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The Genocidal Memocidal Richard Dawkins

November 26th, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · 63 Comments

When white man arrived in America, there was a culture clash. The white man did not understand the “Indian” (so much so that they labelled them as “people living in India”… ;) ) Now, white man sees the Indian and his axe, being barbaric, not having any fancy technology, not having a notion of property ownership, and he thinks, “Savages, their lifestyle and wisdom do not make sense to me. If we clash, I will kill the Indian, for I do not understand him. Besides, if he wants me to understand his wisdom, he can learn English. The burden of proof of the wisdom of his ways, lies with him. I understand my worldview and it makes enough sense to me.”

So he goes on his merry way, advocating genocide. A beautiful culture is destroyed. A natural human heritage. A way of living in harmony with nature. So instead, after destroying the Indian, white man continues to destroy the planet.

This is what I see Richard Dawkins doing. It’s all good and well, he can happily be an atheist, he can live his life. But when he calls for memetic genocide to destroy religion, he does so without understanding the language. And he expects the religious to explain to him, in his scientific terms, what the value of their culture is. And trust me, there is value.

If you want to understand, you can’t sit back and laugh while the Indian tries to learn English. You need to help him. We need to open dialogue, else we will simply continue in our genocidal ways. Clearly something modernistic human beings love doing. Just look at the history of colonialism.

Richard Dawkins is a colonialist.

And he knows this. He realises he may have made a strategic blunder. Give the guy some credit, please.

Categories: Religion and Science
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63 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Should that be memocidal, maybe? ;)

  • 2 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:07 am

    OK, I’m going to spoil much of the fun that could be had, because I don’t have time right now. Thus, as a pre-emptive measure, let me put up my responses before I even get the questions:

    I would like to point out that he calls the God of the Old Testament genocidal. From my perspective, there is great similarity between that, and me calling him genocidal.

    That that paragraph won’t be enough to calm the Dawkins-fanclub, is an indication of exactly what is wrong with the Dawkins-fanclub. So here’s another little FYI: he claims that part of his book was satire…

    Furthermore, even if Richard Dawkins does not commit memetic genocide himself, his followers do so in his name. If you want to judge a religion by a certain group of its followers, I reserve the right to judge Richard Dawkins by his followers.

    I’d love to sit down and have a chat with Dawkins.

  • 3 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Next someone will accuse me of being patronising towards the religious people by equating them with savages like the Indians. If that’s your opinion, I call you a genocidal colonialist as well.

    I side with the Indians. I think they had a far more advanced culture and society, even if their technology was inadequate to defend it effectively.

  • 4 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:38 am

    dude. you so miss the point.
    have you read god delusion?
    It sounds like you’re just responding to the aa07 remarks without putting them in context.

    If you want to judge a religion by a certain group of its followers, I reserve the right to judge Richard Dawkins by his followers.

    Its not that he has followers. He has just given voice to what many people are thinking. He also isnt the only one. He rightly calls the god of the old testiment genocidal. go read the bible. Why so offended by it when someone points it out?
    We know you see a value in the so called ‘culture’. But who are you to say to him what Value he is supposed to apply to it? He gives his reasons why one shouldn’t give too much value to it. He isnt using your language, his work isn’t intended for you. His work is intended for people like him, and people who don’t realise it yet. Sam harris? maybe , he tries to sometimes talk the talk. richard is a woes, you should listen to hitchens. he actually has a gift in highlighting the inhumanity of religion and people under the spell.

    Atheists aren’t trying to convert you. :P hehe
    tho would you be so kind and allow them to also talk in their own language? look at your book shelf, you got all those book in your language , but we ? we dont. So why are you getting so upset that we’re starting to fill it up a little? Look, you might get offended when our books call to the end of you, but , if you read your books they do the same but expect us overlook it when you can’t ours;P

    you talk of richard like he is a movement , he may be part of a movement but he isnt a or the movement. I listed the people above because they are most likely the people you’ll be aware of most, not because they are the most prominent and there are many more :) people like richard aren’t really anti-theist, just anti-‘theistic influence’. In principle, while you are willing to overlook the negative influence in society of relgion they can’t. (have you seen stuff like the ‘gods warriors’ cnn series? its a 3 part series starting with gods christian warriors then jewish and then muslim? maybe jesus camp? How in your right mind could you compare that sorta stuff to what atheists are doing?

    I think you expect too much slack for your religion from people. I somehow think that if you came across a modern tribe that eats babies you’d bitch about it. Right now, atheists like dawkins tend to just see christians as babie eating natives. all they want to do is stop the baby eating. that doesnt mean you arent allowed to be the tribe, you just must stop eating babies.
    just like you would want to if you weren’t one of the babie eaters. :)

    ps: hitchens is a complete anti-theist and not one of the people i am talking about above.. he just wants it gone because people shouldnt want to choose to live in a self-delusional state.

  • 5 George // Nov 26, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Now, I think you are being melodramatic. ;)

    If you do not refer to Jahwe’s (Jehova if you are charismatic) actions in the OT as genocide, what would you call it (start with Judges, or any book describing the chosen ones land grab)? Purging the world of sin, perhaps?

  • 6 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Gerhard is missing the point because he is thinking in terms of “us” and “them”. He is assuming I’m not one of “us”, that I’m one of “them”. Either with us, or against us kind of attitude.

    Right now, atheists like dawkins tend to just see christians as babie eating natives.

    Bingo. Thanks for confirming my claims in the post. Them Indians. They’re savages. Gotta kill them to stop them eating babies.

    And yea, Hitchens I really don’t like very much. My favourite of the lot is probably Sam Harris. And I’ve seen more of Jesus Camp than I can stomach.

    And you are still sticking me in a box. And I don’t like that box. Like a cornered animal, when stuck in a box, I lose interest in anything other than escaping. Must fight this box. Must get out…

  • 7 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:28 am

    yeah , but u are acting like u dont deserve it :P
    it is a situation of us vs them, because u are f’ing with ‘us’ because u are getting offended because he’s talking to his own (as u said , in a different lang) and dont like what u are hearing :P ie. him pointing out the obvious, that god of the ot is a genocidal sadist :P

  • 8 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Yes George, I’m being melodramatic. I think I was feeling genocidal, and did some projecting onto poor Dawkins.

