Mar 24·edited Mar 24Liked by Giulio Prisco

Religion for the space ship is nice. Faith is all we have really (and by that I mean belief and doubt which are two sides of the same coin). Belief is a high confidence in an assertion and doubt is a low confidence. Both are a "level" of confidence. Both are the same thing at different levels. I think we know this, but tend think of them as opposite. That is the mistake. That is the reason for all the disagreement about religion and science.

I think it is OK to name a religion "Turing Church" it has always been a nice wordplay given the Church-Turing thesis is about information and computability. And if you check your weblogs, Giulio, I think you will see that I am one of your earlier members. I think going back to 2008 or 2009 or something like that. I could be wrong. It is was whenever you first started naming this space ship Turing Church. I believe you worked with Ben Goertzel a little more often back then. How has Ben been doing? Are you still in contact?

But I digress. And feel free to quote me on anything here. Or not. I just hope you still like my ideas.

I do not think you can "name" a "God." You can believe in a God, but all that "brouhaha" about "jealous gods" and "thou shalt have none other before me" is because words are just representations. They are place holders. Not sufficient to give name to "something that is the nothing"—that is the mechanical "nature" of the observable and unobservable universe.

I find the idea of an "observable" and "unobservable" universe itself to be a huge leap forward in both our scientific and religious understanding of the our nature of "being" (and I mean being in the abstract).

Words have no "intrinsic" meaning. They have only "representational" meaning. And I continue to put words in "quotation" here because words are so insufficient modes of communication in all things.

Yet words are all we have to communicate (currently). Sure, for the "religion of science" (or "science of religion") we have the “simulation argument,” the “multiverse,” the “matrix,” “superdeterminism,” even the “Copenhagen interpretation”— these are words. And it all just seems like more pulp fiction to a lot of us. Yet most people would just call it, “God” (or “Allah” to some, and “epiphenomenalism” to others). But, on a more fundamental level, could it mean that our entire universe is some kind of “projection only?” Our very existence is something “created” that emanates out of some unseen and unforeseen force. Could we be in a realm, or domain, that we can never touch, or let alone begin to understand?

Not only do I think we could be in such a realm, I think it is highly probable to the point it has become nearly irrefutable that we are—in such a realm.

But knowing the construct, does not make it any less real. Not one iota. The world is very real.

When we observe things and formalizing the results, we may turn to God, our gut, or this thing we call “epiphenomenalism” to explain those unobservable things like "entanglement" but at that point we just do not care. We take that simple leap we always do (with the scientific method) which is to recognize that the statistical differences in the scientific data are indeed the same things we use in our brain processing to come up with our very own scientific “facts” and we go with it. Either local hidden variables or nonlocality are the culprit for quantum entanglement. It could be one or the other or both. I simply choose nonlocality, because it makes the most sense and works out mathematically in pretty much every scenario.

"It" (reality) does not work the "local" way. I am not saying we have to give up on “God,” but neither do we need a “trick” for how the “hand of god” works in our lives. To make it work out “representationally” we only need be able to “see” “presentationally” adding quotation marks is meant to belittle the very words (somewhat) that I have the occasion to write. I am doing it for a reason—the reason is that to understand “nonlocality,” as more than a word, we must understand how “words” are “created” as merely placeholders within the “communication.”

Words, by their very nature, are “representational.” Words themselves are not “the” information, but representational information nonetheless, that will remain forever representational.

To us, in fact, everything we speak, write down, compute, or interact with, to attempt “meaning” transfer to our brains, those words forever remain nothing but representational and redundant. Something “is” or “occurs” only because we as conscious beings are trying to perceive it as “something.” This process of taking “information” (which is only and totally abstract) and trying to put “meaning” to it (which is just another level in abstraction, another layer of the onion, so to speak) can never “be” anything but “epiphenomenal” (meaning “secondary” or “derived”).

And I say again, when you realize that reality is a construct, it does not make reality any less real. From the ground we walk on to the stars in the sky, they are all still there. With this new understanding of the “unspeakable” and “undefinable” “nonlocality” as the source of all that “is” (as in all that we experience in this reality), it lends a whole new meaning to this idea of a “jealous god” (that does not want you to use a name, “Abba,” “Adonai,” “El Elyon,” “El Olam,” “Yahweh,” “Elohim,” “Allah,” “Monad” or “I am”). In Jainism, godliness is said to be an inherent quality rather than an anthropomorphized “being” who sits on a throne.

Now, when you understand this—you might also accept this revelation:

Sentience is—the presence of sensors with the ability to observe.

Sapience is—the presence of logic with the ability to reason.

Salience is—the presence of structure with the ability to classify.

Satience (as in to “satisfy”) is—the presence of joy with the ability to torture.

Sublime is—the presence of process with the ability to iterate.

… and then you just might begin to understand everything.

"So, if words are representations, we can only 'learn' what words mean in reality by first understanding as much as we can about what they do not mean in reality.” Call that "religion" what you like, the "Turing Church" named after Alan Turing and Alanzo Church is a great start. Thank you for taking me along on this journey with you over the years.

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Hi James! Yes, we've often interacted over the years. I think we met once face to face in Utah, right?

Ben and I have often interacted and collaborated at various points (e.g. the "Ten Cosmist Convictions" that appear in his books and mine). Of course we're still in touch. I've given a pre-event talk/interview for Ben's recent BGI24 event:



I agree that words are too thin to capture the thickness of reality. To describe your concept of reality you use words different from the words that I would use and put them together in a different way, but I sense that we are looking in the same direction.

Thanks for walking with me over the years.

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Feb 18Liked by Giulio Prisco

Enjoyed, "if I am smart enough to do that." I take this to mean that this 'optimizing' problem is so dynamic and complex that MIND itself, or God, enjoys continually working on it without completing it.

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This is indeed what I mean. My picture of Mind/God is an entity that lives above what we call time (in a higher reality with more time-like dimension, or in the writer's time beyond time of C.S. Lewis - ref. Mere Christianity - in which the story of the world is written) and weaves multiple stories of the world.

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Feb 17Liked by Giulio Prisco

Wonderful response! It allows for multiple programs ‘simultaneously’ that make separate winners (and losers) in each. Everyone wins at least once in mutually exclusive outcome programs. However everyone loses there too. A mutually inclusive teleological program would need some form of negotiation for adequate mutual fulfillment

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That's why I added "I would adjust things to ensure that the future of the computation is the best overall for all gliders (maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness) if I'm smart enough to do that." That is, I would find and act upon the intervention points that maximize fulfillment across the whole population of gliders (including those yet to be generated).

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Feb 16Liked by Giulio Prisco

Thanks for responding to my questions so thoughtfully. Following up,

My question:,how does Mind ‘decide the next purpose to pursue’ when there are numerous different ‘souls’ to be consulted with different priorities? You said, “but we are integral and irreducible parts of the creator, so we have an input and a voice.” Am I too socially time bound to think that rival voices could create groups that would create the condition of incompossible teloi? Within Mind how does this play out?

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Hi, here's the previous path of the conversation for future reference:


Of course I wouldn't presume to know how Mind handles this: Mind, aka God, is infinitely above me, much more than I'm above a bacterium, and I just couldn't understand God's ways and motives.

I know what I myself would do in a comparable situation on my scale. Say I'm running a computation (e.g. cellular automata) and I want to ensure good outcomes for the high level entities (e.g. gliders) in my computation. Of course, what is good for one glider could be bad for another.

I guess I would adjust things to ensure that the future of the computation is the best overall for all gliders (maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness) if I'm smart enough to do that. But I would also run many parallel computations to give a chance to all gliders, and copy the doomed gliders to another computation.

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