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Is religion a memetic disease?


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#1 sigurdV

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:49 PM

:angel2:

Well Judge, I will call you out on your theory of devolution, just in case you failed to read post #18. You are misrepresenting this from the very start

So lets see something new... actual evidence .. then we can go on to debate a perfect creation that is degenerating due to some outside influence...


Sir! It seems to me you were preaching... :read:

However, im not saying you are wrong...

Wops! I am preaching? :blink:

No matter... I do suspect the judge is a lost soul :alienhead:

Religious disease infects both persons (psychology) :lightsaber1:
and groups (social psychology) :lightsaber2:

#2 pamela

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:36 PM

:angel2:

Sir! It seems to me you were preaching... :read:

However, im not saying you are wrong...

Wops! I am preaching? :blink:

No matter... I do suspect the judge is a lost soul :alienhead:

Religious disease infects both persons (psychology) :lightsaber1:
and groups (social psychology) :lightsaber2:

alright Sig, if you claim religion is a disease then back it up. Start here with the definition and take it from there

from dictionary.com
1.a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

2.
any abnormal condition in a plant that interferes with its vital physiological processes, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, parasites, unfavorable environmental, genetic, or nutritional factors, etc.

3.
any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind or society: His fascination with executions is a disease.

4.
decomposition of a material under special circumstances: tin disease.



#3 Moontanman

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

Religion is an infectious meme....
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#4 pamela

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:04 PM

Religion is an infectious meme....

please clarify your post instead of a drive by comment :)

#5 Moontanman

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

please clarify your post instead of a drive by comment :)



I'm sorry I have discussed this so many times i guess I thought it was obvious, he said religion was a disease, it's more like a computer virus. Religion is infectious, it's passed as an idea that paralyzes the reason center of the mind with fear and it propagates it's self quite literally by telling other people the good news and playing on their fear and guilt to penetrate the mind of the second person and the meme demands they convert others the same way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

A meme ( /ˈmiːm/[1]) is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3]


Although social scientists such as Max Weber sought to understand and explain religion in terms of a cultural attribute, Richard Dawkins called for a re-analysis of religion in terms of the evolution of self-replicating ideas apart from any resulting biological advantages they might bestow.
As an enthusiastic Darwinian, I have been dissatisfied with explanations that my fellow-enthusiasts have offered for human behaviour. They have tried to look for 'biological advantages' in various attributes of human civilization. For instance, tribal religion has been seen as a mechanism for solidifying group identity, valuable for a pack-hunting species whose individuals rely on cooperation to catch large and fast prey. Frequently the evolutionary preconception in terms of which such theories are framed is implicitly group-selectionist, but it is possible to rephrase the theories in terms of orthodox gene selection.
—Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
He argued that the role of key replicator in cultural evolution belongs not to genes, but to memes replicating thought from person to person by means of imitation. These replicators respond to selective pressures that may or may not affect biological reproduction or survival.[6]


In her book The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore regards religions as particularly tenacious memes. Many of the features common to the most widely practiced religions provide built-in advantages in an evolutionary context, she writes. For example, religions that preach of the value of faith over evidence from everyday experience or reason inoculate societies against many of the most basic tools people commonly use to evaluate their ideas. By linking altruism with religious affiliation, religious memes can proliferate more quickly because people perceive that they can reap societal as well as personal rewards. The longevity of religious memes improves with their documentation in revered religious texts.[15]



Aaron Lynch attributed the robustness of religious memes in human culture to the fact that such memes incorporate multiple modes of meme transmission. Religious memes pass down the generations from parent to child and across a single generation through the meme-exchange of proselytism. Most people will hold the religion taught them by their parents throughout their life. Many religions feature adversarial elements, punishing apostasy, for instance, or demonizing infidels. In Thought Contagion Lynch identifies the memes of transmission in Christianity as especially powerful in scope. Believers view the conversion of non-believers both as a religious duty and as an act of altruism. The promise of heaven to believers and threat of hell to non-believers provide a strong incentive for members to retain their belief. Lynch asserts that belief in the Crucifixion of Jesus in Christianity amplifies each of its other replication advantages through the indebtedness believers have to their Savior for sacrifice on the cross. The image of the crucifixion recurs in religious sacraments, and the proliferation of symbols of the cross in homes and churches potently reinforces the wide array of Christian memes.[18]



#6 pamela

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:40 PM

I'm sorry I have discussed this so many times i guess I thought it was obvious, he said religion was a disease, it's more like a computer virus. Religion is infectious, it's passed as an idea that paralyzes the reason center of the mind with fear and it propagates it's self quite literally by telling other people the good news and playing on their fear and guilt to penetrate the mind of the second person and the meme demands they convert others the same way.


