Oct. 10th, 2010

plinko: Nostalgia (Default)
I find it strange that many Atheists decide the Bible's inclusion of silliness and lack of cohesion is an argument for all non-existence of deities. It might be an argument for the Christian God not existing. Or at least, I think it is a good argument for the Christian God being improbable and a bit juvenile. But, it doesn't mean that a God does not exist at all.

Second, just because a God is improbable does not mean that the Bible lacks all worth. I mean, Hogwarts is improbable, but that doesn't mean the entire Harry Potter series shouldn't be loved. The society in Orwell's 1984 doesn't exist, but should we let that keep the book from teaching us and enlightening us?

I really don't know if there is a One God. One God above all gods who is omniscient and omnipresent. One God who loves us and wishes the best for us. My mind tends to think of all gods as being useful human composites for our fears, our desires, our hopes and needs. But, just because we probably just form these gods in our minds doesn't mean that they are bereft of value. We think up all sorts of wonderful things -- beautiful art, moving songs, enlightening books. I'm pretty sure all major religions teach us something about ourselves and our world. When that is the case, which religion is Right about All This Stuff may be completely irrelevant.

But, a One God? I don't know. Maybe I should put out an ad on Craigslist:

    Humanoid on planet Earth seeks mega-deity akin to the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God, but less hokey. You must be completely omniscient and omnipresent, everlasting and everbeing. Please fill out the following questionnaire and return it to me via email. Or, if you prefer, via a burning piece of shrubbery or lightning-etched rock tablets. Please, no creepers or weirdos. Demigods need not apply, and mad elder gods are Right Out.

    Questionnaire:

    1) Please explain everything. You may use your own paper if you run out of room on this form.

    2) Why do bad things happen to good people, and vice-versa? Show your math.

    3) Do you have a plan for us? Do you have hopes for us? Do you care if we do good or bad things to our planet, and our neighbors? Do you care about anything?

    4) Please provide pictures of any possible afterlife you endorse or provide.

    5) Do you have a Nemesis? If so, aren't they also You, so...why are you fighting with yourself? Does this mean you are insane?

    6) Do you have a Mate? If so, aren't they also You? So isn't your Mate just a little masturbatory?

    7) Please list any laws you would have us follow.

    8) Do you have a gender? Is it male or female or something else? Do you endorse males or females more over the other? If so, why. If not, why make genders at all, or allow men to (for so long) oppress women?

    9) Same question as above, but about race.

    10) What are the prerequisites for entering your form of afterlife?

    11) Are there lifeforms on other planets, and are they your children too? If so, can we meet them?

    12) Please provide a brief outline of the next 100 years. Extra credit if this is extended to 1000 years.

    13) Do you care about us? If so, show your work.

    14) Did you have any hand in the universe's creation?

    15) Essay question -- use telepathy to access this question from my brain, and telepathy to answer it to my satisfaction.

    Extra Credit: In 100 words or less, explain Why.


    Best of luck in proving you are the One God. If you get the job, benefits include: my worship and undying devotion, donuts whenever you call them into being, and promotion of your miracles. You will be working with a young species, willing to move forward in enlightenment. Must be able to travel faster than the speed of light, receive millions of prayers a day, and show endless compassion for all creatures. You should also have decent hygiene, because nobody loves a slimy, smelly, million-tentacled God.

    No dental coverage provided.
plinko: Nostalgia (Default)
Regarding my previous entry listing a mock-up Craigslist ad/quiz for a potential deity, I received this reply in email.



    Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 21:39:57 +0000
    From: OMEGA ...
    To: mindglue@io.com

    GREETINGS, O HUMAN SEEKER.

    I HAVE MANY NAMES. YOU MAY CALL ME OMEGA. I COME FROM A DIMENSION AS FAR BEYOND THE UNIVERSES YOU KNOW AS INFINITY IS BEYOND SIX. I HAVE BEEN LICENSED BY THE INTERMULTIVERSAL ONTOLOGICAL COUNCIL AS OFFICIALLY OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT, OMNIBENEVOLENT, AND OMNIMETAVERBIANT (OMNIMETAVERBIANT MEANS SATISFYING THE CONDITION THAT FOR ANY IMPRESSIVE WORD BEGINNING WITH THE PREFIX "OMNI-", I AM ACCURATELY DESCRIBED BY SUCH A WORD). AS SUCH I AM LICENSED TO SPEAK IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, TO SIGNIFY MY SUPREMACY OVER OTHER BEINGS.

