Sunday, April 30, 2006

Memes??

Ever since I left Christianity (seems funny to be saying that) I have had a number of questions keep popping up. One of these is simply why is it that religion is so popular if it is not true? I got thinking about this listening to a discussion between a Christian and an athiest. The Christian just could not seem to understand why the atheist did not believe. He often repeated himself, and clearly had trouble understanding how, when confronted with his logic the athiest still would not believe.

As is often the case with such discussions it seemed that one side was pig headed while the other was reasonable. I guess depending on your position you might see a difference as to who was pig headed. However the longer I listened the more it seemed that the Christian was a reasonable guy but he just could not see the other position at all. If I discuss football with even the most rabid supporter they will at some point concede that their team has its flaws. My criticism of that team has some merit and I might be correct. We could come to an understanding of each others views.

Christians are incapable of this. Why?
Perhaps Christianity is a meme.
What is a meme?
The Wikipedia defines it as:

The term "meme" (IPA: [miːm]), a theoretical concept introduced in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, refers to any unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice, idea or concept, which one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind. Examples might include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods in addition to concepts such as race. Different definitions of meme generally have in common, very roughly, that a meme consists of some sort of a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution having an analogous resemblance to the gene (the unit of genetic information).

If Christianity is a meme it would go a long way to explaining why it's so hard to deconvert and why Christians are so dogmatic. Maybe when talking with Christians we need to understand they have this intellectual limitation. Sort of puts the boot on the other foot. Christians are victims of a mind virus who are in need of a cure.

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