I don't need the history or definition of meme. I need for you to support your claim. You are simply ranting here. Show the data where it paralyzes the reason center. I mean seriously, religion bashing is as bad as preaching and I tire of it. :(

#7 Moontanman

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:54 PM

I don't need the history or definition of meme. I need for you to support your claim. You are simply ranting here. Show the data where it paralyzes the reason center. I mean seriously, religion bashing is as bad as preaching and I tire of it. :(


I can bash any religion into logical oblivion easily but this point is more difficult to show, but most religions are indeed based around the idea that the religion is true no matter what facts inter fear, this logical disconnect is achieved by the fear of some punishment in an after life if the religion is questioned. Some doctrines actually demand you forgo any reason and believe things that are not just unsubstantiated but demonstrably not true. No other aspect of human culture is allowed such a opt out. if anyone but a religious believer would tell you things that are obviously lies almost everyone would immediately question them but cloak it in religion and it gets a free pass, reason is paralyzed by the fear of displeasing their imaginary friend so they suspend any reason in favor of the religion.

and this is off topic so i will not go on unless it is in another thread.

#8 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:04 AM

I can bash any religion into logical oblivion easily but this point is more difficult to show, but most religions are indeed based around the idea that the religion is true no matter what facts inter fear, this logical disconnect is achieved by the fear of some punishment in an after life if the religion is questioned. Some doctrines actually demand you forgo any reason and believe things that are not just unsubstantiated but demonstrably not true. No other aspect of human culture is allowed such a opt out. if anyone but a religious believer would tell you things that are obviously lies almost everyone would immediately question them but cloak it in religion and it gets a free pass, reason is paralyzed by the fear of displeasing their imaginary friend so they suspend any reason in favor of the religion.

and this is off topic so i will not go on unless it is in another thread.

more ranting.... produce scientific data in support of your claim affecting the reason center. I will gladly move this into another thread if you can support it

#9 Moontanman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:16 AM

more ranting.... produce scientific data in support of your claim affecting the reason center. I will gladly move this into another thread if you can support it



Oh yeah, I'll go there, might be fun...



#10 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:30 AM

sigh... I do not want someone's conjecture, I want neuroscientific data supporting your claim on how religion affects the frontal lobe

#11 Moontanman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:11 AM

sigh... I do not want someone's conjecture, I want neuroscientific data supporting your claim on how religion affects the frontal lobe



Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.
Martin Luther


I think you are being a bit unfair here, neuroscientific? what does that mean? If the real world of the religious and their need to suspend reason in favor of reality isn't enough then what would be? It is very true that people who are religious, and I would expect this to be a gradation and not a true false type thing, they do not look at religion with the same reason that they would other things. i know many personally who will trust anyone who claims to be a christian instead of going with any kind of reputation check. They get fleeced by a company that sells them "christian" goods or "christian" work and then can't understand why a christian would do such a thing, reason is out the window... Christians that do not trust Muslims or Jews for no reason other than nonsense.

Reason never figures into religion. When it comes to religion people do not apply the same amount of reason to religious information as they do to other types of information. I don't understand what you ate looking for as neuroscientific data, brain wave patterns or something? I doubt you can get that for any specific human meme...

Religion actually demands the suspension of reason and in some way gets it from every theist, some are so sure they do not seek medical care in favor of being healed by god, one group actually died out because they were so sure god didn't want them to reproduce, they deny reality in many ways some more extreme than others but it an actual prerequisite for religious belief...

I will try to amass some statistical data but neuroscientific???

