Christian Engström, Pirat

3 maj 2013

Kopimism and The God Delusion

Filed under: English,kopimism — Christian Engström @ 12:00

The God Delusion is a sharp and funny book, and an excellent starting point for thinking about religions

(This is a continuation of the Kopimist Creation Myth, which is also available in Swedish)

Kopimism is a new religion that was officially recognized as a church in Sweden in 2011. You can read the work in progress Kopimism Level 1: The Creation here.

Richard Dawkins is an evangelist for an atheist and scientifically based worldview, as opposed to religion. In his book The God Delusion, he totally trashes God, at least the Christian god that we are used to (and the related variants within Judaism and Islam). The God Delusion is a sharp and funny book, and an excellent starting point for thinking about religions.

We can look at how the Kopimist faith would stand up to the criticism that Dawkins levels against all religions (even though most of his examples are from Christianity).

To start with, Dawkins dislikes the idea of God as the creator of the universe. He doesn’t think it makes sense, and he’s right: it doesn’t. The creation myth in the Old Testament, which is shared by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, is severely illogical.

If God created the world, then he must have been even more complicated than the world he created, and must have existed before the creation. Where did he come from?

Instead of having to explain how the world came into being, we now have to explain how something even more complicated did. Thanks a lot, but that’s not much of a help. Here, Dawkins is absolutely right. This is the wrong direction.

But the Kopimist creation myth, how would it stand up to Dawkin’s criticism of the Old Testament?

The Kopimist creation myth begins:

In the beginning, the world was a stinking mess of ammonia, methane gas, and nasty toxic chemicals. The atmosphere was alight with flashes of pure energy. Something wanted to be born.

In ways and for reasons that remain to be explored, the ribosomes appeared, who could copy. This was the beginning of Life. We therefore see Copying as the first manifestation of the Divine Spirit.

What would Dawkins have to say about this?

Kopimism avoids the problem of having to explain where God came from, since he or she hasn’t entered the story yet. There is a manifestation of a Divine Spirit, so we suspect there may be a God lurking around somewhere, but since s/he hasn’t appeared yet, we don’t need to concern ourselves with where s/he came from, at leas not yet. So far, everything is okay according to strictly scientific atheist principles. God does not yet exist.

The only prerequisite is an Earth in primeval state, but it is assumed to have appeared in the customary way.

Here we have a well defined starting point that Kopimism and Science can agree on. This is not a demand that Dawkins explicitly makes, but I think it will please him anyway. The main theme of The God Delusion is how poorly (the Abrahamic) religions fit with science.

Kopimism does better. Before the story has even started, we have already found a connecting point that fits perfectly with both the proposed religion and with science.

The Kopimist creation myth in itself is perhaps not enough to make Kopimism qualify as a religion. A religion should have a little more than just a creation myth to offer. As mentioned, we haven’t actually seen any Kopimist God yet, and this is a demand that at least Dawkins makes.

But the creation myth at least provides a starting point for a religion that doesn’t immediately run into any of the inconsistencies that Dawkins point out in other religions.

This is a good starting point for Kopimism, I think Dawkins would agree.

We then add the four fundamental principles, the Four Kopimist K’s of Kreativity, Kopying, Kooperation, and Kwality. It is true that these additions constitute metaphysics rather than science (since there isn’t a lot of scientific data to back them up, at least not yet). But the addition is nevertheless done in the same way that new scientific theories are added to the body of existing science, by adding the hypotheses that these Four Fundamental Principles represent important aspects of the universe we live in.

There is no conflict between recognizing that science is valid and believing that Creativity, Copying, Cooperation, and Quality are forces that exist and drive evolution on. Kopimism suggests an addition to science, not a replacement for it.

I hope Richard Dawkins would find this to be and acceptable religion, even from his perspective.

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CC-BY-NC Christian Engström

9 kommentarer

  1. ”In the beginning, the world was a stinking mess of ammonia, methane gas, and nasty toxic chemicals. The atmosphere was alight with flashes of pure energy. Something wanted to be born.”
    Fits JUST as badly with science as any other religion’s creation myth… NOTHING in science supports the claim, and plenty of things point to it being wrong… You’re also in that sentence assuming a god claim because ”want” is an attribute of a mind, and something wanting to be created, is a want only something powerful enough to create itself can have, and that is a typical argument for that ”where did god come from” line, ”god created himself”.. So actually, you’re even further away from science, than most religious people… Id say only fundamentalists are worse than the joke that is kopimism… It also doesnt help PP as a party to be viewed as a religious party, because I hope you do realize that this, and your former article on the subject, are being spread around, as PP being a faith based party… Basicly you’re being made fun of as fundies and seriously, that’s really not going to help your case…

    Kommentar av EtherMan — 3 maj 2013 @ 13:43

  2. It’s hard to retire from the idea at the center of Dawkins’ book, which is that religion insofar that it posits tenets that you can’t attack is a bubble of accepted irrationality which is not a net positive for society.

    Now, the central ideas in Kopimism are that copying is essential, that everything builds on what came before it and that this is okay and not something dangerous to be legislated out of existence. I can agree with that while not being convinced that the way to advance the causes or spread of science and creativity is to call those opinions religion and not opinions.

