Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: The Context of Godhood

  1. Top | #1
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Burnsville, MN
    Posts
    5,898
    Archived
    2,911
    Total Posts
    8,809
    Rep Power
    49

    The Context of Godhood

    So, lots of discussions have been had about what god is, why people should or shouldn't be expected to worship them, whether their might justifies their moral edicts. Lots of discussion is had about what gods are capable of, what qualities they have... but little thought is put into what gods actually are.

    So, I decided to investigate these concepts in a universe where there is a god.

    For my own purposes, I have created a universe. I didn't create it explicitly for the purposes of this thread and I am far from the only person who has spoken the words of creation from whence this universe happened. But nonetheless I spoke the words and now a whole universe ticks merrily along under my not-very-watchful eye.

    In this context, Godhood is not unique to me. I spoke the universe into creation, sure, but it's not like my chair, or even the universe itself, has my name on it. While the world has only one God, anyone can be that God at any given point in time, assuming they have access.

    Now, I am outside the flow of time within the context of the universe I created. While time passes for us both to tick forward this world I created, their time and my own is not really the same. I can go forward or back, cull a branch of history, accelerate time, stop time.

    I can know anything that exists as momentary knowledge in the world. If I want to know where the dragons are and what they are up to, I can look them up and find out. From the perspective of individuals there that I may be interacting with, I don't know, and then suddenly I do.

    Interestingly, I find myself limited in how I can interact: I can either be an individual there, or I can be able to know anything, or I can drive some group together towards a goal... But I can't do all at the same time. This is more a limitation of the platform though on which I am a god.

    The people in the universe I created cannot kill me. Even if I died, their god cannot be killed: someone could still sit in my chair and BE their god.

    Interestingly though, none of the people in the world I created worship me. In fact, none of them actually know I exist. They do worship plenty of deities, and those deities also exist albeit less as actual deities and more as powerful material entities rather than "supernatural" ones as I am. It doesn't change the fact that certain things have resulted from my interaction with the universe.

    I have in my hands an actual example of being a God. I can point at most of the boxes that theologies point out as being qualities of god, being capable of "miracles", being immortal, being omniscient, and being reasonably omnipotent.

    But what this tells me is that something can literally be a God in one context, and a mere mortal in the next context. A God could be Omnipotent in our universe and damn near utterly impotent in his own life. A God could be outside of time itself, and still be slave to time in a different context.

    We have on example a human being, meager, mortal, flawed... Who is also a God, omnipotent, immortal, and omniscient. Context matters. So why shouldn't we consider what Gods may be in the context wherein they are not gods?

  2. Top | #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Buenos Aires
    Posts
    3,338
    Archived
    7,588
    Total Posts
    10,926
    Rep Power
    60
    In the context of present-day philosophy of religion, there are several different concepts of God, but the concepts that dominate the field (i.e., nearly all philosophers of religion would use one of them, in my experience) include omniscience, omnipotence and moral perfection. Omnipotence is true omnipotence, not omnipotent with regard to some universe but not another. While there are some issues about logical limitations and the like, nothing like the ones you describe would count. The same goes for omniscience. And of course there is moral perfection, which your concepts do not include.

    Of course, you may want to talk about other objects you call "God" or "gods", in which case, no problem as long as you define it. But you're talking about different stuff from what philosophers of religion are generally talking. As for what the folk talk about, it's hard to say. The Greek didn't have the word 'god' or 'gods'. They had other words that are usually translated as such. Did they have the same meaning? What do 'god' and 'gods' even mean? I do not know the answers, but a simple way around the problem is to just talk about whatever entities you want to talk about, without using words like 'god' or 'gods' that do not seem to add further information.

  3. Top | #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,911
    Archived
    3,946
    Total Posts
    5,857
    Rep Power
    68
    A god exists only by being defined by whichever theists. One person says it's the creator of the universe; another says it's the omni- this and that being; another says some mythological characters are gods (Mars, Thor, et al); another says universal consciousness is God; another says it's a placeholder term for all existence or nature; another says it's whatever some folk find worshipful (like money); and so on.

    They qualify as gods only within whichever context. There is no god that has 'actual godness' as a trait since there's no such essential trait. If atheists say the Christian fictional creature is "God" and then use that as the standard, they take up that standard from Christian theists.

    That "God" is relative to believers makes all gods "not really gods". To be "actually" the thing named, it has to be more objective than that. I don't see any way to make it more objective, so to me it's all just talk. People can try to define a god into being and I'll just shrug and wonder "why do you with those noises?" If anyone scratches their head at that and thinks "but it's more substantive than that" is someone looking at it from inside the bubble of a cultural tradition (ie, from inside a context).

