A while back we looked at the difference between a philosophy and a meme complex. We know that a meme complex is a condition of mutually supporting memes (a/k/a mind viruses) that form a belief system.
A philosophy is a system of values by which you live your life. The key word in there is system. More specifically, it is a system of thought, done by investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
This requires a critical analysis of your fundamental assumptions or beliefs. And of course, religion is one of the places where this critical analysis is least likely to take place. Because religion is a meme complex.
Most people’s religious beliefs are formed during their early formative years, and they are completely incapable of discussing them rationally, or exercising critical thought in this area.
As soon as religion is even mentioned, their brain goes on hold, and their knee-jerk emotional programmed reaction kicks in.
Brilliant people, capable of great mental genius, are often reduced to broken-note automatons, parroting the phrases they learned when they were seven or eight.
Religion is one of the most emotional things people have. And when emotion goes up, logic and rationale go out the door. Religion is the perfect tool for mind manipulation.
Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and George Bush were mortal enemies, yet they all used the same types of religious imagery in their manipulative techniques to influence their respective followers. And the followers of each of them were confident that they alone possessed the real truth.
Just as you probably believe your religion is the real truth. But how did you come to that belief?
Your immediate knee-jerk reaction is probably to say you got them through critical thinking. Odds are very good that you believe that, but actually didn’t. Because religion is one of the most powerful and prevalent meme complexes on earth. And like all memes, once you’re infected with them, even people who can’t study their beliefs rationally think they do.
So how can you protect against this? Please share your insights. Then on the next post I’ll give you my ideas.