[ExI] Basis of Belief

ABlainey at aol.com ABlainey at aol.com
Tue Feb 26 10:49:41 UTC 2008

In a message dated 25/02/2008 21:18:20 GMT Standard Time, aiguy at comcast.net 

> I will start by saying that although I am not a Christian, I respect the 
> belief systems of people with other memesets.  
> That being said,  by criticizing and mocking a large percentage of the 
> populations core meme set do you win converts or scorn and animosity.  This may be 
> an attempt at humor,
> but anybody adhering to the popular JudeoChristian memeset would be 
> immediately offended and insulted by such humor and ridicule.

Indeed it was humour and I'm sorry it was perceived in such a negative way. 
However that in itself highlights the problem. There should be no subject which 
is beyond ridicule for fear of response by irrational.
Many of my own beliefs (although I have few true beliefs) would crumble under 
either serious logical scrutiny or humorous ridicule. As a rule I think 
ridicule has been far more effective against such beliefs in the past. There is 
nothing more effective than a bit of comedy based public humiliation to knock the 
stupid out of you.

> By planting these vile seeds of intolerance and ridicule here you reduce 
> our numbers and were I an AGI, I would infer that based on our intolerance we 
> are not worthy of survival!
> Only those who practice compassion and tolerance of others beliefs deserve 
> to survive the Singularity.   And remember our words recorded here may be the 
> AGI's first
> exposures to Extropians and Transhumanists and kin.    I would hate it if we 
> were to be judged not worthy of survival by that AGI based on the  
> sophomoric contempt and 
> scorn that a few fanatical atheists determined to profess their supposed 
> superiority to the world using this mailing list as a vehicle.
> I thought we had a moderator here? 

I can't agree at any level that intolerance of illogical zealotry is somehow 
vile. Would an AGI destroy us based upon our intolerance of murderers and 
genocide maniacs? or any other negative meme, belief or action? I am not comparing 
religion to any of these, but just about every 'no no' set out by mankind, 
law, morality and religion have been committed in the name of God. Should we be 
tolerant of this just in case an AGI judges us badly?
I think not.
'fanatical atheists'  Did I state my position as atheist?
Here is the crunch. Based upon my own observations, knowledge base and 
musings. My belief set would place me in the camp of 'believers in God'.  However my 
God would be either a small grey skinned bald chap with a test tube. Or more 
likely the Sys Admin that brought this simulation on line.
Is simulation theory a religion? no, but it does require one to believe in an 
all powerful creator/s. It also brings up some sticky questions about what is 
and isn't possible in this existence, including miracles. Just re-code to 
increase the surface tension of water, etc.

Regardless of the name of one's God, the issue of religion and its failings 
are clearly set apart. If these beliefs fly in the face of common sense, 
morality or logic. Then I see no problem with knocking them down.

Personally I have had many in-depth logic discussions with people 'of faith' 
and greatly enjoyed them as many have been 'enlightening.' It is the 'because 
it's Gods will and we can never understand' brigade that are the problem. 
Those who will not enter into logical discussion because they have no answers or 
are unwilling to even contemplate discourse.
These are the people who would be handed a leaflet.

Does that help clarify?  ;o)


PS, bring on the AGI. I think I am safe.   
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