[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 24 11:29:54 UTC 2007

This thread has caused me to ponder the philosophical
question of whether there is any practical difference
between deism and atheism. After all if one belives
that God created life and then went on to other
projects, thus abandoning us, then deism is a
philosophy "without God" not all too different than
the belief that God was never there in the first
place. (And in God's defense, what artist wants to
fuss with a single painting for all of eternity? At
some point a painting, story, or whatever must be
judged to be finished.)

This is an especially interesting notion since as
Stathis pointed out in a different thread, sooner or
later science will probably manage to create living
cells de novo based on some novel chemistry. Oddly
enough, this will be a dilemma for many Bayesians
looking at the posterior probability of "intelligent
design" regarding the original progenote.

After all, experiments conducted since the time of
Louis Pasteur seem to indicate that the spontaneous
generation of life does not happen. Such negative
evidence for the "accidental" origin of life combined
with the potential positive evidence of our own
"intelligent design" of life may cause some Bayesians
to draw conclusions they may not like.

Either way, belief in God will probably not be very
useful with regard to the future survival of humanity,
but the questions raised do have some academic merit.

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"In Emptiness exists Good but no Evil.
Wisdom is Existence.
Principle is Existence.
The Way is Existence.
The Mind is Emptiness."

- Miyamoto Musashi, Kyoto period Samurai.

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