Re: Chris's proposed alternative

t (erimann@ix.netcom.com)
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:14:25 -0700

From: <erimann@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 23:14:25 -0700
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Chris's proposed alternative

Chris, a couple of thoughts regarding your proposed overhaul of
'western' absolutist memes.

>Vision Statement:
>-----------------
>Develop a general theory of the evolutionary role of human 'thought'
>('belief system' construction), to use as a basis for the desighn of
>belief systems which are 'most beneficial' to the human organism and
>its society according to that theory.

Strikes me as a dangerous proposition. The problem arises with the
definition of 'benefit'. I can't imagine how this would be accomplished
over the next several centuries without trampling over the deeply held
memetic composition of many cultures. It would be hard to dodge
accusations of more-of-the-same western philosophical/empirical
imperialism.

>This absolute 'is' meme has been largely institutionalized in Western
>culture by the Aristototilian logic formulations, and is still the
>primary framework of Western public education.

To say that the 'is' meme is particularly western denies cross-cultural
evidence. Until very recently all cultures assigned full human status to
members only. The idea that one's particular memetic framework is
relatively 'true' is an extremely recent perspective.

>>Proposed Alternative
>Propose Aristotilian logic memes be replaced in Western thought by
>memes specifying the evolutionary function of memes as human
>neuro-circuitry configurations which direct the human nervous system's
>behavioral response(s) to stimuli for the purpose of maximizing human
>survival potential. Use this theoretical basis as scientific rational
>>logic structures (e.g. general-semantics) for construction of memes
>which are more conducive to human society (and therein individual
>organism) survival/prosperity.

Once again, while we may, from a general-semantics perspective, assume
the universality of a particular definition of 'benefit', it is a great
leap to think that others will intuitively sense the logic. More
probable would be accusations of academic technocracy challenging that
which one's culture must embrace as the "Truth." To abandon the memetic
composition of the traditional culture of origin is auto-memecidal and
not very likely.

scott

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