Archive for God
After posting a few weeks back on a Richard Dawkins article specific to Jesus and Atheism, I was responded by Lincoln Cannon a post called the New God Argument. I first heard this argument at the University of Utah from Lincoln while visiting the area for a conference.
Its logically sound, when the faith position is adopted. The argument is a derivative or rather an advancement on Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument and further Robin Hanson’s Great Filter argument, as the links above will tell anyone in much more detail. I’ve even sited Bostom’s 2003 paper in my own defense after being wrongfully labeled as an atheist. Its one thing to state that there
is no God (atheism) or that we cant know if there is a God (agnosticism), and quite another to state that we could create or evolve into one or a vast many.
I think that Lincoln’s argument progressive and may provide the next wave of theology arguments in their defense this century. It’s fascinating to see how far the modern human mind can go in its extrapolation of our exiting technological potential. As Lincoln puts it, the logical truth that post-humans have a probability of………..
[from Lincoln’s – angel argument, benevolence argument, and creation argument]
posthumans probably already exist
AND posthumans probably are more benevolent than us
AND posthumans probably created our world
After reading the argument I’m compelled to revisit my previous writings on spirituality. When I wrote that I was NOT and atheist I was leaving open the possibility (because of the probability) that we, as the new God argument reads, wont become extinct before becoming post-human. I was also relying on the probability that we could potentially create civilizations, worlds, galaxies, universes, multiverses, with humanoid or homo sapien like individuals. Having stated that I think that Lincoln and my definition of the God figure are much different.
When I reference the term God I’m only meaning to represent a creator figure; I am however, excluding the potential for this figure to intervene in those created lives/world/simulation. I cant find rationale that suggests the creator figure would have any incentive to intervene to interact as benevolent or otherwise.
Physics dis-Incentives: I think that there would first exist some very rigid code (computer language) that manifests in what we understand as our physical laws. Plenty of traditional atheists have identified the inconsistencies in physics as a cornerstone in their rebuttal to the spiritual realm. Their point being, physics is the great divide between what we are/can-be and what we cannot.
Management dis-Incentives: I don’t think that the creator figure would have the incentive to modify imperfections that it sees in its creation, because of the potential to recreate duplicates to modify with a searchable history for analysis are so attractive. We see these types of practices happening currently in the Information Technology (IT) industry becoming more common as computing power/speed/space become greater/faster/more abundant respectively. While There is the potential for the multiple creators in different places and times during a continuous evolution of (what some would call) our current transhuman being, to create existences like our own, they would all be quite different depending on the technology available, and unlikely curated to take advantage of the latest technologies available because of the obsolescence that exponential technological growth provides.
Economics dis-Incentives: Similar to the argument that I made in 2010 at Transhumanism & Spirituality the context in which individuals identify with “their own” spirits and a “supreme” spirit are inconsistent with the spirit having any potential actually interact on the individual’s behalf, in where, it connects the individual with physical being. The arbitrage or competition phenomenon in a competitive situation would create definite dis-incentives for benevolence.
To go a bit further, I would like to take a tangent from Lincoln’s progressive Mormon Transhumanist philosophy and bring into consideration the ideal that some Christian’s subscribe to regarding the tangible or physical creations by spiritual beings or God (see page 3); and further, spirituality being a tangible phenomenon.
Simply, there would be physical traces of spiritual activity if at any point there were any other-than-physical interactions in our physical realm. Prayers and miracles for instance would have physical manifestations. One of my favorites is walking on water or even flying. I’m reminded of the elementary science projects where student turn solids into liquids and finally into gasses. In order for either of the aforementioned miracles to happen the physical properties of air or water would have to change from less dense to more dense, in an almost instantaneous fashion….but there are simply no traces of that type of activity. The ideal that non-physical beings are more relevant to our physical realm is (in my opinion) invalid, and in fact provides a brand of ego-centric hope that ails human kind’s potential for real harmonious interaction.
The faith assumption is the cornerstone of The New God Argument, not the probability logic behind the benevolence argument. This should be conversely true considering the “value proposition” of spirituality: connectivity (or human connections).
It could be argued that I am faithful in human-kind’s ability to generate a desirable future and create linkages between persons without any need for a creator figure to intervene, generating an organic omnipresent benevolence. And even as I have coined myself as someone with no beliefs at all, I would keep that all we have is our opportunity to live and create connections…and dream of benevolence by using our technologies to create situations where resources of sorts are NOT scarce, and creating environments where we have incentives to connect. Faith is no substitute for rationale and action.
Richard Dawkins: ‘Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist’ – video interview | Science | guardian.co.uk
Dawkins said: “you and I are too intelligent to believe in religion, but common people need it…you don’t need religion to be moral”
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claims that given today’s knowledge of science, even Jesus would have questioned the existence of God if he were living today.
Lately, in talks I’ve been asked if I was…or called an…Atheist. I am not. I do however, empathize with some of their causes… like ridding society of the ambiguities of spirituality’s spawns. So what does this mean? You either are or your aren’t. You are with us or them….right???