#12 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:34 AM

I think you are being a bit unfair here, neuroscientific? what does that mean?

look if you are not familiar with neuroscience i understand, so let me put it this way- medical data substantiating proof where the frontal lobe of the brain reveals an adverse effect when religion is introduced

If the real world of the religious and their need to suspend reason in favor of reality isn't enough then what would be?

conjecture

It is very true that people who are religious, and I would expect this to be a gradation and not a true false type thing, they do not look at religion with the same reason that they would other things.

is that conjecture or are you suggesting a use of variation on neural pathways?

i know many personally who will trust anyone who claims to be a christian instead of going with any kind of reputation check. They get fleeced by a company that sells them "christian" goods or "christian" work and then can't understand why a christian would do such a thing, reason is out the window... Christians that do not trust Muslims or Jews for no reason other than nonsense.

Personal choice here. If one simply does not do their homework before purchasing, then thats their fault

Reason never figures into religion.

what? Christian apologists are forever attempting to reason

When it comes to religion people do not apply the same amount of reason to religious information as they do to other types of information.

how would you know? are you in their mind?

I don't understand what you ate looking for as neuroscientific data, brain wave patterns or something? I doubt you can get that for any specific human meme...

yes

Religion actually demands the suspension of reason and in some way gets it from every theist, some are so sure they do not seek medical care in favor of being healed by god, one group actually died out because they were so sure god didn't want them to reproduce, they deny reality in many ways some more extreme than others but it an actual prerequisite for religious belief...

Don't feign concern here; you are showing yourself to be double minded. You would better serve your point with survival of the fittest

I will try to amass some statistical data but neuroscientific???

yes neuroscience preferably, be specific, pull data, support your claim. Rambling rants serve no purpose other than to shoot peoples and their faiths down- this is unacceptable. Just because organised religion doesn't work for you doesn't mean that others don't need it for whatever particular reason. Why should you play God and dictate what is good and right for an individual?

#13 Eclogite

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:18 AM

more ranting.... produce scientific data in support of your claim affecting the reason center. I will gladly move this into another thread if you can support it

I find it difficult to characterise mootanman's arguments as ranting. True, they are skeletal, but the logical thread is based on only a handful of assumptions that most with a scientific bent who are either agnostic or atheist would consider self evident. Underpinning his argument is, perhaps, thoughts of the gene VMAT2, the so called God Gene. That would seem to meet your request for scientific justification for his arguments.

Just because organised religion doesn't work for you doesn't mean that others don't need it for whatever particular reason. Why should you play God and dictate what is good and right for an individual?

I don't intend to speak for MM, but what I understand him to be saying is that organised religion, taken literally, requires a high degree of self deception. This seems to be demonstrably true. MM is simply reflecting that truth. That is neither playing God, nor dictating how an individual should behave. It is offering well intentioned advice baased upon logical consideration of facts. What do you feel is wrong with that?

#14 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:29 AM

I find it difficult to characterise mootanman's arguments as ranting. True, they are skeletal, but the logical thread is based on only a handful of assumptions that most with a scientific bent who are either agnostic or atheist would consider self evident. Underpinning his argument is, perhaps, thoughts of the gene VMAT2, the so called God Gene. That would seem to meet your request for scientific justification for his arguments.

I disagree and do not ascribe to the so called god gene as i have stated in another thread here. He claims that religion is infectious much like an organism that takes over, an entity in and of itself. To simply refer to religion in this matter is ignorant as we can see through out history it has served to develop cultures and organise tribes. Sure at times, the basic tenets of a particular religion have prompted destruction which only lead back to our natural animal instincts and therefore we are selves being the cause and not religion itself. It is so easy to blame an institution instead of taking responsibility for our own actions and choices.

I don't intend to speak for MM, but what I understand him to be saying is that organised religion, taken literally, requires a high degree of self deception.This seems to be demonstrably true. MM is simply reflecting that truth.

One can only be deceived if one chooses to.If one derives hope for a hereafter instead of considering a finality to his life then so be it. It is human nature to seek out answers whether that be in science or for those who seek answers to their own mortality. Should one group be considered viable but the other delusional?