    I think I am also attention whoring, trying to collect more eyes before I take on the behemoth. While victory over the behemoth would be sweet enough to not need the eyes watching to make me feel good, I’m hoping the watching eyes can learn something useful, and follow the example. Assuming I end up being successful. That would make the time and energy invested more worthwhile. That is why I’m trying to collect eyes.

    Call this my war dance. I’m an Indian, doing a war dance around the fire, about to take on the modernistic white man that thinks in boxes. All of them. I don’t care if they’re left or right. I want to destroy the boxes.

    Melodrama.

    That’s what happens when I cannot sleep on what was supposed to be the last good night of rest this week. Reading an Algorithms book was unable to get my mind calm, as soon as I close the book, it returns to the behemoth.

    Oh, and I was feeling genocidal with regards to the mice on the ceiling. They keep me awake as well.

    This comment? This is “Revelations”. Apocalyptic writing using words to hide the statements, because those statements cannot be made directly. The Powers That Be would crucify me. Methinks. Uh, melodrama.

    So Dawkins argues that Jahwe doesn’t exist. How then can he be genocidal? ;-) Yea, satire. Don’t answer this question gehard. I understand Dawkins position much, much better than it seems you think I do. I’m aware of Judges. A nasty piece of work, that. So this is my official reply then: that reflects the humans’ understanding of their God. It is not God that is genocidal, it is humanity. Because of humanity’s genocidal tendencies, they have a genocidal understanding of God. Their understanding of God develops throughout the Bible, which speaks with many contrasting voices, until we get to the New Testament. In the New Testament (let’s give gerhard something to attack), Jesus taught a new understanding. One of love and compassion. God is compassionate, in contrast with God is “pure”. Jesus inspires followers that come to the conclusion his very essence was an incarnation of the real, living God.

    And I agree. So gerhard, go and stick me in a box because of this. Maybe you will understand some day why that box is broken.

    Right, so now, after less than five hours sleep, I embark on a 108-hour exodus out of Egypt. For the next 108 hours, I will be working. I will sleep when I can no longer work, and I will work as soon as I wake up again. Something along those lines. And I will enjoy it immensely, because it’s been four years since I had the opportunity to kick ass like I’m about to.

    It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

  • 9 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:35 am

    Gerhard: Jesus is my God. And if you stick around long enough, I will demonstrate my God to you. I’m hoping my God will work a miracle, a miracle like the atheists believe is “impossible”.

    There. If you want to stick me in a box, I’ll behave as if I’m in that box. Be the box. Embrace, and extend.

    Oh, and no, not my thesis, that’s just a hurdle to get out of the way. The behemoth. We’ll see how far we can get in one semester.

  • 10 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:43 am

    Oops. My calculations were wonky. I only have 96 hours, not 108. Better get started then. Have fun.

    If you don’t hear from me before then, I’ll be back with a vengeance next week. And I will be reading The God Delusion and tearing it apart as best I can. Until now I have only watched a bazillion Dawkins videos. At one of them he read many sections of his book. Lynchburg, I think. The questions at the end were stupid. The people were missing the point. They were asking the wrong questions. But anyway…

    I will read the book, because yes, I am making statements on incomplete knowledge of the material. And I don’t like doing that.

  • 11 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:44 am

    i’m not(nor richard) saying that christainity has no value. what is being said is that the value of it is less than the ‘evil’ it causes :P

    what exactly do you want him to do? ignore it ?
    Watch as christain meglomaniacs fight muslim meglomaniacs who are fighting jewish meglomaniacs?? I think its naive to think we’re not gonna get caught in the crossfire.

    you are asking too much of people like me. u want us to be quiet , sit in the corner and watch you guys f up life for us all :P

  • 12 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:55 am

    He inspires other atheists. That’s a worthy contribution I suppose.

    Ideally, I’d want him to learn the language and help build bridges, help communicate.

    But, he doesn’t have Jesus. So no wonder he is unable to communicate. Jesus is the bridge builder. Jesus makes all things possible. Jesus provides life, and life in abundance, if you have found the real Jesus. If you do not have life in abundance, you have not found Jesus…

    Jesus! Am I swearing, in your books? Hehe…

  • 13 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I am not a fundamentalist. Just as Richard Dawkins writes for his little fundamentalistic atheistic crowd, I write for my non-fundamentalistic crowd. If you do not understand my language, it’s because you are reading something that is not addressed to you.

    Just like Richard Dawkins does with The God Delusion, according to you.

    As such, you are what, not allowed to get angry with me, if I understand your sentiments about my reactions correctly?

  • 14 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Let’s resort to name-calling then:

    Monolingual Memetic-Genocidal Colonialistic Fundamentalist!

    Can any of my other readers add to this? Let’s create a Dawkins-esque sequence of adjectives for Dawkins.

    Quoting Dawkins:

    The God of the Old Testament is ‘a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak’, ‘a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, megalomaniac and capriciously malevolent bully’ (Dawkins).

    Let’s do the same with Dawkins. Let’s call him names! Any suggestions from my audience here?

    Oh, and here’s another of Richard’s claims:

    ‘Religious readers who open this book will be atheists when they put it down’ (Dawkins).

    So he claims the book is supposed to convert readers if they read it. And it failed. So he didn’t accomplish what he set out to do. Because he doesn’t have Jesus. Dawkins is not a memetic engineer. He is a biologist. A scientist. He was unable to do what was necessary, but he did what he could.

    I am no memetic engineer, and I have very little idea how to increase the numbers of the super nice and spread their memes through the meme pool.

    Yet again from Richard Dawkins’ atheists for Jesus article.

    And here’s the answer: Jesus.

  • 15 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Scrat may have been located. With a rough idea of his whereabouts, I’m going out to look for him. If I find him, it will be a sign from my God. A wonder. If I don’t find him, it is because God works in mysterious ways.

    Muhahahahaha!

    Either way, let’s hope I find Scrat.

