Re: virus: Martyrdom

David Leeper (
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 16:57:18 -0500


: >> I remember reading about how
: >> the first heads of christianity in Rome had to change their message to
: >> their flock, people were so eager to get to guaranteed heaven they would
: >> take any chance of martyrdom. Apperently it was tuch and go there for a
: >> while; if there was going to be any christians left.
: >
: >The source of this information?
: Sorry, that was fifteen years ago so all i remember about the book is that
: the subject-matter was 'the history of the idea of suicide', and No, it was
: not written by a Swede ; )

It must have been written in Seattle then! The story sounds a little
questionable to me
though. I've read about the history of the world and studied (somewhat)
the history of
Christianity and I don't recall a time when Christianity almost wiped
itself out. But then
again there _may_ be one or two things I don't know (at least that's what
my girlfriend seems
to think).

: I was thinking more of a recent documentary interwiew of 10-15
: year-olds who were eager to go up against armed and firing soldiers,
: themselves carrying only rocks. They did not seem to concerned that their
: rocks would have very little effect, they had heroism and the rewards in
: paradise as their prime objective.

It seems to me that getting rid of those soldiers is their prime objective.

: Well, it gave us christianity, and thats still around, if diminishing.

Ah! and that's thing... One good example of martyrdom two thousand years
ago outshines all
the other bad examples. Despite how much Christianity gets knocked on this
mailing list, it
seems to possess a few qualities to make us jealous. It's so BIG!

As I've said before, I don't think emulating Christianity is a good idea.
1] We're not
Christians. 2] A lot of the success of Christianity, like the success of
any gene or meme, is
based on pure luck. 3] What worked two thousand years ago may not work
today. If
Christianity were a new religion, I think it would have a tough time in
today's "marketplace".

David Leeper
Homo Deus