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Is religion a memetic disease?


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#35 sigurdV

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

Hi All!
I wrote a Poem...

(If I may Preach)

The Proper Definition of "God"

approximately is:

Reality and/or whats behind it.

Watching the face of god

paralyses us in awe

and admiration.

Hi Mom!

Why are we?

#36 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

It was indeed a metaphor, I could have been more clear in that regard. I often speak on metaphors, i think that way as as well...



Humans like all social animals have moral codes built in, of course there are always outlying data points and that might be significant, i have had a great many theists ask me how i can keep from going out and raping and pillaging if I don't believe in god. They often credit god with keeping them from doing so. It's a little bit scary to think of that possibility.

what do you mean by built in?



Yes i agree...



yes it is possible to escape the influence of the meme but it's difficult and some studies indicate there might be actual brain differences between true believers and skeptics.

dare i ask the forbidden-data????



No problem




Like I said it's not a black and white thing there are degrees of this effect.





Religious apologetics is based in lies, misrepresentations, and out right fabrications of false evidence. Give the best apologetic argument you can think of and I will try and debunk it... :rolleyes:

the point was the ability to reason not truth



Ummmm believing in Noah's Ark, ignoring the flat earth in the bible, being sure homosexuality is an abomination but ignoring wearing a garment made of mixed threads is also an abomination. Standing on street corners preaching the end is near...

original moon quote
You can tell by their behavior, they choose to believe things are easily shown to be false but refuse to see them.

i only see one example of behaviour there

But of course...




Where did I state i was glad I was free of it? Where did I claim it was harmful? I do have some thoughts along those lines but I haven't stated them here in this thread.

one simply does not need to state when their posts wreak of it :P



Actually humans and other hominids seem to have along history of taking care of the weak the old and infirm. Bones that healed back from devastating wounds that the individual had to have been taken care of have been found.

i remember reading about a particular case but do you claim that is the norm? do you honestly believe that the tribe would sacrifice themselves to help the old geezer when the pack is chasing them? What are your views on survival of the fittest?
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#37 Moontanman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

what do you mean by built in?


More human behavior is built in that we think, like all social animals we have certain behaviors we are born with that develop as we grow, altruism is one of them.

dare i ask the forbidden-data????



http://www.physorg.c...s155404273.html

the point was the ability to reason not truth


Good point, but flawed reasoning is still not reasoning...

i only see one example of behaviour there


So asserting things that are not true as truth isn't a behavior, ignoring things that disagree with your world view isn't a behavior, making up lies to make others believe isn't a behavior?

one simply does not need to state when their posts wreak of it :P


:o That's a bit unfair...

i remember reading about a particular case but do you claim that is the norm? do you honestly believe that the tribe would sacrifice themselves to help the old geezer when the pack is chasing them? What are your views on survival of the fittest?


There have been many skeletons found that were of people with physical problems that would have had to be taken care of by the group, in Neanderthals and Homo sapians...

#38 sigurdV

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:13 PM

We like to think our behaviour is a conscious affair,
but it is proven (i dont remember where)
that it is not so.

Habit and instinct influences each step we take.
our subconscious prepares every thought we make,
let them illusions go.

#39 pamela

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:18 PM

More human behavior is built in that we think, like all social animals we have certain behaviors we are born with that develop as we grow, altruism is one of them.





http://www.physorg.c...s155404273.html

thank you

Good point, but flawed reasoning is still not reasoning...

eh w/e

So asserting things that are not true as truth isn't a behavior, ignoring things that disagree with your world view isn't a behavior, making up lies to make others believe isn't a behavior?

fair point. i thought you meant physical behaviour.

:o That's a bit unfair...

i was teasing you , hence the smiley


There have been many skeletons found that were of people with physical problems that would have had to be taken care of by the group, in Neanderthals and Homo sapians...

as far as i am aware that hasnt been shown prior to roughly 175,000 years ago, just to clarify early man here :)

#40 Moontanman

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

thank you

eh w/e


fair point. i thought you meant physical behaviour.


i was teasing you , hence the smiley



as far as i am aware that hasnt been shown prior to roughly 175,000 years ago, just to clarify early man here :)



Being human was iffy 175,000 years ago....

