INTEGRATIONALISM

"all things in existence are physiologically connected"

Archive for post-human

Brief Critique: The New God Argument

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.

Transhumanism & Spirituality 2010: Disincentives for Humanity

Transhumanism & Spirituality Conf 2010

What a good time in Salt Lake City. When I told people that I was there for a conference on technology and spirituality, they would all (every last one of them) pause and ask “technology and spirituality?”…as if the two will never have to collide and either, merge well, or battle for dominance in the ages to come. All I see are battles…..lol….. as technological progression and incentives to be rational modify societies naive inability to question well. The kinds of polar opposites that technology and spirituality create are what excite and scare simultaneously; at some point the rift between the two will come to a head….I’d like to prevent people on both sides from losing theirs (heads that is).

This pic is a snap shot of my presentation at the University of Utah on the phenomenological impossibility for spiritual understanding to create pervasive harmonies within the cognitively elite species (modern and post human species). Without wasting space writing about why and how I think that this argument is important (hopefully its obvious) I’ll just dig into the diagram titled incentive model.

The ‘S’ represents a spirit (or Souls) and the ‘P’ represents a physical being (or People). The red diamond represents resources of sorts. The top is a representation of scarce resources and the bottom is a representation of relatively abundant resources. this rationale will be elaborated on much more in my book scheduled for 2011…but can be understood in the Dubai vs Duba scenario of the book that I released this past July 2010.

During my talk in Utah I stated that the value proposition of spirituality was plainly, to “connect people”. I saw that the Mormon, Christian, and Other attendance agreed through a series of tweets on the topic at #ts2010. Regarding Integrationalism and how it relates to Transhumanism, I am chiefly concerned with how we pursue connecting people in the future. So we all have the same mission, but I’m not optimistic about the potential of the current spiritual strategies that we are employing to achieve the value proposition.

In my previous book I elaborate on how spirituality is a direct spawn of individualism; and further, how it is a parent of unavoidable ideas such as elitism, entitlements, and protectionism…of course there are more, but these are chiefly important when considering how or if human kind will interact well; and further, connect.

Referencing the upper portion of the pic above, we currently interact in an economic reality of scarce resources of sorts…hence the need for markets and market segmentation and the whole array of socio-cultural benefits and ailments that accompany market labels. In a scarce economic state the ‘P’ compete directly to procure to scarce resources. We’ve been interacting in this fashion since the beginning of our existence, well before our Homo sapiens sapiens state. In this type of economic reality ‘P’ don’t actually have the incentive to connect, and ‘S’ don’t actually have the incentive to connect our well being. ‘S’, per it’s wide spread definition and scholarly elaboration in countless texts, are specific to ‘P’ and exist to interact with ‘P’ either alone or on behalf of some high powered supreme spirit. Either way, a spiritual ‘P’ understands itself as being directly connected to its ‘S’, and the partnership empowers both to protect their own existence above competitors. This makes for violent outcomes. We’re all familiar with war, right?……LOL…

Regarding abundance and the lower portion of the pic above, spirituality also has significant impact on the sociological understanding of individuals relative to their surrounding society. Under all spiritual beliefs the individual has the potential to become favored, favoured, blessed, enlightened, etc…the jargon depends on the spiritual system and cultural adoption…but the understanding is pervasive: All ‘P’ with ‘S’ counterparts have the potential to become -special- to sum it up in one word. I deal that is, special, provides some (or much, in a technologically miniscule setting) potential for a disproportionate allocation of resources to the anointed ‘P’. Hence, ‘P’ interacts indirectly with its competitor in the diagram to procure….more.

‘S’, incentivizes the individual’s ability to become omni-selfish at some point depending on intellectual ability, socio-cultural status, and/or economic reality. Technology’s ability to help us quantify, interpret, and distribute resources of sorts will be crucial in human kind’s pursuit of an actual civil society. Peace, is not a phenomenon that human kind will achieve without its technological-extensions as I’ve called them in the past. Perhaps the evolution that will proceed a physical metamorphosis of human kind will be an ideological metamorphosis, from that of divided survivalists to an understandingly connected group of highly rational beings; pursuing protection of like life-forces as the supreme priority.

“Were all virgins to the joys of Loving without fear” – Janelle Monae.

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