From: telocity (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 15:33:13 MST
----- Original Message -----
From: Chris Cooper
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: How To Live In A Simulation
Now maybe I'm just damaged by growing up in a heavily Southern Baptist environment,but these discussions of the Singularity begin to sound like New Testament/Revelations-type stuff.I'm fascinated by this.I'm not a religious person myself,an atheist in fact,but the parallels often give me pause.Could these similarities be due to the universal nature of human faith and zealotry?I have no doubt that the folks on this list BELIEVE in the inevitability on the Singularity,with just as much passion as a devoted Christian(or Jew,Muslim,etc.)Is the Singularity the current,technology-friendly version of the same world ending/transforming myths that are at the heart of all the world's religions?
I think you're on to something here. If you read Eleizer's _Staring into the Singularity_, especially the last part, it has a definite air of singularity-as-salvation ring to it. Such remarks as "I've had it with this world.", among others - I don't have it in front of me, indicate a desire for something - in this case the AI - to come and make everything all better. The AI will answer all the ancient philosophical questions. Somehow, drug dealers will become Powers and morph into good citizens..
I didn't expect to see such a thing, but in retrospective I guess it was inevitable that the singularity would become a salvation theology to some people. It has all the elements of such a theology: An omniscient - for all practical purposes from a human perspective - omnipotent - from the same perspective - being who can end all suffering, answer any question - whether the question is meaningful or not - and give people whatever they want, if it chooses to. That's as good a definition of heaven as I've heard.
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