PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
YagAvaryu
 
Comments: 80
Article views: 796
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all YagAvaryu's badges.
 

Anti-virus for the mind

18 June 2013, 18:14

“A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” is a concept familiar to many parents - and manufacturers of medicine. In contrast, some medicines with potential to be harmful have a purposely bitter taste. Nobody wants their toddler to swallow the “sweeties” unintentionally left within reach. Similarly, a portion of nutritious food, say a pellet of wheat meal, may very effectively carry a small but fatal payload of poison for killing a rodent pest.

The mental hop from comparing the effect of poisons and antidotes on the health of the body, to health of the human mind, requires a conceptual ‘model’. There are risks of over-simplifying or over-complicating any model. One convenience of a model is that, if it appears inadequate, you can apply your intellect to revise the model. So useful is the analogy of a model, that in the majority of mind’s association with reality, models are essential to understanding. Nobody has seen an atom. We use a frequently-revised model of what an atom could be. Some models are very accurate in behaving like the real thing that they demonstrate. Others are not so close to perfection.

A respected spokesman for evolution, Richard Dawkins, authored a publication titled “Viruses of the Mind”. In that article, Dawkins models the faith and activities of religion as if religion was a viral infection of the human mind. Dawkins’ model environment is presented as the mind of a beautiful, six year old girl that he knows. This innocent mind accepts the existence of Thomas the Tank Engine and Father Christmas - and has ambitions to be a Tooth Fairy one day.

The narrative reveals that this vulnerable mind is being subjected, without the consent of her father, to Roman Catholic religious instruction. While the locomotive and jolly fat man pose no threat, all is not so well when it comes to absorbing the notion that all bad children will roast in hell, as Dawkins explains. A brief description then follows, of how DNA can be corrupted and passed on.

Next, a lengthier description, with examples, explains how computer viruses propagate. Dawkins underlines that an important characteristic of a virus is to remain undetected. It also requires two qualities in its host; a readiness to replicate information and a readiness to obey instructions.

To develop his conceptual model, Dawkins proceeds to describe how a meme, (his concept of a unit of human behavioural, conceptual or cultural traits) is replicated among human minds. He expounds how negative the religious memes are, giving examples. He notes that some of the examples are trivial or extreme and some readers may notice that some examples are not fully informed. Criticism of these deficiencies is unnecessary here.

Ultimately these religious memes are replicated virally to the detriment of numbers of human hosts - and one would infer, also to the detriment of uninfected humans who are collaterally disadvantaged.

“Viruses of the Mind” is sometimes invoked by other atheists to affirm criticisms of religious memes. Malicious or not, a mind-virus is merely an agent of intent, not the source. The article itself manifests several viral memes. Expansion on those themes is for another time.

Now, Dawkins’ viral model is also useful in the hands of the Christian believer. It can be applied intelligently to the fall of man. Adam and Eve were created with flawless DNA. Yet they chose to believe the outright lie of Satan (“You will certainly not die but be as gods”), vehemently contradicting the statement made by God (“Enjoy everything else I have given you  but do not eat of the  fruit of knowledge of good and evil, or you will die”). As a result, the whole of creation was cursed and the perfectly made human couple came under a death sentence.

The curse can easily be conceptualised as a viral infection of all DNA/RNA (as applicable) on earth. Aging, death, mutations into thorns and weeds, pests, animal predation - and all the other ills of living organisms appeared as a result of the now-degenerating, coded-for-life, double helix. Ever since then the defects have slowly multiplied. DNA started devolving, having lost the capability to auto-correct flawlessly with every replication.

Having three billion DNA base-pairs in the haploid genome and six billion in the diploid genome meant it would take a significant time before some defective genes became a concern. For example, ageing was very slow to begin with. Similarly, reproduction between relatives would be successful, with near-perfect genes. As these genes continued to devolve, a few at a time, it became undesirable for closely-related couples to reproduce and incest became intolerable. Aging accelerated very gradually. Remember that this is only a model and I am not a geneticist, so don’t get too caught up.

Along with the physical deterioration that came with this viral infection, came a deterioration of the mind. Where is the mind? “Fallen” man will say that the mind is in the brain but it is not the brain per se. We cannot be entirely specific but we know that memory, emotion and reasoning can be affected by trauma or disease in various areas of the brain. So the mind, at a conceptually higher level than the physical brain, having functions of intelligence, is in there somewhere.

A reasoning mind would conclude that the lower level (the physical body) should be subservient to the higher level (the mind). A viral infection can reverse this hierarchy and the mind becomes subservient to an ill body, particularly if the ill part is brain tissue.

Christians postulate that there is a third and higher level to being human; the soul (or spirit).

Christians can postulate the soul being undesirably dominated by the virally-influenced mind. It is not a physical problem, unless the mind is being dominated by the body. But it is a mental problem if the soul is being dominated by the mind. The infected mind is not able to detect a mind virus, in the concept of our model. So an infected mind would be unable to detect that it is infected. It could compare itself to other minds and decide that similar minds were uninfected - and that dissimilar minds were infected and thus, defective. It may even attempt to treat those ‘defects’, for self-preservation. Failed treatment may call for elimination of what it thinks is the ‘defective’ mind.

In the meme model of a mind virus, an anti-virus was introduced via a momentous action on the part of the creator of the mind. Flawless DNA was sacrificed to make this anti-virus. It was injected into a small population, over two thousand years ago. The anti-virus continues to replicate as responsive minds begin restoration. A recovering mind gradually submits to the soul’s authority. It takes time – but eventually the soul is asserted and takes on its purpose. We beings, thinking previously that we were a mind, discover that we are more than that. We are spirits, companions of God, with an eternal existence. We are purposed for a perfect makeover in a new creation. Even the elements then will be different - and current models will no longer be relevant.

One of the attributes of the anti-virus is that it is designed to replicate. Scant surprise then; that an inoculated mind is driven to spread it, long before it understands why.

Footnote:

Saul of Tarsus, who hated Christianity with a deep passion, experienced the consequences of receiving his own irrefutable evidence of the Christ. He later wrote “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. It is a comfort to Christians to see that the intellect of a militant atheist like Dawkins can work for good. Imagine what he could achieve with a renewed mind.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
80 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Keita
The human face of christian spite

I can’t tell you how often I hear this, both here on News24 and elsewhere. Rational arguments have been made to indicate how wrong those statements are, but it seems they fall on deaf ears. Read more...

14 comments 412 views
Submitted by
Greg Martino
Does God answer our prayers?

To supplement to our insufficient income, myself and my wife are occasionally given the opportunity to work various trade shows at which my wife's company exhibits at. Read more...

69 comments 942 views
Submitted by
Ryan_Ruffgrain
Mario’s here. Nothing else matter...

The above title seems an apt proviso for this piece. Of course, there were other matters of some incident in the Premier League this weekend.  Read more...

0 comments 166 views
Submitted by
Tracy Gilpin
You're never too old to spy

So why is it easier to spot a Voortrekker bonnet at an EFF rally than a South African spy thriller on a shelf? Read more...

1 comments 272 views
Submitted by
Vusumuzi Shongwe
Sorry for you, Mr Basson

Mr Adriaan Basson could I say respectfully to you Sir, why are you interfering in the issues of the African National Congress. Read more...

30 comments 1454 views
Submitted by
ohomen171
If someone does your wrong..don't...

A person dear in my life was badly treated by an employer some years ago. She got a call yesterday from a lawyer asking questions about this unfair lady. She answered truthfully and honestly. Read more...

12 comments 2765 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.