Re: Immortal Souls, infected memes....

The Low Willow (
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 08:23:03 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 2, 10:02am, wrote:

} I know what you mean. I don't understand it either. But maybe you would get
} tired of pleading and whining and accepting fate - and try something
} (science? art? philosophy?) to empower yourself, even if it meant risking the
} wrath of the big daddy-o.

Wrath? What wrath? After medieval times many thinkers started viewing
natural philosophy as due homage to God, by studying His greatest work,
Creation. I think Francis Bacon had this view; Thomas Paine (after
Newton, of couse) did; Franklin might have. I cannot evaluate the
argument myself, but there are those who credit Christianity with
fostering science, by establishing (according to some scholastics) that
God was not whimsical and the universe would thus operate according to
rules (which He could still violate at option, thus miracles, but the
rest of the time there would be rules). This leads to the idea that it
is worthwhile to look for the rules of nature -- now that you assume
there are some -- and gives motivation for doing so, as a form of
natural worship, for what artist does not appreciate an audience?

I'm not saying X-nity hasn't hampered science; obviously it has. But it
may also have caused it. Would pagan Germanic tribes have discovered
science? The vaunted Icelanders have had widespread literacy for longer
than any other European culture, possibly any other culture period.
They're Christian, but never very fanatically, and their views of sex
and women remained Teutonic, hence much healthier. They're also quite
superstitious and believing of psychic phenomena. (All data from
Richard Tommasson's _Iceland_.)

Hunh. Actually that's something I've noted in SF: superstitious
anarchists rival 'scientific' ones in representation. Vinge's Mikin are
superstitious as hell; Cherryh's atevi (_Foreigner_ series, ruled by
non-geographical warlords or PPLs, depending on your POV) answer to

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Holy Wood!...was that special sort of beautiful area which is only
beautiful if you can leave after briefly admiring its beauty and go
somewhere else where there are hot tubs and cold drinks. Actually
staying there for any length of time is a penance. -- _Moving Pictures_