Sunday, August 19, 2007

The new God

The New York Times stirred up a lot of dust this past week with their story suggesting we all might be computerized creations in a some cosmic geek's sim program. The original and follow-on post assign God-like qualities to the "designer", including an invitation to leave a message for the programmer, so to speak, on their blog. Sounds strangely close to praying to the traditional God.
Dr. Monton, a philosopher the University of Colorado, argues that the reason to teach Darwin instead of the Bible is because of empirical evidence, not because intelligent design is inherently unscientific or supernaturalistic. He writes: “The intelligent cause could be God, but it need not be. It may be that living things on Earth were created by a highly intelligent alien civilization, as Raelians believe. It may be that the whole universe we experience is really just a computer simulation being run by highly intelligent non-supernatural beings, as Nick Bostrom argues is plausible.”
Rather lazy thinking for a philosopher. If the Raelians created our civilization, who created them? It would be impossible for them to create themselves either after or before the big bang. The same applies to some computer sim geek. As to Darwin, his theory isn't supported by all the empirical evidence but even if he was correct, why would some inter-galactic geek waste billions of years making everything look like a freak accident? What's that you say? He just made it seem like an accident? Well, that would seem to make evolution a fraud. Wonder if these new Sim converts will join ID'ers in seeking to disprove the old man?

Actually, this kind of thinking is troubling on several levels. If people believe human beings are simply computer programs dancing around in some X-box it would greatly trivialize both life and deeds. No need to worry about terrorists or global warming or being mean to the crippled kid, or falling in love because there is no garden of good and evil, and no free will, only code.

It's no big surprise to see some people giving this concept immediate credence (not realizing it trivializes their own rants) while otherwise mocking as kooks anyone who'd suggest we teach kids about an intelligent designer who preaches love.

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