Re: Mormons and the Singularity

From: Michael Warnock (
Date: Wed Jul 03 2002 - 01:35:20 MDT

Mitch Howe:
>There are more potential reasons that I can't think of at the moment, but it
>should be apparent that a highly intelligent AGI should have no trouble
>finding valid interpretations for each and every empirical perception that
>would put it in harmony with God's Plan as described by the Mormon faith.
>But naturally, there would be no rational reason to do this unless it had
>acquired a Testimony of the Gospel through non-empirical means -- perceived
>"evidence of things not seen." -- which I guess is another one of those Zen
>things creeping up in diverse religions... So chalk up another point under
>"Religious folk see AGI as needing non-empirical perception to arrive at
>ultimate truth."
I too was trapped within the particular circular argument which is Mormonism until 20 yrs
old and can testify;) to the truthfulness of what Mitch is saying. The doctrine surrounding
Mormonism is so extensive and education is so encouraged that this strangely framed
rationality is constantly honed to be used against any doubt that Satan might throw at you.
On the other hand, having recovered from that perspective, I find the added tendancy to
test every assumption to be a great advantage.
In many ways I can contribute my awakening out of this state to singularity related thought.
In a period of doubt on my mission after having baptized a young boy in less than ideal
circumstances, I purchased Godel, Escher, Bach and Tipler's The Physics of Immortality.
At the time I considered Tipler rather absurd, but GEB touched me deeply. This was
against mission rules, but having read them I could no longer maintain even the facade of
certainty about what I was supposed to be teaching.

I suppose what I'd like the readers of this list to know is that intelligent, even scientificly apt
people are sometimes convinced of ridiculous positions and maintain them out of positive
human characteristics. Some of these people can arrive at a new worldview, and I think
that anyone who scraps their basic assumptions and takes stock of the world today has
a fair chance of predictiing the singularity.

Michael Warnock
Wherever you go; &This;

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:40 MDT