RE: Dawkins View

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Tue Sep 18 2001 - 19:03:17 BST

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    Subject: RE: Dawkins View
    Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 11:03:17 -0700
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    <<You advance the `good of their kin' mechanism, which in itself
    is perfectly plausible argument from biology.
    However, consistent with using such argument,
    you are implying that the brave plane-passengers saved

    Co-opting existing primitive emotional responses is a cornerstone of
    memetics theory. Mind viruses such as the terrorist cults make liberal use
    of these. As an analogy, consider how the junk-food industry has co-opted
    innate mechanisms for determining which foods are healthy to eat. Although
    the junk food is actually deleterious, it pushes the primitive taste
    buttons. In a similar way cults can coerce self-destructive behavior out of
    members by pushing primitive psychological buttons.

    <<I second Dawkins still when he argues that religion is
    mainly to blame for last tuesday's disaster. In fact, religion
    is the source of most of the misery, suffering and
    injustice plagueing this tiny but turbulent planet.>>

    I don't think many scholars of religion would agree. Why not?

    <<I agree, terrorism must seize. But given the never ending
    bully-like suppresion by whatever superpower
    (in the past Russia: Afghanistan, US: Vietman)
    one can ask whether that goal is attainable simply by
    vicious spirals of endless violent retaliation.>>

    I haven't heard anyone coming out in favor of vicious spirals of endless
    violent retaliation. What do you want to do, leave them alone to take over
    the whole Middle East and build a nuclear arsenal?

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