  4. Top | #4
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,199
    Archived
    4,886
    Total Posts
    6,085
    Rep Power
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    In the context of present-day philosophy of religion, there are several different concepts of God, but the concepts that dominate the field (i.e., nearly all philosophers of religion would use one of them, in my experience) include omniscience, omnipotence and moral perfection. Omnipotence is true omnipotence, not omnipotent with regard to some universe but not another. While there are some issues about logical limitations and the like, nothing like the ones you describe would count. The same goes for omniscience. And of course there is moral perfection, which your concepts do not include.
    In "Argument from possible simulation"
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...ble-simulation

    I go against these traditional aspects...

    For me, omnipotence and omniscience just involve the ability to do and know everything within the universe that was created....

    This cartoon talks about an utopian future where "Yahweh" is put into a simulation and his memories are temporarily wiped and he is made to believe he is an omnipotent omniscient God.



    At the end of the cartoon it says:
    No mind - no matter how powerful - could ever honestly claim to be free from deception or unknown unknowns.

    So it seems like the true omniscience you're talking about is impossible.... but then the Bible could be interpreted so that this omniscience is just about the knowledge they have about their creation....

    I don't think moral perfection is required in my concept of a creator god...

  5. Top | #5
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Burnsville, MN
    Posts
    5,898
    Archived
    2,911
    Total Posts
    8,809
    Rep Power
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    A god exists only by being defined by whichever theists. One person says it's the creator of the universe; another says it's the omni- this and that being; another says some mythological characters are gods (Mars, Thor, et al); another says universal consciousness is God; another says it's a placeholder term for all existence or nature; another says it's whatever some folk find worshipful (like money); and so on.

    They qualify as gods only within whichever context. There is no god that has 'actual godness' as a trait since there's no such essential trait. If atheists say the Christian fictional creature is "God" and then use that as the standard, they take up that standard from Christian theists.

    That "God" is relative to believers makes all gods "not really gods". To be "actually" the thing named, it has to be more objective than that. I don't see any way to make it more objective, so to me it's all just talk. People can try to define a god into being and I'll just shrug and wonder "why do you with those noises?" If anyone scratches their head at that and thinks "but it's more substantive than that" is someone looking at it from inside the bubble of a cultural tradition (ie, from inside a context).
    This thread is intended for the discussions of the actual metaphysics of Godhood, not what people believe today about what is or is not a god.

    I pointed to a concrete example of a real God existing. It is unarguably a God within the context of of the universe for which it is a God, and it is unarguably real.

    In addition to the God I pointed to primarily, I also pointed to other things, which are called gods and worshiped and which are extant entities in their context but are not actually the thing here being referenced with a capital G.

    I am talking about a very specific thing: how just being an immortal omnipotent omniscient God, father and creator to all who live, does not preclude you from being a flawed, doomed mortal no better than anyone else.

    I didn't have to have what I am in relation to the universe I created described by a theist. I am merely telling you what I am. As I pointed out, nobody in the world I created believes I exist at all, and I have not yet decided whether I will ever actually tell anyone I exist. I didn't have to be named to be what I am. I merely am that which I am.

    Now, what I'm trying to get at is why some people, namely theists, find justification in claiming things about god that are only "relatively true" even if the being they describe actually existed.

    Of course, I think about these things from the perspective of mere honest curiosity. After all, I clearly don't think I am personally worthy of worship, neither by the people I created nor the people who are my peers.

  6. Top | #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Buenos Aires
    Posts
    3,338
    Archived
    7,588
    Total Posts
    10,926
    Rep Power
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    I go against these traditional aspects...

    For me, omnipotence and omniscience just involve the ability to do and know everything within the universe that was created....
    Rather than disagreeing, it seems to me you and they are talking about different things, even if they use the same words.


    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist
    So it seems like the true omniscience you're talking about is impossible.... but then the Bible could be interpreted so that this omniscience is just about the knowledge they have about their creation....
    The cartoon claims it is impossible, and maybe it is, but that would require some argumentation.

    As for the Bible, it is a compilation of books written by different people in very different contexts, and which were never intended to be together as part of a single one. One of the consequences of that is that it's full of contradictions, so it implies everything. Even leaving the contradictions aside, some parts of the Bible entail Yahweh is not omniscient.

