Estimating God

So, I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while, partially because I think it’s a fun set of thoughts to bounce around on. I’m waiting for a big file to download and a even bigger database to copy, so I might as well engage in a little bit of woolgathering.

Forgetting any particular religious text, the question that I’m pondering is, based on reality testing, what could we reasonably guess about the nature of God?

Alderin suggested that if there were gods, we would probably want to stay far away from them, because they would be inclined to squish us like bugs, or at least care about us as little as we care about cattle. If there were Gods that were external to us, I would tend to agree. But I tend to think that if there are Gods, we’re as a row to their table, a neuron to their brain. And you generally don’t want to squish your own brain cells.

Anyway, obviously this fits into the category of intellectual wanking, because we can’t even know if the reality we’re experiencing has that much to do with the reality that is – there’s so many layers of neurons between our senses and the part of our mind that’s on the ride that it’s really pretty hopeless. Nonetheless, let’s see what we can figure out.

First of all, it seems clear that whoever they are, they want to have some distance between groups of intelligent life. The whole design of the universe, at least via the perspective that I see it, seems inclined to put ridiculous amounts of space between groups of people. The nature of relativity makes even communication with anyone that’s not in our immediate neighborhood very difficult, and as far as going there, forget about it, at least until we learn some things that we don’t yet know.

Second of all, it seems clear that the intention is for us to have bountiful amounts of energy to play with. The sun delivers unbelievable amounts of power every day, there’s enormous amounts of power stored in thorium and uranium, there’s a bunch of power stored in oil. They’re even arranged in stages, so you can figure out first how to build internal combustion, then fission, then fusion. Almost like we’ve got a little puzzle going on here.

Third of all, it seems likely that there is some sort of state machine at work here. A lot of physical laws can be described with mathematical relationships – most of them are even relationships that are not particularly difficult to calculate. Also, DNA, in it’s rather binary way, looks suspiciously like it might be the output of a compiler. God uses computers. Probably much more advanced ones than we do.

Fourth of all, we can safely say whoever they were, they did in fact like to play dice with the universe. The quantum world we’re discovering.. and building lots of neat stuff based on our discoveries of.. is full of probabilistic behavior.

Fifth of all, they did not want lasting records to be easy to make within the universe container we are in. This world is incredibly hostile to data storage. Our best storage methodology so far is *paper*, and it’s only good for a few hundred years. The only data that gets kept is the data that future generations choose to make copies of.

Sixth of all, it seems clear there’s no one ‘true religion’. I’ve been through the reasons we can know this enough in the rest of this blog to not need to iterate them here. On the other hand, if we assume that they’re actively a part of the current dance, as opposed to just being a agent that started the whole thing in motion and walked away, they *want* there to be a lot of variety in religions. God might well think that religions are orthogonal to God, or even antithetical. There are a few ways this could work. It might well be that different neural subnets in each of our minds would have to have radically different data loaded on them – different religions, if you will – for the system as a whole to operate. It’s also possible that if you could go in and talk to the individual hemispheres of our minds you’d find that they hold radically different beliefs. I’m not sure how you would experiment with this, although the people experimenting with cutting the corpus collossem would probably have some interesting ideas on the subject. Anyway, it might be that if we *are* all individual neurons to God’s brain, then if we all had the same religion, the results would be *very* bad. Imagine what happens to the lion/no lion subnet if it only believes in lions and not tigers, for example.

Seventh of all, I’m fairly sure we’re here with at least one species that is smarter than we are, and probably a number of them. My guess is when we start playing with ANNs and using them as mediators between us and dolphins and whales we’re going to discover that the joke really has been on us for a very long time. My guess is A: we’re hypervised – that is, we’re inside a virtualization container “in the real world”, as well as being hypervised in a second virtualization container inside our own minds and B: some other species here has access to the hypervisor console and we don’t because we’re not yet evolved enough to be able to use it responsibly.

Eighth of all, nothing is forever here. Most noticeably are the laws of entropy, but also difficult to miss is the fact that we have a TTL engineered into our DNA – DRM, in fact. You get this many copies and no more. My guess is this is to protect us from our own stupidity. No matter what, you can’t get stuck in a situation for more than about a hundred years. Mixing this with the quality of the human body’s design (good, but with significant flaws), I would guess we are in a beta test version of the universe we’re currently experiencing.

2 Responses to “Estimating God”

  1. sheer_panic Says:

    Occasionally I wonder if the large address space in IPv6 – and the odd start point – are because there’s a internet out there that’s actually *that big*, and we’re going to be connected to it after we pass some basic intelligence and empathy tests.

  2. Alderin Says:

    Re: IPv6, I occasionally wonder if it is making the same mistake that IPv4 did in estimating the eventual real-world use-case. It SEEMS like a big number NOW, but IPv4 certainly SEEMED like a big number THEN.

    As for our neural nets being a part of a god’s net, that is quite an interesting theory. To expand: neurons in the brain can change their axion positions to connect to different neurons (not observed, but theorized due to existence of muscular proteins in brain tissue), perhaps our belief direction connects our nets to a different super-net. May explain a little re: telepathy, may explain some about the feeling of community most churches have.

    That line of thought starts feeling very meta to me, and feels like a lowering of our individual value. On the other hand, objectively, it could be argued (within this theory) that religious wars are merely a decision sub-process, culling some nets and adjusting others as the mind of god thinks through things. This gives some force behind the Christian concept of “being in one accord”, and even some credence to the act of prayer. God isn’t everywhere because they are god, but because we are all a part of them, as in cells of an animal. If god acts on a decision, we made that decision, we were a part of it.

    Yes, quite an interesting set of thoughts to bounce around.

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