I Have A MissionSo, I've been thinking about religion, in light of the topics of Vernor Vinge's "Rainbow's End", blogged earlier. The next 40 or so years could be a critical period for the human race. Biotech and nanotech will be available on home computers. Roadside bombs are like mosquito bites compared to what terrorists could to with these.
*** Slight Spoiler Alert ***
The bad guy in "Rainbow's End" is having these thoughts and decides to take the facist route of protecting the race from itself by developing YGBM (You Gotta Believe Me) technology -- mind control by genetically engineered brain proteins.
Well, he is the bad guy, but he does have a point. These years could be critical, and could decide if civilization will continue to advance, or if maybe a large percentage of us get wiped out.
In this context, we could eliminate, what, 95% of terrorism if we could eliminate religion. Yes, I know religion is a source of comfort and strength to lots of people, but it's also a source of inspiration to a large percentage of the world's wackos, giving them a "get out of jail free = go directly to heaven" card which allows them to perform acts which any rational ethics would immediately identify as abhorrent.
So, how to get rid of religion? It is a powerful, powerful memeplex. It is a mental parasite with which a majority of well-meaning parents infect their children repeatedly and emphatically as part of their upbringing. Empirical evidence would say that the vast majority of people cannot shake the infection off on their own. So, how do we help?
We're talking memetic warfare here, so we have to choose a delivery mechanism for our counter-meme. I can think of only two possibilities here -- and it seems to me like this is major wishful thinking, to think one could develop a meme to combat years of religious brainwashing. But, what the hell, rational people have got to try something. So, the two delivery mechanisms are:
- Unbelievably catchy tune.
- The world's funniest joke.
The 2nd one seems more promising. The idea is to come up with a joke or jokes which perform a total reductio ad absurdem on the existence of God. (Note, I will use capitalized God, which I normal avoid, to show that I am referring to the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator of the universe Jehovah/Allah worshipped by Christians, Jews and Moslems.)
I have a personal problem here, in that I am not a joke person. I am a spontaneously witty (smartass) person, I have always had problems remembering jokes. So I will need help here. Here's my first efforts:
Q. Why did God cross the road?
A. God can't cross a road, He's already on both sides.
Q. How may Gods does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. God doesn't use lightbulbs, He can see in the dark.
Q. If God can see in the dark, why did He create light?
A. Nobody knows.
Q. What do you get if you cross God with a human being?
Q. What do you get if you cross God with the Devil?
Q. What do you get if you cross God with a chimpanzee?
The last three suggest God Math, which appears to be pretty much useless:
God + God = God
God - God = God
God * God = God
God / God = God
God + n = God
God * 0 = God (a miracle!)
I told my younger brother these, he liked the first few. My wife and youngest daughter found them stupid and unfunny. Oh well, clearly my work is cut out for me.
If you google "god jokes", there's a lot out there, some with promise. But more than half are actually "atheist in a foxhole" jokes, the opposite of what we need.
So, this is a targetted final product. I need to get a website for the work-in-progress of my Theory of God, which will show how ridulous the concept is. I was going to go to myspace.com, but then I thought, fuck a bunch of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. I'll e-mail my son, he can probably point me to where google can give me a permanent website.
I have a mission ...