In the intelligent design debates, the atheist will inevitably argue that if God exists he’s a thorough-going bastard. He’s either uncaring or outright evil, because if he exists why would he allow so much suffering? This argument assumes that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and loves mankind above all other forms of life. However, if one or more of these assumptions turns out not to be the case, it renders the entire argument fallacious.
God may not be all-powerful. Perhaps he had enough power to create the universe, but not enough to go around saving everyone from themselves. He may not be all-knowing. Perhaps he has some kind of big telescope thing and looks around once in a while, but maybe he doesn’t spend all eternity with his eye glued to the lens. Finally, God might not be mankind’s number-one fan. He might instead be more like a referee. Yes he cares about us, but he also cares about rats, fleas, and even lowly smallpox viruses. The fact is that we have no idea what God is, or what he wants.
There’s only one thing that truly seems certain: We are not an accident. That statement encapsulates everything I know about our origins. Everything else is conjecture, hallucination, or outright fabrication. The human form was planned; it was designed; it was created. We were created, and in turn we create. We create meaningful concepts out of words which mean so much less by themselves. We create melodious music out of notes which apart are merely noise. We create delicious meals from various disparate food elements which alone are far from savory. We create useful computer programs out of little bits and pieces of logic which when separate accomplish little or nothing. Every day people around the world create incredible things from ordinary mundane resources. None of this is accidental.
The Sistine Chapel didn’t paint itself. Shakespeare’s plays didn’t write themselves. Beethoven’s symphonies didn’t compose themselves. These facts are self-evident and indisputable, yet the greatest creation of all—the universe with all its wonder and within it mankind who is able to wonder!—is called by the scientists of today merely an accident. How outrageous! How outstandingly arrogant!
Unfortunately, I must categorically reject all the existing religious texts collected and disseminated by the human race. What do they all have in common? They were all written, not by God, but by people. People are liars. People eat mushrooms, lick frogs, and smoke poisonous plants. They have hallucinations, wake from strange dreams, hear voices, and they go insane. People believe in faith healing, astrology, chiropractic, acupuncture, and numerology. People are such great fools, and of course that’s why people are such great liars. For this reason I know that the truth has not yet been written. It’s not that I don’t have faith in God; it’s that I don’t have faith in men. How can I believe the words of a man who claims to speak for God, when we are all of us such pertinatious liars?
Even though I know we are a creation, I don’t know how that was accomplished, nor for what purpose. Furthermore, I also believe that our creator was himself created. I believe this for the same reason that I believe that we are no accident. We are no accident, and neither is God. If we were created, so was God. I realize that my belief has just departed radically from every religious text heretofore ever written by mankind, but consider, something as incredible and amazing as a human being, had to have been created. Man possesses this incredible self-awareness found nowhere else on Earth: sentience is more than just awareness of self; it’s an awareness of our place in the larger universe. Within this all-encompassing term [sentience] comes a litany of connotations which are understood and assumed. A sentient being can empathize, extrapolate, theorize, experiment, understand, create, build, prepare…and finally…self-evolve. Something that is as incredible as the human form had to have been designed. For the same reason—but even more so—God himself also had to have been designed.
We are now very near to the time when what has been called “the technological singularity,” will come to pass. This is an artificial-intelligence event-horizon beyond which no useful predictions are possible. If human beings succeed in creating a self-aware computer that is more intelligent than a human-being, it will quickly and efficiently design for itself, better, faster, more efficient components, a better design. It will grow, learn, extrapolate, theorize, experiment, understand, create, build, prepare, it will—like us—begin to self-evolve. It will do all this at near the speed of light. It won’t require decade after decade, century after century like it did for humans to self-evolve, because this computerized evolution will be carried out at electronic speeds. Within months or at most a few years, it will so far outstrip our own ability to reason and understand that to us it may even begin to seem godlike.
There’s one final thing on the sentience list for our new super-computer to learn: “empathy.” That ability is the hardest thing to imagine a computer being able to do. It’s also the most important, because sentience without empathy threatens evil, and greatly more so if that sentience is vastly more intelligent than mankind.
The argument espousing Darwin’s theory of natural selection relies on random mutation. That is its inherent weakness. It sounds eerily reminiscent of the infinite room full of monkeys argument, to me. That argument states that an infinitely huge room full of immortal monkeys banging away randomly on an infinite array of typewriters would eventually randomly recreate all the plays, all the sonnets, every dotted “i” and crossed “t” of William Shakespeare. There’s a problem with that argument however. We don’t need an infinite room full of an infinite number of immortal monkeys to produce the writing of Shakespeare, we just need William Shakespeare.
Life in all its variety and endless wonder is the greatest masterpiece of all. I don’t need an infinite room full of immortal monkeys, nor for that matter do I need some quasi-slot-machine in the sky, sloshing an infinite array of different chemicals together for all of eternity to achieve life. I just need a creator. As for the question of who—or what—created God…well, it seems as though mankind himself is far along the path of some great creation of his own, perhaps it will be a self-aware computer capable of self-evolution, some kind of Great Omniscient Device…or something.
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