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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Mar 24 2001 - 00:13:22 MST

I do not make a Bayesian argument. Nor do I consider apocalyptic
elements to always be proof of religious memes. Was the cold war and
the threat of nuclear destruction of the species an example of
supposedly religious memes? No.

The connections I do draw are due to elements of commonality that are
deeper, like the drive toward transcendence of the "normal" human
condition that is common to both religions and much of science, or the
fact that we are headed for (ourselves and or our creations) the
possession of "god-like" powers that require (if we wish to avoid
disaster) some large gains in ethics and perhaps compassion for fellow
sentients. This has a relationship to "Friendliness".

That Singularity is based in fact by no means releases it from having
anyting at all in common with that which drives religions. Picking out
some stupidities from various religions as supposed contrasts does not
change this. I would also point out that many of the world's religions
are not apocalyptic in the least and don't have any of the
fundamentalist Christian notions often trotted out to show how worthless
all things spiritual/religous are.

Religious people talk about God, Singularity folks talk about the Sysop
or Jupiter Brains or ...

We might well be headed for a time when religious memes and even some
religious ideals are supported quite strongly or even necessitated by
the facts of our science and technology and what it enables. I think it
behooves us to not rigidly assume that science is over here and has all
the answers and religion is over there and totally full of bullshit
through and through with no redeeming qualities.

And that is all I have to say for now in this forum on that subject.

> 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.

Here I very much agree.

- samantha

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