Archive for the ‘Spiritual/Religious’ Category


Sunday, January 21st, 2024

How anyone can look at their kids needing braces and not realize we’re not the result of direct engineering is beyond me.


Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024

My theory is the only person who deserves eternal punishment is anyone who would sentance someone else to eternal punishment – and only until they repent. (Yes, I just put the Christian God in hell until He learns. 🙂 )

Love and Christianity

Sunday, July 16th, 2023

So, I have yet another disproof of Christianity. (I know, I know, I should really let go of this obsession – but a figure driven by Christianity still gatekeeps my dreams – a copy of my mother as she was when I was young – and I really have to get it and her entirely out of my mind, and I feel like coming up with arguments against it helps this process)

This one’s really simple, and is based on my experiences with $_PERSON.

If God loves us, Hell would also be a good place.

Love does not want the beloved to be unhappy if the beloved wants nothing to do with the one who loves. Love wants the beloved to be happy and healthy and have everything they want and need. Anything lesser is a misunderstanding of love. Part of what’s so upsetting about $_PERSON not wanting to talk to me is she might not be okay and I would never know and there would never be anything I could do to improve the situation. I cannot *fathom* a God of love choosing for someone to suffer because they didn’t want to be near said God. I also cannot fathom said God deleting such people, as some have suggested – the idea of $_PERSON ceasing to exist is inherently extremely painful.

To me, this is a obvious doomsday knell for Christianity. The one Christian I presented this too suggested God is goodness and that there can be no goodness without God. This shows a inadequate understanding of the data universe.

Good feelings, in us, come from good experiences. Love is inherently in our hardware so even if we are banished to another realm we are still going to love, and we are still going to try to give each other good experiences. Good experiences are *data*, and *God can’t make data become unavailable from the universe*. My example was God could decide to banish the number 2, but if a computer runs for($i=0;$i<10;$i++) $i is still going to contain 2 right after it contains 1. It's possible God could actively, via hostility, constantly erase such things from our memories, but there is no possible way you're going to claim that Loki-God is a God of Love.

In Anathem, Neil Stephenson speaks of a very important idea – he speaks of it as the Hylaean Theoretical World, or the HTW, and it’s where all the perfect abstract concepts live that we iterate through when we use our imaginations. It contains, for example, every possible set that can exist. Now, you can imagine a computer that has a portion that can work on countable infinities mated to a classical computer, and you can imagine that you could use such a computer to, for example, find and iterate through every data element that would be every possible hug from a particular person, for example. Of course, in the real world, we find these data members using much more clumsy but intuitive means, like hugging people, but the point is that the *experience* of a hug is a data experience to us – it’s a bunch of information being streamed to our brain from our body. And that dataset will be in hell – in fact if there are multiple Gods or multiple universes that data is in potentia available to all of them, because the HTW is *bigger than God*. It’s a different type of entity than God could ever be – and it’s certainly not all good. Those same datasets have every way you could ever be tortured, for example. But the point is, it’s not something God can make “go away” because it’s not a concrete manifestation. Just as God can’t change pi no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make any place lack goodness. So that argument also does not hold water.

What’s going on

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023

MY best guess, at the moment, about what’s “going on” i.e. why are we here and why is stuff so broken, is as follows.

I believe that infinity and eternity would get awfully boring without a infinite number of entertaining and interesting things to do. One of those things I imagine is building new worlds. I think we are in a world in which the bodies we are wearing were designed using a evolutionary algorithm, as are the minds we are using to do our thinking. I think whatever we are, we can move between neural networks (and possibly other types of information processing systems) and bodies. We decided to build a world.

The world we’re currently working on is probably a very early alpha. It has serious playability problems, serious bugs, etc. But.. in the eternal perspective, that’s part of the joy. We’re the dev team. We’re trying to build memetics and bodies that are great to experience so the players can come in. Things have Gone Wrong, as they so often do when you’re developing software that people experience as reality, and we’re trying to sort it out.

All the world’s religions are a work in process. They’re supposed to enable specific ways of thinking and seeing the world. They’re all buggy, because this is a early beta or possibly they were also created using evolutionary algorithms.

We’re gonna do better in a future revision.

That’s my best guess.

Another point about Christianity

Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Yet another point I’d like to make in defense of Christianity not being the right answer.

Historically, Christians are never on the front lines of discovery or of empathy. Ever since the catholic church threatened Galileo with torture for daring to trust his own eyes over observable truth, Christians been making statements which they later had to recant when it turned out they were wrong. If they had any kind of link with a honest higher power, this would not be the case.

I see our latest example is the current pope has now spoken out against transgendered folk. The absurdity of God being offended if you decide to wear a different gender body is pretty high – it very much fits in with Christians putting God in what I would call “a box of their limited understanding” – their God is petty, jealous, angers easily, doesn’t embrace the spirit of exploring infinity, is small minded in the extreme – basically, their God is *not* a higher power. I’d describe the Christian God as a ‘lower power’ – something less than human. For example I would like to think that most intelligent humans who have given the matter serious thought would not condemn anything to a eternity of suffering for any crime – I can’t imagine any crime *other than condemning someone else to eternal suffering* which would warrant such punishment. (And, in fact, as soon as the offender relented and released whoever they were torturing for all eternity, I would release them)

Anyway, basically, Christians are often holding back science, and often refusing to believe things which are clearly observable. This doesn’t speak to any kind of link with a higher power to me. I think they’re trapped by a God they’ve imagined which is masking any Gods which might happen to actually exist, and they end up using the God they’ve imagined as a excuse to abuse others entirely too often.

