Re: Immortal Souls, infected memes....
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 13:40:09 -0500

In a message dated 97-01-02 11:24:48 EST, The Low Willow writes:

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? (snip)

>>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

Yes hmmmm, Separating the motive from the madness, so to speak.

The history of Western art has this same dichotomy. At the same time Xtians
were fostering art and nurturing such technical advances as perspective, and
color theory, they were placing huge restrictions on content, style and
mediums. Banning anatomy lessons and so forth. Yet they commisioned music and
art and kept the wheels spinning. I am not sure it was so with science, but I
see your point.
[If you ask me, the devil and hell played a much more important role in good
art, since the pictures of hellfire and brimstone were ever popular themes.
You have to give the public what they want (sounds like Hollywood).]

The Egyptians made some amazing medical and architectual advances, due to a
really looney superstion about afterlife - but then, when preserving the body
for the afterlife, they threw away the brain!

We had a thread re: Olympics and how "god" got the credit for running the
fastest race on earth, I think it was Max More, who said please let him know
when we were in the 20th Century (which sparked a debate about FAITH and how
it causes people to excell and wasn't that a good thing ? - even if it was
self delusional, it had results _ I disagree).
I think there is very little evidence that religion, dogma or self delusion
is ever the "cause" of rationality, but historicaly highly motivated people
can achieve a modicum of reason even in the most entropic-meme-infested

As for comparing destructive stupid-stitions with constructivist beliefs, I
recommend Natasha's new "Exemplar" art series - yet to be published, which
speaks to the issue of creating our own, new, Extropic myth which is based
on, not contradictory to, reality...

When we look back on things like the Spanish Inquisition and insane shit like
the Nazi "scientists", there may indeed be some advances"caused" by such
evil, but one doesnt deduce that science depends on destructive, illusionary
mass hysteria.