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

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 09:33:29 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: Damien Broderick <>
> >To the rationalist, the fideist looks
> >irrational placing so much evidence on interpersonal trust.
> You need to have a person at the other end to do interpersonal trust.
Agreed. I am imaging the God III standing in mum's stead from the original
> >To the fideist,
> >the rationalist looks inconsistent because asserting the supremacy of
> >reason can itself only be a matter of trust.
> A matter of trust in exactly the same consistencies of the world that
> underwrite almost all of the fideist's own verities.
Certainly it is hard to imagine how the fideist would avoid employing a
human logical scheme in the workaday world. Kirkegaard makes a case for how
this might not always be so, e.g., in his reflections on how Abraham trusts
God to such an extent he is willing to do what seems so contrary to reason,
viz., sacrificing his own son.

> A matter of trust employing the same limits to credulity that the fideist
> sets in all matters aside from this extraordinary and improbable claim for
> the reality of an invisible person who never responds in a publicly
> testable fashion.
There is always a slippery slope lurking isn't there? Unlike this case, the
verificationist-fidiest is imagining that you have evidence that X is an
incredibly powerful being. X rearranges the stars in the night sky with the
swope of one hand to form the shape of the young Elvis. X creates an eden on
earth--football, meat pies, kangroos and holden cars for everyone. Now X
says to you in English (or Australian I guess in your case) that our brains
are to small to grasp the true logic of the universe. Can you imagine
trusting X when he says this?

> >Could we build a God III that
> >we could not understand but who we could trust?
> We could not *build* a God III--can't make head or tail of these
> blueprints, Joe--but we might be able to kickstart something headed in
> a direction.
Of course, unless it is entirely a fortious matter. But I am giving fifty
year extensions on the homework assignment--more if you have a note from
your doctor.

 If it emerged out the far end of the pipeline, could we trust
> it? Well, we'd need to see what it did; by its fruits we shall know it. If
> it was horrid to us, we'd be silly to trust it. `This hurts me more than
> hurts you' is the dictum of someone without much imagination or patience.

Agreed. Absolutely. Mark and not-Mark.

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