Fri 8 May, 2009
A memetic hazard is a memetic construct or complex that can cause personal, familial, or societal harm through its propagation.
Memetic Rationality is a memetically hazardous construct which can act as an adjunct complex to other memetic complexes and constructs, reinforcing their action and preventing questioning of their structures.
Memetic Rationality is related to the False Standard of Proof complex in that it is a dysfunction of thought processes related to truth-determination.
An individual exhibiting memetic rationality will display certain symptoms which may be difficult to discern from non-memetic rationality.
First, a memetically rational host may have a belief that all situations, things, or behaviors have a rational explanation. They will act with hostility towards any suggestion that a particular anecdote, behavior, situation et al. may not have an empirical, rational explanation. Common flags for this particular symptom include insistence that “love is a chemical phenomenon”, going to extreme lengths to disprove the existence of supernatural phenomenae, and an obsession with finding explanations deemed ‘natural’ or ‘rational’ rather than allowing the possibility of a lack of explanation.
Second, a memetically rational host will insist that they are fully rational and will deny the possibility that they may be holding any irrational beliefs. The host will display perfect certainty in their rationality.
Third, a memetically rational host will display compulsive behavior towards “correcting” the beliefs of others that they deem to be irrational.
Memetically rational hosts may have, at some point in the past, been hosts for other memetic complexes (e.g. religious beliefs such as faith healing, alternative medicine beliefs such as homeopathy); memetic rationality would thus potentially fill the same purpose for the host–that of blocking fear response to unknown situations or concepts, of providing a steady influence for personality basis, or of other similar purposes.
Memetically rational hosts may discount any emotional responses to situations as being entirely irrational, and may thus be perceived as ‘lacking empathy’ by other persons.
A memetically rational host confronted with a diagnosis of memetic rationality for their behavior will likely exhibit fear responses such as vehement denial and anger; they will, as part of their symptoms, rationalize their responses as being entirely reasonable (e.g. because questioning their thought processes is offensive).
While it may appear harmless, Memetic Rationality is somewhat memetically hazardous in that the host’s relationship to other persons may cause stresses to both the host and to others around the host. Additionally, if the host holds other memetic constructs (which is likely, given that it is next to impossible for the human thought processes not to be compromised in that manner) the construct will act to resist any attempts to excise or otherwise modify these other constructs.
Much like the diagnosis and excision procedure for False Standard of Proof, the procedure for the excision of Memetic Rationality involves fully determining the individual’s thought process. In this case, dissociating the thought process from the fear responses is indicated; if the host can be successfully convinced that his reactions are memetic in nature, then the host may be amenable to assistance.
While this memetic construct is somewhat hazardous, the hazard can be mitigated if the host is made aware of the memetic nature of his particular thought processes. As such, excision of this construct may not be entirely necessary.