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Irrelevance of God?

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Spammer.

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Posted: 10 August 2013 at 8:03am | IP Logged
Since conciousness is created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain (barring a 'soul'), consciousness can theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer. Matter and the laws of physics can also be described using a computer, to a degree of accuracy. If both these statements are true, I see no reason why a simulated 'Universe' - indistinguishable from the real McCoy, to its inhabitants - could not be created by a single person, naturally at some point in the distant future. My question is this: would the person (or people, for that matter) who built the computer and wrote the software be accurately described as God(s)? In other words, is the creation of the Universe, life and consciousness (as well as an assumed omniscience, in the computer program scenario) enough to be classified as God, or are omnipotence and immortality absolutely necessary? More importantly, would the creation of a Universe without pain, death - the usual drawbacks - make you objectively 'better' than, for argument's sake, the Christian God?

First timer here, feel free to rip my arguments to shreds.

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Posted: 17 August 2013 at 5:15am | IP Logged
We already have the capability to create. Isn't that what reproduction is?
Aham brahmasami- I am equivalent to God. It was said eons ago. 
Nothing is impossible, a common phrase used nowadays.

So yeah, the answers are already there. Yes we can call ourselves Gods. If we have achieved to create our own universe then aren't we by default Omnipotent. The creator exists from before the creation so the creator is assumed immortal. A software has its drawbacks so how long will it survive? It might just die with the creator.
Given that people avoid pain and death at all costs, the creator could be a 'better' God but for how long?

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Posted: 17 August 2013 at 10:02pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Spammer.

Since conciousness is created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain (barring a 'soul'), consciousness can theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer. Matter and the laws of physics can also be described using a computer, to a degree of accuracy. If both these statements are true, I see no reason why a simulated 'Universe' - indistinguishable from the real McCoy, to its inhabitants - could not be created by a single person, naturally at some point in the distant future. My question is this: would the person (or people, for that matter) who built the computer and wrote the software be accurately described as God(s)? In other words, is the creation of the Universe, life and consciousness (as well as an assumed omniscience, in the computer program scenario) enough to be classified as God, or are omnipotence and immortality absolutely necessary? More importantly, would the creation of a Universe without pain, death - the usual drawbacks - make you objectively 'better' than, for argument's sake, the Christian God?



Those are some thought provoking questions. Let me do a cursory two-dimensional analysis first and depending upon how much interest is piqued, get more comprehensive.

That brain produces consciousness or consciousness emerges from the brain is a popular assumption absent empirical evidence. As of today, we don't know if consciousness is physical or nonphysical, local or non-local. We still don't know the neuronal correlates of consciousness and even if hypothetically speaking we do discover such correlates, it doesn't guarantee that we will be able to solve the question of how and why we have subjective experiences. For instance, three people can bite into the same apple, one might find it delicious, one might like it and the third one might spit it out. The question is, what does the apple really taste like? So to your first statement, what algorithm in your computer encapsulate the real taste of an apple?

Formulating physical laws using mathematical equations to describe physical phenomena is not the same as creating the physical phenomena. I could describe a car but I didn't create the car. I could assemble a car using parts but I didn't create the parts that I have used to assemble the car. I could create the parts but I didn't create the alloys used to make the parts. I could create the alloys but not the elements that make up the alloys. You get the drift -  ultimately, the energy we have at our disposal is not created by us.

But if we were to get putative for a second and say a single person or a group of persons did manage to create a simulated universe that mirrors our universe; it still doesn't mean that there certainly will be inhabitants in that universe possessing intelligence. In our universe, matter and forces combined to randomly evolve (guided by laws of nature of course) to what we see all around us. In a rerun, it's not a given that things would AGAIN evolve into what we see all around us. Question to you then would be: in your simulated universe are you keeping things deterministic? Are you guiding processes? If yes, do you think the intelligent inhabitants of the simulated universe wouldn't be able to figure that out? Because, in this universe, so far we can't tell with certainty whether processes are truly deterministic or not. At the micro level, it seems chaotic where as at the macro level it is bound by cause and effect.

As for the questions with the philosophical bent concerning pain, death and "the usual drawbacks" as you put it. We usually understand things in terms of one another. If pleasure is all there is, I doubt if we will ever experience pleasure. An orgasmic moment becomes an orgasmic moment only if the previous moment is non-orgasmic. Gradations seem to matter when experiencing this world. I too abhor the concepts of pain and suffering and would never "forgive" the "creator/designer" (if there is one) for introducing pain and suffering but objectively speaking, I don't think we can have a functioning universe without a contrast. A contrast in each and every concept and entity. Which could be the reason why we have particles and anti-particles, black and white, attraction and repulsion in this universe. To distinguish one from another.


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Posted: 17 August 2013 at 11:53pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Spammer.

Since conciousness is created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain (barring a 'soul'), consciousness can theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer. Matter and the laws of physics can also be described using a computer, to a degree of accuracy. If both these statements are true, I see no reason why a simulated 'Universe' - indistinguishable from the real McCoy, to its inhabitants - could not be created by a single person, naturally at some point in the distant future. My question is this: would the person (or people, for that matter) who built the computer and wrote the software be accurately described as God(s)? In other words, is the creation of the Universe, life and consciousness (as well as an assumed omniscience, in the computer program scenario) enough to be classified as God, or are omnipotence and immortality absolutely necessary? More importantly, would the creation of a Universe without pain, death - the usual drawbacks - make you objectively 'better' than, for argument's sake, the Christian God?

First timer here, feel free to rip my arguments to shreds.

If you think that God is a necessary thing... it gives you consolation that God created the world, so you have a beginning. But who created God? Again you fall into the same problem. When we say, God exists we create something out of the word God,then God becomes a thing,I believe God is not a thing nor is a person...so there is no question of any responsiblity, if evil exists, it exists, no one is responsible for it, the total cannot be responsible for it..obviously existence exists... If that is true for God, why is it not true for existence itself? I believe it is autonomous, it exists on its own...There is no need of any creator because that creator will require another creator, and you will fall into an absurd regress..Smile


Edited by Prometeus - 17 August 2013 at 11:53pm

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Posted: 18 August 2013 at 2:37am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Spammer.

Since conciousness is created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain (barring a 'soul'), 

That hasn't been established by any stretch of the imagination.

consciousness can theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer. 
It's highly doubtful, but even if consciousness was "created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain, it doesn"t follow that consciousness can "theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer."

Matter and the laws of physics can also be described using a computer, to a degree of accuracy. If both these statements are true, I see no reason why a simulated 'Universe' - indistinguishable from the real McCoy, to its inhabitants - could not be created by a single person, naturally at some point in the distant future. 

I don"t think either statement is true, but why on earth would you assume that just because the laws of physics can be described using a computer that therefore an indistinguishable simulated Universe could be created. The laws of physics could be described using a pencil and paper too, that doesn"t mean you could write a simulated Universe on a legal pad and it would be indistinguishable from the universe does it?



My question is this: would the person (or people, for that matter) who built the computer and wrote the software be accurately described as God(s)?

No, I think they'd be called computer programmers.

In other words, is the creation of the Universe, life and consciousness (as well as an assumed omniscience, in the computer program scenario) enough to be classified as God, or are omnipotence and immortality absolutely necessary?

No, I don"t think computer programmers that write simulation games are Gods, if they were they would be able to get girlfriends.

More importantly, would the creation of a Universe without pain, death - the usual drawbacks - make you objectively 'better' than, for argument's sake, the Christian God?

No, do you think you could describe a perfect thousand carat perfect diamond on a computer and sell it for millions?

First timer here, feel free to rip my arguments to shreds.

It isn't even wrong.



Edited by city-musings - 18 August 2013 at 2:44am

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Posted: 18 August 2013 at 11:54am | IP Logged
Originally posted by city-musings

I don"t think either statement is true, but why on earth would you assume that just because the laws of physics can be described using a computer that therefore an indistinguishable simulated Universe could be created. The laws of physics could be described using a pencil and paper too, that doesn"t mean you could write a simulated Universe on a legal pad and it would be indistinguishable from the universe does it?


When invalidating the topic maker's argument, I liked how you considered various facts to bolster your refutation. For instance, I liked how you brought up the University of Bonn simulation experiment where physicists with the help of the world's most powerful supercomputers could only simulate a few femtometers of the cosmos using quantum chromodynamics. I agree with you that simulating just a few femtometers of cosmos is pathetic and I concur how Moore's law might not be applicable here to allow them to simulate a significantly large areas of space because of the complexity of the physics involved. However I differ with you on one account which is the fact that we only need a few micrometers of space to encapsulate all the functionality of a human cell even if the genetic code in the cell might end up being non-algorithmic. That said, I particularly liked how you emphasized that the energy possessed by particles have fundamental limits imposed on them because of lattice spacing even though I am not sure I understand why you think the lattice cut off cannot be the same as the GZK cut off. You don't think high energy particles in cosmic rays are capped?


Originally posted by city-musings

No, I don"t think computer programmers that write simulation games are Gods, if they were they would be able to get girlfriends.


Brilliant observation!

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Posted: 18 August 2013 at 11:24pm | IP Logged
One of the reasons why the effects in 3D computer graphics and video games feel so realistic is because they actually incorporate real world physical laws via what are called physics engines. These create virtual environments that can include objects with accompanying forces (such as gravity, EM and so on) applied to them in addition to interactions between objects, such as collisions. A physics engine simulates Newtonian physics in a simulated environment and manages those forces and interactions.

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-physicsengines/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics_engine

So, yes, simulation of physical laws using firmware has already been done. Matter of fact, there are many high precision physics engines available in the market. It's a fair assumption that with time realism will be fully achieved.

Now, as a first step to simulating the real world (sans intelligence life), what needs to be done is to switch the traditional silicon based computers with biocomputers built out of DNA and plug in the physics engines with these biocomputers.

Feasible? You bet!

 


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Posted: 19 August 2013 at 6:34pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Spammer.

Since conciousness is created by some arrangement of the neurons and electrical impulses in our brain (barring a 'soul'), consciousness can theoretically be recreated using a man-made computer. Matter and the laws of physics can also be described using a computer, to a degree of accuracy. If both these statements are true, I see no reason why a simulated 'Universe' - indistinguishable from the real McCoy, to its inhabitants - could not be created by a single person, naturally at some point in the distant future. My question is this: would the person (or people, for that matter) who built the computer and wrote the software be accurately described as God(s)? In other words, is the creation of the Universe, life and consciousness (as well as an assumed omniscience, in the computer program scenario) enough to be classified as God, or are omnipotence and immortality absolutely necessary? More importantly, would the creation of a Universe without pain, death - the usual drawbacks - make you objectively 'better' than, for argument's sake, the Christian God?

First timer here, feel free to rip my arguments to shreds.

i don't know what you'd want to call him, but the guy who set off the universe would certainly be "mai-baap" of the universe.LOL

such a guy would not even have to be immortal himself. He could be like the guy who kicks the ball but is not around to catch it later. Like someone who puts the TV on and then goes for a nap.LOL

and for all we know, there might be a smarter engineer somewhere who's figured out how to set off a utopian universe. Too bad if we're living in a lousier one.LOL 

note here that a simulated universe does not even have to be huge. For it to feel like a universe, it just has to create the illusion of vastness... That way, we too might be living in a tiny universe, with our senses scaling distances etc to make it all appear vast. Hey, anything's possible. 

@K=> busy for a month or two, will have a serious think after that.

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