Where all of those myths came from and why?

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Postby wetsystems » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:56 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
wetsystems wrote:So, were the Beatitudes a first century viral meme?


One example does not a convincing proof make. I could give you any other number of examples that perfectly fit the viral meme mold. I grew up Catholic, so believe me, I know them well:

1) The infallibility of the pope.
2) Don't eat meat on Fridays in lent, eat fish cuz God said so (& those fishermen need profits too!)
3) Wacking off is a sin, so you'd better not do it. The only holy function of your seed is to make more little Catholics...
4) And we need you to make LOTS of more little Catholics, so God also told me that using birth control is a sin too.
5) Priests cannot be married (so sayeth God, but apparantly he's ok with diddling innocent children).

Honestly, Toon, you are flat-out wrong on this position you have taken... and if you continue to argue it just because you always like arguments, you are gonna look silly. For example, you yourself have claimed how all religions are whacked... I am simply explaining to you why... they all have elements of viral memes that allow them to persist. And people will hijack religions, as we see in this day and age, to further their own political agendas. And how do they do that? Well, just inject a few more viral memes (you know those 72 virgins).

The great and mighty Toon is wrong, and he doesn't like it.
Ray


Well pick and choose as you might- but who finally decides what's viral and what's true? If you were to ask Nietzsche, for instance, he'd say that all of Christianity is viral. And while I do feel that religion per se is harmful, useless, and divisive I still also feel that Jesus was perhaps the brightest guy in human history. The distinction is this: Jesus was not an adherent of Christianity. It was only after his pearls were given over to the pigs that Christianity was born (it began with your own buddy, Paul) and everything went down hill, so to speak. It's a common occurrence, no? I never felt that Paul was deliberately spreading 'viral memes' but rather simply abject inanity. He just wasn't too bright to begin with and failed to grasp the exquisite and non-religious truth of Jesus' words. He was an IRS agent, after-all. How smart are those guys?
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:01 pm

wetsystems wrote:Well pick and choose as you might-


Which is precisely what you did with the choice of beatitudes.

but who finally decides what's viral and what's true?


I think I suggested to you that it might help to become familiar with the facts of memetics and information theory before you open your mouth. Viral memes are not about truth or falsehood, just as the foundation of genetics is not based on "good or bad mutations." The focus is on the mechanism for how memes spread.

http://members.cox.net/xocxoc/philosophy/scheme2.htm

A true viral meme is one that will evoke an emotion in everyone that receives it, that is strong enough to want them to spread the meme to all of their friends. A catchy song or a good joke might be good examples. Appeals to pity , fear, or sex are better examples.


The meme could very well be "true" or "good", but it is the fact that it causes you to act on it and spread it though emotion, rather than a review of facts, that makes it viral. It uses the emotions as the vector for transmission, bypassing the "anti-bodies" of scientific inquiry that might squelch it or at least question it.

If you were to ask Nietzsche, for instance, he'd say that all of Christianity is viral. And while I do feel that religion per se is harmful, useless, and divisive I still also feel that Jesus was perhaps the brightest guy in human history. The distinction is this: Jesus was not an adherent of Christianity. It was only after his pearls were given over to the pigs that Christianity was born (it began with your own buddy, Paul) and everything went down hill, so to speak. It's a common occurrence, no? I never felt that Paul was deliberately spreading 'viral memes' but rather simply abject inanity. He just wasn't too bright to begin with and failed to grasp the exquisite and non-religious truth of Jesus' words. He was an IRS agent, after-all. How smart are those guys?


Thank you Pope Pious the nth. This is an attempt to use your filasawfizing to drift away from the original point, which was that you claimed the concept of the viral meme is false and untrue. Seeing as how you have pretty much admitted you were wrong in the above mischaracterization that a viral meme must convey a false truth, then I do believe I am done here.

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Postby wetsystems » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:19 pm

which was that you claimed the concept of the viral meme is false and untrue.


Ok, I'll amend that. The concept is a trivial and useless exercise in pop psychology. But I'm glad you found something to love. Oh and
false truth
- now there's something to hang your hat on.
Last edited by wetsystems on Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby ryguy » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:21 pm

wetsystems wrote:The distinction is this: Jesus was not an adherent of Christianity. It was only after his pearls were given over to the pigs that Christianity was born (it began with your own buddy, Paul) and everything went down hill, so to speak.