  • 16 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:22 am

    define what you mean by fundamentalist. from where i am standing you are as fundamentalist about your beliefs.
    it seems alot like you are going speak ‘my’ language and taking offence for others talking theirs. hence ur beef with his calling the god of ot a genocidal meglomaniac.

    btw, it was the indians that resisted the change that was brought with the europeans :P they stated the killing, they just didnt have as good of weapons :P so thats what turned it into a genocide :) It was a end game situation :P neiter wanted to give in to the other.
    remember atheists arent just talking about christains :) they are also talking muslim , buddist , taoists, satanists,scientology, mormanism etc. is this the first time u’ve been told this?

  • 17 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:40 am

    define what you mean by fundamentalist.

    No.

    Listen, we are all fundamentalistic about something. It is good to recognise this and identify the thing you are fundamentalistic about. I’m working on mine, to pen it down. No wait, I can’t pen it down, can’t put it in a box. Hehe, so I am fundamentalistic about not being in a box. I nearly said I’m fundamentalistic about disliking modernism, but that is again a box that I don’t like, and I do like modernism, in moderation. So yea, I’m fundamentalistic about not being fundamentalistic. That does make me a fundamentalist.

    And what the hell do the atheists have against Buddhists and Taoists exactly? That, my friend, is exactly what I call “fundamentalist atheists”. I mean, WTF? “If you don’t think exactly as we do, if you don’t worship the god we worship, then you must DIE!”

    Colonialist. Genocidal. What’s-the-opposite-of-compassionate.

    Ugh. That’s what gives the atheists a bad name. That’s why they are the least trusted minority. That’s why people, who might be atheists themselves, refuse to accept the “atheist” label.

    Congratulations, I thank you for your wonderful contribution in demonstrating this so succinctly.

    Fundamentalist.

  • 18 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:42 am

    And here’s the thing: we all worship some god. It’s in our genes. We evolved that way. There is no tribe or culture or community or tribe that does not worship a god of some sort.

    Science is cold and compassionless, it is important for the purpose of getting the job done. But that makes for a very cold and cruel god… you miss out if that’s all you have.

  • 19 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:43 am

    ok, you’re obviously having an emotion reaction to what richard is saying:P

    you dont like the fact that he is calling a spade a spade :P classic. the god of the ot does , commit genocide mutiple times , does in encourage infantacide etc. so why so offended when someone actually points it out?

    u say his book is a failure because it didnt convert you , well done for you saying that without actually having read it, read my comments earlier about who it was actually aimed for :P not you religious fanatics, its for the fence sitters who are atheist but don’t realise it yet :) people who already have that opinion but just havent been able to put it into words.

  • 20 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:49 am

    emotion reaction

    Lol. You don’t know passion when you see it, eh? I’m cool, calm and collected. And passionate. Because I’m human. Are you human, or are you a cold, compassionless, emotionless robot as you think Dawkins wants you to be?

    the god of the ot does , commit genocide mutiple times , does in encourage infantacide etc. so why so offended when someone actually points it out?

    You are so missing the point here. I’m about to give up on you… and I don’t want to. I want you in my church, I want you as a friend aka disciple, there is much that you can contribute. But without some compassion, without some humanity, you’re worthless to me.

    Listen, you completely misunderstand me, because you don’t know me. If you are interested, I suggest reading everything that is tagged with “Hugo’s Story”, for a start. Maybe you will start understanding what I’m about. Please drop your fundamentalistic assupmtions. Please remove me from your little boxes. Otherwise you will never understand me, and you might as well leave this site and not come back.

    Fundamentalist.

    Oh, and God is teaching me patience. Scrat didn’t come when called. (Hey, I only had one morning to train him to respond to calls, I started too late with that.) I will leave nuts at the base of those trees, and see where he moves about, and feed him there.

  • 21 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Little boxes, little boxes.

    You know, I’m not here to give you easy answers. I’m here to give you questions. If you want easy answers, go ask Richard Dawkins, or your local pentecostal or fundamentalist church, or any other fundamentalistic movement. They all deal in easy answers. Fundamentalists.

    Observe: I was quite secular in my approach on this blog. Now you attack with your Dawkins-inspired rhetoric. So I go on the defensive. I grab my God, and I use my inspiration. It becomes a titanic struggle, a battle between the Gods. And there is war. And there is death.

    This is what worries me about the New Atheist movement. It can backfire. Dramatically. And I’m worried. I’m worried about the future of mankind. And that, that is why I fight. I fight to undo the damage that the New Atheist movement might cause. And that’s where the New Atheist movement is valuable: they have spurred me into action.

    I used to be a fence sitter. Then I drifted to the one side. And then I drifted to the other side under influence of Dawkins et al. And then I realised, they’re full of bullshit. And here I am.

    Don’t stick me into one of your fucking boxes! You can shove them up your ass…

    Thanks. Meant with the most positive attitude. I’m sitting here with a smile on my face, enjoying a good duel between friends. I hope you can see it that way. Playful banter.

  • 22 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:31 am

    my friend , there is a difference between being anti-theist and anti – ‘theistic influence’.
    I may have gotten a bit off track with my last example.
    Its not that atheists want to get rid of religion completely, but what we want is that it has less power and that those people who arent actually theists have a chance to recognize it.

    you’re going around calling people fundamentalist but refuse to define what u mean by that? that just makes you sound like you belong into one of those boxes, no better than those fundamentalist christains that refuse to define what ‘kind’ means so that they can change it at will :P
    sure you dont want to be in a box, but u get put into a box because you refuse to define what u are. this just leads people like me thinking that you actually dont know what u are.

    I want you in my church, I want you as a friend aka disciple

    Science isnt a god :P you may think its cold and cruel. I guess thats a matter of how you look at it :) I don’t tho :) I see it as warm and friendly like a warm fuzzy feeling :) i wonder how something that gave us love , life and hope makes you think of cold and cruel.. then again , you’ve been brainwashed to think this. that god is the only thing worth something .. (no offence)

    what you said about every culture having a god isnt true btw :) while its true that most do, but its false to claim _all_ do . Don’t make me search though my national geographic to get exact examples of tribes.. what is in our genes is the need to explain the world in stories , because it simplifies the actual reality a bit towards manageable levels :) with life its more of a ‘how deep do you want to go rabbits hole?’ situation.

    btw, i’m not looking to join a church or become a disciple and you are no jesus :P :)
    I have read your story :) You’re staying in the box until u prove otherwise , not becaue u got into the box by default (which is what you say u have had issues with), but because of what you have said, how you have said it and how you acted :) the box i would put you in atm is ‘confused christain reformist’. maybe reformist isnt the most perfect word , but then i am not english.