  7. Top | #7
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Burnsville, MN
    Posts
    5,898
    Archived
    2,911
    Total Posts
    8,809
    Rep Power
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    In the context of present-day philosophy of religion, there are several different concepts of God, but the concepts that dominate the field (i.e., nearly all philosophers of religion would use one of them, in my experience) include omniscience, omnipotence and moral perfection. Omnipotence is true omnipotence, not omnipotent with regard to some universe but not another. While there are some issues about logical limitations and the like, nothing like the ones you describe would count. The same goes for omniscience. And of course there is moral perfection, which your concepts do not include.
    In "Argument from possible simulation"
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...ble-simulation

    I go against these traditional aspects...

    For me, omnipotence and omniscience just involve the ability to do and know everything within the universe that was created....

    This cartoon talks about an utopian future where "Yahweh" is put into a simulation and his memories are temporarily wiped and he is made to believe he is an omnipotent omniscient God.



    At the end of the cartoon it says:
    No mind - no matter how powerful - could ever honestly claim to be free from deception or unknown unknowns.

    So it seems like the true omniscience you're talking about is impossible.... but then the Bible could be interpreted so that this omniscience is just about the knowledge they have about their creation....

    I don't think moral perfection is required in my concept of a creator god...
    Like, what I want to know from Angra (perhaps someone comments; I have them on ignore) what obligation I personally have to be omnipotent or omniscient or for that matter good within the context of the universe I created.

    It does not in any way change the fact that the universe was created, that I have control over it.

    In fact, both my omniscience and my omnipotence are aftermarket.

    I'm still unarguably it's creator.

  8. Top | #8
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    6,170
    Rep Power
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn View Post
    So, lots of discussions have been had about what god is, why people should or shouldn't be expected to worship them, whether their might justifies their moral edicts. Lots of discussion is had about what gods are capable of, what qualities they have... but little thought is put into what gods actually are.

    So, I decided to investigate these concepts in a universe where there is a god.

    For my own purposes, I have created a universe. I didn't create it explicitly for the purposes of this thread and I am far from the only person who has spoken the words of creation from whence this universe happened. But nonetheless I spoke the words and now a whole universe ticks merrily along under my not-very-watchful eye.

    In this context, Godhood is not unique to me. I spoke the universe into creation, sure, but it's not like my chair, or even the universe itself, has my name on it. While the world has only one God, anyone can be that God at any given point in time, assuming they have access.

    Now, I am outside the flow of time within the context of the universe I created. While time passes for us both to tick forward this world I created, their time and my own is not really the same. I can go forward or back, cull a branch of history, accelerate time, stop time.

    I can know anything that exists as momentary knowledge in the world. If I want to know where the dragons are and what they are up to, I can look them up and find out. From the perspective of individuals there that I may be interacting with, I don't know, and then suddenly I do.

    Interestingly, I find myself limited in how I can interact: I can either be an individual there, or I can be able to know anything, or I can drive some group together towards a goal... But I can't do all at the same time. This is more a limitation of the platform though on which I am a god.

    The people in the universe I created cannot kill me. Even if I died, their god cannot be killed: someone could still sit in my chair and BE their god.

    Interestingly though, none of the people in the world I created worship me. In fact, none of them actually know I exist. They do worship plenty of deities, and those deities also exist albeit less as actual deities and more as powerful material entities rather than "supernatural" ones as I am. It doesn't change the fact that certain things have resulted from my interaction with the universe.

    I have in my hands an actual example of being a God. I can point at most of the boxes that theologies point out as being qualities of god, being capable of "miracles", being immortal, being omniscient, and being reasonably omnipotent.

    But what this tells me is that something can literally be a God in one context, and a mere mortal in the next context. A God could be Omnipotent in our universe and damn near utterly impotent in his own life. A God could be outside of time itself, and still be slave to time in a different context.

    We have on example a human being, meager, mortal, flawed... Who is also a God, omnipotent, immortal, and omniscient. Context matters. So why shouldn't we consider what Gods may be in the context wherein they are not gods?
    Some thoughts.

