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FAQ: Why Lucifer
« on: 2005-12-02 01:51:59 »
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This is a protofaq and will be replaced once a discussion to be held on the main list is complete.

A small additional amusement, the Christian's "Jesus" is unambiguously identified, in words attributed by their church to "Jesus" as "Lucifer", "The bright and morning star" or light bearer in the Christian's "Bible". I'm not sure that anything gets more ironical than that.

Hermit 2005

Lucifer was Re: virus: Re: UP YOURS! - A response from the vice president - 11/26/2000

Author: TheHermit
Conversation: Lucifer was Re: virus: Re: UP YOURS! - A response from the vice president - 11/26/2000 ( prev | next ) reply!
Topic: virus ( prev | next )
Followed-Up-By: TheHermit's post, KMO's post, David McFadzean's post, Bad Habits Lounge's post
Date: Mon Dec 04, 2000 01:23 am

Richard Walston sensibly asked:

This has to be a joke right right? The next question is why the virus list
is run at www.lucifer.com <http://www.lucifer.com? I = read through church
of virus web site and I saw nothing on satan or = lucifer call him what you
will.Also, if it is an atheistic religion then = how come if there is no god
how can there be evil and the devil? The = simplest laws of science suggest
as in newtonian theory that every = action has an equal and opposite
reaction. Therefore if satan exists = with evil then so, does god with good!
Anyone want to explain this to me = please feel free to e-mail. Thanks very
Much, Richard Walston

Yes, it was of course a joke, the kind of joke that propagates memetically
and is thus appropriate to this list, not just because of the shared
enjoyment of it, but because many here are interested in memetics and
memetic propagation. I expect to see many copies of this joke propagate on
the Internet in the course of the next few weeks. Tracking the changes which
happen to such stories over time is a fascinating and educational exercise.

Now, a little more seriously, let me offer my highly personal opinion on the
Lucifer questions.

You may receive as many answers to it as we have members, there being no
formal doctrine here, where dogma is regarded as a vice. So your opinion, if
you have one, is as worthwhile as mine. For what it is worth, possibly what
you paid for it, mine follows.

The Church of Virus is an atheist, rational religion. Thus Lucifer has no
significance to us in the sense of "that which is to be worshipped (or
shunned)." We do not subscribe to the superstitions of the Judeo-Christians
or Hindus, thus "Lucifer" has no equivalence for us to "Satan" or
"Shaitan" - a name which we would regard equally unemotionally, but which
would not offer the same richly rewarding associations that "Lucifer" does -
from a number of perspectives. Please bear with me, as I attempt to draw out
my reactions to the name to explain this.

In the early days of Unix computing, many of those involved named computers
Lucifer, Asmodeus, Astoroth, etc. because they hosted "daemons" which
performed tasks for us - and geeks being geeks (though not in those days
l33t haX0rs), we appreciated the pun. It is also possible that some of the
enjoyment was derived from the fact that we knew that it pissed off some
classes of believers - and that their annoyance, anger, horror or upset
pointed to their inability to consider the world rationally. I know that I
have been "guilty" of this. Thus there may have been an element of
happenstance which lead to the adoption of this name. I don't know. I was
not there. But it seems likely. I have certainly named computers so myself.
More than once. But this only describes one possible scenario. I have
thought of many others which I find offer me excellent reasons to appreciate
the choice of name.

On the face of it, Lucifer means simply, the "Bearer of Light." Which sounds
good to me, Light having been equated with "truth" since time immemorial.
Please note and comprehend the lower-case "t" - correct English usage - and
recognition that this "truth" which we pursue is relative, mutable and
falsifiable. After all, "truths" are central to effective reasoning - and
reasoning is a very important aspect of the Church of Virus.

It may then be argued that "Lucifer" is an historic carry-over, due to it
being the name of the server which first carried the CoV. As Virians regard
no words as offensive, all offense being purely in the mind of the receiver,
the word has no meaning for Virians whatsoever, it may as well have been
"Jesus," "Boojum," "blurpinocci" or any other nonsense name for all that we
care. However, due to historic myth, the "Lucifer" domain name also serves
to establish a certain "stay off the grass" kind of a quality to the more
fundamentalist inclined - who tend to stay away from here because of it. As
fundamentalist argument has no place on this list, this is generally
regarded as a no uncertain good.

Yet this would be to diminish the value to us of the Lucifer name. For a
second level of meaning can be ascribed to it and enjoyed. This is the
tendency for myths to change, and how delightfully apposite it is, that
Judeo-Christianity worships the "gods who dwell in darkness" and turn away
from "the light bearer." Lucifer tends to remind us of this, and how the
forces of the Judeo-Christian religion have always opposed rationality and
reason, and how very many martyrs to reason have been created by religion
over the years. It also reminds us that light banishes darkness, just as
knowledge banishes fear and reason banishes superstition.