My opinion of Christianity keeps sinking – there are some individual Christians which I like and respect, but it seems like the religion is used both as a excuse to threaten others with God “You’re going to hell for believing the wrong thing!” and to try to make personal beliefs the law of the land and punish others for personal squicks.

Don’t get me wrong, I think I’d come to the same conclusion about most abrahamic religions. At this point I actually think it’s fairly likely that Christianity is a test – but the way to pass it is to *not* believe in sin ransom. To believe in sin ransom is to misunderstand love in some profound and fundamental ways. I have not “rejected God” by failing to believe a fundamentally unbelievable theory. I don’t think any deity would come to the conclusion that I have.

The God I believe in, which I believe in a God, is delighted when people decide to experiment – delighted when they learn about the real universe we’re really inhabiting – delighted when people treat each other well, delighted when we accept each other’s differences and don’t choose to shoot, stab, or throw each other in jail. We’re given bodies but I don’t think God is offended if we choose to modify them, extend them, repair them, or mess with their configuration.

I wish the Christians hadn’t decided to make their God so small.

Christians got it backwards, redux.

Saturday, March 11th, 2023

So, recently I went to the funeral of a good friend from high school.. I mentioned various bits along the way to this in previous blog entries. Anyway, I had a interesting talk with her husband, who did not insist that I was going to hell for all eternity for my beliefs. (Always a good sign)

I’ve actually come to think that insofar as there is any test attached to our beliefs, it’s the opposite of the one the Christians think is there.

This is partially because a utopia populated entirely with people who believe the sin ransom theory so popular in Christianity wouldn’t be much of a utopia.

Look, so, we have people wandering around, Jews, who don’t believe Jesus was the prophet. We have Christians, who do. We have Islamic folks, who believe that Jesus was a prophet but so was this dude who came after him, Mohammad. Then we’ve got folks who believe that Buddha was where it’s at, and we’ve got folks who can make some kind of sense of the Bahagavad Gita.

The vast majority of them is convinced they are “right”, that their point of view is correct and the views of others are wrong.

At this point, I have to think that the folks I would let into a utopia – as opposed to the folks that I would send back around for more exposure in the hopes that they’d grow up some – are the folks who *didn’t* think their religion was the one true one and all other folks were going to hell.

Personally, the whole concept of torturing folks for failing to believe the unbelievable trips circuit breakers in my mind. I don’t know *how* I know God is better than that, but I do. All these religious folks are proclaiming belief in a *evil* diety. There’s no other word to describe someone who expects you to guess right from a plethora of choices and would torture you or through allow inaction allow you to be tortured for not guessing right.

I mean, let’s not forget that Christianity was deliberately made unbelievable. There’s far more probable explanations for all of this than a virgin birth, individual who could bend the laws of reality at will, came back to life after dying. That’s a pretty unplausable story right there. So, we have a deity who will torture you for all eternity *for being what you were made to be*, let’s not forget, unless you *believe something that’s very, very hard to believe*.

Um, no. Far more likely: trying to believe the unbelievable damages people’s minds in ways that make them easier to lead around by the nose. And in any case the whole thing exists to make money for the shamans.

It does however worry me significantly that Christians that believe in Sin Ransom can’t see that they are worshiping a evil god. Or maybe they’re so scared of God they know he’s evil and they worship him anyway?

I wish I could just forget the whole thing, but there is a conspicuous hole in my life where any religion might sit. Perhaps I need to sit down and write one. I’m sure all the Christians in my life would tell me that’s a horribly sinful thing to do and I’ll get extra-tortured for that.

For my part, I think religions are just another handy way to divide into “Us” and “them” and justify treating “them” badly. It even implies that God does it.

Another reason to be pro-abortion in case of rape

Friday, November 11th, 2022

So, we’d all like to pretend that humans have perfect free will and are always making conscious decisions about everything they do. Among other things it makes us feel better when we punish them for being bad. However, statistically speaking, a taste for rape *should* be baked into our genome as it is a evolutionary successful strategy. Most of us learn to overcome such things just as a puppy learns bite inhibition *however* if you want to have more rape (and incest!) in the future, one good way to make sure of it is to force mothers to bear the children that are the fruit of rape – some of those fathers may have never been exposed to the necessary socialization to learn bite inhibition, but others will be, for various hormonal or neural network shaped reasons, immune to it. See, that’s how evolution works. Aborting fetusi that are the results of rape and incest is lowering the odds that in the future those things will occur, because even though we like to pretend that we are entirely creatures of free will, in fact our decision making is colored a lot by the chemical soup wandering around in our blood. We’re loose confederations of subnets.

