Here are some chat logs from 3/22 where Lucifer grilled me over similar issues.
16:32:00 Lucifer: heymo
16:32:14 Mo : Hey, Lucifer!
16:32:36 Lucifer: You hinted that you are considering converting to Islam in your message
16:34:06 Mo :yes. . . considering. not a done thing yet.
16:34:17 Mo :any thoughts on that?
16:35:01 Lucifer: a few
16:35:12 Mo : heh, good. I hope so.
16:36:17 Lucifer: I imagine most virians would assume you are joking
16:36:33 Mo :I've considered that.
16:36:35 Mo :I'm not.
16:36:46 Lucifer: so I have to ask why?
16:37:08 Mo : Indeed I think it was the CoV idea that we should seek to parasitize other establish religions.
16:37:33 Lucifer: really?
16:37:42 Lucifer: maybe you could refresh my memory?
16:38:18 Mo : Virus? isn't that the metaphor to begin with?
16:38:56 Lucifer: yes, a metaphor for how religions infect people
16:39:02 Mo : a Virus is not viable by itself, it needs a host. And if it is to deal with religion then it needs religious host(s).
16:39:49 Mo : Right, but we moved beyond that when we began contemplating a memetically engineered "Church of Virus".
16:41:09 Lucifer: right, I still don't see the connection
16:41:38 Lucifer: Islam is another mind virus
16:41:44 Lucifer: You want to become infected because...?
16:43:34 Mo : because . . . Islam as a community under seige in US is vulnerable . . . open to new ways of assimilating as its members need to, and in my recent experiences they are open to a message from the left.
16:44:06 Mo : They have already tried to align themselves with the Religious Right, pre 9/11 and have gotten nothing but grief in return.
16:45:52 Mo : Mind Viruses are inevitable, I'm just interested in rendering them more compatible with CoV virtues and sins.
16:46:16 Lucifer: So the plan is to infect muslims with virian ideals?
16:46:21 Mo : or rendering more compatible versions thereof.
16:46:56 Mo : I think they are already infected to a certain degree. Its just a question of developing those infections further.
16:47:04 Lucifer: * Lucifer nods
16:47:25 Mo : US muslims. I only deal with the local phenomenon at this time.
16:49:33 Lucifer: My understanding is that to become a muslim you have to give up atheism
16:49:37 Mo : I agree that there are retrograde "fundamentalist" strains of Islam that will never see the world my way. That's true with all major religions. I just see some possibilities for hope in this particular environment of bigotry that they experience in US.
16:50:44 Mo : I think I would have to always advocate for more tolerance of disbelief. I think this is easier in US, since its the fundamentalist Xians who are most dedicated toward eradicating their memeplex.
16:51:08 Lucifer: Sure, but can you really believe in Allah?
16:51:16 Lucifer: Or do you plan to fake it?
16:51:56 Mo : Allah is simply the greatest anthropomorphism, to say that there is only one anthropomorphism is to simply acknowlege that they were all anthropomorphisms to begin with.
16:53:09 Lucifer: Whatever conception of Allah you have to use to say you believe it, I doubt that it is the same as the one in Islam
16:53:21 Mo : Besides when there are no other applicable metaphor, anthropomorphism is as good as any. As Dennet himself would acknowlege, the universe is full of "as if" intentionality, why not just recognize that a little more explicitly
16:53:56 Lucifer: I can say I believe in God too (while silently substituting "universe")
16:54:07 Lucifer: it is still a trick
16:54:12 Mo : Is the one is Islam all that coherent anyway? Its really just a hodgepodge of various pre-scientific anthropomorphisms, just like Xianity.
16:54:41 Lucifer: Duuude, you're going level-3 now!
16:54:50 Mo : heh. maybe.
16:55:16 Mo : Isn't all of human culture built on just such tricks?
16:56:15 Lucifer: Is that how you rationalize it?
16:56:58 Mo : In my opinion, Islam is simply the latest upgrade to western Judeo/Christian so to rationalize it is no more (and probably less) of a stretch than any other major monotheism.
16:57:02 Lucifer: I'm not doubting you could infiltrate the muslims
16:57:26 Lucifer: I'm just thinking they would likely feel betrayed if they discovered what you really believe
16:58:52 Mo : beyond the hocus pocus, I have found many of them eager to be thought of as embracing reason. I can embrace a god (anthropomorphism) of reason simply on the grounds of ideology if not theology. There is no betrayal in that IMO.
17:00:33 Mo : I believe (even reckon) in Allah to whatever degree such reckoning reflects Reason, Empathy, and Vision, and avoids Hypocrisy, Apathy, and Dogmatism.
17:00:37 Lucifer: There god is supernatural
17:00:43 Lucifer: Their^
17:01:08 Lucifer: I know reason is part of their ancient culture
17:01:09 Mo : less so than Xian god.
17:01:20 Mo : they don't see Jesus as god.
17:01:25 Lucifer: * Lucifer nods
17:02:04 Lucifer: Are you saying Islam is entirely logically consistent with science?
17:02:09 Mo : no holy spook, no godlike son, they are 66.7% less supernaturally inclined than Xians.
17:02:23 Mo : I think it could be.
17:02:47 Mo : The key issue will be dogmatism for me.
17:04:13 Mo : * Mo is not seeking perfection in his conversion, practicality will work better.
17:04:57 Lucifer: Sounds like a fascinating experiment
17:05:00 Mo : Perfection is better worked out on a personal level.
17:05:04 Lucifer: book worthy even
17:05:17 Mo : heh
17:05:29 Mo : We will see.
17:05:50 Mo : not a finished deal yet. but I'm sticking with "Mo" either way.
17:07:32 Lucifer: Mo power to you ;-)
17:08:29 Lucifer: I would have been slightly less surprised to hear you'd decided to join the neocons
17:09:20 Mo : Reeeeeeeaaaly. . . .
17:09:45 Lucifer: * Lucifer scootles
17:09:49 Mo : After all my tirades with Joe?
17:10:27 Mo : The neocons are much more anti-thetical to CoV ethics than Muslims IMO.
17:10:53 Lucifer: except for the Muslims minority that bomb stuff
17:11:45 Mo : of course . . . they are antithetical to everything . . . but so also are the fundies who bomb abortion clinics and the federal building in OKC.
17:11:55 Lucifer: * Lucifer nods
17:12:21 Mo : They just aren't brown enough to trigger an enemy response out of most US citizens.
17:13:14 Mo : Not to mention the fundie neocons who invde other countries and cause civil war.
17:13:56 Lucifer: hey no argument here
17:14:05 Mo : Bush has killed far more innocent people than Timothy McVeigh could have dreamed of.
17:15:12 Lucifer: I'm sure the price is not too high in his little mind
17:17:23 Mo : His mind isn't his own.
17:17:30 Lucifer: Someone should have asked what the expected price was before the war, and what he would do if the real price exceeded his expectations
17:18:13 Mo : That would assume he gave a shit. He decided to invade Iraq before he was ever elected.
17:18:39 Mo : If the real price was too high we would simply lie about it, as he already has.
17:18:51 Lucifer: Sure, but there should have been consequences for taking the nation to war under false pretenses
17:19:31 Mo : obviously as a nation we have failed on the consequences.
17:20:03 Lucifer: au contraire, your nation rewarded him with re-election
17:20:19 Mo : so now I'm more excited about joining the "enemy" and seeing if they can do any better.
17:20:28 Mo : worse yet.
17:21:26 Mo : so we are stupid on purpose? Whatever the "enemy" has to offer can't be worse than that.