virus: Re: Why religious?

Martin Traynor (
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:24:26 +0000


On 17 Oct 96 at 6:25, Schneider John wrote:

> Let us replace the term "good" with "useful", and rephrase what we
> have above

Great idea.

> Some value truth more than usefulness, while others value
> usefulness more than truth.

Works well. But then you go on to say;

> Now, Mr. Leeper's list works very well for that: the parties he
> listed all have found the "religion meme" to be very useful: it
> helps or helped them to achieve their rather nefarious ends. By the
> same token, we might start another list of those who have found the
> religion meme to be useful in doing 'good' (or at least,
> attempting)... Mother Theresa and Jesus Christ come to mind
> immediately.

Which is again using the value judgement of 'good'. Why do that when
you've managed to dispose of it so neatly? It may appear clear to you
who is good and who is bad, and indeed using the examples above you
may even find a concensus of agreement, but it is a value judgement.
Unless you want to open the 'what defines the difference between a
moral and an immoral act', 'does altruism exist' debate then value
judgements should be used with extreme caution.

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