge to murder, to abuse etc is so great that it becomes
    really a matter of life and death.

    Of course, you and I understand perfectly that society can 't let that
    On the other hand, society is not willing ( not yet anyway) to meet
    those people halfway, that due to aspects derived from fear, ignorance
    and prejudice.
    Problems would be serious, like you rightly mentioned if you define
    morality in terms derived from evolutionary biology, only if you let
    morality run loose. That is, total freedom.
    You can 't have that, unfortunely, you have to apply some constrains
    to get your society safe and stabile.
    ( OTOH, that is not my personal point of view, but we can't always get
    what we want, isn 't it)

    A solution, and IMO a very positive and conclusive one, is to look
    for a ethical system wherein the fundamental memetical bias, in a
    sense that is the bias for the real ' you' , acts as the bias for that
    Each of us is so memetical different from another, that we have specific
    needs and urges. In a society like ours today, those urges are most of
    the time denied or are getting suppressed.
    In my view that will be no longer true. Each of us is free to act
    accordingly his or hers inner- urges and needs.
    No problem there, at least in the general sense.

    Problems begin when we talk about psychopaths, murderers and abusers
    of the worst kind. Those have needs and urges too, but letting them run
    loose, will give problems.
    To give to them what 1) they really deserve, and that is a full satisfaction
    of their needs and 2) a possibility to do what they want to do in their
    place and circumstances, you need somekind of substitution- system.
    Like I said Holodeck technology and cyberdolls like Lara Croft and
    Kyoto Date.

    Now you have two new problems, 1) this is not really ' freedom ' in the
    sense as we have put our system together, those people are not ' really
    free '. They have biological urges colored by theirs inner- instincts, but
    they may or can 't enjoy them in full freedom.
    And 2) They are stuck with something that is not the " real thing ".
    A stalker who wants to get Pamela Anderson in his bed, may not be
    content with a three- dimensional cyber- puppet.

    A solution for the former consist out ' to learn them that ' freedom' is
    on the other levels of the society not 100 % also. Subtle coercion
    would be an option... but than again, this is not coherent with the general
    A solution for the latter is in a way trying that those people ' believe '
    that the Pamela they are chasing is the real thing. The puppet has to be
    perfect,... but this will be not for this year I think.
    But for both, there is still a lot of work to do , not in the least to
    the general public...



    ( I am, because we are) ' good '

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