Building "Gods"

Arthur C. Clarke wrote "Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God — but to create Him."

Subtract the Earth-centric and Christian-centric phraseology, and the implicit confidence that there is such a thing as a preconfigured "role" for a species ... and you're left with a very Cosmist-friendly notion:

A fascinating and potentially excellent strategy for moving along the Cosmist path is to create a superhumanly intelligent, powerful and benevolent entity -- i.e., to "build a god."

It could be a digital computer. It could be a quantum computer, or some sort of system yet unknown to us.

What would it do? It could solve our problems far more effectively than we could. It could invite us into its mindspace. Ultimately though, we just can't know what it would do, any more than a cockroach can predict the unfolding of human events like wars or elections.

Potentially the advance of joy, growth, choice, understanding and all that other good stuff could be massively accelerated and improved by having our own home-brewed god to help us.

Is there a risk here? Yes.

Do we thoroughly understand the risk-benefit tradeoffs involved in such a pursuit? Not at this point.

Will we ever fully understand these tradeoffs? Probably not, but we can surely grok them more fully than is the case right now.

A lot more study will be required before we'll know for sure if building a god is the best thing to do ... and if it is, at what stage in the development of our knowledge it's the best thing to do.

And, not coincidentally, a lot more study will be required before we'll know how to build a god in enough technical detail to do it.

Cosmism doesn't advocate jumping rashly into such an enterprise. It does advocate devoting significant resources and enthusiasm to the serious exploration of the possibility.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a Christian, although I was. I now tend toward evolution as the origin of life and the universe, but have not yet totally discounted the possibility of some God/god.
    What if this was a real super been already existing and we tried to make something to substitute for him/her. It seems a bit frightening. Like trying to provoke him/her to jealousy.