John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Fri, 15 Nov 1996 06:31:17 -0800 (PST)


I'm sorry that David Musick has apparently taken personal offense at my last
post, I was not trying to insult him, in fact, I believe David has
written some high quality, thought provoking posts lately, I even liked his
"God" post. I don't agree with it, but I thought it was good. Posts I agree
with completely are dull.

>It seems that John's dogmatism has interfered with his
>reading comprehension capibilities (Dogmatism will ruin your
>mind; Just Say No!). If my post is read again, it will be
>clear that I said nothing about any *omnipotent* or
> *omniscient* God.

It's true, you never used the words "omnipotent" or "omniscient" but I don't
think you needed to because you used another word "God" and even said it
might explain the ultimate fact of our existence. In modern times the dividing
line between a conscious being who is called God and a conscious being
who is not, is the concept of infinity. Yes, it's just a tradition, and
as you say all tradition should be questioned, but I have come to the
conclusion that this particular tradition is a good one if the word "God" is
to be meaningful. If you keep making God weaker and more vague then obviously
you would eventually reach a point where I would have to agree that God does
exist, but this doesn't seem to be a useful exercise to me.

When I tell people that I am an atheist I've had some respond contemptuously
and say "Oh, so you don't think anything is greater than yourself". Sort of
flattering really, what they're saying is that the only thing greater than me
is God. Bertrand Russell said something relevant to this "Many people are
willing to abandon the idea of God, but very few are willing to abandon the
word "God".

>When we are very advanced, it is likely that we will be able
>to create mini-universes (sometimes called "baby universes").

Yes, it's a possibility, but I see no reason why the beings in such a universe
would have to be our intellectual inferiors.

>Perhaps universes which exhibit life, intelligence and
>creativity will be especially useful to us, and we will
>seek to create living, intelligent universes, so that we can
>use their intelligence to help us solve problems, much like
>we use transistors in computer systems to help us solve
>problems now.

Another possibility, but it would be a very poor sort of god indeed if He
needed us to help him figure things out. Colleague would be a better word than

>The universes we create would probably develop through

But why would we use Darwin's style of Evolution with its horrible random
mutation and natural selection? Evolution by the inheritance of acquired
characteristics was long ago found not to occur in nature. It's too bad,
it would be a wonderful consolation to know that the muscular body you
worked so hard to develop, would make your children strong too. How splendid
it would be if your offspring were born knowing everything you struggled to
learn during your life. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way in our world,
Shakespeare's daughter had to start from square one and learn how to hold a
pen and make sense from squiggles written on paper, Einstein's son had to
reinvent the wheel and rediscover that 2 +2 = 4.

Besides being less cruel, Lamarck's type of evolution would be much faster
than Darwinian evolution, that's why social evolution is so much swifter than
biological evolution.

>John, I don't know if your athiestic dogmatism allows you to
>think clearly, but why do you insist that we will be the
>first ones to create universes?

We may not be the first, but until the evidence suggests otherwise it's wise
to assume the simplest theory as your working hypothesis.

>Just to make it clear (for the dogmatically intoxicated and
>mentally impaired): I'm not saying this being is omnipotent;
>I'm just saying that it is a conscious being who is very
>powerful, powerful enough to create universes.

Then why call this being "God"? You must know that it is burdened with
more baggage than any other word in the English language.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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