Re: God

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 18 Nov 1996 08:19:22 -0500

John K Clark wrote:
> But it's not a simulation because there is nothing to simulate, in your
> scenario God makes the universe to solve problems and make interesting
> structures. I can't see any reason except perversity to start such a universe
> at such a low level, not help us out when we get into serious trouble, and
> most important of all, not give us at the very start the inheritance of
> acquired characteristics.

That is beacuse you suffer from the hubris that you are already smart
enough to be treated like the equal of a hyperbeing, and you want your
supper NOW DAMMIT. That sounds like a spoiled child talking.

I'm no saint but I couldn't sleep at night if I
> knew that generations of conscious beings were suffering horribly in my
> laboratory.

But any experimental scientist working with animals like dolphins knows
that the experiments they put their charges in to test them for
intelligence, and teach them communication, or try to learnin their
communication, will neccessarily impose sever hardship on the individual
animals involved. If another species wishes to cease to be treated like
animals, they are going to have to demonstrate intelligent traits.

It's sad, but true. If we are to be treated with equality by any
hypothetical hyperbeings, we must demonstrate to them that we are
deserving of that treatment, otherwize, we are merely smart animals.

> >It [God] would also be omniscient within that simulation, in
> >it would neccessarily have a complete understanding of the
> >entire workings of that simulation.
> "God" would know the basic laws of physics in the world created by His
> computer, but that does NOT mean He "would necessarily have a complete
> understanding of the entire workings of that simulation". In the cellular
> automation universe of the "Game of Life" the physics is very simple yet it
> creates extraordinary patterns of great complexity, and the only way to
> figure out what it will do next is to run it and see. You can learn the
> physics (rules) of Chess in a few minutes, and spend a lifetime learning just
> some of its ramifications.

True, but that is using your human mind. We are talking about
hypothetical hyper-beings.

> The anthropomorphic answer
> that the universe must exist or we wouldn't be here to ask the question,
> is true but just begs the question, why are we here?

No reason at all..... unless we give ourselves one.

> Any answer in the form
> "the universe exists because of X " will never satisfy us because it
> immediately suggests another very obvious unanswered question.
> The only halfway adequate way to explain it is if it could be shown that
> "nothing" was somehow self contradictory so there must be "something".

THis is just another way to describe the anthropic principle.

> I love logic, I think its useful in solving all problems, except this one.
> I don't know if the question even makes sense. The first word of this question
> is "why" which means " what is the reason". Reason implies logic and logic is
> something. So we are asked to find a logical reason for reality, but clearly
> we can't use logic to find it, after all, that would be illogical. This sort
> of thing could give circular reasoning a bad name because it's totally
> without meaning.

The most important realization one can make is that the universe IS
meaningless. It is we who are meaning making machines.

> Or is it? All the definitions in a dictionary are made of words, and those
> words also have definitions made of other words also in the dictionary,
> and round and round we go. Is a dictionary totally without meaning?
> I suppose that all depends on what meaning means.

Words mean what you say they mean........

> Preconceptions about words do burden me. When I use a familiar word in a
> unfamiliar way, I at least try to make that new meaning clear. That's not to
> say that ambiguity and unusual uses of words don't have a place, but it's in
> Poetry not Science.

Actually, in pop culture, words are given new meaning by the "cool"
crowd, and it is left to everyone else to figure out what they mean.
Once they do, it's no longer a "cool" word, but it is an indicator that
one's memes are being accepted by the mainstream. maybe redefining
common words to our own use will help in the meme spreading of >H,

> Yes, when I use the word "computer" it is divorced from its original meaning,
> but not from its common meaning. My use of the word rarely causes confusion
> because I did not make up a new meaning out of thin air. On the other hand,
> if I said I went to Burger King, bought a computer, put some ketchup on it,
> and then ate it, people might be puzzled.

If I said I went to a deli and had a submarine for lunch, would you
flinch? Words have the meaning we give them. They are nothing without

> >Creating a new definition for God should be an easy step..
> Yes, very easy, far, far, too easy. There are so many they have lost all
> value.

But John, if you are an atheist, then the word "God" should have no
meaning to you.