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FAQ: Is the Church of Virus a Religion
« on: 2003-09-28 13:06:35 »
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FAQ: Is the Church of Virus a Religion

Canonical URL: http://www.churchofvirus.org/bbs/index.php?board=31;action=display;threadid=29351

Authors: Hermit

Revision: 0.93B

Author’s notes for revision:
0.93B2008-05-09 References to the Virian sins and virtues converted to links to the website and expanded to include reference to the specific "virtues" and "sins". Minor spelling corrections. Updated TOC.
0.92B2008-05-08 References to http://virus.lucifer.com converted to http://www.churchofvirus.org.
0.91B 2006-03-19 : Added reference to weyken.
0.90B This message was (with minor editing) originally posted to the mail list of the Church of Virus as [ Hermit, "different religions", Reply 6 ] . Please bear in mind that the CoV regards dogma as having been shown to be harmful. Thus what follows is not "dogma" but merely reporting of a concensus opinion held by respected Virians.

Status: Draft

Abbreviated Copyright Notice
Copyright (C) The Church of Virus, 2003. All rights reserved. Unlimited distribution permitted in accordance with the terms of the Full copyright notice below.

A brief explanation of why the CoV is validly described as a religion

Intended Audience
Those wishing to determine more about the CoV.

Table of Contents
    Canonical URL
    Author’s notes for revision
    Abbreviated Copyright Notice
    Intended Audience
    Table of Contents
    Why the Church of Virus is a religion

      What is a Religion
      1) That which Virians accept.
      2) The Origin and Development of our Universe, Life and Self-Awareness
      3) The Virian Atitude to the 'Supernatural'
      4) Human Nature
      5) The Pursuit of Happiness
      6) Personal Virian Ethics
      7) Virian Duties and Advocacy
      8 ) Virian Metaethics (or rational beliefs)
      9) How the CoV Fares as a Religion

    Full copyright notice
    Authors’ addresses

Is the Church of Virus a Religion

What is a Religion

A "religion" is: "a set of beliefs concerned with explaining the origins and purposes of the universe, usu. involving belief in a supernatural creator and offering guidance in ethics and morals" (http://www.wordsmyth.net). Note "usually." "Belief in a supernatural creator" is not an obligitory component of a religion.

1) That which Virians accept.

Most if not all Virians accept that:
    1.1) All "truths", including these founding "truths", are incomplete, provisional and falsifiable*.
    1.2) Anything that is provisionally true is at least theoretically falsifiable.
    1.3) The scientific method (Refer, [ FAQ: The Scientific Method ] is the only effective means to establish provisional truths.
    1.4) Irrational belief is not a component of the scientific method.
    1.5) Rejection of evidence is not a rational action.
    1.6) Fabrication of evidence is not a rational action.

2) The Origin and Development of our Universe, Life and Self-Awareness

Most if not all Virians accept that there is no evidence or necessity for any entities with godlike attributes and that Ockham's law and available consensus models sufficiently explain:
    2.1) The origin and development of our Universe (without requiring the intervention of any intelligence).
    2.2) That it is unnecessary for the Universe to have a purpose.
    2.3) The development of life and self-awareness.

3) The Virian Atitude to the 'Supernatural'

Most if not all Virians accept that "supernatural" is a null phrase, being self-contradictory, in that if something exists, it is "natural" and must conform to the "natural laws" of the Universe in which it exists. From this it follows that something "unnatural" cannot exist except as imaginary items, and that this must necessarily include instances of the so called "supernatural". As the consensus model of our Baryonic Universe precludes most of the attributes which people would claim are required for gods, and as no evidence or necessity for such beings appear to exist, Virians reject gods as being altogether less likely than tooth-fairies.

4) Human Nature

Most if not all Virians hold that available evidence and rational analysis suggests that:
    4.1) Humans are essentially pack animals, happiest in relatively small groups of likeminded people (i.e. those holding similar memeplexii).
    4.2) Humans are much more likely to be good company and effective when they are happy, healthy and their needs and desires are being met.
    4.3) Humans are most likely to achieve the state described in 4.2 when they cooperate with each other.
    4.4) Cooperation requires a balance of benefits between those involved and ethical behavior on the part of those cooperating.

