Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Monday, March 19, 2007

“Does God Exist?” Is More Than One Question

You can think of the question “Does God exist?” as a combination of at least two questions:

  1. Is the Universe orderly? When scientists are discussing whether God throws dice or whether God had to aim at this universe, that's usually what they mean. It is not a vacuous statement. Some people (i.e., New Age loons) disagree with it.

    I suspect that, in this sense of the term, a belief in God (the God of Spinoza) is nearly unanimous among scientists.

  2. The next question can understood by considering a complaint by Scott Aaronson:

    It reminds me of how theologians chide Richard Dawkins for refuting only a crude, anthropomorphic, straw-man god instead of a sophisticated Einsteinian one, and then (with an air of self-satisfaction) go off and pray to the crude god.
    In other words, a belief in the God of Spinoza does not necessarily imply a belief in a “yes” answer to one of the two following equivalent questions:
    • Is God anthropomorphic?

    • Are human beings theomorphic?

    When we consider the second question we can see that a religious attitude is a minority opinion among scientists. Most scientists are likely to underestimate the creative abilities of human beings. That's one reason they frequently overestimate the dangers of overpopulation.

    We can also see that the irreligious scientists have often made empirical claims (e.g., about overpopulation or the supposed genetic inferiority of the lower class of the month) that have turned out to be false. By empirical standards, we should take the hypothesis of theomorphic humans (or an anthropomorphic God) as proven.

    There's another consequence of thinking of theomorphic humans. it means transhumanism really is a religion … even if some transhumanists are reluctant to acknowledge it.

An unexpected consequence

If we combine the above reasoning with my theory that human beings are plants, we can see that plants have the potential for being theomorphic. Does that mean the tree huggers were right after all? Clearly, we must help feed and defend our green brethren. We can feed them CO2 fertilizer and use pesticides to defend them against insects …


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