  • 23 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:37 am

    btw, personally , i think the thing new atheism should do to actually illustrate ur madness alittle better is try get rid of the differentiation between sect , cult and religion :P
    you know , at least put the other crazy sounding stuff like scientology and christainanic satanism and christainity on the same leve l :)

  • 24 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Fundamentalist!

    this just leads people like me thinking that you actually dont know what u are.

    Uh, what have I been saying all this time? I don’t fit in a box. Also known as, “I don’t nkow what I am”. So that’s not any new insight.

    You are a prophet. Your prophecies become self-fulfilling, so now I am in a box. I am a “confused christian reformist”. Yay for confusion!

    And sorry dude, you have already joined a church. You are attending regularly. I’m hoping to turn you into an active, valuable, contributing member. Oh, sorry, I have just boxed you as not valuable and not contributing. That is a lie. You have been contributing more to this church than many of the others, who lurk. I thank you for your contribution to the Kingdom of God, and for your contribution to the rest of the congregation’s understanding.

    Much appreciated. God bless.

    Now I have less than 95 hours. Gotta dash. Cheers!

  • 25 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Oh wait, one more titbit. What the New Atheist movement seem to be advocating, is pretty much the same thing as “abstinence-only sex education”. Trust me, it doesn’t work.

  • 26 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 11:05 am

    *sigh*
    not being able to define yourself doesnt mean that there isnt a definition out there for you.
    You choose to not define yourself. ok , fine. be like that. I just hope its not because you lack knowledge of the words that could define you.
    I’m just sick of this new christianity , where you pick and choose anything from everything to explain the world and themselves.
    like one guy giving a speech and then u pick and choose sentinces out completely ignoring the context of those words.
    i’m sure one could do the same with mein kampf and still be able to justify it by calling everyone else fundamentalist :P

    which is exactly what you are doing :) Because they choose not to ignore the bad religon causes , so u take offence to it and calling them fundamentalist about it :)

    btw, read up about Buddhists and Taoists , you’d be making a mistake thiking that they cause less harm in their worlds than what chrisanity does in ours :) maybe taoist is a stretch but i threw that in because i wanted to :::)

  • 27 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Fundamentalist!

    I just hope its not because you lack knowledge of the words that could define you.

    You hope in vain. I definitely lack knowledge of the words that could define me. Without a doubt. If you ever come across those words, let me know? Thanks. Or maybe we’d need to create a new word to define me… let me not blaspheme by making a suggestion that treads on your wonderfully boxed vocabulary.

    I’m just sick of this new christianity

    Fundamentalist!

    i’m sure one could do the same with mein kampf

    Hey, that’s a great idea! I have added Mein Kampf to my to-read list. I shall read it, tear it apart, and find God in it for you.

    Did you know Hitler was considered a Messianic figure? Do you think there was anything worthwhile in what he said? Any good in it? I’d bet you I can find some good in it. I could find some God in it. Despite all the evil that ruined the good.

    And the New Christianity, is not New. It’s two thousand years old. At least. Fundamentalist. You fail to see this.

    And don’t accuse me of ignoring bad religion. Just give me a few months and see for yourself.

    If we want to talk about harm, we can also talk about the harm that has been done by science and by atheism. So that is a moot point. Harm is part of human nature. Humans that wish to commit harm, do so no matter what worldview they happen to have. Harm can be justified out of any worldview.

    Fundamentalist.

    BTW, you can deduce what I mean by the word “fundamentalist” based on how I use it. If you choose to. That is how language works.

  • 28 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Life is often absurd or horrible, the only valid values are the ones we create for ourselves.

    Random luck governs much of life. Chance gives some people wealth, or intellect, or health.
    People simply are born as biological creatures, and subsequent conditioning by family and culture shapes each person’s nature.

    Now its our job to make a healthy learning enviorement for our children.

    >Jesus provides life, and life in abundance, if you have found the real Jesus. If you do not have life in abundance, you have not found Jesus…

    By believing the healthy enviorement needed to Emold children is just going to fall from the sky, means we are not doing our job correctly.

    Every thinking person is utterly alone in choosing how to live. “Man is condemned to be free,”

    Despite all the conditioning influences that shape us, its individual choice, alone, to decide his or her actions. We can get guidance from others, but we cannot avoid choosing

    We are left alone to seek a path. Anguish is the anxiety we feel when we realize that we bear sole responsibility for our actions, and we cannot avoid acting. Despair is the realization that we can rely only upon ourselves

    Despite all the uncertainty and futility of life, every person must develop individual integrity and strive to improve the lot of humanity. There are no divine or universal laws — yet we must adopt private values, and pursue them.

    lets call it the hand on approach.

    >New Atheist movement seem to be advocating, is

    Feeling alive and in control of your future

    Hugo

    >Science is cold and compassionless, it is important for the purpose of getting the job done. But that makes for a very cold and cruel god…

    Science is not a god. Because a atheists is free to explore every subject, science is just the subject that crops up more in our communication because of interest. The real “god” of atheism is to be in control of your own life. That means taking actions, actions to which you are certain there will be a outcome. My children and thousands of other atheist parents children will show that this worlds order can continue to exist without god. Because we are no longer waiting for things to get better. We are making it better

  • 29 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Love and compassion was not taught by jesus it was man who taught love and compassion and it took another man like jesus to see the real value in the words love and compassion. Every person around the world knows love. The san tribe has no god, but they show great respect to families and elders. Love and compassion is so close to our human nature.

    >we can also talk about the harm that has been done by science and by atheism

    Harm towards religion, but hope for a brighter future. You may not be able to envision a world without jesus, but i am free to do so. My children will be free to do so.

