Re: virus: Sexuality

Kevin M O'Connor (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 00:47:24 EDT

On Sun, 8 Sep 1996 10:40:26 +0800 (Steve) writes:

>With respect to controlling our sexuality, will the influence of the
>collapse? My answer to this is both yes and no. Yes, because western
>religions are so blatantly ignorant of how consciousness works - they
>stuck firmly in that silly notion of brain-as-computer and as such,
>understand the role of choice in shaping personality.

The fact that the adherents of a faith don't understand how consciousness
works doesn't mean that a religion qua meme-complex won't evolve into a
self-replicating self--sustaining cutural entity which acts as if it
knows about consciousness. A cold virus doesn't understand the structure
and operations of the celluar machinery it hijacks. Natural selection
crafts viruses that seem to understand what it takes to get a living cell
to replicate the virus. Religions, crafted by the selection pressures in
their environment, have evolved into mind viruses which seem know what it
takes to win over new believers.

> A rapist is unlikely to
>be a
>regular church-goer, unlike a nun).

Can you corrobberate that assertion?

> The
>personality attractor of a person *must* be consistent with the
>attractor of the culture to which that person belongs.

I don't understand this claim. Please define your terms and elaborate.

>In an earlier post, someone mentioned one of the commandments to "love
>other as yourself". I perceive this not as a mechanical thing that
>"conveniently" happens to lead to a well behaved society, but as the
>deliberate and purposeful providing of initial conditions (chaos
>theory) to
>enable moral personality attractors to evolve throughout the culture -
>is, to enable people to *become* moral, and not just *act* morally.

Does an act have moral value if the agent didn't understand what it was
about the action that gives it moral value? Can blind and
uncomprehending adhrence to dogma constitue moral action?

>The bottom line is this. If there is such a thing as a *type* of
>then there is such a thing as a "slut".

That doesn't follow. If we were to accept your reasoning here then we
should also accept the following: If there is such a thing as a *type*
of car, then there is such a thing as a "flying" car.

What we need to ask ourselves
>what are the consequences of our choices?

When one adopts a memetic framework for describing the behavior of
cultural (memetic) entities, one speaks in terms of memes employing
particular strategies to cause a host to manifest some behavior. To do
otherwise is to misuse the vocabulary of memetics.

>Ken, the rest of your post assumes memes to be isolated units of
>that are independent of the observer (a la mode the western mind-set),
>instead of concepts of meaning that are inextricably and intimately
>to a very subjective observer and the observer's prior experiences
>hinduism, buddhism and kharma).

And Ken is right to do so as that's the definition of a meme. Memes are
things which are passed from one host to another. They are not ideal
architypes. They are not Platonic forms. Memes depend on minds; host

Take care. -KMO