Atheism and belief
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08-09-2010, 01:48 PM
RE: Atheism and belief
Hey, some of you have hit on exactly what I'm after.

I'm not saying there is an Atheist belief system. Atheism is not like Christianity. You don't have to believe anything to be classified an Atheist, all you have to do is reject Theism. Fine. We all accept this? Next question, what is it that the people classified as Atheists do believe?

I'm looking for memeplexes. Within Theism there is a number of memeplexes. They're all grouped into Theism because they all accept theos. Each and every Theistic memeplex has the meme, there is a God/gods, articulated into their memeplex. I'm looking for the memeplexes within Atheism. They are all grouped into Atheism because they reject theos.

Wiping out Theists is a pretty well-defined meme. Is it widespread? What's it's representation in the memepool? Does it make the memeplex that it is a part of resistant to invasion from other memes in the Atheist memepool? For example, is there an Anti-Theist memeplex? Is there a meme, "can't we all just get along?" Is the Anti-Theist memeplex resistant to invasion from it?

How many memeplexes are there? This is what I'm after.

We don't have to have official organisation and government recognition to find groups. All we have to do is observe them.

As for having beliefs, if you want to get tough on definitions, we all have them. No escaping it. If you want to conflate this into a faith argument, we'll be here for a while. I'm not going there. I'm just looking for beliefs.

If, for example, you're an Atheist and you are sick and tired of Chris Hitchens speaking on you're behalf, this sort of work will help you distance yourself. If you think he's the shit that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, then this will help you find like-minded people. It's knowledge. Aint nothin wrong with that.

And just this idea that Atheists could never possibly be categorised... Why Atheists are beyond culture, beyond memes, beyond social living is beyond me. Atheists are humans. Humans live in societies and share culture through memes. This is universal. There is no human alive that is exempt from this, period. So the idea that we could never possibly observe this group of people and find cultural similarities and cultural differentiation, to me, is based on magic.

An organised religion is, above all else, a group of people. If you aren't a member of that group, what group are you a member of? The alternative is the idea that all Atheists are hermits. If that's the case, that's interesting, but that isn't the case cause it can't be the case.

The idea that there are too many beliefs to categorise is like saying there are too many genes to categorise. First off, there aren't too many. Second, there is overlap all over the place. The point is, we look at a memeplex and say, what are its constituent memes? How many people host this memeplex? Poof, we have individual groups. Which of these memes are the same and which are different from other group’s memplexes? Poof, we have distinct groups.

When we look at Theism, we can see taxons:
1 – Theism
2 – Monotheism, Polytheism
3 – Poly: Roman and Greek pantheon… Mono: Judaism, Christianity, Islam
4 – Taking one religion from taxon 3, Christianity: Catholicism, Protestantism…
5 – Taking Protestantism: Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian…

When we look at Atheism, what can we see? Perhaps:
1 – Atheism
2 – No Gods only, nothing supernatural whatsoever, no gods but something supernatural
I”ll stop there cause I just wanted to show one possible significant division.

Now not to say that the following ideas are not and cannot be present in Theistic memeplexes, but that they have been mentioned as ones present in Atheistic memeplexes. Overlap is OK and expected.

Skepticism
Reason
Logic
Anti-Theism
Annihilate Theists
Evolution
Big Bang creation
Truth as a product of science
Faith-based belief is inferior to fact-based
Faith-based belief is dangerous
New-Atheism (dunno what that is)
Religion is dangerous
Religion is the source of all evil
Re-educate Theists
Co-exist with Atheists
There is no God
Morality is a genetic concern
The Force

---------------


@ Bnw: I wouldn't come here and say, you all sure are right! That'd make me an Atheist and I've been clear from the start that I'm not one. So my statements are naturally controversial. I’m not here to pick a fight, but conflict seems inevitable. Doesn't mean that peaceful resolution isn't on the table. I like peaceful resolution. Call me a fan Big Grin (And disagreeing with what I'm being told isn't the same as ignoring what I'm being told)

@ Unbeliever: You propose the Big Bang as a potential ubiquitous meme among Atheists. The cool thing is, that is a meme that, once articulated into a memeplex, will not be disarticulated by a competing meme (the universe was created by Mr. Magoo) without fundamentally changing that memeplex, which means that that memeplex is resistant to invasion from memes that compete with the Big Bang meme. Groups that have this meme share a fundamental similarity while groups that do not share a fundamental difference.