  • 30 Bertus! // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Genocide is nie heeltemal die woord nie. Memocide of so iets eerder, maar ek dink nie Dawkins wil iemand dood maak nie (daar is wel scary passages in Sam Harris waar hy sê party idees [lees radikale Islam] is so gevaarlik dat jy dalk mense moet kan doodmaak as hulle daarin glo). Ek dink Dawkins is maar net ‘n ou wat aangaan oor goeters. Daar is altyd so een êrens in die buurt – daai oom wat in die Pinksterbiduur opspring om eerste te bid en nooit ent kry nie; of daai skoolhoof wat elke dag ‘n brief aan Die Burger skryf; of daai ou wat jou van sy geloofsoortuigings vertel as julle saam in die hysbak is. Dawkins is maar net een van daai ouens. Mens kan hom ignoreer en mens moet eintlik. Anders kan jy vir hom lag ook. Maar as jy hom ernstig opneem . . . the jokes on you.

  • 31 Bertus! // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Oops, “joke is on you”. Sal my leer om in Ingels te probeer tik.

  • 32 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Atheism in die woorde van dawkins I God further. :-D

  • 33 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Beautiful, Bertus! Dankie. As iemand hierdie wil vertaal na Ingels vir gerhard se onthalwe, is hulle welkom. Ek is besig om te maal met my tesis.

  • 34 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Dawkins point : centers the origin of religious faith and whether it helps survival of the human species. Dawkins argues that origins of religious obedience derive from childhood obedience, which does have survival value — as children, believing what parents and elders say helps children live longer: Don’t play in street; Don’t eat that red berry.

    However, an unintended consequence of automatically believing parents and elders is…religion (and government?). For what is religion other than automatically believing what elders (God, ministers, the bible, etc.) tell you. So religion, the propensity to believe elders, is an unintended consequence of childhood obedience. And while childhood obedience does help the species survive, religious obedience does not necessarily have the same benefit. It’s simply an unintended consequence of childhood obedience.

  • 35 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    There comes a time in your life when you realize that it’s ok for santa clause not to be real. There also comes a time in your life, when you realize religion is not needed either. Your missing the entire point of life : You! Your life must not be stuck on knowledge of elders. You can move forward in life, take there knowledge and make it better. learn from them and move on. Stop holding onto childish things that is not needed. you can be a loving person. You can judge yourself. If you judge yourself through your eyes you see your flaws. You improve yourself by taking action, because what else do you have.

    That was what i made out of his words he also implies :

    That religion is needed, for the survival of the species. But this is a childhood obediene. So childhood need.

    I learned from religion as atheist. I will protect and guide my children and i don’t need the words of someone uttered thousands of years ago twisted a little to fit a modern times.

    You need to look at what the modern time is, and make your own best assessment of what action is needed to ensure your children’s safty.

    You can take the words and actions of jesus and only twist them so far. By this action try and create what you think is needed for the world.

    Hypothetical situation

    Kevin when you kill someone you go to jail, you stay in a small box with no tv or friends for 23 hours a day. Kevin when you are kind to someone you will make them happy, then they will be kind to you, and you will be happy.

    A child can understand and experience happiness and sadness for himself and make his own choice of what he wants. Morals will emerge because of human nature.

    See why religion is needed. Take the lesson you learned from that and fit it to modern survival needs of your children. Im a better teacher to my child than jesus, because i know what jesus knows and i gain my own and more knowledge than jesus. I also know what Mohamed believed was needed for human survival and group affiliation. I learned allot from satanism. Albert Einstein was a great person but he was no god because he dealt with a modern society. jesus and mohammed are great persons, but the ignorance of there people in there times caused tales of gods and religions. They were just great men, we live pretty much in a natural world. So learn from the new great persons on the block. Why do you think Christianity was at first rejected, because it was a great thing that could approve humanity, but most people could not understand it so rejected it. Evolution, rationalism. Einstein. Dawkins

  • 36 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    If we want to talk about harm, we can also talk about the harm that has been done by science and by atheism. So that is a moot point

    dude,what harm exactly? you compareing the harms it caused with caused by religion? Its no wear near as extream :P so go ahead , i’m quite interested ;)

    BTW, you can deduce what I mean by the word “fundamentalist” based on how I use it. If you choose to. That is how language works.

    actually , if you believe your earlier point , then by us talking different languages makes the meaning very different. i fear u are trying to draw a comparison between fundamentalist christains and atheists :P regretably, atheism which draws its conculsion from science, means that atheism is dynamic, unlike fundamentalist christains there is no well defined fundamental doctrine to draw from. (as science changes so does the doctrine. it tries to avoid dogma this way) in so doing , should anyone be able to illustrate the need/evidence for god then atheists will file in rank :) being called ‘fundamentalist’ is about having universal unchangable doctrines …

    but right now atheism is like a fly trying to take on a big hippo because the hippo has a tendency towards killing fly kind :) (u being one of the hippos fearing the fly )
    btw the ‘new’ christanity is exactly that , new :P
    do you think people could have done debating of the bible unless u were part of the church itself? how far could they have questioned? there wasn’t even a non greek version of the bible untill luther :P The name of the game was to follow whatever the church said the meaning of x was and you did it, otherwise torture and death were your rewards, let alone social outcasting. hell you want me to give examples of early chrisiantiys biggotness? This new christianity is one that actually tries to apply science , and choose to do 3 things, pick and choose from science , and pick and choose from the bible and pick and choose the meaning of words themselves. a personal idea of what god is within a personalized idea of what the world / reality is. thats just plain f’d up. Bascially new christianity is , just christains saying that the ‘embarressing’ stuff doesnt count anymore and that they shouldnt be accountable for it. Its the meme of the christain religion evolving because science is forcing it to:)

    so this is why , when atheists look at your gods actions and finds something wrong with it , you take offence :P kinda like ‘patriot americans’ being offended when u say amerika , with k , which is what it acts like .

    nate: you put this sorta stuff much better than i do ;0. I tried to explain what u said to hugo in another post, but he doesnt seem to get it :) he doesnt even realise that that is why he specifically believes in ‘christanity’ and jesus and not in zeus or lord xanu :P

  • 37 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    nate: doesnt it sometimes sadden you when you see great minds corrupted to the point of suicide by religion’s craft? you seen ”Dangerous Knowledge” a bbc docu of this subject?

