[ExI] Atheism again

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 05:44:40 UTC 2020

On Monday, April 20, 2020, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Thank you, bill w, for putting much more clearly and concisely than I've
> been able to do, why religion and transhumanism are not compatible.

I'm curious what you make of the Mormon Transhumanist Association:

Are they not religious or not Transhumanist?

Why couldn't one have, for example, the religious belief that one day we
will create or become God?  For example:

Ray Kurzweil says, “Evolution moves toward greater complexity, greater
elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater
creativity, greater love. And God has been called all these things, only
without any limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite
beauty, infinite creativity, and infinite love. Evolution does not achieve
an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially, it certainly moves in
that direction. So evolution moves inexorably toward our conception of God,
albeit never reaching this ideal."

Frank Tipler, in his book The Physics of Immortality writes, "Any cosmology
with progress to infinity will necessarily end in God."

David Deutsch writes, "In the final anthropic principle or if anything like
an infinite amount of computation taking place is going to be true, which I
think is highly plausible one way or another, then the universe is heading
towards something that might be called omniscience."

These transhumanist ideas have a conception that we are evolving towards
God. And that one day we may be "Gods" from the perspective of
life/universe/simulations we create. For example, we might have the power
to create a black hole computer
<https://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Black_Hole_Computers.pdf> (which in a
sense is a pocket universe cut off from our own), in creating the blackhole
we control the inputs and the computation it performs. Would that make the
beings who designed and created such a universe a God from the perspective
of those beings who might arise within it? Are we gods to the Game of Life
gliders that wiggle across our screens, or the worm brains that we've
uploaded into the Worm Matrix <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY2-0-QsuTE>?


> And thank you, Ben.  Thanks are extremely rare in the group (???).
> I think you cannot get more basic than epistemology.  "Hyou know?" is the
> most basic question.  I wish school children were taught the ways to answer
> this.
> bill w
> On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 10:40 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On 19/04/2020 19:46, billw wrote:
>> Empiricism is science and its methods and belief has no place in it.  We
>> don't believe in Darwin's ideas:  we follow them because they are the best
>> at predicting and explaining phenomena we study.  Empirical facts like the
>> finches.
>> There is no way a person who is basically an empiricist and another who
>> uses authoritarianism and intuition, to have a debate.  They are accepting
>> things based on entirely different criteria and so are talking at cross
>> purposes.
>> Thank you, bill w, for putting much more clearly and concisely than I've
>> been able to do, why religion and transhumanism are not compatible.
>> This doesn't mean that a religious person can't also be a transhumanist,
>> or vice-versa, but just as with the civil engineer that Spike was talking
>> about, they are going to have two incompatible world-views going on
>> (assuming that 'religious' and 'transhumanist' keep their normal meanings,
>> as I've discussed before), and just like Spike, I can't really imagine what
>> kind of mental gymnastics you'd have to go through to sustain that and not
>> go crazy. In fact, I suspect that 'crazy' is really the only sensible way
>> to describe such a person.
>> --
>> Ben Zaiboc
>> _______________________________________________
>> extropy-chat mailing list
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
>> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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