    God isn't actually defined in most of the theistic traditions of the Mediterranean. The question of "what God is" would seem to be the goal of theology on the face of it, even arguably a direct translation of the word. But the roots of apophatism run deep. Even the medieval scholastics whose work Angrya Mainyu flatteringly describes as "nearly all philosophers of religion" in the post above wouldn't have described themselves as discovering anything about God's true nature, but rather discovering what God had revealed about himself in Scripture. Absent that sort of discovery (from texts) there were only a few other ways to approach an understanding of God. There was natural theology, which derived knowledge of God from his creations, i.e. the natural world, which has the same limitations as a text. Like an author, a sculptor may reveal much about themselves through their work, but still only what they choose to reveal, and that perhaps incompletely if their vision isn't fully realized. And there was spirituality, originally the art of seeking the Godhead which exists within and as part of the human soul. A more direct approach, and one that could result in thrilling moments of apotheosis. The kabbalists and alchemists even thought at times to make a proper science out of the attempt. But we are incomplete vessels to hold such truths for long, and mystics have customarily struggled to put the experiences they have had into words, even the most science-minded alchemists.

    Before all of their times, classical polytheists were less shy about describing gods (lower-case g, the inhabitants of a higher but still natural realm) and their qualities. But those who posited a single, over-arching essence were just as shy of putting a name to it, not even "God"; they called it "The One", or "The Principle", and were as wary as any Taoist of ascribing any particular qualities to it.

    Whether it is reasonable to translate the "gods" of non-western cultures with that term is highly controversial. But I will note that the term God tends to be used sparingly, and for cultures whose unifying Spirit is most similar to the European version (and similarly apophatic).

    Is your god a "God"? I'm not entirely sure. You are positing what a God would look like from the other side of the curtain, the impassable veil that separates the created from the creator. Because you controlled all aspects of your scenario, you were able to artificially peer through the limitations that would bind the inhabitants of your universe from truly understanding you. We cannot do the same with our own universe. And I note that you in this scenario are subject to some of the problems that have been levied against the Aristotelian God-concept over the years. Especially, namely, that you can explain in precise terms where your universe came from, but not where you yourself came from. Which means that discovering you would still be begging a further question. You made the universe, but with what? Where did the stuff come from? And where did you come from? They can take your seat, but what is the seat sitting on? As you say, there's a problem of context. Not just because we have no access to that divine context, but because even having full and unhindered access wouldn't solve all of the questions one might have. God cannot explain about Godself that which God does not know about Godself, nor can anyone else.

    Some similar themes were addressed in a very well-known digital ethnography, Tom Boellstorff's Coming of Age in Second Life. In that work, he examined the world of the computer game Second Life from within its simulation, and pondered what could and could not be derived from interior observations of the program alone. In theory, the creators of Second Life, which included in microcosm all of its users since they were all able to create sprites of their own within the confines of the programming, should have therefore had absolute control of its contents. A perfect "emic", or culture-interior view of the Second Life universe should have been possible. But, it wasn't. Fundamentally, the programmers couldn't help but emulate the real world as they understood it, creating a simulator that was fundamentally biased toward their own cultural and aesthetic perspectives coming from... somewhere, and the users likewise seemed bound by prior expectation. Whether accepting or explicitly rejecting their home cultural frameworks, they were fundamentally unable to ignore those invisible outlines even when confronted with differing norms through the contributions of users with different backgrounds. Boellstorff never calls Linden Labs "God" as near as I can recall, and his critique is usually understood as a critique of ethnography, not theology. But there's a similar problem, a paradox even. Boellstorff himself even references Plato's cave in trying to explain the issue.To truly understand Second Life, you would eventually have to leave the simulator and interact with its users in "real life". But if you did so (and Boellstorff intentionally did not) then you wouldn't truly be studying the game or the persons within it anymore because an online persona is not a true synonym for the personhood of the user who partially but incompletely controls them, and the universe is definitely not a synonym for its programming, which was both intentionally open-ended and self-creating, and also only partially relevant to what is visible and usable in "the universe". So how do you study a "thing in itself", when there is only in actuality a portrayal of a thing in itself to study? For Boellstorff, this was first and foremost a distressing realization about the limitations of "culture" as an episteme. But we could apply his observations to theology easily.

    Interestingly, the still-running program of Second Life has become a real cesspit of a universe over the seventeen years of its existence, an empty landscape of casinos and casino bots that the surviving human population struggles to find any authenticity or even coherency within. As ever, humans are much better at imagining utopias than realizing them...

    I note, for your interest, that Tom Boellstorff is also a friend of Dorothy. I think it is slightly easier for us to see the problem, but not any easier for us to resolve the unresolvable!
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  9. Top | #9
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Burnsville, MN
    Posts
    5,898
    Archived
    2,911
    Total Posts
    8,809
    Rep Power
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn View Post
    So, lots of discussions have been had about what god is, why people should or shouldn't be expected to worship them, whether their might justifies their moral edicts. Lots of discussion is had about what gods are capable of, what qualities they have... but little thought is put into what gods actually are.