    In this one-off documentary, David Malone looks at four brilliant mathematicians – Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, … all » Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing – whose genius has profoundly affected us, but which tragically drove them insane and eventually led to them all committing suicide’
    basically their genius contradicted their religous view / mindsets so they drove themself mad, in many cases trying to disprove themselves:)

    watch it here

    Albert einstein is kind of a example of this, his mind and work made completely irrelivant because of his religous inflexability :) like he said , he didnt believe god played dice … which ejected him from reality :)

  • 38 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    > Atheism is dynamic, unlike fundamentalist christains there is no well defined fundamental doctrine to draw from

    Well said gerhard.

  • 39 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    > ”Dangerous Knowledge”

    Thats why we as atheist have to be more vocal to make sure great minds get the right enviorement for development. Understand why science improves humanity. The human mind can grow so much further without the shackles of religion.

  • 40 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    dude,what harm exactly? you compareing the harms it caused with caused by religion? Its no wear near as extream :P so go ahead , i’m quite interested ;)

    Your examples of harm caused by religion will be mostly examples from long ago, when there were no atheists like there are today. I’m suggesting that it isn’t religion-vs-atheism that causes harm-vs-niceness, but rather a third factor. Societal development. The fact that development happens to coincide with atheistic sentiments, is correlation. Not causality.

    atheism which draws its conculsion from science, means that atheism is dynamic, unlike fundamentalist christains there is no well defined fundamental doctrine to draw from.

    Bascially new christianity is , just christains saying that the ‘embarressing’ stuff doesnt count anymore and that they shouldnt be accountable for it. Its the meme of the christain religion evolving because science is forcing it to:)

    Shit man. On the one hand you say “science is great, because it develops”. On the other hand you complain when Christianity develops. You fucking hypocrite. I hate hypocritical behaviour. I don’t hate you. I’m just tiring of this absurd conversation. You’re a fucking fundamentalist because you refuse to look for any goodness in what I’m trying to communicate. If your mind is closed to what I’m trying to say, there’s no point in me trying to say it.

    nate: you put this sorta stuff much better than i do ;0. I tried to explain what u said to hugo in another post, but he doesnt seem to get it :) he doesnt even realise that that is why he specifically believes in ‘christanity’ and jesus and not in zeus or lord xanu :P

    So that is the problem here: you are assuming I’m not getting it. I believe I do get it, but that what you two are saying would be missing the point. So I try to point out how I feel, and you two fundamentalists refuse to understand.

    I conjecture that I understand you, but you do not understand me.

    I give up. Thanks for the chat. We’ll talk again in December. I hope I can manage the self-discipline this time. I’m not a chimpanzee, chimpanzees have more patience than humans do.

  • 41 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    i was looking for a perticular quote from carl sagan which this convo reminded me of but i didnt find it, instead i found a couple of words of wisdom relating to specific parts of this discussion ;)
    here it goes :)

    It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
    “The Burden of Skepticism” (1987)
    hugo seems to think that this new atheism is ‘only skeptical’ while i think the new atheists feeling is that people like him are ‘to the point of gullibility’.

    —-
    The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth — never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.


    It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.

  • 42 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I love Carl Sagan.

    Oh, and by the way, the clash between my genius and fundamentalistic religious memes also had me on the verge of suicide, back in May. My survival instinct was just waayyy too strong, so I was victorious.

    I escaped fundamentalism by embracing the “atheism” label. And it worked wonders. So I appreciate atheism.

    And then I found God. So sue me.

  • 43 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Oh, and you give Einstein way too little credit here:

    Albert einstein is kind of a example of this, his mind and work made completely irrelivant because of his religous inflexability :) like he said , he didnt believe god played dice … which ejected him from reality :)

    As far as I know, he was no fundamentalist. His sentiment that God does not play dice, really has nothing to do with what you are calling “God”. He was just a fan of a mechanistic universe, and didn’t like the idea of the Uncertainy Principle. Poetically, he expressed this in terms of “God”.

    If you cannot understand that, you will never understand me.

  • 44 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Your examples of harm caused by religion will be mostly examples from long ago, when there were no atheists like there are today.

    are you oblivious to the harm it causes today to the point of your not being able to make a comparison? i really would recommend that ‘god warriors’ cnn series :)
    it illustrates perfectly well the _real_ world _major league_ harm it causes :) You’ve just said atheism causes harm so i am trying to figure out what u mean by harm :)

    Shit man. On the one hand you say “science is great, because it develops”. On the other hand you complain when Christianity develops. You fucking hypocrite. I hate hypocritical behaviour. I don’t hate you. I’m just tiring of this absurd conversation. You’re a fucking fundamentalist because you refuse to look for any goodness in what I’m trying to communicate. If your mind is closed to what I’m trying to say, there’s no point in me trying to say it.

    no no no, this is where u are being the hypocrit. god is supposed to be unchanging :P but you keep changing the goal posts .. not because of the understanding of god changing , but because science and reason is making it seem more and more silly … for you actually it doesnt matter what you believe, because it will change as you need it to change , u’re adjusting it to suit your needs.
    the point i’m making with science changing is that it changes independent of need .. as the quote said earlier , ‘The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.’

    your truth will always be what you need it to be to maintain the illusion, nothing anyone can say do or prove will move u from god, because u made up ur mind that he exists , and clearly are willing to adjust the truth and sources of arguments to whatever works best to allow for your preference :) like u said, without god , your world would be cruel and cold :P the new christianity is all about blurring the truth by any means possible to suit the current preference:)

    there is no hipocitism or absurdity in judging religion on this while praising science:P

    You’re a fucking fundamentalist because you refuse to look for any goodness in what I’m trying to communicate

    but so far you havent said anything … you just keep saying that u are undefinable. and that there is some value in religion ,and that atheism is causing harm which u also dont want to define. (aside from you saying it gives rise to fundamentalism) I am saying that while there is some value in religion (which is what i am agree with) , you seem to be dismissing the bad that occurs from it .. you’ve even gone so far as to draw similartiies between the extreams of religion and the extreams of new atheism :) which is actually quite absurd :P
    hence my hippo being afraid of a fly example.

    btw, knowing something and understanding it are two very different things :) stop living in this little personalized theistic glass box you created for urself and take a look around. .
    when living in a illdefined glass box one would not recommend throwing stones ;)

  • 45 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    thx for calling me a fundamentalist in the other post. I had a open mind towards what you are trying to do, but seems you were a little close minded at appreciating what i was trying to do.

