A friend of mine recently pointed me to an outstanding blog, The Meming of Life. There the author describes issues that come up with raising a freethinking child. He also manage to use each enjoyable anecdote as an illustration of some interesting point, whether it be about the accusation of relativism to understanding when it might be acceptable to take things on authority.
Old news: A memetic view of blasphemy
At any rate, reading the The Meming of Life reminded me of some of the conversations we've had with our daughter, in particular I recalled a discussion I had with her about blasphemy when she was five years old. I had never really thought much about blasphemy before that conversation. That isn't exactly true. I had thought about blasphemy. It is the perfect example of a meme which exists to defend the meme complex it is part of. I am not a great fan of memetics, although I am a great fan of Richard Dawkins. But in this case a memetic point of view appears to be exactly the way to look a blasphemy. It's been described before, far better than I could do it, so I won't repeat that aspect of it.I would like to invite comments with links to such memetic analyses. (See how lazy I am?)
A child's view of blasphemyHere is a slightly modified version of an email message I sent to a friend in May 2004.
So is God a crybaby? Does He really get upset when people say bad things about Him? Is this really the concept of blasphemy among believers? Why does God care about blasphemy? Why are half of the Ten Commandments about how God and religion should be treated?
I don't mean those as rhetorical questions. I would like to hear opinion on these.