Re: The Extropian Religious War

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 02:02:29 MDT

From: "Adrian Tymes" <>
> * Among the options that have occurred to me to resolve this problem,
> the most appealing is to hasten the demise of these religions through
> making people no longer believe them, thus largely negating the
> religious powers' influence.

Hear! Hear!

That exactly expresses the sentiment intended by the term "debunk."
If we debunk religiosity, then this murderous poison and hocus-pocus can no
longer manipulate the general public.

Imagine a world where power mongers can no longer incite the public to war for
some religious meme.

Imagine no John Lennon, I wonder if you can. Of course you can't!

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

> ...which leads to the debate as to how to do such a thing. Personally,
> my own thought chain offers a different solution: hasten debunking via
> technology, both by exploring how exactly this happens (a good
> understanding of science can already offer much immunity from religious
> memes)

That's why I posted the info about
Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
Andrew Newberg, Eugene D'Aquili, and Vince Rause
Ballantine, New York, 2001. 234 pp. $24.95, C$37.95. ISBN: 0-345-44033-1.

> and by getting the relevant advanced technolgies into many
> peoples' hands (thus making it easier to obtain said good
> understanding, through frequent interaction with demonstrations of the
> principles - for instance, experiencing memories copied into one's
> brain by purely physical processes, which would not be possible if the
> "soul" which contained such was purely nonphysical). A person can be
> silenced by a number of means (bullet, court order, inflicted poverty,
> etc.); a widely spread meme is more difficult to displace (which works
> both for and against us).

I suspect one of the reasons policy makers don't ban AI research, and/or
projects which could lead to it (wouldn't that make Bill Joy joyous!), is that
they don't believe it's possible. Try to tell a Congress critter about the
evolutionary phase transition that human-competitive AI will usher in, and
they'll label you a wacko.

That may also explain why some corporations downplay use of the term
"artificial intelligence" -- they don't want to scare people or cause
controversy. So they refer to AI agents as "autonomous systems," or "evolvable
machines," etc.

I'd think it better to try to outlive religiosity instead of debunking it (Let
the religionists waste _their_ time with that crap), except that anti-cloning
laws prove that they won't let us do that. It's a war all right -- and we
didn't start it.

Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, CYC, and ELIZA

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

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