@Stark Raving: I never assume you're being rude Big Grin Atheism is not a belief system. Sure. But neither is mammal (big jump I know, but follow along). All mammal does is differentiate what species are mammals instead of, say, fungi. What I'm after is, what are the Atheist "species"? The analogy for species being cultures.

@LeviTimes: Thank you for that answer.

@2buckchuck: Interesting math, but the taxonomy for cultures would look more like the taxonomy for organisms because there would be many cases of overlap. For example, tetrapodism is widespread but mammals and birds, while all tetrapods, are different. But we'd never say that every mammal is so genetically unique that it is incomparable with other mammals.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-09-2010, 02:23 PM
RE: Atheism and belief
(08-09-2010 01:48 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I'm looking for memeplexes. Within Theism there is a number of memeplexes. They're all grouped into Theism because they all accept theos. Each and every Theistic memeplex has the meme, there is a God/gods, articulated into their memeplex. I'm looking for the memeplexes within Atheism. They are all grouped into Atheism because they reject theos.

Explicitly or implicitly? If the former, there are very few. If the latter - which is what I thought you had been asking for in previous threads - then it's every meme that doesn't explicitly include "there is a god".

Quote:Wiping out Theists is a pretty well-defined meme.

One of the few, but yes.

Quote:Is it widespread?

No.

Quote:Does it make the memeplex that it is a part of resistant to invasion from other memes in the Atheist memepool? For example, is there an Anti-Theist memeplex?

Dunno about the first question, but yes, there is an anti-theism memeplex.

Quote:Is there a meme, "can't we all just get along?" Is the Anti-Theist memeplex resistant to invasion from it?

"Can't we all just get along?" is hardly an atheistic meme, but yes, and yes.

Quote:How many memeplexes are there? This is what I'm after.

Dunno, 'cause you can find atheists who believe anything. For the most part, though, the only thing you'll find in common amongst atheists is that they don't believe in a god. There are very few widespread atheist memes.

Quote:And just this idea that Atheists could never possibly be categorised...

And who said that?

Quote:Why Atheists are beyond culture, beyond memes, beyond social living is beyond me.

We're not. You're just trying to classify something that literally encompasses everything that isn't theistic. You're asking us to divide the ocean into water droplets.

Quote:The idea that there are too many beliefs to categorise is like saying there are too many genes to categorise. First off, there aren't too many. Second, there is overlap all over the place.

Dunno about that. Again, "atheist" memes are literally every idea that doesn't contain "there is a god".

Quote:@ Unbeliever: You propose the Big Bang as a potential ubiquitous meme among Atheists.

Wasn't trying to. It's not. There are some weeeeeeird atheists out there. Confused
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09-09-2010, 02:36 AM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
I forget who said this, but I expect that the 'meme' pool for atheists is populated with many of the same elements that are in the theist pool. There may (or may not) be some limited set of memes that occur exclusively in the atheist meme pool, whereas all memes associated with theism would necessarily be excluded. So what?

There seems in some an unquenchable thirst for classification and categorization. I dislike this because of the association of classes with certain unnecessary and inappropriate assumptions about other traits within the class. For example, out of all the people who voted for Barack Obama, most likely were Democrats. Democrats tend to favor Democrat politicians, but that's only a tendency, not a one-for-one relationship. Therefore, it does NOT follow that everyone who voted for Barack Obama is a fan of Bill Clinton, despite the fact that many opponents of Barack Obama assume that anyone who voted for him must also be a follower of Bill Clinton.

When you classify me according to some limited set of classifying traits, you may be led to assume things about me that aren't valid. The only useful result I know of classifying things is to be able to predict something accurately on the basis of memberhood in a particular class. If you're A, then you will do X, but if you're B, then you will do Y. When classifying people, this is notoriously difficult. In physical science, it also has major problems. Hence, I'm not generally favorable about taxonomies - they have their place, but their value is limited, imho. Some people take them far too seriously.
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09-09-2010, 08:52 AM
RE: Atheism and belief
Hey, Unbeliever.

