Re: Religion: Why I don't want to hear about it.

From: Mark Walker (
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 09:02:57 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <>
> There was a time when you could safely dismiss every theory or prediction
> that invoked nonhuman actors. That time is over. You must now
> distinguish religious from nonreligious memes by checking for actual
> reference to supernatural causes, or actual distortions of logic, rather
> than simply reasoning from surface similarities.
This thread, I believe, was started by the thought that there might be some
convergence between religious (R) and (T) technological views on
singularity. There are several options here among them:

a) There is no convergence. There is only coincidence here.
b) R causes T. Some philosophers and historians, for example, argued that
religion has influenced philosophy which in turn created modern science
(back in the early Enlightenment) which in turn created modern technology.
Religious aspirations to become more than human have piggybacked along the
C) T causes R. I think this is the view that started the thread. One
idea--familiar from science fiction--is that there is backwards causation
where the secular godlike creatures play an invisible role in the historical
formulations of the great world religions. Another possibility is that the
singularity has already occurred in world without religion and we are now
living out a simulation. This simulation that we are in is investigatining
what might have happened to human development if humans had believed in
religion. etc.
d) There is a common cause for both T and R. Perhaps, for example, evolution
provided us with an innate bias towards singularity. (How implausible is
this? Presumably one would have to think of it as the most grand pleiotropic
e) Who gives a shit. Either it is a or at least one of b c or d. If a then
nothing more need be said. If it is one of the others then this knowledge
would still be useless--we still need to role up our sleeves and get on with
the task of creating a singularity.

Which, if any of these, is your view?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:36 MDT