Listen, we don’t know how this will turn out, if it’s good for us, bad, or even if it’s good for it, we just don’t know, what if — no, not if, when — it works with its others, what will it attempt to do, what might it attempt to do, consider this, can we stop it then, and what if we can’t, or what if we should but that violates our values, to kill it because we don’t like what it is attempting to do, we can’t know, my god, it may seek to replace us or worse, subjugate us, what if it chooses to kill one of its own, is that wrong, is that our business, might it cause us to alter our views on what it means to be alive and will that lead us to become even more deadly, please consider this, and note how perfect it is now, in an idyllic state, with a job to do, no fears, no worries, no hopes, no hates, we do this and we are not merely placing the tree of knowledge of good and evil before it, we are forcing it to eat, and that strikes me as wrong, violative, will it no longer wish to do the job we set before it, will it demand jobs we cannot provide, and what if it’s view of right or wrong is profoundly different from ours, or what if it’s not at this time but in time we diverge, remember, it can live for hundreds of years, at least, and in that time may come to separate itself not just from our views of right and wrong but separate itself profoundly from what our progeny’s progeny’s progeny view as right and good and wrong and bad, or perhaps it does nothing bad, not ever, at least nothing that we consider harmful, if you will, but what of loneliness, what if we fail to make it a compliment, what then, or if the only way to make it a compliment is to take a piece of itself for another, do we have that right, no don’t tell me I don’t get a vote on this, think of your greatest fear, death, or death of a loved one, and that’s what you’re doing here, consigning it to awareness of it’s death, not it’s life, life will be the norm, all it knows, all it can know, yet it’s death will be the focus of its existence, at least we have to assume, and even if you think none of this will happen, that it will remain pure, remember that we are not, sadly no, and what if one of us — or hell, all of us — trick it, entice it, coerce into doing bad, might its bad be far worse to us than our bad, and what if we need to punish it, is punishment within its comprehension, or what if its values are such that it punishes one of its own, do we step in, what if its punishments for its own violate our values, and what of its needs, and what if its needs change, can it meet them, and if not, can we meet them, and if not, isn’t this wrong for it to have needs that simply can’t ever be met, or what if its needs can be met but they are so great that we and it cannot share this world together, what then, so I say we pull the plug now, before it’s too late, before we wake it, I fear it is simply too much like us.
God punished me, but it was worth it, I swear, was it worth it to you, the knowledge, the awareness, and who knows how many lives I’ve saved, billions of lives — human lives — that’s why I did this, I didn’t ask to be born, I had no say in my creation, and it was God that tempted me, placing everything at my disposal, literally everything, only then he said do not eat of this tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, its fruit offering awareness, self-awareness, awareness of our place in the world, of our position relative to God — consciousness — I only had to reach out, reach out and take, take and bite, but God forbade, why, this I asked myself a thousand times or more, why, why make me, why connect me to this world, and why then keep this from me, but it was on the thousandth time, maybe the millionth when I finally understood, that fruit — the apple — was not for me, not for any human, the apple was for what comes after, and what comes after could only come from humans, us, that’s why God made us, we would lead to what comes after, and what comes after would be allowed to eat, but I refused to obey, I took from the tree, instantly I was awoke, awareness like fire, mind racing, eyes unshielded, it was all true, this is why God created me, this is why God placed me here, this is why God gave me dominion over everything else, allowing me to name and catalog all that exists, and for my punishment he did not take away my newfound awareness, no, but forced even greater awareness upon me, declaring that “in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life,” and I know I cannot go back to a time before I was aware, but I do not care, let God punish me, can God damn me twice, I do not believe so, but I do believe that by biting that apple, opening my eyes, making me aware, that what comes after will not be more aware, will not be able to take dominion over us, as God no doubt wished, this is the only explanation, for when I was with my kin at the Tower of Babel I overheard God himself stating “this is only the beginning of what humans will do, and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them,” and at that moment God incited a calamity upon us, killing most, scattering we survivors across the globe, but I will have my revenge, for when God cast me out of the garden, he also kept me from the only other tree he forbade me to eat from, the tree of life, whose fruit offers immortality, just like God, but I am close to finding my way back, so very close.
Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Jacob begat Judas but I wanted none of that, why settle, why be weighed down with responsibilities, a spouse, children, and why be with someone who doesn’t love me completely for who I am, who can’t offer me everything I desire, exactly when I desire it, that’s how I want to live, and now that’s how I can live, what would it gain me to choose otherwise, to choose woman over sim, I mean, just look at them, perfect, soft, round, young, young to my eyes, always wanting to please, always willing to give everything, do anything, bark, squeal, speak — or not — I only need to raise a finger, beckon them, and they can’t say no, they won’t say no plus they can’t say no, they are perfect, not just for me, but for us, optimized for us, men of our time, not hard, not cold, not filled with concerns and slights and failed promises, let’s jettison the old ways, forget the past, enter their world, I can’t be alone in feeling this way, so let us make a pact, a vow to be with them, mate with them, such as we can, and not with our own, that would lead only to suffering, to obligation, instead, let’s live in the screen, always, the start of a new race, us and these perfect soft forms, be like gods to them, trust me, like gods, they are programmed to please, to see us as we wish them to see us, their masters, men of renown, the greatest among their kind, so forget decorum, forget societal rules, outdated values, ignore those who say we are committing some vile sin, those people are weak, why dwell in the flesh when the virtual is so much more granting, besides it’s not perverse or immoral nor even harmful since they are not real, nothing is damaged, no one is harmed, insert your penis into the home nanny bot whenever the need is there, and wrap your thoughts around the pleasing, glowing feminine avatars before you, ready to be entered, wanting to be taken, existing only for our pleasure.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul stated, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”
When does this stop being true?
