[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Benjamin Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Fri Apr 27 04:24:45 UTC 2007

 I am not a religious person but yet I find
> it utterly useless to denounce Religion in any way as
> then I feel that I am stomping on the beliefs of
> millions of people.

It may or may not be useless to denounce religion in public,
among religious people...

But on this list, denouncing religion is just boring, because
nearly all of us have long ago understood that the superstitious
and irrational beliefs of religious traditions have no place
in a transhumanist world view.

At the same time, I find it
> useless to ignore Religion as I believe that any
> movement(such as Transhumanism) that will result in
> change (such as the Singularity) will have to deal
> with such minds.

That is true, and we also have to deal with sex, drug
addiction, video games, sadomasochism, and all sorts
of other social and psychological phenomena.

But that doesn't mean we
need to focus our discussion on all these various
social and psychological phenomena.

This list is supposed to be about prolonging life, the
> use of technology, transhumanism etc.  If you believe
> God doesn't exist and have the right to say it then I
> would assume that a religious person may have those
> same rights and discuss the existence of God.

You have the right to say that 2+2=5 also, but if you
keep repeating it to me I will start deleting all your
emails without reading them ;-)

If the list
> does not wish to dwell on Religion then any and all
> comments that are in regard to God or Religion should
> not be made. If I have misunderstood and all
> Extropians are Atheists, then I think that should be
> made clear and concrete.

Well, speaking for myself, I really do not wish to discuss religion;
and, I also don't care to discuss any philosophical issues with
any person who is not either atheist or agnostic (and even
"agnostic" is iffy ... but this word encompasses a lot of
different attitudes).

What I find scary is that so many folks in the modern world
still actually believe in some kind of "god" up there in heaven
deciding things about the world.  Egads!!  If people believe
absurd things like that, how the heck can we expect them to think
rationally about the Singularity???  ;-p

I do think there is value in various spiritual experiences and
altered states of consciousness.  But connecting these experiences
with ideas about "god", gods, demons and the like is really about
as silly as believing the Tooth Fairy takes your tooth from under
your pillow and replaces it with a dollar in the middle of the night...

Next will we have a long thread about the reality of Santa Claus???

You do after all have the right to believe in Santa, and even
to discuss your belief ... but the topic will start to bore a lot of us
on this list pretty quickly...

-- Ben G
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