Re: Arthur C. Clarke on "Human Nature"

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Oct 31 2001 - 13:53:25 MST

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> Brings to mind Pico Della Mirandola's grand vision:
> At last, the Supreme Maker decreed that this creature, to whom He could
> give nothing wholly his own, should have a share in the particular
> endowment of every other creature. Taking man, therefore, this creature
> of indeterminate image, He set him in the middle of the world and thus
> spoke to him:
> ``We have given you, O Adam, no visage proper to yourself, nor endowment
> properly your own, in order that whatever place, whatever form, whatever
> gifts you may, with premeditation, select, these same you may have and
> possess through your own judgement and decision. The nature of all other
> creatures is defined and restricted within laws which We have laid down;
> you, by contrast, impeded by no such restrictions, may, by your own free
> will, to whose custody We have assigned you, trace for yourself the
> lineaments of your own nature. I have placed you at the very center of
> the world, so that from that vantage point you may with greater ease
> glance round about you on all that the world contains. We have made you
> a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal,
> in order that you may, as the free and proud shaper of your own being,
> fashion yourself in the form you may prefer. It will be in your power to
> descend to the lower, brutish forms of life; you will be able, through
> your own decision, to rise again to the superior orders whose life is
> divine.''

Brings to mind Christ's conversion to Islam:

JERUSALEM-In a surprise announcement with far-reaching theological
implications, Jesus Christ The Nazarene, founder of Christianity and spiritual
leader of nearly two billion people, revealed Monday that He has converted to
"the one true religion" of Islam.

      The controversial announcement has sent shockwaves through religious
circles around the globe.

      "Allah is the name of the One and Only God," Christ said. "Allah has 99
beautiful names: He is known as The Gracious, The Merciful, The Beneficent,
The Creator, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise, The Lord Of The Universe, The
First, The Last and many more. He has revealed Himself unto Me through the
holy words of the blessed Qur'an, and I have put My trust and faith in Him."

      As part of His conversion, Christ said He has taken a new name, Isa Ibn
Maryam al-Salaam Christ Shabazz.

      Christ, 33, is urging Christians worldwide to renounce His former
religion of Christianity and join Him in embracing the Muslim way of life.

      "People of all nations, in the past, you have heard Me say that
whosoever shall believe in Me shall not die, but have eternal life," Christ
said. "But now, I say unto you, forget I ever said that. There is only one
holy revelation of Allah, the Qur'an, which was dictated to the Prophet
Mohammed, Praise Be Unto Him, by the Archangel Jibreel in the seventh century
after I died."

      According to Christ, the beauty and perfection of the Qur'an's Surahs
are without equal in all creation, encompassing and surpassing both the Judaic
Torah and the New Testament Gospels of His apostles. The former Christian
messiah went on to cite Surah Aal'imraan 3:67, which reads, "This day I have
perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen
for you Islam as your religion."

      "What could be more clear?" Christ said.

      "I was wrong, and I know that now," He added. "I deeply regret any
problems or confusion I may have caused."

      The controversial retraction of two millennia of Christian doctrine has
provoked strongly divided reaction. Millions of devout Christians, insisting
that obeisance to Christ's commands is the cornerstone of their faith, have
heeded His instructions and converted to Islam. Millions more, however, have
decried the recalcitrant Christ's apostasy, breaking ties with Him and calling
His conversion "a heathen act" of "utmost blasphemy before Himself."

      "Jesus, or Isa Shabazz, or whatever He's calling Himself these days, is
the way, the truth and the light. It says so in the Bible," said devout
Catholic Kathleen Langan of Cork, Ireland, kneeling toward Mecc

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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