#41 Knothead

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

I probably will be deservedly reprimanded for this, but I have to ask; Is a person that rejects organized religion, yet feels that there is a very real, very spiritual aspect of life that is at least worth keeping an open mind about if not actively pursuing, somehow less reasonable, less open minded, less critical than someone that rejects the possibility of the supernatural out of hand? Actually Supernatural isn't really the word I'm looking for. Lots of things that are commonplace today would certainly have seemed supernatural a few hundred years ago. Maybe undiscovered or unrealized would be better words.

#42 Moontanman

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

I probably will be deservedly reprimanded for this, but I have to ask; Is a person that rejects organized religion, yet feels that there is a very real, very spiritual aspect of life that is at least worth keeping an open mind about if not actively pursuing, somehow less reasonable, less open minded, less critical than someone that rejects the possibility of the supernatural out of hand? Actually Supernatural isn't really the word I'm looking for. Lots of things that are commonplace today would certainly have seemed supernatural a few hundred years ago. Maybe undiscovered or unrealized would be better words.



Knothead, no one will reprimand you for not knowing, realizing there are things you do not know is the beginning of knowing. I am straight up an atheist, i also contend that religion is bad and has been since it was first written down. But I cannot positively assert there are gods, i have no positive knowledge of god or gods is all i can say. in the absence of any evidence the default position is there are no gods...

But I have to admit I cannot prove there are no god or gods. Give me some empirical evidence and i would be in the god camp in heart beat. Religion on the other hand is so very special, religion is real, there are 30 churches within 10 miles of me, religion is mans idea of what god is, religion is a meme, an infectious meme that can be used to convince people of what ever it's leaders say it means...

Possibly what you feeling is spirituality, I think that is inside all of us and unique to each person, but as in my stance on god the idea of the supernatural is nonsensical to me, there is no evidence of it.

You are correct that things we have would have seemed supernatural to people a couple hundred years ago but the things we have are easily explained and are part of the natural world even though they might appear not to be to early humans. A reasonably intelligent man 1000 years ago might not have understood how a phone works but he could have it explained enough that he could use it, make it work, and understand the principles enough to realize it wasn't supernatural.

It is important to note that a man from 1000 years ago would have been so steeped in the idea of the supernatural it might be more difficult to explain it to him than a man 1000 years from now would have making me understand his technology wasn't supernatural even though it would be completely fantastic to me. If i saw something totally inexplicable i would think technology not supernatural, that might be a real difference in perception.

That difference in perception might prevent me from seeing something really supernatural as what it is too.

I will say it's remotely possible that the supernatural might be worked by a or even on a human but so far there is no evidence for this what so ever and so by default the supernatural is not relevant to our reality.

#43 belovelife

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:37 AM

you see , this is why i am spiritual, not religious

:bow: :blahblahblah: :lightsaber2: :circle: :Whistle:

#44 sigurdV

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:57 AM

I probably will be deservedly reprimanded for this, but I have to ask; Is a person that rejects organized religion, yet feels that there is a very real, very spiritual aspect of life that is at least worth keeping an open mind about if not actively pursuing, somehow less reasonable, less open minded, less critical than someone that rejects the possibility of the supernatural out of hand? Actually Supernatural isn't really the word I'm looking for. Lots of things that are commonplace today would certainly have seemed supernatural a few hundred years ago. Maybe undiscovered or unrealized would be better words.


If you are,
ill try defending you.
You dont deserve reprimands.

But, maybe,you could improve your definitions..

"Spiritual"?

Ugh! Thats an ugly word to me!

With too many connotations...

#45 sigurdV

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:21 AM

you see , this is why i am spiritual, not religious

:bow: :blahblahblah: :lightsaber2: :circle: :Whistle:


Heh!

After slaying the dragon the wolf returned to his lair:
Dont die on me dad! The white wolfling said.
-Son! its not in my fur,this is a case for reality!
Im lost to fantasy...see this flaming sword?
Its now yours. :ghost:

#46 Qfwfq

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

So, is it a meme or is it a gene, then? :)

People who prefer strawberry icecream and hate banana refuse to support their choice with logic and reason; they even despise the idea of applying the same kind of criteria to it as, say, theoretical physicists who propose the standard model of particles. They will simply rebuke that they don't have to, they might even say it doesn't matter which icecream is more nourishing or healthier; they simply like one better than the other. Gee they must be delusional. There are even people who get themselves killed because they don't care what doctors say about the impact of foods they have a craving for. They bloody well deserve the ailments they end up with, perhaps we should shoot them.

Oh, and yes, some people refuse to admit when they've fallen for a cunning salesman. They do their best to actually like what they bought, contrary to the reality of it demonstrably being crap, due to the fear of admitting the preacher salesman cheated them out.

#47 dduckwessel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

you see , this is why i am spiritual, not religious

:bow: :blahblahblah: :lightsaber2: :circle: :Whistle:


I tend to agree with belovelife. Many people assume that spiritual and religious are the same but while a spiritual person can exist with others, a religious person cannot exist outside of their particular denomination.

The spiritual person is not tied down by boundaries, the religious person cannot exist without them!

#48 dduckwessel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

So, is it a meme or is it a gene, then? :)

People who prefer strawberry icecream and hate banana refuse to support their choice with logic and reason; they even despise the idea of applying the same kind of criteria to it as, say, theoretical physicists who propose the standard model of particles. They will simply rebuke that they don't have to, they might even say it doesn't matter which icecream is more nourishing or healthier; they simply like one better than the other. Gee they must be delusional. There are even people who get themselves killed because they don't care what doctors say about the impact of foods they have a craving for. They bloody well deserve the ailments they end up with, perhaps we should shoot them.


People make religious choices based on logical (to them) ideas...what formulated those ideas is another story...people start with "I believe in God" (spirituality) but end up with "I believe in (my) religion" and it all goes downhill from there.

#49 sigurdV

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:27 PM

So, is it a meme or is it a gene, then? :)

People who prefer strawberry icecream and hate banana refuse to support their choice with logic and reason; they even despise the idea of applying the same kind of criteria to it as, say, theoretical physicists who propose the standard model of particles. They will simply rebuke that they don't have to, they might even say it doesn't matter which icecream is more nourishing or healthier; they simply like one better than the other. Gee they must be delusional. There are even people who get themselves killed because they don't care what doctors say about the impact of foods they have a craving for. They bloody well deserve the ailments they end up with, perhaps we should shoot them.

Oh, and yes, some people refuse to admit when they've fallen for a cunning salesman. They do their best to actually like what they bought, contrary to the reality of it demonstrably being crap, due to the fear of admitting the preacher salesman cheated them out.

The name Stephen Potter comes to mind.

So: Our consciousness isnt the lord of our mind?

#50 Eudoxus

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 02:32 AM

I am actually composing a Youtube video on the concept of religion as a memetic disease. I got the idea while watching an old Hitchens debate where the religious proponent declared that since religion has existed for most of human history, by evolutionary logic it must give some sort of survival advantage, or else it would have died off. The answer to this, of course, is that diseases have also been with mankind for its entire history, and give no survival advantage--in fact, there are a severe disadvantage to survival--yet persist. This is because disease organisms are parasites and evolve on their own path to take advantage of humans, and constantly change to thwart the human immune system. I think that religion is in many ways analogous, except that instead of operating on a biological level it operates on a memetic level; the level of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. Not, as Ms. Pamela for some reason tried to insist, a neurological level.


Anyway I don't see any killer arguments here; mainly the usual misrepresentations, assertions, and hand waving that the religious usually throw up; a trait developed by their memetic parasites to resist the antibiotic of reason.
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#51 bravox

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

Why does religion have to be explained, in terms of memes or whatever? Does anybody attempt to "explain" science? What if science is a memetic "disease"? Who cares?

I find it amusing that religion is such a constant topic in forums like this. I don't understand why people who aren't religious worry about it so much. I don't like vegetarianism, rap music, marijuana, I think those things are detrimental to a person's mental or physical health, but I don't stretch my mind trying to figure out why people enjoy those things. Whatever floats their boat. Why does it matter?

Now of course someone will say that religion is harmful to society, look at the Twin Towers, the Inquisition, the Crusades, Galileo, yada-yada. As if humans would suddenly become perfectly moral if it weren't for their irrational beliefs. Ironically, since most religions provide an explanation why humans are so morally corrupt, the problem must have existed before those religions were developed.

I say, let people believe what they want, do not try to rationalize away their thoughts since you are not inside their minds. Do not assume you're an atheist because you are so smart, because that is absolutely not true. The world is full of smart believers and stupid atheists.
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