YouTube Atheists


YouTube Atheists

A nice little rally point for YouTube Atheists to unite.

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Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 4:57pm
Okay, sorry H8uall, one question leads to another.

I opened a discussion in the memetics group for comments on this subject. We can continue there if any wishes to follow this interesting and immportant topic.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 4:40pm
Wonderist, you're talking my language. Meme-driven genes don't have to be god related. A good example is the ability-to-copy meme. For early evolving hominids, learning how to make a spear was certainly beneficial to survival. We can see in kids who believe in Santa Claus how strong it is. The kid who disregards mama’s warning that there are alligators in the stream didn’t last long. Kids are wired to copy and obey.

I agree with the out-of-Africa theory, and Homo erectus speciating into H. neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. There’s evidence that Neanderthals buried their dead and placed trinkets and talismans in the grave. To me, that the first sign of an “outside agency” as you put it.

It’s not the god meme that’s carried from hominids (especially the immediate ancestor of H. erectus, H. habilus) but the copy-meme. This meme-driven gene made madkind easy prey for the god meme.

It was the agricultural revolution that really changed humanity. The tribal system broke down in favor of the family system. Private property, especially land ownership, brought on specialization of labor. Here’s where the god meme really took off. You can bet the first specialized profession was soldier/policeman, then came scribe/lawyer/cleric.

Sam Harris makes a great point that almost every early human culture had human sacrifice. Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans, Aztecs, etc. all liked to make sure the crops come up next year by sacrificing a few young ladies. It took to Christians to put a new twist on this by sacrificing the Son of God perpetually through the mass to keep the Sky God happy and appeased.
Comment by h8uall66 on November 21, 2009 at 4:09pm
Guys, if it's not too much to ask, would you mind taking your conversation to one of the forums or private messages? Every time you leave a comment on this wall EVERYONE in the group gets sent an email. Thanks.
Comment by Wonderist on November 21, 2009 at 3:56pm
While meme-driven genes is one possibility, another strong possibility is simply that memes exploit weaknesses in our natural intuitions, and then amplify these weaknesses to spread themselves. For example, god belief may be a by-product of our natural intuitions of 'agency detection', 'theory of mind', and 'imagining a person who is not currently present'. Since these abilities on their own are easily explained genetically, it could be the case that the God meme has evolved over the years to combine these intuitions together. For example, first your father dies, but your mother uses his memory to keep you behaving. Then, this 'ancestor' concept spreads around and mixes with the idea that natural events are caused by an agency. Thus, you get a disembodied mind that controls things, i.e. a god.

It is possible that the god memes have not been around long enough to drive major genetic changes. The god memes would have to be as old as our exodus out of Africa for that to make sense, and that was something like 50-60,000 years ago. But that alone is not enough time to make major genetic changes. It would have to have been on the order of about a million years prior to that. Currently we lack the evidence to support that.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 2:47pm
Quite so. Our genes (meme-driven) are telling us to believe in God. Not because it's logical or correct, but because most of our ancestors believed in God and lived on the reproduce.

In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins says genes care only about their own replication, not the host or carrier.

As you say, secularism (rejecting religion) or rationalism is unnatural because we are countermanding our genes. Our genes direct us to become drunks, or kill trespassers on our property, or rape ladies on the bus; that doesn’t mean we have to do it.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 2:11pm
Ironically, these religious ideas are products of Darwinism.

So true, Mike. In memetics it’s called “meme-driven genes.” In this case the meme, let’s say god-belief, determined who survived. Those who didn’t carry the God virus didn’t get to reproduce. In the Middle Ages, with the Inquisition going on, obedience and cooperation were crucial to survival.

Same in the hunter-gatherer stage, rebellious freethinkers didn’t live too long. You had to obey the orders of the alphas in order to eat.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 12:39pm
I agree, Mike. As a Catholic I was told about an "occasion of sin." Stay away from anyone or anything that might make you question your beliefs. If you do, you have to confess it to a priest in a ritualized behavior.

St. Augustine once told his monks that if they see any other monk eyeing or ogling a female in church they should tell their superiors. The defense mechanisms are built-in deep and strong.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 21, 2009 at 11:15am
Thanks, James, for sharing this on A/N. Excellent video.

Richard Dawkins asserts that when he wrote The Selfish Gene the proof of evolution was so convincing that he believed organized religion would roll back like belief in Zeus or Baal. Hundreds of religions are now extinct.

Religion persists because of people’s refusal to accept the fact that we are on our own. No god’s going to save us from ourselves.

Rays Comfort and friends are doing a lot of damage to life itself, because Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother are stealing love and respect that belongs to nature, the actual creator of life in the primordial seas.
Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on November 21, 2009 at 9:11am
Creationist Cowards Diss Darwin- 1 day ago:

Thunderf00t is the man, hands down so far.
AronRa a close second. All other atheists build upon the staff of the spear! Spearhead break through the lies. Hugh wah? ; )
Comment by Mihai on November 18, 2009 at 7:50am
I just joined the group today and I want to say hello; the more I search the Youtube, the more I find active atheists. I started looking for Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens, then I found greydonsquare and mrdeity..... I am not a videomaker myself, but I appreciate talent and humor.
Judging by ratings and views, it seems atheists are having an impact. Not that the old delusion is going to die anytime soon....

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