I'm not entirely convinced I picked up what you put down when you said implicitly or explicitly, but I'll point this out. A memeplex is different than a meme. It's a web of memes that self-support, increasing each individual meme's chance of survival. Some memes can be disarticulated from a memeplex with little change to the memeplex. But other memes change the fundamental nature of the memeplex. Like if you remove the tetrapod gene, or the hair gene, or the mammary gland gene from mammals, what remains is no longer a mammal. The theos meme is similar. Remove it from a memeplex and you fundamentally change that memeplex. What I am suggesting is that Atheist memeplexes are to Theist memeplexes as, say, mammals are to reptiles. Atheists don't have to believe anything to be an Atheist; however, they cannot have Theistic memeplexes. The disarticulation of the theos meme means that what remains can no longer be called a Theistic memeplex. Atheists also can't have no memeplex. So they have to have their own. I want to identify them.

You say the "wipe out Theists" meme is not widespread. Perfect. Really. Because now we have identified a meme with a representation in the Atheist meme pool that is not shared by all Atheist memeplexes (and likely not at all represented in the Theist meme pool). It's analogous to the wet-nose gene. Primates (order primates) share many genes that differentiate us from other mammals, but some primates (like us) have dry noses and some (like lemurs) have wet noses. This is why they've created the two suborders Strepsirrhini and Haplorrhini. That is one of the gene differences that delineate two major groups within the primate group. Coming back to the "wipe out Theists" meme, it is (likely) a meme that delineates at least two major groups within the Atheist group, but possibly more.

The reason these two groups need to be separated is because (lets suppose here) say one of the other groups has the "I don't like em, but they have as much right to be here as we do" meme articulated into their memeplex. The presence of that meme (this is just a hypothetical) would make that memeplex resistant to invasion from the "wipe out Theists" meme. That makes those two memeplexes incompatible. That's what we're looking for. Incompatibility. That's what makes humans a species distinct from chimps (in one definition of species). We can't mate. Our genomes (a massive geneplex) are incompatible. We share tons of genes, but out genomes are too different. But they're closer to one another than the human genome is to the blue whale or earth worm genome. So while we can lump chimps and humans into order primate, we have to put humans and blue whales into class mammalia and we have to stretch all the way back to kingdom animalia before you can compare humans and earth worms.

What I am suggesting is that the theos meme is as significant culturally to say, the spinal chord gene. Perhaps the difference is even a closer analogue to kingdom. It is the foundational difference between all Atheist and Theist memeplexes. Beneath each of those taxons, there is a wealth of different groups that we can identify by identifying the differences in their memeplexes.

Just to touch on one other thing you mentioned, the "can't we all just get along" meme probably isn't just in the Atheist memepool. It was one of the teachings of Jesus, so it's present in at least some Christian memeplexes. This is an example of the same meme existing in both groups. But that's fine. Groups can share memes. That's not what's important. It's the memes they don't share that matter. The anti-Theist memeplex will resist any attempt at invasion from the "can't we all just get along" meme because one of it's foundational memes is "get rid of Theists" (get rid of meaning different things in different sub-taxons of the Anti-Theist group). So the anti-Theist memeplex is different from any Atheist memeplex that wants everyone to get along, but while the get along memeplex might be similar in one way to a Theist memeplex, both the anti-Theist and get along Atheist memeplexes are fundamentally different than any Theist memeplex because of the theos meme.

So I'm right with you when you say you can find Atheists that believe in anything. Cool. But which of those anything memes have a significant presence in the Atheist meme pool? If one person believes something, whooptie doo. But if a thousand do? If a million? That's significant. Where do we find incompatibility in memeplexes that have these ideas articulated into them? For example, a pure science Atheist memeplex and a tarot card Atheist memeplex are incompatible, even though the tarot card memeplex might very well contain the scientific method meme. This is the work. Identifying groups. Not creating out of thin air, but observing them as biologists observe organisms. Where they look for genetic differences, we look for memetic differences.

So I hope I've gotten across the idea that this isn't about dividing the ocean into water droplets, but closer to dividing the giant mass of salt-water that covers the earth into oceans, then regions of those oceans, then regions of those regions.

Hey, 2buckchuck.

I hope you read what I wrote above cause it speaks to a lot of your points.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-09-2010, 02:02 PM
 
RE: Atheism and belief
(09-09-2010 08:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Unbeliever.

