Monday, December 29, 2014

Waiting for "God"

Preserving this because the comments section on H+ seems to have vanished.

Waiting for "God"

A lady lives along a flooded river. She takes her chair up to the roof as the rains continue to fall and the river keeps rising.
A man in a jeep comes by and offers her a ride to safety. “God will save me” she replies. “I’m waiting for him.”
Two hours later, the water is up to her windows. A couple in a boat see her and offer her a ride to safety. “I’m waiting for god” she answers.
Four hours later, the water is up to her roof, the house is creaking, and a coast guard helicopter drops a basket to her. She waves them away. “I’m waiting for god!” she yells up to them until they finally shrug and flay away.
After her house collapses, she drowns, and gets to heaven, she looks at God and asks “I was waiting for you, why did you never come?”
God looks at her and says “I sent a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter, why didn’t you get on?”
Replace god with “Singularity” “Friendly AI” “Benevolent superhumans” etc, it makes no difference.
At the quantum level, everything happens. For every interaction, every choice is taken. A “supreme being” aware of everything everywhere (the definition of omniscient) would thus be aware that every event occurs, every action is taken, every path trodden in one or another infinite parallel quantum states.
Which makes any action on it’s part towards any particular speck of dust in the infinite multiverse a wasted effort.
“Waiting for god” means you’ve abandoned personal responsibility. You’ve decided to do nothing, instead of doing ANYTHING. You’ve decided “It’s someone else’s problem” and “someone else will solve it.” and that you will simply accept what someone else decides to do, because you can’t be bothered.
Transhumanism is about DOING SOMETHING TO MAKE THE HUMAN RACE BETTER.
But too many people trying to equate transhumanism with religion ignore the central tenets of most western religions.
Contrary to popular belief, and despite Jesus himself commanding that we love one another, forgive one another, and above all DO NOT JUDGE, the core of western dogma is not about peace and love at all, but about unquestioning obedience to an external force (God) as represented by his hierarchy (the Church command structure) to whom you must be eternally subservient lest you be punished with “HELL!” and unquestioning acceptance of death, because if you DON’T DIE you can never get those rewards your masters have been promising you for your unquestioning servitude, (your mansions in heaven, etc.)
Can you name any other “government” in which “I’ll reward you after you’re dead” would act as an incentive for obedience?
By it’s very nature Transhumanism is the utter antithesis of the Western Religious ideology, because it is about making a difference HERE and NOW, not in “heaven” after you’re “dead”. We’re about making paradise on earth, giving humans the powers we have fantasized as reserved for “The Gods” and ending the injustices man inflicts on man. We’re about ACTING, not WAITING.
Are there similarities? That depends very much on whether you’ve actually read the bible and know what Christ actually says, as opposed to 90% of the “Christians” who’s knowledge of the bible consists of what little the pastor of their church has told them.
Love one another? Check, most transhumanists seek world wide peace and an end to bigotry of any sort.
Forgive one another? Check, most transhumanists believe in liberty to the point it hurts. Only actions that present a clear, direct, danger to non consenting individuals should be prevented. You want to risk your own life, feel free. Risk someone else’s and you’re going to have to be stopped. That extends to collective entities as well. Risk your own resources, have fun. Risk the entire collectives resources for personal benefits, and you should be expected to make reparations to anyone you harmed. And once you’ve paid your dues, it’s done.
ABOVE ALL DO NOT JUDGE! Check, transhumanists typically seek universal acceptance of all human behaviors, except those which cause harm to non-consenting individuals. You want to dress in latex and like whips and chains? So long as you are only indulging those with others who like the same things, more fun too you. Want to have wings and a tail? Have fun. Feel like turning yourself into a head in a jar ala Futurama, it’s gonna be awhile yet, but if it floats your boat, good for you. We accept the entire range of human desire, quirks, fantasies, and pie in the sky dreams, and we’ll do our best to ensure that EVERY SINGLE ONE CAN BE GRANTED, without judgment. Only those things which cause harm to other humans without their consent will be disallowed.
So yes, there is a case to be made that transhumanists follow the teachings of Christ. Probably even that we follow them far better than most Christians themselves do.
But we do so because WE HAVE CHOSEN TO. Not because we feel an external “deity” want’s us too.
It’s called Enlightened Self Interest. I help you achieve your dreams, you’ve got no reason to oppose me achieving mine.
And yeah, that’s in bible too. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
And it’s a good policy to follow whether there is actually a “Supreme Being” or not.