How exactly was Jesus, while alive, supposed to be an adherent to a religion that is based on the events of his entire life, his death, and the events after his death? Your statement above has no logic. How can you say he wasn't an adherent of Christianity - he is the embodiment of Christianity.

It's like saying Muhammed wasn't an adherent of Islam for Pete's sake. Don't get so desperate in a debate that you have to grasp at meaningless straws. You can do better than that...

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Postby wetsystems » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:25 pm

How exactly was Jesus, while alive, supposed to be an adherent to a religion that is based on the events of his entire life, his death, and the events after his death?


Exactly my point, Mr Ry. Perhaps it was too subtle.
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby ryguy » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:32 pm

The concept Ray is referring to isn't only relevant in religions, but any cultural group overall tends to foster, or grease the wheels of the transmission of those memes.

The memes throughout Catholicism (I had to laugh at Ray's examples, they're great ones) - the amazing thing about them is that they don't have to be true, just intriguing. Most of those memes that exist throughout mainstream Catholicism aren't even based on actual writings of the Vatican - yet they've come to define Catholics.

Other great examples we see every day are Urban Legends. And have you ever gotten one of those emails from someone stating that "watch out for the xxx virus - you only have to open your email and it'll erase your ENTIRE hard drive!!!" ...only to do a little research and learn that there is no such virus. Who started the fake email? Was it a manipulative hoaxter who had an "overactive imagination" and just wanted to see how far a lie could be spread? Or was it just a regular person - just like one of us - who saw something, or read something that he didn't fully understand. That misunderstanding resulted in amazement, or fear, and the virus was born. Not from a desire to hoax - but from the fragility of the human mind and it's innate tendancy to draw immediate and dramatic conclusions based on incomplete data.

Steve and I had a debate earlier in the week about whether these things come from ill-intentioned folks, or from folks who simply "believe" those misunderstandings. Personally I believe that most of the hurtful viral memes come from poor education, low intelligence, and/or mental instability. The highly intelligent who believe and spread such memes are a unique breed of folk - and I've yet to understand them.

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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:52 pm

wetsystems wrote:Ok, I'll amend that. The concept is a trivial and useless exercise in pop psychology.


So trivial that the 3 major monotheistic religions have been driven and sustained by such memes... yeah, pretty trivial. So trivial that a group of people in Guyana were lead to their death by a guy who used viral memes to warp people's ability to think for themselves. So useless that Marshall Applewhite also coerced people to commit suicide based on his "aliens coming to save us" memes.

You're really grasping at any straw you can to save face, eh Toon?

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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:01 pm

ryguy wrote:The concept Ray is referring to isn't only relevant in religions,


Very true. And I should also give my standard disclaimer that I am a very spiritual person, who believes in a higher-level creative power (supersystem). But I tend to classify religion as a man-made subset of the larger realm of spirituality. As such, all are fallible, even if they are well-intended, for they are based on our limited perceptions of what a God may want of us.

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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:07 pm

Indeed, one could even identify the Beatitudes as viral memes. Again, "viral" does not mean "bad" or "wrong". There is no value judgment here, only the concept of the meme spreading itself through a functional vector we call emotions. The Beatitudes play to your emotions. They "seem right" and seem like noble ideas, and therefore they are worthy of being passed on just because of the impact they have on your emotions. So let's revisit:

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth


Since there is no way to VERIFY that the meek are blessed, and that they shall inherit the earth, we are left to make an emotional judgment about this particular meme. It pleases our emotions to think that the meek will be rewarded in this manner... and so yes, Jesus was indeed using the technology of viral memes to spread his message. No value judgment...just an effective technology. Hardly "trivial and useless".

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Postby wetsystems » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:35 pm

My issue is the pop concept of 'memes' per se. When I call it sophomoric this is what I say:

A serious student of Philosophy would certainly look first to the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics,, (Kant) and not to popular culture. Are we speaking here of 'Categories' or simply 'fads?' You contribute as examples of your viral memes: the Jim Jones cult, the Bo and Peep cult, the Catholic priest pedophilia syndrome- all manner of perversion while at the same time averring that 'viral' is ethically neutral. And further you imply that the entire argument has to do with some perceived 'contest' between you and I.

Why do I feel like I'm arguing with a child?
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby Serpentime » Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:14 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:The Beatitudes play to your emotions. They "seem right" and seem like noble ideas, and therefore they are worthy of being passed on just because of the impact they have on your emotions.