Integrationalism is not about atheism or spirituality specifically, although this new book elaborates heavily on the ethical dangers that the economics (decision making) of spirituality ultimately provides. This is not a classical argument, it is specific to the lack of incentives that spirituality provides for human-kind to “come together” or to “connect”, as the spiritual subscribers overwhelmingly told me was its objective.
One could be compelled to ask: “Which religion do you subscribe to” or “Do you believe in God” or “If you aren’t an atheist, what do you believe in?”. These are a few that I’ve heard, and I think the last question is the most relevant, so I’ll answer it. I don’t believe in anything. Similarly to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, I recognize (has nothing to do with beliefs) that we live in a realm (world, universe, multiverse, call it what you want) of physical laws that are unbreakable. When apply that to the concept of a non-physical present or Spirit or God, one could easily question what the relevance of those would be. The answer is, nil.
This alone would leave me in the Atheist category. But wait there more…Understanding the full potential of human-kind’s ability to create technological extensions (as I like to say) of themselves brings a new potential for the God or Spirit concept into account. Nick Bostrom‘s Simulation Argument and the broader Simulation Hypothesis identify human-kind’s ability to create simulations as also having the potential to become as robust and what we recognize as being reality. We’ve potentially seen these early simulations in SecondLife and even the Sims, There are many thinkers (I recently heard Lincoln Cannon of the Mormon Church) making this argument.
Considering the aforementioned, I do not think (far different from beliefs) that the spiritual constraints that once applied to a more primitive understanding of human-kind’s interaction with one-another apply at all. If something yields a nil value, what is the advantage of exploring it? Atheists are formally considered to think that there is no God figure. Agnostics are formally considered to think that we cannot know of a God figure. In this short essay I’ve mentioned the term Human-Kind several times. I’d consider myself one of those. A kind-of-human, acknowledging that I (we) do existing in time & space, purely looking to implement
What is so natural for humans: Technologies that advance our being.
The Higgs Boson particle’s (regularly called the God particle) ability to mend the “inconsistencies” of particle physics was identified as a theory to remedy the flaws in our Individualistic and Spiritually Conservative understanding of our actual “being”. From a mathematical standpoint, String Theory remedies this by offering a non-particle solution to our physical makeup. If anyone wants to have this conversation, I’m willing to make time to do so. I’ve consistently stated that the God ideal is spawn of our historic Individualistic understanding of our celestial and terrestrial existence. As we will continue to learn through identification of our physical connections.
In my next book Essays exploiting spiritual disincentives for humanity, there is an essay titled Individuality and Individualism that established the differences between the ideal that we are rigid individuals in need of some governance, and the constant pursuit of individual development that it necessary for us to add value to the rational group interest.
This is ridiculous. If a God is not of physical bounds or construction, it cannot have a particle. Lets be responsible people and own up to our real physical potential, because we live in a physical uni(multi)verse.
Dorothy Deasy asks the question if an electronically or pharmacologically induced sense of euphoria the same as spirituality? …And proceeds to define spirituality as:
Spirituality is “incorporating insight from peak experiences into our everyday lives”
“On-going, allowing access to that part of us that ismore fundamental than the I”
“That which creates the We”
“It is a call to action and interaction”
“Is the growing realization that we are connected to all of humanity, and that to do harm to others is to do harm to ourselves”
She said that we are “softwired” to want to belong and become social beings.
The greatest spiritual problem that I’ve noticed logically and phenomenological is that there is no definition. I’ve written about this extensively, and plan to make stronger ties in my next publication. While spirituality is acknowledged as non-physical entities interacting in our physical world/lives, when synthesizing its manifestations we often make illogical linkages like that of connectivity and empathy and even physical transactions.
Spirituality is not synonymous with empathy and cannot be “born-out by science” It’s lack of definition is it’s greatest strength as well as what cripples it as rational thought transforms a growingly secular society. The philosophies mentioned in the video/article by Dorothy are those of humanist egalitarianism, and although the ring wholesome and are desirable to those of use looking for connections of sorts (with humans and other physical beings, with and without sentience), they are far from achievable without a transhuman (or technological) solution to liberate human-kind from its cognitively astute, yet unavoidable, animal-istic reaction to scarcities of sorts. In my last book I write about this inability to achieve harmonies in an essay titled “competition is primitive”.
I’m of the group that thinks it clear that ancient theologies and ideologies won’t suffice in the existing world of realized exponential growth —> I don’t think it possible to use a humanistic ethic to critique transhuman (or human-plus) self-actualizations. Having stated that, this is not an effort to suppress the exploration of spirituality in it’s entirety, as it would be dangerous to suppress any engagement; further, spirituality needs to be defined by its users and “scientists” before philosophical exploration in order to provide a rather scientific methodology of tracking and creating information technologies (bodies of knowledge) from the on-going explorations. Considering the Physics here: If we’d like to use spirituality as our core rhetoric of human connection, then it cannot also be a representative of some non-physical manifestation—>visa versa.