I'm not entirely convinced I picked up what you put down when you said implicitly or explicitly, but I'll point this out. A memeplex is different than a meme. It's a web of memes that self-support, increasing each individual meme's chance of survival. Some memes can be disarticulated from a memeplex with little change to the memeplex. But other memes change the fundamental nature of the memeplex. Like if you remove the tetrapod gene, or the hair gene, or the mammary gland gene from mammals, what remains is no longer a mammal. The theos meme is similar. Remove it from a memeplex and you fundamentally change that memeplex. What I am suggesting is that Atheist memeplexes are to Theist memeplexes as, say, mammals are to reptiles. Atheists don't have to believe anything to be an Atheist; however, they cannot have Theistic memeplexes. The disarticulation of the theos meme means that what remains can no longer be called a Theistic memeplex. Atheists also can't have no memeplex. So they have to have their own. I want to identify them.

You say the "wipe out Theists" meme is not widespread. Perfect. Really. Because now we have identified a meme with a representation in the Atheist meme pool that is not shared by all Atheist memeplexes (and likely not at all represented in the Theist meme pool). It's analogous to the wet-nose gene. Primates (order primates) share many genes that differentiate us from other mammals, but some primates (like us) have dry noses and some (like lemurs) have wet noses. This is why they've created the two suborders Strepsirrhini and Haplorrhini. That is one of the gene differences that delineate two major groups within the primate group. Coming back to the "wipe out Theists" meme, it is (likely) a meme that delineates at least two major groups within the Atheist group, but possibly more.

The reason these two groups need to be separated is because (lets suppose here) say one of the other groups has the "I don't like em, but they have as much right to be here as we do" meme articulated into their memeplex. The presence of that meme (this is just a hypothetical) would make that memeplex resistant to invasion from the "wipe out Theists" meme. That makes those two memeplexes incompatible. That's what we're looking for. Incompatibility. That's what makes humans a species distinct from chimps (in one definition of species). We can't mate. Our genomes (a massive geneplex) are incompatible. We share tons of genes, but out genomes are too different. But they're closer to one another than the human genome is to the blue whale or earth worm genome. So while we can lump chimps and humans into order primate, we have to put humans and blue whales into class mammalia and we have to stretch all the way back to kingdom animalia before you can compare humans and earth worms.

What I am suggesting is that the theos meme is as significant culturally to say, the spinal chord gene. Perhaps the difference is even a closer analogue to kingdom. It is the foundational difference between all Atheist and Theist memeplexes. Beneath each of those taxons, there is a wealth of different groups that we can identify by identifying the differences in their memeplexes.

Just to touch on one other thing you mentioned, the "can't we all just get along" meme probably isn't just in the Atheist memepool. It was one of the teachings of Jesus, so it's present in at least some Christian memeplexes. This is an example of the same meme existing in both groups. But that's fine. Groups can share memes. That's not what's important. It's the memes they don't share that matter. The anti-Theist memeplex will resist any attempt at invasion from the "can't we all just get along" meme because one of it's foundational memes is "get rid of Theists" (get rid of meaning different things in different sub-taxons of the Anti-Theist group). So the anti-Theist memeplex is different from any Atheist memeplex that wants everyone to get along, but while the get along memeplex might be similar in one way to a Theist memeplex, both the anti-Theist and get along Atheist memeplexes are fundamentally different than any Theist memeplex because of the theos meme.

So I'm right with you when you say you can find Atheists that believe in anything. Cool. But which of those anything memes have a significant presence in the Atheist meme pool? If one person believes something, whooptie doo. But if a thousand do? If a million? That's significant. Where do we find incompatibility in memeplexes that have these ideas articulated into them? For example, a pure science Atheist memeplex and a tarot card Atheist memeplex are incompatible, even though the tarot card memeplex might very well contain the scientific method meme. This is the work. Identifying groups. Not creating out of thin air, but observing them as biologists observe organisms. Where they look for genetic differences, we look for memetic differences.

So I hope I've gotten across the idea that this isn't about dividing the ocean into water droplets, but closer to dividing the giant mass of salt-water that covers the earth into oceans, then regions of those oceans, then regions of those regions.

Hey, 2buckchuck.

I hope you read what I wrote above cause it speaks to a lot of your points.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Perhaps a poll or survey is in order?
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