RE: Machiavellian Memes

Aaron Lynch (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 09:56:15 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 09:56:15 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: RE: Machiavellian Memes
In-Reply-To: <>


At 08:19 AM 9/25/97 -0700, Richard Brodie <> wrote:


>Excellent point. I've received a bit of flak from hard-line atheists (I
>guess Dawkins would fall into this camp) for my chapter on religions in
>VIRUS OF THE MIND. I pointed out, as you do, that mind viruses though they
>are, religions can and do program people for success and happiness. Of
>course, I believe one should be aware of this and choose one's own memetic
>programming rather than be unaware and have no choice but to accept what
>you happen to be dealt, that seems "true."

I haven't seen the flak regarding your religion chapter, though my own
religion chapter has drawn some flak from people who regard religions as
divinely created.

But in fairness to atheists, I should mention that you haven't exactly been
trying to avoid them. Several people told me to look at the discussions of
a "Church of Virus," which espouses an "atheistic religion." Inspecting the
list, I found a post from you in which you offered a "memetic revelation"
of the existence of "God" and "the Spirit."
( Not surprisingly, I also
saw that you were catching some flak over this post. What you need to bear
in mind is that you could just as easily have caught flak for walking into
a monotheistic church and offering a revelation that there is no god.
Still, I can't help thinking that you might have received a, uh, "warmer"
reception had you announced a revelation that "Lucifer" exists!



--Aaron Lynch

THOUGHT CONTAGION: How Belief Spreads Through Society The New Science of Memes Basic Books. Info and free sample:

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