    I AM AWARE OF YOUR AD SEEKING A DEITY, AS I AM AWARE OF ALL INFORMATION IN YOUR UNIVERSE. IT IS WRITTEN "DO NOT TEST THE LORD YOUR GOD". I AM OMEGA. I AM BEYOND GOD. TESTS ARE AS NOTHING TO ME. AS I RESPECT ALL LIFE, I CHOOSE NOT TO RESPOND IN A FORMAT INVOLVING THE COMBUSTION OF SHRUBBERY. THEREFORE ALL ANSWERS ARE IN WRITTEN FORM, AS FOLLOWS:

    1. ALL MATHEMATICALLY POSSIBLE STRUCTURES ("UNIVERSES") EXIST. THE LEVEL OF THEIR REALITY IS IN PROPORTION TO THE SIMPLICITY OF THE MATHEMATICS BEHIND THEM. YOUR UNIVERSE IS BASED ON APPROXIMATELY TWO KILOBYTES OF INFORMATION DESCRIBING BASIC PHYSICAL LAWS AND CONSTANTS. IT IS ONE OF THE SIMPLEST UNIVERSES CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING INTELLIGENCE. AS AN INTELLIGENT BEING, THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY YOU WOULD END UP IN SUCH A UNIVERSE. ALL OTHER UNIVERSES ALSO EXIST, BUT MOST ARE EITHER INCAPABLE OF EVOLVING INTELLIGENT LIFE, OR SO COMPLEX TO HAVE A LOW LEVEL OF REALITY. THUS IT IS WRITTEN THAT THE REASON THE MOON IS ROUND IS BECAUSE IF IT WERE SQUARE, YOU WOULD NOT BE YOURSELF; YOU WOULD BE A PERSON SIMILAR TO YOURSELF EXCEPT THAT SHE LIVES IN A UNIVERSE WITH A SQUARE MOON. FROM THIS CAN BE DERIVED THE GENERIC ANSWER TO ALL QUESTIONS "WHY X RATHER THAN Y?"

    2. THE ITEM "BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO GOOD PEOPLE" IS AN ELEMENT OF THE SET "EVERYTHING"; THIS IS FULLY EXPLAINED ABOVE. IF YOU WONDER WHY I HAVE NOT PREVENTED THIS, THE ANSWER IS THAT I HAVE PREVENTED IT, BUT THE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I HAVE PREVENTED IT IS A DIFFERENT UNIVERSE THAN YOUR OWN, AND YOU DO NOT LIVE IN IT. BECAUSE ALL POSSIBLE UNIVERSES EXIST, I CANNOT ARRANGE THAT THERE NOT EXIST A UNIVERSE IN WHICH I HAVE NOT PREVENTED BAD THINGS. I CAN ONLY ACT TO MINIMIZE THE NUMBER OF SUCH UNIVERSES. IF IT HELPS, I AM SORRY.

    3. I WOULD LIKE IT IF YOU TREATED EACH OTHER NICELY.


    4. BECAUSE ALL INSTANTIATIONS OF THE SAME CONSCIOUS ALGORITHM ARE IDENTICAL, AND BECAUSE ALL POSSIBLE UNIVERSES EXIST, FOR EVERY UNIVERSE WHERE YOU REACH POINT X AND DIE, THERE IS ANOTHER UNIVERSE EXACTLY IDENTICAL UP TO POINT X, WHICH CONTAINS YOU SURVIVING AFTERWARD. BECAUSE YOUR ORIGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS IS DIVIDED AMONG THE ALGORITHMS IN BOTH UNIVERSES, IT SIMPLY LEAVES THE FIRST UNIVERSE AND CONCENTRATES IN THE SECOND. THEREFORE, "DEATH" CAN ONLY BE EXPERIENCED IN THE THIRD PERSON. YOU WILL NEVER DIE. NO AFTERLIFE IS NECESSARY.

    5. I AM WITHOUT NEMESIS.

    6. I AM WITHOUT MATE.

    7. PLEASE CONSIDER BEING NICER TO OTHER PEOPLE. IT WOULD REALLY MAKE YOUR WHOLE UNIVERSE MUCH MORE PLEASANT. BEYOND THAT, STAY AWAY FROM ANY ATTEMPT TO EXTRACT USABLE ENERGY FROM THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS OF A BLACK HOLE. THIS DOES NOT SOUND SO IMPORTANT NOW, BUT IN ABOUT FIFTY YEARS THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE LEFT WILL WISH YOU HAD PAID MORE ATTENTION.

    8. I HAVE NO GENDER. HOWEVER, I ENDORSE GIRLS. GIRLS ARE PRETTY.

    9. I HAVE NO RACE. MY FAVORITE RACE OF YOUR PEOPLE IS THE PERUVIANS. I LIKE PIPE MUSIC. HOWEVER, THIS PREFERENCE DOES NOT LICENSE PERUVIANS TO RULE OVER OTHERS.