    I don’t hate hypocritical people and yeah thats me pointing at you. I feel sorry for them.

    You are trying to better religion and coodles to you.

    >You’re a fucking fundamentalist because you refuse to look for any goodness in what I’m trying to communicate.

    repeatably have i asked what goodness. We are not mind readers Hugo and it would be appreciated if you point out the goodness of it. Thats why there was said that you did not get it. Because you start building a wall without laying the foundation. And then assume we will all just fall in with the foundation, if we don’t you call us fundamentalists, how very hypocritical of you

  • 46 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    I escaped fundamentalism by embracing the “atheism” label. And it worked wonders. So I appreciate atheism.

    well, there we have it , you weren’t a atheist, you did it because you saw it as an alternative ‘religion’. afterwards the shinyness wore off you defaulted back to christianity.

    rememeber in an earlier post i spoke about how these kind of atheists? they arent atheists and never were :P they have no understanding of atheism , they just know what the arguments are. It requires knowledge of a wide spectrum of things to be able to call themselves atheist and to overcome religious rationalizations of reality. without this grounding they lapse back to religous ideals backed by their earlier indoctrination once someone has propperly challanged your world view:P Remember religous causes make realllllly good arguments , because they specialize themselves in inventing the bullshit to explain their world in their terms so that their preferences can be met :) they actually have actively excuse their belief :P they train people in ‘conversion’ or ‘witnessing’ techniques :)
    atheists is a road each of us travels alone , together :)

  • 47 Negate // Nov 26, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Well Said gerhard *standing applause* i got goose pumps after that. Atheism could not have been said better. I really doubt the jst of that was understood.

    In laymen terms : grow up :p

  • 48 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    sorry, didnt close a bold there , didnt mean to do it :)

    negate : i think he was calling me the hipocrit :P
    thanks for the last comment :)

    hugo: eistein saw the mechanistic universe as the handy work of god. he has written about how he thought of god as a concious being, pointing the world and universe in the direction god wanted it to go :P that doesnt mean he saw the mechanistic universe as god :P (which is where i think u are going)
    the reason the Uncertainy Principle was so deadly to him is because it removed yet another need for god :) It made god less likely , which he couldnt overcome :)

  • 49 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    hugo : btw, i’m not trying to be argumentative , i just very seldomly agree with what you are saying, (and vice versa apparently ) and as you are trying to preach or get ‘deciples’ then i must voice the questionability of statements that i see :P I think you are actually doing this in an attempt to define yourself :)

    the atheist in me must feed his curiosity by argumentation so that we can determine what is more right :)

  • 50 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    are you oblivious to the harm it causes today

    No I’m not.

    to the point of your not being able to make a comparison?

    Obviously I am making a comparison. And I suggest that your strain of atheism is religion-like and could be just as much to blame for the effects of religion than religion itself. And I wonder if I’m allowed to disagree with your fundamentalistic notions…

    You should learn skepticism. You should be skeptical of your certainty that atheism is the solution to all the world’s problems. I am a skeptic. It doesn’t seem like you are.

    god is supposed to be unchanging

    Yes, he is unchanging. According to your books, it’d be because he never existed and never will. But whatever. I agree he is unchanging. Our understanding of “God” changes though.

    but so far you havent said anything … you just keep saying that u are undefinable. and that there is some value in religion ,and that atheism is causing harm which u also dont want to define.

    I want to, but it isn’t easy. They aren’t quick and easy answers. I’m not a fundamentalist. Like I said, fundamentalists have easy answers. Go be a fundamentalist if that makes you happy. But allow me my worldview. Which you clearly don’t understand.

    afterwards the shinyness wore off you defaulted back to christianity.

    You’re calling me a Christian. Stupid stupid man. ;) I am not a Christian. Don’t think of me as a Christian. Because you stick me in little boxes, you will never understand me.

    So let me throw my pearls to the swines then: it might help you if I didn’t use the word “God”, but rather found a different word. Just because you have placed “God” in a box. It seems I will never be able to teach you this language, so I must find an equivalent word in your language… tricky… what did Arthur C Clarke call it in 3001 again?

    *sigh*

  • 51 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    (I hope no-one noticed the typo. I was quite quick to correct it. I accidentally wrote “Yes I am” instead of “No I’m not”.)

  • 52 gerhard // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    You’re calling me a Christian. Stupid stupid man. I am not a Christian. Don’t think of me as a Christian. Because you stick me in little boxes, you will never understand me.

    well, so far you’ve been saying alot of ‘jesus this’ and speaking from a christains point of view :)
    using christain argument etc. hell even steve called you a (christain) humanist if i recall :P

    like i keep saying , you dont define yourself, at the very least define what you are not !
    define god , not with a one word answer but with words describing what u feel he is..
    decide if he/she/it is concious or not etc.

  • 53 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    i just very seldomly agree with what you are saying, (and vice versa apparently )

    Ah, that’s not true. Thanks for pointing it out. I will make a greater effort to point out where I agree, rather than just letting those points slide. I am agreeing with a lot of what you say, I especially understand it from your worldview. What I am trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to show, is that there is another worldview from which what you are saying does not make sense.

    And I’m trying to teach communication skills here. I’m trying to make you disciples aka friend. ;-) I hope we can one day have a beer and laugh about all of this. It’s really pretty funny if you look at it from my perspective, so I must apologise for being the only one having serious fun at your expense.

  • 54 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Because, yes, the God I believe in? You quite likely believe in that God too. You just don’t call it that. If you do not believe in the God that I believe in, then your world is a bleak and miserable one. If your world is not a bleak and miserable one, you probably believe in the God I believe in.