...and so yes, Jesus was indeed using the technology of viral memes to spread his message.


It is my perception that the "viral meme" that Jesus employed to spread his message was called HOPE.

Where other religions may preach adherence, submission, ancestor worship, or fatalistic stoicism, Christianity uniquely (?) appeals to Hope. This is certainly a powerful emotional attractor.


"Hope is the equitable ichor of life."

-- Serp (when he was a prolix kid. :))


You Can Call Me Ray wrote:And I should also give my standard disclaimer that I am a very spiritual person, who believes in a higher-level creative power (supersystem). But I tend to classify religion as a man-made subset of the larger realm of spirituality.


With no offense meant to anyone, or to their beliefs, I have often - personally - expressed the concept of "religion" as a "paint by the numbers" version of spirituality.

The "Holy Wars" begin when one painter's interpretation claims that a particular color is "22" (for example), while the next "painter" argues that it's really number "48"... :(


And that's why I've always preferred - personally - to paint without the numbers.



My opinion,

Serp :)
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Postby wetsystems » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:30 am

And that's why I've always preferred - personally - to paint without the numbers.



A contemplation of the second Commandment (Judaic version) would indicate that the act of 'painting', itself, is precisely the problem.

As Moses said: אהיה אשר אהיה
Last edited by wetsystems on Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby wetsystems » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:59 am

The Beatitudes play to your emotions.


And so are you implying that this perceived 'emotive' reception of the propositions of the Beatitudes exclude the possibility of an 'intellectual reception?' I think St. Thomas would disagree (as do I.) Jesus was many things- but there is one thing that he was not: a panderer.
And I should remark that I am saving my insults for Toon for "just the right time" when I will strike at his soft, white underbelly for maximum damage and humiliation. Ray Hudson 2007
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Postby Access Denied » Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:54 pm

Serpentime wrote:And that's why I've always preferred - personally - to paint without the numbers.

I'll second that with a non-denominational Amen. :D
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:34 pm

wetsystems wrote:My issue is the pop concept of 'memes' per se.


So when scientists develop new ideas, and new ways of describing how energy and information propagate, you immediately brand that as a "pop concept"? Again, you show your ignorance. Your ignorance is that you do not understand just how much research and development are going on in the information sciences. You exhibit a knowledge of this body of knowledge that is tertiary, at best. You keep up on your philosophy of the last 100+ years, but you show you have not kept up on recent developments in information science.

You contribute as examples of your viral memes: the Jim Jones cult, the Bo and Peep cult, the Catholic priest pedophilia syndrome- all manner of perversion while at the same time averring that 'viral' is ethically neutral.


I have since shown you how the Beatitudes are also "viral" concepts, and yet they are positive memes. There are plenty others that propagate virally, but are also intended to help people stay safe, and do good. How many do you wish me to quote before you are convinced and acquiesce? Here are just a few:

1) The journey is the reward. - Chinese Proverb
2) Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. - Henry Ford
3) I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details. -Albert Einstein
4) Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. -Mark Twain
(Pay attention to this viral meme, Toon. You could someday become great if you internalize this meme and then virally pass it on.)
5) There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries . - Julius Ceaser.
6) Love thy neighbor as thyself. - Jesus Christ

Why do I feel like I'm arguing with a child?


Perhaps you did not read my open admission of how I debate people that I explained to Dan Smith? I have honed the ability to be reflective in how I engage people. I use the tactics that they use, in addition to my honesty in that I am using them (which my opponents rarely admit to applying). So if you feel like you are arguing with a child, then this means that my reflection of your style is telling you something about yourself. Here, let me blatantly reflect your style:

Toon, I think you are a clueless widget who disagrees with people just to get a rise out of them. You poo-poo religions for so many reasons, and when I counter your incorrect assessment of the viral meme theory, and show how religions apply viral memes to further their goals, all of a sudden you disagree with my stance. You live for the conflict, and you act like a child in trying to hide that tendency behind "a robust dialectic". The truth be known, the concept of the dialectic is simply the excuse you use for disagreeing with people, just so you can eventually wax philosophic and exhibit your vast knowledge in an attempt to make the other person look foolish. THAT is childish, and that is what you do. I am merely a mirror who has exposed it and will continue to expose it. When will you grow up, little child? You wish us to know that you are older and experienced, and then you lash out with an insult to someone who disagrees with you, and this confirms that you are still a child.

Every time you insult me (humorous or not), you reveal who you truly are.

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