Just one more reason to be pro-choice, if anyone needed any. Also one more reason to not let the people who put religious beliefs in front of clearly observable science run the place. They will build a nightmare dystopia that even *they* don’t like – because evidence-based decision making really is the way to go.

Conflicting Interests

Thursday, October 20th, 2022

So, I just learned that one of my best friends from high school has cancer – hopefully is beating it, but has been paralyzed. The awkward bit here is that she’s from the era before I pretty much eschewed all religion and is very religious. I’m already on record as saying from my point of view cancer is proof that we’re not the product of intelligent design as a intelligent designer would freeze mutations with something like a CRC-32 after the initial mitosis of the egg.

And, we haven’t talked in like ten years, so odds are she isn’t going to call me out of the blue. If she did, though, I would likely not mention that theory because the last thing I would want to do is take any energy away from her healing.

I hate that I’ve gotten old enough that friends are dying, getting cancer, etc. I know it’s a normal part of life – that indeed I myself will be dying in 30 or so years. After which persumably I’ll know the answer to whether there’s life after death – or I won’t. 😉

I wish there was something I could do for this particular one – I’ve sent messages of support to her and her partner (who is also a lifetime friend), but since I’m 3000 miles away it’s not like I can pop in to do baby-sitting for them. I guess if they need money I can send some of that. I hate the powerlessness as well.

There is the part of me that worries – and I think this underlines to what extent religion is a mental illness in me – that if I *had* believed this wouldn’t be happening.. possibly that I’m seeing a custom mix where my friend dies while she’s seeing a custom mix where everything is fine to punish me for not believing the right things. But on the other paw I also think that idea is absurd and not in any way compatible with anything other than evil being in charge of the universe.

Anyway, so, apparently if you’re fighting cancer, you get a pass on believing absurd things. I wish I could stop worrying about the situation.

Additional thought – I would ask the CEPT team at alt.callahans to do a CEPT, but the last time I did, the guy died. In addition, scientific research suggests remote prayer does nothing at all if the person doesn’t know, and makes things *worse* if they do. And, I don’t really believe in remote prayer doing anything useful anyway, other than making the person doing the praying feel better. (But then, see above bit about mental illness, I wonder, if I believed different things, would the results be different?)

Entropy and human systems

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

So, I’ve been doing some more thinking (partially because of reading Einstien’s Fridge, which I’d recommend as a great read) about entropy and human systems. Specifically human systems tend to get progressively more corrupt as they age and/or grow larger until eventually they collapse and new systems are created out of their ashes. This is also true of individual human bodies.. our bodies run well for 30 years or so and then various forms of aging start to win – a form of corruption, if you will. And then, obviously, we die. Again with the reset.

Life in general seems like, while it’s not violating the laws of thermodynamics, it’s doing something funny on the stage of ordering information. Of course great writers and musicians and actors and whatnot are all ordering information in their own uniquely recognizable ways, and therefore resisting the tendency of the universe to slowly remove all ordered all information and move towards a totally random – and energy-equal – state.

It does make me wonder if it would be possible to create a religion that would do the *opposite* of growing steadily more corrupt, and what would have to be written into it to make it do that?

Interesting thought to mull over.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Someone really needs to create a religion to be what Scientology *should* have been.

The assholes over at are well aware that we now have things like FMRIs but their idea of a major advance is to make their skin conductivity tester (e-meter) *digital*. Yah, that’s going to help a whole bunch. Seriously, can we get a religion that is

1) Based on only observable or derivable truths
2) Not written by old men wandering in the desert thousands of years ago
3) Designed to be positive to the lives and experiences of it’s users and everyone they come in contact with
4) Carefully designed so that it *never* ‘freezes’ like the bible has (i.e. gets modified in such a way as to become unmodifiable)
5) Is not inherently internally contradictory
6) Bonus points for being based on science
7) *Major* bonus points for accepting that some things are unknowable instead of pretending to know them because it was written by a bunch of lying old men who craved power
8) I’d like it if it promoted hedonism and encouraged solidarity and helping each other
9) I’d also like it a lot if it did not claim to be the one true way
10) Anti-war would be a big plus, especially if it laid out what war costs us, both in the sense of the destroyed resources and in the sense of the generational trauma that has to be healed
11) Bonus points if it smashes the patriarchy and builds a system of equality in its place
12) Bonus points if it smashes the idea children are property
13) Bonus points if it promotes the development of tasty synthetic meat and a transition to synthetic meat
14) It’d be nice if it promoted living within the means of the ecosystem we’re in, either by developing technologies that permit us to grow food more efficiently or by promoting a smaller population than we currently have
15) Would be *great* if it could include a long term search for a understanding of how to construct neurological software – how to literally edit the structure of our mind to do what we want it to do
16) Would also be awesome if it could include long term searches for cures to every known disease for every form of life that can be considered sentient

I’ll stop there for now. But Scientology.. you could have been so great, and you so aren’t. I mean, people have been writing religions for a loooong time. Clearly the bible is made up, clearly the book of mormon is made up, humans are storytellers. Can we get a better one, with baked into it perpetual improvement until it is freeing and empowering and encouraging of love and life?

(The list of things I find *not* freeing and empowering about Christianity, for example, is quite long)