Re: Scientism: a killer meme

Lloyd Robertson (
Fri, 09 Apr 1999 10:50:16 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 10:50:16 -0600
From: Lloyd Robertson <>
Subject: Re: Scientism: a killer meme
In-Reply-To: <>

At 09:20 PM 08/04/99 +0100, Chris Lees wrote:
>You can conclude whatever you will. I don't accept that zen is religion,
>quasi-religion or ideology. Some people will say that it is a religion,
and it
>is certainly a child of Buddhism and Taoism, which some people classify as
>Others view zen as philosophy. Both 'religion' and 'philosophy' are
>western cultural terms, loaded with assumptions and prejudices. I think
that zen
>is unique, because it defies both those categories.

Curious. I recall a 1960s Zen master, Allan Watts, who wrote that
"enlightenment", which he also called "cosmic consciousness" was attainable
thru either disciplined meditation or a judicious use of psychedelic drugs.
If this was all there was to Zen then I would agree with you, that Zen is
not a religion, quasi-religion or ideology. But I suspect that Zen is much
more than that, that it entails a particular world-view and belief system
that, while it mutated in the traditional Japanese cultural environment, is
still traceable back to it's Buddhist roots. It involves a belief in such
things as reincarnation and in revealed knowledge which is obtained in the
process leading to "enlightenment". Yet you claim that Zen defies

What is doubly curious is that you also claim that "scientism" is a
"religion, quasi-religion or ideology". Yet there is no body of people who
proclaim "Yes, I am a believer or practicioner in scientism". There is no
single set of beliefs that defines a follower of this "scientism". Instead,
you claim to be able to spot a "scientism" believer by their competency
and their rigidity of thinking, to wit: they are "mediocre technicians" who
are closed minded about "parapsychology, homeopathy, astrology and telepathy".

I suspect that you are having difficulty understanding this point because
your mind has been immersed in a memeplex associated with Zen. Zen
replicates itself, partly, thru a self-mystification process whereby it
claims to "defy catagorization". Those whose selves are within this
memeplex have difficulty interpreting the words of outsiders with
objectivity. There is, as a result, a tendency to view a particular group
of these outsiders as followers of "scientism" which is defined as a
"religion, quasi-religion or ideology". In short, it is just a killer meme
which some memeplexes have found useful in their own self-replication.


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