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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Mar 18 2001 - 02:16:17 MST wrote:
> 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.

Hmm. The existing "simultaneously" in normal and godlike form is an
interesting twist. I'll give some thought to any interesting seeming
implications later. A Power might be able to transcend time (depending
on how difficult it actually is) without being omnipotent exception in

> >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

Perhaps not a single answer but many science/progress oriented
neo-spiritual/ethical viewpoints would be quite useful in motivating and
inspiring many and in unifying some of the efforts. It is a thought.

> 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 think that is a bit more limited than what I have in mind. I believe
we need a set of ethical mores and some overarching visions now if we
are to transition from where we are to the Singulatiry and beyond it
with greater chance of surviving and thriving. I don't believe that
focusing on this being a VR or making a VR per se is that central to
that. It is one possible avenue to explore.

>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.

Yes. That is what I was thinking of. I also doubt I would make a good
evangelizer. Although I am tempted to try when the religious memes are
continuously bent against all progress. I personally do believe that
the species faces a great challenge that requires its growth along
ethical, psychological and sociological dimensions as well as along
technological ones. I believe that visions of that work and how to
bring it about are very much about real spirituality. But then I have
all my life been strongly influenced by both spiritual and scientific
memes. But I hardly think I am alone in that. The great dream of
Transcendence beats in the hearts of both.

- samantha

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