virus: Does God Exist?

Reed Konsler (
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 17:48:26 -0400

*****Ken Pantheists(Sat, 24 Aug 1996 01:32:58)
>What about Midnight Jazz Vespers, Christian Existentialism or Christain
>Darwinism? Rastafarianism? They do exist. They don't make very good villians
>if your casting a movie, but they are out there.
>I don't mean to step on toes. I find this list consists of, for the most
>part, very thoughtful and sensitive posts.
>But there are times when the anger is directed (specifically) at concepts
>that are being misinterpreted and actually completely misread. That is the
>very crime that the "christian" is being accused of.
>So to answer your question in a short phrase--
>I just want to avoid those straw men. They're useful for a few things--
>starting wars, inciting hate crimes, justifying appropriation, running for
>president. But why here?

Religions, and meme-complexes in general, are like viruses. Some are
virulent, some aren't. Some kill slowly and others quickly. Some remain
dormant for centuries until changes in the environment precipitate a
plague. All are mutating, and (in my opinion) religion is especially

I don't mean to be percieved as arguing with your point. Straw men are
bad; christianity is not all religion...given. But what about midnight
jazz vespers? The music, good. The rituals and connection to
spiritualism, good. The underlying faith in God? The Church?

Bad. That is perhaps an oversimplification, but not in my opinion. The
God-meme is an oncomeme, it is cancerous and dangerous. Just beacause it
isn't expressing today doesn't mean that 50 years from now reasoned people
won't be fleeing the midnight jazz vesper Nazis.

To me the situation is like AIDS. Some people are expressing the symptoms
and other people aren't. But don't be fooled, if we aren't vigilant it
could kill us all.

On re-reading this It sounds a bit alarmist, maybe a bit extreme. But
thinking people should be a little alarmed.

>From Daniel Dennett: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea", Chapter 18 "The Future of
an Idea"

"I began this book with a song [Tell Me Why] which I myself cherish, and
hope will survive 'forever' the same time I do not myself
believe...the doctrines that are so movingly expressed in that song...They
are, in a word, wrong..." p514.

" many of us are caught in that very dilemma, loving the heritage,
firmly convinced of it's value, yet unable to sustain any conviction in
it's truth? We are faced with a difficult choice. Because we value it, we
are eager to preserve it in a rather precarious and 'denatured' state..."

"I love the King James Version of the Bible. My own spirit recoils from a
God who is He or She in the same way my heart sinks when I see a lion
pacing neurotically back and forth in a small zoo cage...saftey demands
that religions be put in cages too--when absolutley necessary. We just
can't have forced female circumcision, and the second-class status of women
in Roman Catholicism and Mormonism, to say nothing of their status in
Islam..." p515.

"Save the Baptists! Yes, of course, but not BY ALL MEANS. Not if it means
tolerating the deliberate misinforming of children about the natural
world..." p516.

"It is nice to have grizzly bears and wolves living in the wild. They are
no longer a meanace...the same policy can be discerned in our political
tolerance, in religious freedom. You are free to preserve or create any
religious creed you wish, so long as it does not become a public menace..."

"If you want to teach you children they are tools of God, you had better
not teach them that they are God's rifles, or we will have to stand firmly
opposed to you: your doctrine has no glory, no special rights, no
intrinsic and inalienable merit. If you insist on teaching your children
falsehoods...then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who
have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the
spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your
children at our earliest opportunity. Our future well being...depends on
the education of our decendents." p519.

Reed Konsler