Re[4]: META: Sept. 11 and Singularity

From: Cliff Stabbert (
Date: Thu Sep 12 2002 - 18:14:55 MDT

Thursday, September 12, 2002, 7:36:50 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

CS> Although I remain somewhat mystified by Eliezer's criteria for asking
CS> people not to post, rereading GK's latest message one _could_
CS> interpret it as potentially trolling for an evangelical thread
CS> ("If there is a Being" [...] "it stands to reason that He *may*
CS> have something to say about this dream of Immortality we have..." --
CS> note the capitalization).

BG> As I have said before, I am not religious and I have a strong personal
BG> emotional reaction against the superstitious & conformist aspects of
BG> religions. However, I have a lot of respect for individual & collective
BG> spiritual experience, and I feel that individuals who are experienced in
BG> this way may have a lot to contribute to our thinking about the Singularity.

The reason I used the word "evangelical" is the second part of his
message I quoted: "He *may* have something to say about this [...]"
could -- I emphasize, *could* -- be interpreted as a segue into
quoting Scripture on not making Images or what have you.

I generally have a dislike for conformist aspects of religion, some
interest in superstitious/ritual behaviours, and a lot of interest in
spirituality. Discussions on whether the Singularity would be
God-like for various values of "God" from different religions;
speculation about the possibility of this universe being the result of
or existing in the mind of some previous Singularity; speculation
about whether human intelligence or the earth is itself some ongoing
experiment by some greater Intelligence -- these all could be
interesting topics IMO (although I'm not sure of their

Again, I'm not sure where GK was going with this nor what Eliezer had
in mind; I was offering a possible interpretation -- Eliezer saw GK as
about to go into evangelical mode (which I distinguish from "shooting
the shit about spiritual aspects" mode). I feel that at the least,
*if* this was the reason, some more room should have been given for
that to become apparent. If it was not the reason I'm unclear what
was (besides catching up a bit, perhaps). But then again, I'm not
clear why Mike & Donna Deering were banned. I'm not clear why I
haven't been, for that matter.

Perhaps this all goes to show something about what happens to our
sense of certainty in the presence of a superior -- at the least more
powerful -- Intelligence. Question: is Eliezer "Friendly"? ;)


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