    So, I decided to investigate these concepts in a universe where there is a god.

    For my own purposes, I have created a universe. I didn't create it explicitly for the purposes of this thread and I am far from the only person who has spoken the words of creation from whence this universe happened. But nonetheless I spoke the words and now a whole universe ticks merrily along under my not-very-watchful eye.

    In this context, Godhood is not unique to me. I spoke the universe into creation, sure, but it's not like my chair, or even the universe itself, has my name on it. While the world has only one God, anyone can be that God at any given point in time, assuming they have access.

    Now, I am outside the flow of time within the context of the universe I created. While time passes for us both to tick forward this world I created, their time and my own is not really the same. I can go forward or back, cull a branch of history, accelerate time, stop time.

    I can know anything that exists as momentary knowledge in the world. If I want to know where the dragons are and what they are up to, I can look them up and find out. From the perspective of individuals there that I may be interacting with, I don't know, and then suddenly I do.

    Interestingly, I find myself limited in how I can interact: I can either be an individual there, or I can be able to know anything, or I can drive some group together towards a goal... But I can't do all at the same time. This is more a limitation of the platform though on which I am a god.

    The people in the universe I created cannot kill me. Even if I died, their god cannot be killed: someone could still sit in my chair and BE their god.

    Interestingly though, none of the people in the world I created worship me. In fact, none of them actually know I exist. They do worship plenty of deities, and those deities also exist albeit less as actual deities and more as powerful material entities rather than "supernatural" ones as I am. It doesn't change the fact that certain things have resulted from my interaction with the universe.

    I have in my hands an actual example of being a God. I can point at most of the boxes that theologies point out as being qualities of god, being capable of "miracles", being immortal, being omniscient, and being reasonably omnipotent.

    But what this tells me is that something can literally be a God in one context, and a mere mortal in the next context. A God could be Omnipotent in our universe and damn near utterly impotent in his own life. A God could be outside of time itself, and still be slave to time in a different context.

    We have on example a human being, meager, mortal, flawed... Who is also a God, omnipotent, immortal, and omniscient. Context matters. So why shouldn't we consider what Gods may be in the context wherein they are not gods?
    Some thoughts.

    God isn't actually defined in most of the theistic traditions of the Mediterranean. The question of "what God is" would seem to be the goal of theology on the face of it, even arguably a direct translation of the word. But the roots of apophatism run deep. Even the medieval scholastics whose work Angrya Mainyu flatteringly describes as "nearly all philosophers of religion" in the post above wouldn't have described themselves as discovering anything about God's true nature, but rather discovering what God had revealed about himself in Scripture. Absent that sort of discovery (from texts) there were only a few other ways to approach an understanding of God. There was natural theology, which derived knowledge of God from his creations, i.e. the natural world, which has the same limitations as a text. Like an author, a sculptor may reveal much about themselves through their work, but still only what they choose to reveal, and that perhaps incompletely if their vision isn't fully realized. And there was spirituality, originally the art of seeking the Godhead which exists within and as part of the human soul. A more direct approach, and one that could result in thrilling moments of apotheosis. The kabbalists and alchemists even thought at times to make a proper science out of the attempt. But we are incomplete vessels to hold such truths for long, and mystics have customarily struggled to put the experiences they have had into words, even the most science-minded alchemists.

    Before all of their times, classical polytheists were less shy about describing gods (lower-case g, the inhabitants of a higher but still natural realm) and their qualities. But those who posited a single, over-arching essence were just as shy of putting a name to it, not even "God"; they called it "The One", or "The Principle", and were as wary as any Taoist of ascribing any particular qualities to it.

    Whether it is reasonable to translate the "gods" of non-western cultures with that term is highly controversial. But I will note that the term God tends to be used sparingly, and for cultures whose unifying Spirit is most similar to the European version (and similarly apophatic).

    Is your god a "God"? I'm not entirely sure. You are positing what a God would look like from the other side of the curtain, the impassable veil that separates the created from the creator. Because you controlled all aspects of your scenario, you were able to artificially peer through the limitations that would bind the inhabitants of your universe from truly understanding you. We cannot do the same with our own universe. And I note that you in this scenario are subject to some of the problems that have been levied against the Aristotelian God-concept over the years. Especially, namely, that you can explain in precise terms where your universe came from, but not where you yourself came from. Which means that discovering you would still be begging a further question. You made the universe, but with what? Where did the stuff come from? And where did you come from? They can take your seat, but what is the seat sitting on? As you say, there's a problem of context. Not just because we have no access to that divine context, but because even having full and unhindered access wouldn't solve all of the questions one might have. God cannot explain about Godself that which God does not know about Godself, nor can anyone else.