    Sorry for my poetic language. I’m practising communication skills, for the next step in my plan of world domination. Muhahahahaha!

    Keep an eye on the blog. This conversation is over. Know that you misunderstand me, and that I actually understand with you and agree with you when your language is used. But I am not using your language, because I’m trying to teach you mine, and I’m also practising mine. Fluency is important for where I’m going.

    And I’ve said too much.

  • 55 Hugo // Nov 26, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    hell even steve called you a (christain) humanist if i recall :P

    Go look again at what he said. There is a key phrase that you missed.

    like i keep saying , you dont define yourself, at the very least define what you are not !

    Think of any box. Anything you know. That, that I am not. There, I have defined what I am not. But I have done that over, and over, and over, and you guys don’t listen.

    I don’t know of words to describe me, I am not a linguist, I studied engineering. And Jesus is not the sole property of the “Christians”.

    I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus is my God. Whether he existed or not, is not relevant. I follow a historical reconstruction of Jesus, which is really quite awe inspiring.

    I can lend you Marcus Borg books, or you can take a look at “Jesus for the Non Religious” by John Shelby Spong. These might help you understand where I’m coming from.

    Some have used the “liberal Christian” phrase, but that you will not understand because of the stigma associated with “Christian”.

    And you don’t have to be a Christian to follow Jesus. Unless you define following Jesus as “Christian”, but then you must drop all the other baggage you combine with the term. That is what I mean by “destroy those boxes, they don’t work, they only serve to confuse”.

  • 56 gerhard // Nov 27, 2007 at 12:03 am

  • 57 Fred // Apr 28, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Beware of the kind of goal Dawkins has, many have no idea of the kind of hell, a society with damaged moral standards has. You would have to live it to believe it.

    Greetings from China

  • 58 Hugo // Apr 28, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Fred, thanks for stopping by.

    Could you tell us a bit more about the kind of damaged-moral-standards society you have in mind? I’m quite interested, because I know there are many examples of damaged societies in the past that we should heed as warning.

    A second independent question is: what “goal” are you thinking of? What goal do you perceive Dawkins as having? It is independent, because whatever goal he has, might not have the result of leading to “damaged moral standards”? (I’m accepting CS Lewis’ views here that humans have a sense of morality built into them, i.e. that we can discuss moral standards independent of specific worldview.)

    POST UPDATED: I have taken the liberty of striking out the original “genocidal” in the title and replaced it with “memocidal”. For those just joining us, this post was written during a very stressful time, when I wasn’t over-thinking my posts as much as I usually do. The result was wild posts written from loose thoughts during a time of madness. ;) I should probably add a note at the top of this post, that’d be the only way (that’s currently acceptable to me) for me to resolve my cringing.

    Pondering, is the following point an important one to make as well? -> I speak of “genocide” in a metaphorical sense, the physical as metaphor for the memetic, and I was also probably responding more to the movement and followers he’s inspired than I was responding to Dawkins himself. The touchiness of this way of expressing the idea comes from the fact that the only way to effectively commit memocide, is to let it spill over into physical genocide, something that has happened too recently and too often.

  • 59 Kenneth Oberlander // May 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    One of your old posts, I presume…
    Checks date…
    Yup.

    I’m too lazy to read through the comments, so duly drill me if this has been addressed ;-).

    I’m a bit…perturbed…by the analogy. You’re equating the value of a human being with the value of a meme. Unless memes can feel, I don’t think the analogy is apt…

    Also, some obligatory nitpicks ;-). I can’t help it!

    This only tangentially affetcs your case but actually one of the major reasons why the memetic landscape of the American Indian was destroyed was because the corollating genetic landscape (i.e. the indigenous population) was decimated due to European diseases.

    A way of living in harmony with nature.

    Aaaarrgghh. The myth of the noble savage. There is a strong case to be made that the pre-1492 American Indians lived in an environmentally depauperate ecosystem, with their ancestors responsible for the extinction of the North and South American megafaunas soon after the initial colonisation of the New World.

  • 60 gerhard // May 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    ken: memes may not feel but they make up alot of what, why and how you feel. Worse yet meme theory has made it’s may into biology.
    I suppose it depends on how far you will go in valuing your memes . for instance. what is the value of a human being compared to the the value of memes like love,freedom, honor , truth, ownership,’greater good’, god? certainly there are memes worth dieng and killing for?

    that is what blasphemy is all about , elevating a meme over the individual, applying a cost to the individual for ‘fucking’ with a meme. The cost can be enforced socially (deon maas) or governmentally (Gerhard Haderer) to give western religious examples :)

  • 61 Kenneth Oberlander // May 4, 2009 at 9:01 am

    @gerhard
    Agreed, mostly. I was more picking at Hugo’s choice of analogy than anything else.

  • 62 Hugo // May 6, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    ;-) Yup, old, and late November… you don’t get a crazier time period than that, I believe. I agree the comparison is too much of a stretch, to the point of being propaganda. Most useful in your comment is also the pointing out of the “noble savage myth”. Since I’ll refer to similar “man in harmony with nature myths” in the future, it is good to recognise them as such, and call them that too: so I can refer to it in the future, but mostly as some divine ideal to strive towards, some mythos we can dream about, rather than pretending it really existed.

    I really think we’re doing a pretty bad job of harmony these days, but that’s surely not because we’re worse, it’s just because we’re that much more powerful, eh.

    Anyway, to bed with me, exhausting week. I’ll hopefully be back with a vengeance, I’ve the intention of defining my “worldview/language” as succinctly as I can. (And many will be disappointed by the verbosity, I’m certain, but it will still be a huge improvement in clarity!)

    Oh, and the San people of the Kalahari were/are most certainly noble by their indisputable in-harmony-with-nature lifestyle!

    /me ducks and runs!

  • 63 Kenneth Oberlander // May 7, 2009 at 8:32 am

    @Hugo:
    Granted, but they have had (a) longer to adjust, having evolved in situ and (b) aren’t the American Indians! ;-)

    All human societies have had an impact on their respective environments. Although I suppose one can are argue whether their impacts were minimal, I’m not sure a case can be made that they were in harmony. Comes down to definitions again…

    My two cents.

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