That is neither playing God, nor dictating how an individual should behave. It is offering well intentioned advice baased upon logical consideration of facts. What do you feel is wrong with that?

I see no advice, he only criticises and hence my request for back up.He has not produced facts in order to support his argument. A few random notes on a particular religion is simply lacking in variables and would never stand up to the rigors of a scientific study comprised of data, statistics and facts.

#15 Eclogite

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

I disagree and do not ascribe to the so called god gene as i have stated in another thread here. He claims that religion is infectious much like an organism that takes over, an entity in and of itself. To simply refer to religion in this matter is ignorant as we can see through out history it has served to develop cultures and organise tribes.

You seem unfamiliar with the concept of memes and as such are misrepresenting them and Mootanman's use of them in his argument.
Firstly, memes do not take over an organism, but they become embedded in a culture.
Secondly, there is nothing I am aware of about meme theory that says that memes cannot be positive contributors to culture.

I have not read your thoughts elsewhere on the God gene. What is the scientific basis for your rejection of the hypothesis?

One can only be deceived if one chooses to.If one derives hope for a hereafter instead of considering a finality to his life then so be it. It is human nature to seek out answers whether that be in science or for those who seek answers to their own mortality. Should one group be considered viable but the other delusional?

Yes. Very definitely. The group who choose to believe what they wish to believe, regardless of their motivation, is delusional. The group who adhere to scientific methodology to reach provisional conclusions are not delusional.

I see no advice, he only criticises and hence my request for back up.He has not produced facts in order to support his argument. A few random notes on a particular religion is simply lacking in variables and would never stand up to the rigors of a scientific study comprised of data, statistics and facts.

I'll let Moontanman address those particular points. I think the facts he has spoken of are, from my perspective, quite well established to the point that it up to the contrary viewpoint holder to furnish contrary evidence. However, it is a margianl call, so I would ask MM to furnish some additional support for his argument.

Note: I do find it bizarre that you can simultaneously ask for scientific back up for moderately well established ideas, when defending self delusion over religious matters. Perhaps I am missing something - can you enlighten me?
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#16 Moontanman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

Please separate out this thread from the original thread...

#17 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:20 AM

You seem unfamiliar with the concept of memes and as such are misrepresenting them and Mootanman's use of them in his argument.
Firstly, memes do not take over an organism, but they become embedded in a culture.
Secondly, there is nothing I am aware of about meme theory that says that memes cannot be positive contributors to culture.

I am familiar and simply questioning his basis- see his quote below

moontanman
Religion is infectious, it's passed as an idea that paralyzes the reason center of the mind with fear and it propagates it's self quite literally by telling other people the good news and playing on their fear and guilt to penetrate the mind of the second person and the meme demands they convert others the same way.

i asked for clarification on this -what seems to be the problem?

I have not read your thoughts elsewhere on the God gene. What is the scientific basis for your rejection of the hypothesis?


biotheology
the link refelects my views
quite simply put, it lacks the facts to support it. I am not opposed i am just unconvinced

Yes. Very definitely. The group who choose to believe what they wish to believe, regardless of their motivation, is delusional. The group who adhere to scientific methodology to reach provisional conclusions are not delusional.

i disagree.If i believed the earth was round instead of flat way back in the day, am i delusional? seriously, we have ideas and are driven by a belief that allows us to seek answers to the question at hand. That is not delusional.

I'll let Moontanman address those particular points. I think the facts he has spoken of are, from my perspective, quite well established to the point that it up to the contrary viewpoint holder to furnish contrary evidence. However, it is a margianl call, so I would ask MM to furnish some additional support for his argument.

thats all i have asked

Note: I do find it bizarre that you can simultaneously ask for scientific back up for moderately well established ideas, when defending self delusion over religious matters. Perhaps I am missing something - can you enlighten me?

i ask for facts not accepted ideas. I am not defending delusion that is a psychological and often psychiatrical problem. Nor am i promoting organised religion as i do not ascribe to any of them. People have a choice as to what they want to accept and or believe whether that has a basis in religion or not.It does not constitute delusion