    Some similar themes were addressed in a very well-known digital ethnography, Tom Boellstorff's Coming of Age in Second Life. In that work, he examined the world of the computer game Second Life from within its simulation, and pondered what could and could not be derived from interior observations of the program alone. In theory, the creators of Second Life, which included in microcosm all of its users since they were all able to create sprites of their own within the confines of the programming, should have therefore had absolute control of its contents. A perfect "emic", or culture-interior view of the Second Life universe should have been possible. But, it wasn't. Fundamentally, the programmers couldn't help but emulate the real world as they understood it, creating a simulator that was fundamentally biased toward their own cultural and aesthetic perspectives coming from... somewhere, and the users likewise seemed bound by prior expectation. Whether accepting or explicitly rejecting their home cultural frameworks, they were fundamentally unable to ignore those invisible outlines even when confronted with differing norms through the contributions of users with different backgrounds. Boellstorff never calls Linden Labs "God" as near as I can recall, and his critique is usually understood as a critique of ethnography, not theology. But there's a similar problem, a paradox even. Boellstorff himself even references Plato's cave in trying to explain the issue.To truly understand Second Life, you would eventually have to leave the simulator and interact with its users in "real life". But if you did so (and Boellstorff intentionally did not) then you wouldn't truly be studying the game or the persons within it anymore because an online persona is not a true synonym for the personhood of the user who partially but incompletely controls them, and the universe is definitely not a synonym for its programming, which was both intentionally open-ended and self-creating, and also only partially relevant to what is visible and usable in "the universe". So how do you study a "thing in itself", when there is only in actuality a portrayal of a thing in itself to study? For Boellstorff, this was first and foremost a distressing realization about the limitations of "culture" as an episteme. But we could apply his observations to theology easily.

    Interestingly, the still-running program of Second Life has become a real cesspit of a universe over the seventeen years of its existence, an empty landscape of casinos and casino bots that the surviving human population struggles to find any authenticity or even coherency within. As ever, humans are much better at imagining utopias than realizing them...

    I note, for your interest, that Tom Boellstorff is also a friend of Dorothy. I think it is slightly easier for us to see the problem, but not any easier for us to resolve the unresolvable!
    Interestingly, the inhabitants of my universe may not be really capable of understanding the idea of a creator god.

    I'm not in this concept intent much on the particulars of recursive universes. In other threads I have discussed how from the inside, if I were to share my world with you and we each took the same steps in this world, made the same decisions, it would continue to be the same world, regardless of who sat in the seat. It is not necessary for there even to be a seat, were it a different kind of world I made. I could just let the world run until it passed the time horizon of my computer's processing power.

    To that end, I'm discussing and examining, for the purposes of perhaps putting to rest this expectation that this "prime cause" not be as flawed and mortal as we are, in its own context of normal life.

    That said, don't get me started on Second Life.

    Oh, the things I did there. I made some awesome things. Some obscene things. Some things of beauty. And also various weapons against everything and sunder. Eventually they found my alt account where I hid the worst of them and they banned me.

    As far as I know, the furries still are doing well enough.

    Then again, that may or may not still count as a cesspit. SecondLife was never GOOD though. It started out a cesspit. So sayeth some of the original cess.

  10. Top | #10
    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,199
    Archived
    4,886
    Total Posts
    6,085
    Rep Power
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn View Post
    .....For my own purposes, I have created a universe. I didn't create it explicitly for the purposes of this thread and I am far from the only person who has spoken the words of creation from whence this universe happened. But nonetheless I spoke the words and now a whole universe ticks merrily along under my not-very-watchful eye.
    Are you talking about giving voice commands to an AI that then handled the details? That is similar to:
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...ages-from-text

    ....Interestingly, I find myself limited in how I can interact: I can either be an individual there, or I can be able to know anything, or I can drive some group together towards a goal... But I can't do all at the same time. This is more a limitation of the platform though on which I am a god....
    Humans have a small number of chunks that they can be aware of at a time... perhaps in the future post-humans could be far less limited. Also AI could summarize many things at once into a user-friendly display.... and when the god thinks of something they want to know (like the number of hairs on a person's head) the system could instantly give them that information....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •