Wednesday, August 06, 2008

About What Should We Be Agnostic:

I'm not agnostic on Thor or Zeus (though I must say it would be really cool if they existed as superpowerful beings, as they do in Dungeons and Dragons and comic books, not necessarily as "Gods" with absolute dominion over us). All sane folks are atheists on Zeus and Thor. Hard atheists often argue that all conceptions of "God" are the equivalent of Zeus and Thor. Or, when it comes to the universe ultimate boiling down to something other than atheistic materialism, as Jason Kuznicki eloquently writes:

If one is to be agnostic about whether a deistic god created the universe, should we also be agnostic about the question of whether the observable universe is supported on the back of a tortoise, one resting just outside our ability to detect it?

Well, the tortoise example is kind of ridiculous to conceive of (again, Atlas would be cooler). But let me explain something about which I'm not atheistic, something towards which I'm quite agnostic and open minded:

Philosophers have used the examples of brains in a vat, a theme brilliantly played up in the movie "The Matrix."

Let’s even further modernize the example. We can conceive of created consciousnesses in a computer program. Think about current experiments with Artificial Intelligence. Think about millions of years of scientific progress and a computer programmer being able to simulate artificial intelligence to think that they live in a real material word which is just a program, an illusion. I most certainly AM agnostic and open to ultimate reality boiling down to something like that. Indeed, with enough scientific progress, one day we’ll be like gods. And it’s entirely plausible that something so advanced that we might consider “godlike” started the universe and seeded the Earth with life.

The question is still begged: What cause that? Who knows? It could be caused or uncaused? The point is, such a possibility is entirely plausible. And as such we should be open minded about it and related plausible hypotheses about origins.

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