5) The Pursuit of Happiness

From the above it follows that:
    5.1) That the pursuit of happiness is completely sufficient to establish an ethical and purposeful life.
    5.2) That any behaviors which are contrary to our biological fundamentals or which prevent the achievement of happiness are harmful to us.
    5.3) That evidence shows that social, technical and scientific progress minimizes the competition for scarce resources which prevent the conditions in 4.2 from being satisfied.
    5.4) That the most likely condition under which progress is likely to occur is in a regime based on the scientific method and cooperation between people.

6) Personal Virian Ethics

These conclusions lead to the further conclusion that the optimum way to live is by adopting and advocating the Virian Virtues of Reason, Empathy and Vision, and eschewing the Virian Sins of Dogmatism  ,Apathy and Hypocrisy, these having been selected to describe the behaviors to adapt and to avoid in order to maximize individual and group happiness; and that were all people to adopt these principles, that it would be good for humanity as a whole.

7) Virian Duties and Advocacy
Every human has the right (I would say obligation) to independently consider these questions and reach these conclusions (or others), and thus while we have a duty to advocate our principles, that this should be done only with those who request us to do so (feed the hungry), when our values are challenged by others, or when other values are advocated in an open forum.

8 ) Virian Metaethics or Weyken

In this way, most Virians accept and hold a consistent set of rational, provisional, falsifiable principles which can be refered to as a "weyken system" (rationally based belief system) although "belief", in the sense of "irrational belief**", is not needed (and some of us (including me) would say, "or desireable") to accept the Virian principles. Nevertheless, by common definition, this forms a "belief system."

9) How the CoV Fares as a Religion

The above shows that in the CoV meets the definition of a religion in that we have:
    ClauseDefinitional Condition
    8"a set of weyken (rational beliefs)"
    1, 2, 4, 5"concerned with explaining the origins"
    2, 4, 5"and purposes of the universe [Hermit: And self aware beings],"
    We reject this optional clause, 3"usu. involving belief in a supernatural creator"
    5, 6, 7"and offering guidance in ethics and morals"

*Gödelian incompleteness and Popperian falsifiability together necessitate that outside of a formal system of limited application, a "truth", to have any measure of rational support, must by necessity, always be provisional, incomplete and falsifiable, in other words, there must always, at least hypothetically, exist some evidence which would permit that supposed truth to be rejected. This implies that outside of formal systems, the truth of a thing is not an absolute, but encompasses a range of probabilities which will have varying truth values (i.e. from "false" through "insufficient evidence to adduce a truth value" to "true") depending on the evidence for or against such a thing.

**All belief is essentially irrational, as belief can only occur where acceptance is not compelled, for if acceptance is compelled, then belief is not required to accept that thing. Belief is thus the acceptance of some thing as being provisionally true where: contradictory evidence exists which throws doubt upon or compels the rejection of the thing being accepted as truth; or where insufficient evidence exists to compel or suggest acceptance of the thing as truth.

Full Copyright Statement
Copyright (C) The Church of Virus (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the Abbreviated Copyright Notice [supra] and this paragraph are included as an inseparable component of all such copies and derivative works, and that the terms of this copyright statement shall be binding on derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to the Church of Virus, except as needed for the purpose of developing further Church of Virus documents or as required to translate it into languages other than English, in which case the procedures for copyrights defined by the Church of Virus from time to time must be followed.
The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by the Church of Virus or its successors or assigns.
This document and the information contained herein is provided on an "AS IS" basis and the Church of Virus disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to any warranty that the use of the information herein will not infringe any rights or any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. You are specifically warned that study of documents produced by the Church of Virus may lead to a permanent change in your attitudes or behavior as a result of exposure to the memeplexii and component memes embedded in such documents.

Discussions with David Lucifer and Demon amongst many others. Assistance by Flux and Demon with editing.


[ FAQ: Is the CoV a cult? ]
[ FAQ: Epistemology, Axioms, Reality, Consciousness, the Universe and Everything ]

Authors’ addresses: hermit@lucifer.com

« Last Edit: 2008-05-09 09:57:29 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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