Re: Reliberion (was Re: How To Live In A Simulation)

Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 23:48:58 MST

Samantha,, wrote, in relevant part:

>Also, I think we might be in a time-loop where this period is part of
>the becoming/being of God[s] which then transcend space-time and become
>part of our being becoming them, if you see what I mean. The awareness
>and very being is looped upon itself.

I initially approached the problem of justifying a reliberion in something
like that fashion, though I somewhat crudely posited that because godlike
beings could transcend barriers of time, one might currently exist in both
normal and godlike forms. You would under that theory have reason to pray to
(or curse) the god you will become. I say "crudely" because how gods
transcend time remains, to say the least, a bit unclear. Positing that by
definition a "god" has omnipotence seems a bit of a hack, and handwaving
about mysterious and as-of-yet undeveloped technologies hardly improves
matters. So I regard the VR-cum-incubator as a bit more plausible a theory,
though to say that it places fewer demands on credulity is not to say that it
rises to the level of believability.

>Actually, I think you have a sound beginning of something that is
>workable. Add to that an ethical side of choosing the type of
>super/trans/beings we which to become and releasing/transcending our
>current ideational/emotional/psychological bonds that hold us back and
>imprinting new patterns and I think you have most of what is needed.

Those seem like sensible goals writ large, but I am hard-pressed to imagine
any way to justify ethical precepts except by reference to what might
actually help one become a god. And given that both Nietzcheans and
Buddhists pursue an analogous sort of transcendence, it looks unlikely that
that a general theory will offer one single answer to the problem. But a
theology of simulation perhaps demands exactly that sort of diversity of
views, given that the simulation aims to generate new beings in an
evolutionary--and thus competitive--fashion. So I should think that a
reliberion of the sort of describe would operate functionally rather than
substantively, encouraging technologies that promote godhood in general and
the creation of simulated life in particular and celebrating competition
between various approaches to that end.

>I further think that such a religion might well safe us from a
>tremendous amount of pain, unrootedness and random, increasingly
>powerful collisions of differing goal/belief systems as we head toward
>Singularity. It might we form a core appealing to both spiritual and
>scientific aspects and people and a crucial point of unity.

Yes, that's sort of the idea I had in mind: plug the religion meme receptor
site with a theology that would not cause nearly so much harm, would not
prove inherently distasteful to self-respecting transhumanists, and that
might serve some important social coordination functions. I think myself
singularly (if you'll pardon the pun) unsuited to evangelizing, but I do
enjoy the rhetorical exercise.

T.0. Morrow

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