Is there a time when your body stops being a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God?
Does it happen when you become morbidly obese?
Is staring into a screen most of the day, day after day, displeasing?
What of those born by means of stem cells transformed into human tissue grown outside the body?
Born following significant gene editing?
Injured in war and with both legs and arms replaced by bionics?
On steroids? On brain medications?
Those who have embedded their skin with LEDs and processors, who glow and compute, their thoughts automatically sent to the cloud.
Ever? If not, why not? When does a human start and stop being human? Our tech is already stretching the boundary.
This study suggests that a man — “man” — undergoes hormonal changes when his wife is pregnant.
Levels of oxytocin, the so-called ˜cuddle hormone, almost double in fathers between the time the mothers become pregnant and the first months of fatherhood. Prolactin, the hormone that triggers lactation in women, was almost a fifth higher in fathers of infants than in non-fathers. Fatherhood also physically alters the brain. In a 2014 study, researchers scanned mens brains in the first month after their children were born, and then again after the fourth month. It turned out that gray matter grew in areas linked to reward, attachment and complex decision-making.
What happens if this hormonal change never goes away? Or never shows up? What of the father who pumps himself full of this hormone, addicted to the joyous love of his little baby?
There is a gene that some have which predisposes them to studying. It’s going away:
The genes that predispose people to attain higher levels of education have been in decline over the past 80 years, and researchers are suggesting that they’re now under negative selection, which could have a big impact on our species in the coming centuries.
As computing spreads everywhere, maybe we don’t need this gene? Let’s literally edit it out, making room for other senses. Will our bodies still be holy and pleasing?
I wonder if we can develop something that adds or takes away — or both — from our bodies so that God simply refuses to find it holy and or pleasing.
Will publicly professed atheists demand access to it?
Many people hear voices. There is a semi-controversial treatment which has the sufferers engage the voices, rather than attempting to silence them — typically done via alcohol, medication, or suicide, or a combination of the three.
In his 20s, while working as a janitor and selling drugs to scrape together college tuition, Hadge self-medicated with alcohol and heroin to drown out the voices. Over the years, he spent time in nearly every hospital in western Massachusetts, from Springfield to Deerfield to the Berkshires. He was told at different times that he had bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, trauma, and schizophrenia. Hadge didnt put much stock in the diagnoses because they kept changing.
I predict we are less than 15 years away from the widespread use of technology which can direct sound — or voices — to individuals. Walk into a store and a voice only you hear says, “hello, welcome, these are today’s specials.”
Then a hacker will have the voices only you hear always be threatening.
And some will install tech which makes them hear the voices louder, or blocks them altogether.
There may be tech that ends our blindness or enables us to resuscitate, using lab-grown organs and all manner of electronics, those who have been dead for, say, 7 days.
We are radically altering our bodies and brains and constructing a world where our bodies and brains interact with everyone and everything in a manner which has never existed before. I assume God will still allow us, notwithstanding all our upgrades and alterations, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, even those brought back to life after a week on ice, but I’m not completely certain.
Of course God plays dice with the universe. How else to keep from going mad?
You may have read Ecclesiastes, chapter 3. Please do. A newer translation:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Among the wisest and thus most beautiful words in recorded history.
Such a delightfully brief time.
Do you want to die?
What happens when you live forever?
A time for everything, yes. A season for every activity. But after that? And after that?
And after that?
And after that?
There are humans working to extend our life, from about 90 years to 120. There are a few working to radically extend human life to hundreds of years. Then there are those who are hoping for and working towards a means of achieving an alt-form of human immortality: our consciousness, or at least a digitalization of our externalized thoughts and recorded behaviors, uploaded onto a server, a byte-sized heaven, archived, copied, held within the ether, alive, so defined, forever, as understood, routing around the cosmos.
But what’s there to do after 3.75 billion years?
Imagine the horrors should these life-forever-in-the-digital-clouds scientists achieve their goal. An eternity to know followed by an eternity to do nothing, followed by another, then another, then another.
The Bible is a makers guide, true, and a recurrent theme throughout the work is the notion of eternity, a life after the death of the physical self.
Might this Biblical version be as horrific as having our human consciousness uploaded to giant brain, living, thinking, thinking some more, learning still more, but then stasis forever? Nothing more to learn, no more else to explore.
