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Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Religion Virus?

I saw an amusing article on kuro5hin comparing religion to a virus (and explaining the analogy, of course). It's quite an interesting article, rather well-written, and certainly has the funny factor. Kind of reminds me of Smith's speech in The Matrix (then again, that was probably my least favorite part of the movie :p).

Coding Viruses for the Mind


Blogger Kahlila Tovia said...

Not a virus...more like a mental disorder. Viruses are little strands of RNA and protein and --fill in appropirate biology term here--. =)

But, you have to realize--we DO have to explain our ending somehow. Religion is one way to cope with that...and its been around for 1000s of years, since the dawn of man -duh-duh-duh-. Eliminating or refuting religion is about as futile as giving up food. Its human. Even atheism is a doctrine...a religion. It explains our existence (science, etc.).

But I will admit, there are some religions and religious people that just go wayy too F'ing far. As with obesity, we must strike a balance.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

You're describing a virus according to what it looks like, as opposed to how it behaves. This is a comparison of religion with the behavior of a virus, not with its biological structure.

As for religion and science - it can be argued that atheism is a religion, that science is a religion. But it isn't really true. For one thing, science precisely doesn't try to explain away death in a way that is palatable to the human mind. In fact, science rarely ever takes the easy way out, because science tries to fit the facts. Religion is, essentially, the easy way out - an easy way to explain the existence of mankind and the universe. Problem is, of course, that it isn't that simple.

I do agree that there will always be some people who will need an afterlife to believe in, to believe that life goes on after death. Personally, I'm fine with no continuance. As was pointed out in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, I just want to leave a mark on the world, or, really, on some people. Whether the planet remembers me is of secondary importance - I want those important to me to remember me. Regardless of when I die or how.

I don't fear death in the sense that I don't fear what's not coming after. There is, of course, the off chance that I'm wrong, that there is a Heaven and a Hell, and that I'll be taking the fast train to an eternity of suffering. But I don't think that remote possibility justifies my devoting my life to a religion that contradicts itself and whose followers do not follow it.

As far as I can tell, all religions advocate peace. But all of them were founded on blood. I suppose Islam is the one most bloodily created, but still it advocates peace. And yet, here we are.

I just put my faith in this quote:
"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines."
-- Bertrand Russell

Even if I don't really believe it. At least not in my lifetime. If only....

12:30 PM  
Blogger Kahlila Tovia said...

No, I like the quote too.
"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines."
-- Bertrand Russell

And no, I was not descibing a virus how it behaves. Notice the --insert appropirate biology terms here-- That was to make up for my lack of knowledge in biology, although in a sarcastic way. :)

Religion spreading like a virus--a mindless piece if protein -aka the doctrine- programming itself into our brains, making us do its deeds and other things. Very Orwellian, and I can agree to a certain extent. There are many people who fall into its traps, and mold their lives around it. But you failed to see my comment--there is a balance needed. A balance, just like with food, water and everything else we need to survive. Our lives parallel the universe--there is a equilibrium to everything.

But you fail to recognize something else, the very humanistic trait of coping. Religion is not just about explaining the afterlife. Some people really do need something to believe in...a reason to believe in their existence, reality, their future. If we had no religion, could you imagine we would exist as a speicies? The influx of sucides...etc. etc. Not everyone can live in a nice city environment, spending their lives in materialistic glory.

Reason and science are my guidelines. I do not consider myself atheist as I think the term has been misconstrued and just torn to shreds. Most atheists I find are arrogrant, and are just as guilty of spreading their non-religious rhetoric as those christian fundamentlists. Let's look at the Soviet Union. They tried, but ultimately failed in converting their people to atheism. Those anti-religious meetings seemed a lot like christian rhetoric. You cannot persuade someone through rhetoric and force. A true atheist is someone who relies on logic and does not attempt to spread their doctrine through other...more forceful means.

Ultimately, the true atheist does not spontaneously one day believe there is no god. It takes a lifelong effort to see the logic and fully believe in it.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Kahlila Tovia said...

Or a sudden state of realization, like nirvana in Buddhism.

Hmm...I meant to tone down the wording a bit. Usually I dont like to get so fanatic, but its all in good taste =)

10:53 PM  

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