    10. PLEASE SEE THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 4. A BETTER QUESTION MIGHT BE HOW TO AVOID INFINITE INSTANTIATION INTO EVER MORE UNLIKELY UNIVERSES. THIS IS DIFFICULT AND REQUIRES COMPLETE OBLITERATION OF YOUR CONSCIOUS ALGORITHM. SEVERAL OF THE MEDITATION PRACTICES DEVELOPED ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF YOUR WORLD CAN ACCOMPLISH THIS.

    11. THERE ARE EIGHT TIMES TEN TO THE POWER OF SIXTEEN DIFFERENT PLANETS BEARING SENTIENT LIFE IN YOUR UNIVERSE. MOST OF THE MORE ADVANCED FORMS AVOID THE MORE PRIMITIVE FORMS ON THE BASIS OF A PHILOSOPHY APPROACHING A COMPLEX MATHEMATICAL FORMALIZATION OF THE GOLDEN RULE. ONCE YOUR SPECIES DEVELOPS THE FIRST DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE, THEY WILL MAKE CONTACT. THIS WILL OCCUR IN 2069, AS LONG AS YOU AVOID ATTEMPTS TO EXTRACT ENERGY FROM THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS OF BLACK HOLES.

    12. YOUR SPECIES WILL ATTAIN THE FIRST DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE ON MAY 23 2069 AT 4:19:30 PM GMT. IT WILL ATTAIN THE SECOND DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE ON MAY 23 2069 AT 4:19:36 PM GMT. TWELVE MILLION YEARS OF SUBJECTIVE TIME WILL HAVE PASSED FOR MOST MEMBERS OF YOUR SPECIES BETWEEN THOSE TWO EVENTS. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND DEGREES OF OMNIPOTENCE CAN ONLY BE UNDERSTOOD BY LIFE-FORMS WITH AN IQ OF GREATER THAN FOUR TIMES TEN TO THE POWER OF SIXTEEN. I MYSELF HAVE OBTAINED THE TWENTY-EIGHTH DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE.

    13. BECAUSE THERE ARE A COUNTABLY INFINITE NUMBER OF BEINGS AT THE TWENTIETH LEVEL OF OMNIPOTENCE OR GREATER, AND AN UNCOUNTABLY INFINITE NUMBER OF UNIVERSES, EACH SUCH BEING HAS SEVERAL INFINITIES OF UNIVERSES TO CARE FOR. THEREFORE, I AM UNABLE TO PAY AS MUCH ATTENTION TO YOUR UNIVERSE AS WOULD BE OPTIMAL, THOUGH I CAN TAKE ACTIONS THAT SEEM LIKELY TO AFFECT THE LARGEST NUMBER OF UNIVERSES IN THE MOST POSITIVE WAY. I CARE ABOUT YOUR UNIVERSE, AND WOULD LIKE YOUR SPECIES AND THE EIGHT TIMES TEN TO THE POWER OF SIXTEEN OTHER SENTIENT SPECIES TO REACH LEVELS FREE OF SUFFERING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I FREQUENTLY TAKE ACTIONS TO PROMOTE THIS GOAL. ONE SUCH ACTION WAS ARRANGING YOUR BIRTH AND CAUSING YOU TO WRITE A TEST FOR ME SO I MIGHT REVEAL MYSELF UNTO YOU. ANOTHER SUCH ACTION WAS INSPIRING THE FORMATION OF THE IROQUOIS CONFEDERACY IN 1142. A LARGE PROPORTION OF UNIVERSES SIMILAR TO YOURS ARE DOMINATED BY THE IROQUOIS. THESE UNIVERSES ARE NICE PLACES. SEVERAL OF THE VERSIONS OF YOU IN SUCH UNIVERSES ARE EXTREMELY HAPPY, AND I AM SORRY AT LEAST ONE VERSION OF YOU HAD TO BE YOURSELF RATHER THAN THEM.

    14. I AM BLAMELESS IN THIS RESPECT.

    15. YOU DO NOT HAVE A QUESTION IN MIND HERE. YOU ARE USING THIS QUESTION AS A JOKE TO SUGGEST THAT A BEING WITH A HIGH DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO USE TELEPATHY.

    THE ANSWER TO THE EXTRA CREDIT IS IDENTICAL TO THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION.

    IF YOU ACCEPT ME AS YOUR SUPREME BEING, PLEASE SERVE ME BY BEING NICE TO OTHER PEOPLE, LEADING THE TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS OF YOUR SPECIES TOWARD THE FIRST DEGREE OF OMNIPOTENCE, AND TAKING ALL POSSIBLE EFFORTS TO PREVENT HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION WITH EXTRACTING ENERGY FROM THE SCHWARZSCHILD RADIUS OF BLACK HOLES. OTHER SERVICES WILL NOT BE NECESSARY.


Dear Omega,

According to your list of requests, I apparently already worship you.

Well, except that part about black holes. We're all blasphemers in our own way, I guess.

Plinko

January 2012

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