David Musick (David_Musick@msn.com)
Thu, 14 Nov 96 07:13:23 UT

Lyle Burkhead has informed me that I have discovered the biggest sacred cow in
the Extropian herd with my "God" post. Is that true? Are you guys all
dogmatic athiests?

Well, it's obvious that John Clark is. It seems like my post triggered of
some sort of pre-recorded response in John, and he treated us all to the
typical athiest rant about the logical fallacy of an omnipotent God and that
such a being would never want to establish communication with lowly finite
beings such as ourselves. 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. Imagine ourselves in a few
thousand or million years. That's the sort of God I was talking about. My
post makes that clear, to those whose minds aren't intoxicated by dogmatism.

When we are very advanced, it is likely that we will be able to create
mini-universes (sometimes called "baby universes"). Perhaps we will find ways
to make universes bubble off of our own, and we will be able to design the
basic features of these universes. If we can maintain some sort of connection
with these universes, then perhaps we could find ways of getting them to do
useful work for us. 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. It seems likely that intelligence and creativity would be so
useful to us that we would want to encourage and speed up its development in
any universes which began to display these qualities. It seems useful to find
ways to influence these universes, to nudge them in the directions we want
them to go. I don't know how much influence we would have or how well we
would know all the details of these universes, but likely it would be less
than perfect. If we could influence conscious, sentient beings to develop in
a universe, it would be in our interest to assist them in their progress,
since we are using their universe to solve problems for us, and the more
intelligent and creative the universe is, the more useful it will be to us.
The universes we create would probably develop through evolution, but if we
could have some influence over certain things, we may be able to help nudge
the evolution more in the ways we want it to develop. We probably wouldn't
have perfect control and couldn't make everything exactly the way we wanted
to, but we may have *some* control. Perhaps as universes become more
conscious and intelligent, it would become easier for us to influence them as
they would be more aware of and able to decode the signals we would send into
the universe by altering whatever we can. If the universes become intelligent
enough, perhaps we could have established some very high quality communication
with the intelligence of those universes, and perhaps we could design ways for
these universes to commuincate with each other to some degree, so we could
organize them into a very large system, which would be even more intelligent
and useful to us than any of its components. Perhaps these baby universes
would create universes within themselves also and become even more intelligent
and useful to us. These are some of the computers of the future that I am
speculating about here.

All I was doing with my original God post was bringing up the *possibility*
that we won't be the first ones to do this. I don't think it's unreasonable
to believe that if it's possible for us to create and influence the
development of universes, that perhaps someone else is already doing this and
our universe is one of the ones they created. 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? Do you think that it may even be
possible for us to create entire universes at some point in the future? If
so, why couldn't a similar being to our future selves have been able to do the
same type of thing and create our universe?

If we become capable of creating universes similar to our own, it seems
possible and likely that another conscious being created our universe. 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. This being
may have some sort of limited influence over our universe, and as we become
more conscious and intelligent, we may become more adept at interpreting the
signals the being is sending into our universe to influence us (if there is
such a being sending signals). We may find that following these
"instructions" consistently brings us great progress, and so we would learn to
trust and follow these "instructions".

I can't see any way to put this *possibility* out of my mind. And don't
anybody give me the standard athiestic arguments; I am very familiar with them
already. *Think* about what I have written, and respond out of intelligence,
not out of dogmatic habit.

It seems like many people become athiests to escape the trap of theism, but
all they've really done is exchange one dogmatic trap for another. It doesn't
matter whether you are theistic or atheistic; if you're dogmatic in your
thinking you're mentally retarded. You slow your learning rate way down.

- David Musick

- question tradition -

(even atheistic ones)