At 10:26 AM 2/24/99 -0500, Adrian Spidle wrote:
>In a message dated 99-02-24 08:32:30 EST, you write:
><< Adrian & Anders,
> As someone with an interest in both >H and Theology, I couldn't resist
> joining in on this discussion. I think one of the first things I would ask
> you is what you are using as initial parameters. Theology, if I remember
> correctly, means "The study of God (or gods)." This implies that you are
> predicting the existence and or emergence of a God or gods. So my first
> question is what criteria would a being have to meet to be classified as a
> god? There have been several such standards suggested. Two that seem to be
> fairly constant is Power and Worship. A god is thus defined as in some way
> being incredibly (transcendantly?) capable, and/or being worshipped. Given
> the strong libertarian and humanist background of Extropianism, worship
> be something that Extropians might find unappealing (for to worship
> level of submission, and to be worshipped implies having others dependent
> you). However, there is another way to look at the worship issue. If you
> think first what qualities are worthy of worship, by which I mean what
> principles (memes?) are you willing to give you life to and for (for some
> people, the answer would be none), now posit the possibility of a being or
> beings capable of exemplifying those principles perfectly, as well as having
> the power to back up those principles, then you might just have found that
> there is a God(s) to you.
> Adrian, I believe you said you were interested in developing an
> Theology. This I imagine would have two main qualities, one would be a God
> gods whom uphold Extropian values, and a Cosmology based on an Extropian
> worldview. In such a theology, I imagine a deity would begin in some
> substrate and develop through an evolutionary process. In fact, intelligent
> life in this Universe might be considered the raw materials from which gods
> will develop somewhere on the other side of the Singularity. I agree with
> that such a deity would likely not be very interested in worship. You may
> have some different starting points for the concept of a god, if so I would
> very interested in discussing them. I also have some other ideas to discuss
> as per the Monotheism vs Pantheism debate, but it will have to wait for
> another post.
> Glen Finney >>
>Great thinking, Glen! How about "all powerful, all knowing and Good" as a
>definition of God. I am certain God doesn't need worship in the traditional
>sense. However, I consider the study of science to be the study of the mind
>of God, and that this study is worship.
>I include theology, ethics, morality, education, business, political science
>and social science as sciences as long as they are done scientifically.
>Monotheism, Pantheism is moot. God is both. God is made up of distinct
>individuals (us or our successors) and an emergent corporate entity.
>I have already developed my theology and am testing it in the Extropian group
>since I have always been a Libertarian and find that I definitely believe in
>the Extropian principles.
Perhaps you could tell us about your theology. That way, we could see where you're coming from. Personally, I don't believe in a single God, and I don't see how 'God' could be both monotheistic and pantheistic. But if you explained how you arrived at that conclusion, perhaps we'll all understand better.
>My cosmology is simply whatever is the standard model of the scientific
>community and will change as that model changes.
>Glen, thank you for your terrific contribution. I am thrilled that Anders is
>interested (I consider him one of the most innovative thinkers and educators
>of our time) and you are certainly a worthy adition.