    If the opinions are defensible in their own right, there’s no reason to shroud it in something strongly associated with mysticism, dogma and claims that can’t stand up on their own.

    (PS: I do hold those opinions to be defensible; unlike well-meaning outsiders, I voted for you four years ago.)

    Kommentar av Jesper — 3 maj 2013 @ 17:30

  3. Hi EtherMan… I’m well aware that religion can be used as an excuse to abuse as well as very many other things in this world… But.. Well. Frankly… The USA has both an international image and a self-image of being liberal where comes to religious freedoms. Sweden is quite extremely secular compared to most countries.

    I consider myself to be somewhat agnostic, but really.. There is something paramount in copying… from the literal translation of genes – to proteins – to Life. And furthermore up to social interaction and the coyping and remixing of behaviours and actions – inspiration which is the brain interacting with thought processes / sensory and/or emotional inputs copied from other living beings – our peers. The creative process itself is Totally Depending on copying and any monopoly on copying therefore puts economic restriction on that process.

    Without copying – no inspiration, no development and … no life.

    That is enough of arguments to claim that the process of copying should be regarded as Sacred in a religious sense or in the case that you are not religious – at least of Societal Importance in any society that cares about development of ideas and culture…

    Kommentar av Mr Irritatingly Obvious — 3 maj 2013 @ 18:42

  4. @Mr Irritatingly Obvious. USA as a society and in their laws, they are very secular and liberal in terms of religions… As people however, they are quite religious but those are two diffrent things… Looking at sweden instead, we have less religious people, but as a society, we’re actually less secular than the US. Remember that they have a church state seperation in their constitution, we have the opposite where we have a de facto state religion with a church controlled by the state and it’s impossible as a citizen to not fund this church… (exiting the church only avoids a small portion of the money you’re actually paying to the church…

    Also to make this clear, I have nothing against the copying part of kopimism, Im against using creationist style arguments and the usage of it as a religion… Noone actually believes the creation myth of kopimism just as noone actually believes the flying spaghetti monster exists… They’re both a JOKE in that aspect and should not be treated as if they were religions because the only things that leads to, is that kopimist pirates will be labled fundies, which in turn, just leads to people viewing them as on equal level with religious terrorists, which for non kompimist pirates, just leads to the same situation as with muslims today… Very few muslims are fundies or terrorists.. Id even say it’s unlikely they have any significantly more terrorists than christians do even… But still people are very skeptical towards muslims for this exact reason… The same thing will happen with kompimism and pirates where most non pirates, will be very skeptical towards pirates and believe we’re likely to be kopimist nutjobs, because let’s phase it, anyone that actually believes the tenants of kopimism, IS a nutter (as I explained in the previous post, just as much a nutter as for any other religion because it carries the exact same errors.. As it stands, kopimism falls under deism)… So not only does Engströms misconceptions about Dawkins and his religious preaching for kopimism hurt PP, it also hurts all pirates… And worst of all, he doesnt even have the gut to respond to the criticism regarding it (as in never answered ANY of the arguments in the previous blog entry about this subject)…

    Kommentar av EtherMan — 3 maj 2013 @ 20:44

  5. Reblogged this on Urbansundstrom’s Weblog.

    Kommentar av urbansundstrom — 4 maj 2013 @ 20:04

  6. Interesting that words are stuffed into Dawkins mouth. Why not just ask what he thinks? Or would that be a little too real for you?

    Kommentar av Turncoat — 5 maj 2013 @ 10:00

  7. He cant Turncoat, because that would completely destroy the entire foundation of his argument…

    Kommentar av EtherMan — 5 maj 2013 @ 12:32

  8. Just because a religion may be *acceptable* from a scientific point of view, doesn’t make it more appealing on a spiritual level. Indeed if anything, I would argue that the closer you get to integrating a religion with the scientific worldview, the less appealing it becomes, because each bit of science you integrate makes the religion less necessary. It becomes more and more obvious that the religion is simply the desire for some *intent* to be behind the world around us. And we all know that just because we want something, that doesn’t make it true. All the mysticism and rituals behind Christianity and other older religions keep this from being plain to the less skeptical – the more you dive into science, the more obvious the self-gratification in religion becomes.

    Kommentar av Emanuel Hoogeveen — 5 maj 2013 @ 16:06

  9. DAWKINS: My mind is not closed, as you have occasionally suggested, Francis. My mind is open to the most wonderful range of future possibilities, which I cannot even dream about, nor can you, nor can anybody else. What I am skeptical about is the idea that whatever wonderful revelation does come in the science of the future, it will turn out to be one of the particular historical religions that people happen to have dreamed up. When we started out and we were talking about the origins of the universe and the physical constants, I provided what I thought were cogent arguments against a supernatural intelligent designer. But it does seem to me to be a worthy idea. Refutable–but nevertheless grand and big enough to be worthy of respect. I don’t see the Olympian gods or Jesus coming down and dying on the Cross as worthy of that grandeur. They strike me as parochial. If there is a God, it’s going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.

    Kommentar av Rafael D. Graham — 6 maj 2013 @ 14:47

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