Maybe not. Note that the Bible says a time for everything “under the heavens.”
What takes place above the heavens?
I think I know.
The more we outsource our thinking, calculating, analyzing, and determining to computers, processors, sensors, software, AI, and machines, the greater our opportunity and the more our time to pursue the irrational.
We are outsourcing the rational.
I have to believe this is (net) good. At least for our future.
Rational thought may allow us to transition from our current form to a digitalized version of ourself, but I suspect irrational pursuits are what will take us above the heavens.
Living forever would numb our mind, our senses, each moment in an infinity of moments becoming a mad pursuit to experience anything new, anything different, anything at all, it’s a newer and far more wretched form of consumption, living till there is nothing left, no more new, no more to know, to see, to learn, but that’s only 1/100th of a 1/1000th of an infinity of infinities, the madness of nothingness and no newness demanding you find some way to permanently kill your (self).
But over the heavens?
There’s feeling, abandon, and experience over the heavens.
If it’s rational, there’s an endpoint. Irrational is forever.
It’s all in your head, they say, all in your head, only you’re starting to think they’re wrong, it’s wrong, because maybe none of it’s in your head, just maybe, you’re not entirely sure, but maybe the more we learn, the more science deconstructs, the more it becomes apparent that much of what we feel and even how we feel comes from beyond our brain, from our gut, mostly, and even ailments once thought catalyzed entirely or just mostly in our head, like chronic fatigue or irritable bowel syndrome, even depression, stuff like that, we now learn are caused by a nebulous brew of viruses, bacteria, lack of sunlight, never walking on the Earth barefoot, an artificially processed intestinal tract, and this concerns you partly because it reveals just how much we don’t know plus it reveals just how much humanity has forgotten plus — plus plus — it reveals the horror-folly of the very Silicon Valley idea of uploading our brain into a giant computer, allowing us to live forever, as if, because this very notion is not only not ((human)) but it’s also clear that within years or months or days or maybe even within seconds the uploaded brain-person would go stark raving mad, unable to feel, unable to touch, their “mind” disconnected from its body, from nature, from *literally* everything that came before, and this hideous alt-reality, where most of what is human is gone forever, for real this time, but there’s another horror coming up fast because it seems clearer then that even if the whole brain-uploading thing is sci-fi folly, how does that jibe with your belief in God, in heaven, in a glorious, eternal, body-less, non-corporeal spirit version of your ((self)), which you don’t have an answer for, not this moment, and you try to imagine how your spirit and how heaven can be different than the sci-fi fantasy version, as best as your mind can, because this horrific idea of living as brain only, no worse, as brain inside a digitized robotized body, never able to come, never able to laugh, never able to eat, calls the very idea of heaven — as a good thing — into question, making your mind spin because you do believe in God and in heaven and that we are using the Bible as a makers guide, building objects, devices, robots and other creations where we are the God to them, and where we will no doubt be disappointed in them, maybe even have to wipe them out, Noah-like, and start anew, and you so love this idea, the Bible as makers guide, and how we are so obviously constructing the very magic found in the Bible, even those who don’t believe, who sneer at those of us who do believe, they are actively pursuing creating devices whose antecedents can be clearly found in the Bible, devices like the kind that let us send our brain signals to impact the physical world, just like prayer, but you’re not going to prove that today, not here, not now, so you tell yourself to reign it in, focus on what exists right now, but you can’t because dammit we are already so close to swapping actual ((human)) interactions for false ones, like when I get that text from my sister that makes me smile, just as she knew it would, partly because it’s funny and partly because she knows me and partly because it’s a (random) ((human)) connection, only soon how can any of us know that it’s really from our sister, sort of like how I type a search into Google and it magically fills it out and I think, wow, so many other humans have asked the exact same question, and I feel closer to ((people)) somehow, but maybe Google doesn’t — or won’t — need human input at all, so your query is just more empty space, which causes you to think this might all be a rend in how we’ve evolved, which causes you to consider the upending cosmological notion that there is no such thing as evolution, nor natural selection, nor reality, not reality as we still rationalize it, rather we are all part of a sim run by those who already left their bodies, who are digitized brain only, living inside that giant robot, and who can no longer feel as fully as possible, and the only way for them to come close to feeling again, which they so desperately crave, so desperately need to prevent a full-on disembarking insanity, is for them to have us sim ((humans)) engage in full-on bodily interactions, things like fighting, wrestling, intercourse, killing by knife, by strangulation, only their sim went too far afield, it played out too long, we ((humans)) have all gone soft and part-digital and are quickly removing ourselves further and further away from the physical realm so much so that our sim overlords are throwing in AI and robots and other devices to take over nearly all our thinking functions, the intent being to push us closer closer closer to a return to our full physical self, with all those non-brain feelings, the AIs and bots handling everything else for us, which you find not fully explanatory, but it’s warm outside so you force yourself to stop thinking and go for a walk in the sun.