[extropy-chat] OFFLIST: Putting God to Rest

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Mon Apr 23 17:03:50 UTC 2007

> I apologize Robert, I have read a few opinions on God and Religion on this
> list in the last year and a half and thought it would be a good time to
> bring up my complete and utter boiled up frustration before the list decides
> to put it to rest.

Anna, please take my comments with a grain of salt.  I would be one of the
first people to argue that we do not know the causal factor(s) if any which
may have produced the "big bang".  I am also one of the few people on the
list who has a serious understanding of whether or not reality as we
perceive it is a simulation (having run the numbers and thought about it a
good deal).

I consider "actions" by an unknown causal factor to be very valid way to
look at either our perceived universe and/or our perception of its
potentially artificial state.

However, I draw the line at "making stuff up".  Since much of Christianity
is based on "miracles" which either did not occur or can easily be explained
using nanotechnology I view it the entire basis for Catholic and Protestant
religions as problematic.  This is why, I, like John, in my teenage years
looked at the Western religious paradigms and said "this is bullshit".  We,
and many others on the list, want hard cold evidence for the things we
believe in.

When such evidence is lacking or inherently cannot be produced [1] we tend
to frown upon it.

This is inherently the difference between evidence based beliefs and faith
based beliefs.
A "wise" person clearly lays out the boundaries where the evidence is not,
and perhaps may not ever, be available.  If one chooses to define
spirituality or "magic" as being beyond that boundary so be it.  However
when presenting it to others one must recognize that one is presenting
"facts not in evidence" and that "followers" are acting on faith in ones
An "unwise" person simply chooses to accept whatever they are fed as
"reality" because for thousands of years others less able to separate fact
from fiction have accepted it as well.

As a side note, I consider myself to be a spiritual person, and I hope (to
the core of my soul) that we can pull ourselves out of the deck that
evolution has handed to us and transform it into something more productive
going forward.  On my good days I am optimistic.  On my bad days, well those
are my bad days.


1. Give me a break.  Just because "virgin birth" is uncommon among mammals
is not a hard and fast rule that it cannot occur.  A reptile in a London Zoo
underwent "virgin birth" in the last year.  And outlining the various ways
nanotechnology can be used to turn water into wine or that human bodies can
be resurrected, well they are too many to count on one, maybe two hands.
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