Re: Extropianism & Theology

Thu, 04 Mar 1999 12:28:27 +0100

It appears as if wrote:
|1) The overemphasis of power and the gradual ascent- I agree that there has
|been a tendency to overplay this attribute. When examining the question of
|worship, I asked what were the bare essentials necessary for me to feel a
|sense of awe and devotion toward another being. I came up with the idea that
|the important thing would be a being who is the embodiment of my most
|cherished ideal/ideals. This does not have to be a powerful being (unless you
|cherish power). I could imagine such a being which would resemble the ideal
|of the saint or buddha; an enlightened consciousness which could serve as an
|example to all.

Or the nightmare: the Big Brother Power requiring permanent worship, while totally controlling the social and personal lifes of lower beings.

The Power could do this on the moral grounds that it must help the lower beings to ascend, against their puny wills if necessary.

A lower Power could be seen as a saint or buddha. A higher Power could make a saint or buddha to control and communicate the lower beings if needed.

|2) Unsolicited Worship - I definitely see the point of feeling little
|obligation toward unsought and undesired worship. Yet, if you were a true
|Power, it might take very little to aid such worshippers, thus only a
|fractional amount of noblisse oblige might at first be enough to sustain an
|entire religion at first. But as your afterthought aid greatly improves the
|worshippers lot, they begin to pay attention to more difficult problems, ones
|they may have been at first unaware of or have accepted as unalterable, such
|as death. A Power could inadvertantly trigger the Uplifting of an entire
|people. You could say that this act is more than enough, and that the
|worshippers should be greatful for that much and do the rest on their own.

Why would a Power care if puny beings feel grateful or not?

|This may be fine, but what if what your aid has in some way led them down an
|evolutionary deadend, and the only way they can see out is with help. Do you
|turn your metaphorical back on these people, who might not have had this
|problem without worshipping you? Or do you continue to help them, guiding
|them to a point where they no longer need you? There are two basic approaches
|that come to mind to deal with this problem, one is the hands off approach
|(dare I make a comparison to the Star Trek Prime Directive....argh!), the
|other to take up the mantle of Godhood until you can help your worshippers to
|maturity and kick them out of the nest (kind of like a good parent).

A Power built on standard human values would definitely meddle in the affairs of the lower beings (consider how humans treat their pet animals).

The Prime Directive idea appears a rather unusual human world view.

A more non-human (inhuman? ;) Power could simply leave the lower beings to live their puny lives and die their puny deaths, but have a surveillance of the goings-on in case something interesting happens. Objects of study. If they become a pest, terminate them.