RE: RE: RE: Gods

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Mon Feb 04 2002 - 23:18:09 MST

> -----Original Message-----
> From: animated silicon love doll []
> Sent: Tuesday, 5 February 2002 15:22
> To:
> Subject: Re: RE: RE: Gods
> 2002.01.31 23:05:19, "Emlyn O'regan"
> <> wrote:
> Whee, chesh is behind on email!
> >Not to the technologist
> Unless said technologist accepts magic is a part of everyday
> life. It's really not that
> special a thing.

Well, no, not even then. Technology indistinguishable from magic is
definitely distinguishable by those that make it, excepting maybe catalogue
engineers. For example, ask Doug if he thinks a rocket engine is magic.

> >Not to the posthuman
> What if that posthuman creates a simulated universe? At least
> to the inhabitants of that
> universe, said posthuman would be a god.

Only because of ignorance or a lack of ability on the part of the
inhabitants, neither of which is their fault. The posthuman is then a god to
the inhabitants through choice; is that likely? Or at all ok?

> >I want to be able to understand it better than that.
> Magic is useless if you don't understand it. The
> understanding has to be suppresed at the
> time of the working, but saying that something happens for
> some arbitrary reason like an
> unmeasurable spiritual power is pointless, and usually means
> that someone is talking out
> of their ass.

Hmm, mystical spacewalk time...

> >You can't strive toward magic; it is in essence indefinable, and thus
> >untargetable. It contains the set of all (or some?) things
> that we cannot
> >comprehend. By definition, as we come to comprehend them,
> they cease to be
> >magical, and become part of the toolkit.
> I beg to differ. I may not be able to describe a sigil as a
> concrete equation, but i
> understand how it works, and know that it works.
> Nevertheless, I think most people
> would describe making something happen by having sex while
> thinking about a weird
> mass of squiggles that once made up a coherent sentance is magic.

I'd describe it as BS, but maybe I'm not suppressing my understanding
carefully enough :-)

More seriously, it is either bollocks, which isn't magic, or it really does
work, which just means it is something we don't properly understand. The
extropian position might be "Take that bonking off to the lab for

> >Off the top of my head, striving for "God" has a couple of
> interpretations.
> >It can mean striving for potence and control... I can agree
> with that (gee,
> >what a blokey definition!). But I would not label it God.
> I would.

In that case, God is synonymous with most of human endeavour. Maybe that's
true, but the term becomes useless, and is problematic because of it's
connotational loading.

> >Or, it could mean striving to somehow become closer to that
> which is greater
> >than/beyond us, and on that score, who really gives a rat's?
> If this concept
> >even makes sense, I suspect that the closer we get to "god", the less
> >interesting it will become. It wont become any less
> pointless, of course,
> >having started at the maximum on that scale.
> The posthuman is greater than/beyond us.

No, it isn't, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, "the posthuman" isn't... it
is merely speculation. One day there may be posthumans, and then they will
be us, so hardly greater than us. Secondly, by the time we can be
posthumans, we will understand the technology, or will come to as we become
posthuman. That surely would be an amazing journey of discovery, but it
doesn't involve magic or gods of any kind. Just good 'ole us.

Please don't deify or mystify the concepts of transhumanism; they cease to
make any real sense in such a context. The human that recreates itself into
something new, using only the power of its wits, the material around it, and
the insights of its dead ancestors, is an incredible vision. Visit a
library, jump on the net, walk down a crowded city street and experience
what we do. Hold something plastic in your hand. Then tell me why we would
need to worship a god.


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