A third level comes into play, when we recognize that Prometheus, the gifter
of fire to man can be identified in and as Lucifer. Prometheus, bearer of
the greatest gift to man, and tortured by the gods ever since. Prometheus
may be mythical, but he represents the advance of man, and reminds us of the
heroism and aspirations of our bronze age ancestors who started mankind on
the path to the technology we enjoy today.

I am not going to say finally, as this is not an end but the beginning,
there is another important purpose which the "Lucifer" name serves. This is
the fact that the associations above serve as a recursive reminder to us
that all myths may have multiple levels of meaning, all of which may be
simultaneously valid, indeed, all of which may be necessary in order to
achieve understanding. By projection, this applies to memetics as much as to
myth for memetics may in and of itself be mythical, yet it still encompasses
and enfolds myth within its area of study.

For all these reasons, while I think that we will quite likely eventually
move to the use of the ChurchofVirus.org as a primary URL, mainly in order
not to frighten away those who may react to the name on a superficial level
and assuming that it is employed as a reaction to Christianity, I would be
very sad to see us stop using Lucifer as a home. I find the name to be very
rich in entirely positive association, and believe that there may be many
others of us who feel likewise.

The last reason that I will give, is that curiousity is very powerful as a
motivator and as an attractant. I suspect that we have had a lot of visitors
in the past, and will probably continue to see them, simply because people
wonder what the name is and how it relates to us, and read the site
carefully in order to attempt to discover the association. Seeing as it is
not there, this almost certainly causes a great deal more careful reading
than they would otherwise indulge in... and many who visit are then tempted
to stay. Most of those are welcome.

Kind Regards and be most welcome to the ranks of the posters


Subject: RE: Lucifer was Re: virus: Re: UP YOURS! - A response from the vice president - 11/26/2000
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2000 03:32:02 -0600

I had two more thoughts on this after my last post on this issue ["Lucifer
was Re: virus: Re: UP YOURS! - A response from the vice president -
11/26/2000", Mon 2000-12-04 02:24].

The first was the gorgeous irony that the last page of the bible identifies
"Christ" and "Lucifer" as the same entity. An irony which passes most
Christians by, yet one which we can, and do, enjoy.

The second is based on your statement: "Also, if it is an atheistic religion
then = how come if there is no god how can there be evil and the devil? The
= simplest laws of science suggest as in Newtonian theory that every =
action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore if satan exists = with
evil then so, does god with good!"

Bearing in mind that we do not attribute any embedded association to
"Lucifer," it seems to me that there are two additional, significant
logical failures here:

The first is that you attempted to project Newton's Laws onto "gods". Today
(except for EverettE whom you will learn to ignore), metaphysics are
recognized as having no validity, and thus these equalities must fail.
Science (and thus Newton's Laws) speak only to that which is. A very
different ontological class from gods and superstition which are inherently
that which are not. While the use of this class of comparison may be
perfectly fair in analogy, it is important to recognize that all analogies
have limitations - and attempting to apply the laws of science to the stuff
of dreams and nightmares is completely invalid and unprofitable. You cannot
say "this operator functions like this on things of class a" and thus assume
that "this operator also functions like this on things of class b." Almost
invariably it will not. It would be like saying that 1 plus 1 = 2 and
because of this, a (male) rabbit plus a (female) rabbit = two, rather than a
whole warren full of bunnies.

The second error lies in assuming that there exists such a thing as "good"
or "evil." Unless qualified, these terms are meaningless, as they require a
comparative. Either an absolute standard - which in the absence of absolutes
cannot exist (and having no reason to assume gods - there are no absolute
standards - even when gods are assumed, the many different gods available
offer us many different standards - and thus are not absolute at all) or
they require a relative standard. Given that relative standards mean
different things to different people at different times, in the absence of
qualification the terms are devoid of all meaning. Your good may be my evil,
and vice versa. Thus to place these terms in opposition is as meaningless as
to suggest that the Gods of the Judeo-Christians (as the personification of
evil) - or Satan/Lucifer (as the personification of good) are required
antitheses. History shows us that all gods - supposedly good and supposedly
evil - reflect the prejudices of the society which believes in them and that
all are as bad for men as they are imaginary. Used to justify every manner
of horror and excess of man upon man, they are none of them good.

Kind Regards

« Last Edit: 2009-08-20 19:15:44 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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