Memetic Viruses

If an answer is blatantly wrong, or even dissatisfyingly semi-correct… it’s not so bad.

But if an answer is satisfyingly incorrect, it’s the worst kind. This kind of answer subverts your own search by supplying a superficially satisfying response.

Satisfyingly wrong answers are memetic viruses.

These are what I’ve alluded to before using the candy versus candy-factory analogy. For want of a small piece of candy, an entire candy factory could be lost!

If someone asks why people suffer, and the answer is that it’s because they’re being tested by some divine power, a scientist is entirely justified in calling that a bullshit kind of response.

We should pity the child who accepts that answer and walks away.

Isn’t it far better to turn the question around and ask the child “Why do YOU think people suffer?” and then try and offer counter examples, when possible, to the child’s own answers?

At best, satisfyingly wrong answers are palliative in nature, not curative. At worst, they cause their recipient a great deal of needless suffering.

Genuine spirituality can only be born from a truly scientific temperament, regardless of whether you’re a professional scientist.


It is the unwavering belief, even faith, in causality, and only in causality, that makes us seek out reasons for feeling how we feel…

…or desiring what we desire …

… without settling for superficially correct but ultimately wrong answers — false promises of actually undeliverable goods.

You will encounter many charlatans on your journey to the truth. These are people who have been infected with the memetic virus of satisfyingly wrong answers.

They seek to infect you too. They will promise you little treats laced with the virus. These will look tempting, but they’ll lead you astray from your real destination. Don’t be tempted by their false promises.

By remaining true to yourself and knowing what you really want, you can ask them the difficult questions and resume your journey as soon as you convince yourself that they don’t have the right answer.

If a person tells you that you’re special because you’re devout, because you make sacrifices, because you’re kind to others at the cost of being unkind to yourself, because you pray daily, because you offer your food to a god before you eat it yourself, because you thank god to please him and not yourself, because you go to church regularly, because you tithe, or because you just so happened to know someone, who knows someone who’s supposed to be special, because of a genetic accident, because of whatever, then that person is just being disingenuous, deluded at best, and doing you a grave disservice, perhaps unknowingly.

Run for your life from such people. Literally. You already have everything you need to feel special. You don’t need him or her to tell you that, or give you that. You don’t need me. You only need your own self. And an honest desire to find the truth. Trust in Science. Have the scientific temperament. But don’t stop there. Go beyond.


Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated &’s story.