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Re: [ontolog-forum] Dennett on the Darwinism of Memes

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John McClure" <jmcclure@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:25:38 -0800
Message-id: <002901ce3a38$ec36ff90$0200a8c0@McClure>
Hi John S,    (01)

So you think the god meme is an inevitable human expression, substantially
achieved without external stimuli. Aren't you therefore saying the
god-concept is NOT a meme at all, because no-thing is being transmitted
virally, an essential characteristic of a meme? You also mention "many
centuries of literature" on this subject - stimuli I'd think quite central
to its transmission, literature written & staged by.... elites.    (02)

Anyway, the importance of transmission mechanisms underwhelm me this momemnt
now that I've gotten to the point of formulating that
  a) a "meme" is related to an "idea"
  b) an (oxford) idea has (required) premises and (optional) consequences
  c) a meme, virally adopted, is a premise of an idea (had by someone else)    (03)

I prefer oxford not heritage idea because to me an idea has "importance", it
has heft, it has consequences. A thought without consequences just does not
seem like much of an idea to me. The Heritage Idea does not encompass
consequences; the Oxford Idea seems to.    (04)

-jmc    (05)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of John F Sowa
>Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 2:29 PM
>To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Dennett on the Darwinism of Memes
>> Now on to the god meme. How radioactive.
>> You state that the god meme is the "popular
>> conception of the god(s). That IS about whether higher entities exist
>> and about their features" ... ok let's run with that. Let's
>think about
>> how this meme came about.
>The so-called "god meme" is not innate, but it arises in every
>(or nearly every) human society by a very simple mechanism.
>> Did individual persons develop this belief on their own, assigning
>> reality to something they could neither see nor touch? If yes,
>> then I'd agree that a meme is an emergent consensus of sorts.
>> Or was it something they were TOLD by intellectuals seeking to
>> create a caste of wizards, medicine-men, and priests?
>Option #1 is the correct answer, but the beliefs are based on very
>tangible, but dimly remembered phenomena and experiences:
>  1. Every child is born as a helpless infant into a family with
>     very powerful god and goddess figures:  protectors, care givers,
>     law givers, and law enforcers who deliver swift and sure
>  2. Some families have only one or two children, but most people are
>     born into larger families -- for simple statistical reasons.
>  3. Each child identifies with the much weaker siblings close to his
>     or her age, who are all dependent on and governed by the older
>     wiser, wealthier, and much more powerful god(s) & goddess(es).
>  4. The pair of all powerful figures turn out to be good old mom
>     & pop, whom the child reveres, but the teenager rebels against.
>  5. But even as an adult, people have a nostalgia for a simpler and
>     more secure "golden age" when the all-knowing, all-powerful god
>     & goddess provided the child with all good things.
>There is a huge literature about mythologies around the world, and
>their psychological, psychoanalytic, sociological, literary, and
>linguistic implications.
>If Dawkins seriously wanted to study the "god meme", he should have
>done his homework before popping off with some half-baked opinions.
>For anybody who wants to study the god meme, my recommendation is to
>start with gods such as Zeus or Wotan and goddesses such as Demeter
>or Venus.  Very few people worship them today, but they have influenced
>many centuries of literature -- and very similar themes and plots occur
>in modern literature and movies.
>It's possible to formulate and discuss hypotheses about them
>with more insight and less heated polemics.
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