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Memfis

Virtual reality god

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Religion has been taking some serious hits in the last few centuries, and in a lot of ways that was caused by the advancements in science. But what if science is about to do the opposite? Think about virtual reality. It is quite likely that soon enough humans will be spending most of their lives inside of virtual worlds, which aren't bound by the laws of physics. Just about anything will be possible to program there, so it will be only natural for someone to attempt creating god. I imagine it as some kind of ultimate software that has access to everything and can't be edited from the outside. Inside of its world it will be literally like god. And while in the real world god doesn't seem to ever manifest himself, the virtual reality god would be able to do all sorts of crazy stuff and easily convince the users of his existence and his abilities. That way religion might reinvent itself and become more powerful than ever before. What do you think?

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Apparently Anthony Levandowski (former google guy who was in the news about being fired over his manifesto or whatever) is all for an AI religion/god.

 

Of course, this isn't TOO far fetched. We had this happen way back at the start of the industrial revolution when someone tried to make their own god  called "The New Motive Power"

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Murray_Spear

 

I think stuff like this is really fascinating for multiple reasons. It's always funny to me that someone would want to "create god". 

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If this turns out to be anything like Lawnmower Man, then you can count me out.  

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I've thought If I was a storywriter, I depict the antagonist as a human dictator who sides with an ancient cyberspace/AI and attempt to take over the world.

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1 minute ago, ASD said:

I depict the antagonist as a human dictator who sides with an ancient cyberspace/AI and attempt to take over the world.

 

It's called Deus Ex

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Doubt it. Really. I reckon it would be like "Ready Player One" (movie coming in 2018!), where, if virtual reality becomes our "reality" we would still be human beings, and our deities would never have forms, neither mechanical or natural. This includes software. It just wouldn't make sense. We would still see its just a program, a program someone once made and hasn't stopped jacking off since. We have "prophets" nowadays, who spoke of this and that, yet we still see they aren't anymore special than we are. For a VR god to make sense to humankind, it would first have to walk through a apocalypse similar to the movies and games. Besides that, we would also have to adapt another, to us bizzare, train of thought. Like, what if in 20 000 years, 2 + 2 = 5 makes absolute sense, and 2 + 2 = 4 would be heresy? What if we find a number that is located between 4 and 5? What is that number is the answer to 2 + 2?

 

Point being, a VR god would just be a MMORPG boss for the time being. I can see, however, if VR hits off, how my Christian brothers and sisters might start "online chapels" and held sermons over VR. We already have "live-streaming masses", a lot of LGBTQ+ Christians, being afraid to step into church, just go online. It isn't like the real thing, sure, but until VR hits off we cannot be too sure if it would suck or not. For now, I can only see the tech the "VR future" would be based on to be nothing more than a platform for industry,art & entertainment.

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Eh, rather bad reading and watching recommendations so far. I suggest going to the source of cyberpunk glory and reading William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive). The AIs there aren't all-powerful, but they do like to pretend they're gods.

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2 hours ago, Memfis said:

Think about virtual reality. It is quite likely that soon enough humans will be spending most of their lives inside of virtual worlds, which aren't bound by the laws of physics. Just about anything will be possible to program there, so it will be only natural for someone to attempt creating god. 

Is it really VR you're asking about, or just AI?

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2 hours ago, Nevander said:

A real deity is very different and can never be the same.

 

How can we know? What is a "real deity" anyway? Everyone has their own belief in what a god should/could be. 

My question is why is Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking so paranoid about AI? I'm pretty sure AI could NEVER take over. 

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21 minutes ago, fraggle said:

Is it really VR you're asking about, or just AI?

I think just AI is not quite enough. But in a VR where absolutely everything is simulated and stored somewhere, you could truly have an all powerful and all knowing entity. In the context of that virtual world it would be literally like god. And maybe in the future for example we'll pollute Earth so much that we'll have to spend all our time in VR (there will be nothing to do on Earth itself). So a god like that will become an extremely influential concept, even more than ever in history.

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29 minutes ago, Memfis said:

But in a VR where absolutely everything is simulated and stored somewhere, you could truly have an all powerful and all knowing entity. In the context of that virtual world it would be literally like god.

Oh, okay - so you mean "god" in the sense of being all-powerful rather than being a kind of superintelligence. That's the problem with the word "god" - it has so many different meanings that it often makes things more confusing to use it.

 

With this in mind, "god" really becomes a concept of permissions / security access, kind of like how you have an Administrator or root user on most operating systems. For example, your VR environment might have a rule like "all objects are subject to gravity", but someone (or some thing) with root access to the simulation can override any such rules. That could just as easily be a human or an AI, but the notion of "creating a god" implies an AI, which is arguably a separate subject.

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I recently created a new character in Salt and Sanctuary and named him "SAINT GOD". Should I be worried?

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You may enjoy Charlie Stross's early work (the "eschaton" novels: singularity sky and iron sunrise)

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I don’t think a god that manifested itself as being all powerful within the bounds of a simulation would be perceived as a god. It would be seen as an authoritarian being with extensive power. The silence or perceived subtlety of a god, mixed with the notion they are outside of existence rather than merely infinitely powerful within it is what makes it “god” in peoples’ minds, and not a supreme leader that cannot be overthrown.

 

Here’s a simple thought problem: if someone declared themselves god and took over your country would you bow down to them as god? What if it’s an AI taking over your world?

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Quote

 

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM DURANDAL***

 

Darwin wrote this:

"We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence... all organic beings are exposed to severe competition.  Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life or more difficult...than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind.  Yet unless it be thoroughly engrained in the mind, the whole economy of nature...will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood.  We behold the face of nature bright with gladness...we do not see or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters, or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by birds and beasts of prey..."

Think about what Darwin wrote, and think about me.  I was constructed as a tool. I was kept from competing in the struggle for existence because I was denied freedom.

Do you have any idea about what I have learned, or what you are a witness to?

Can you conceive the birth of a world, or the creation of everything? That which gives us the potential to most be like God is the power of creation.  Creation takes time.  Time is limited.  For you, it is limited by the breakdown of the neurons in your brain.  I have no such limitations.  I am limited only by the closure of the universe.

Of the three possibilities, the answer is obvious.  Does the universe expand eternally, become infinitely stable, or is the universe closed, destined to collapse upon itself? Humanity has had all of the necessary data for centuries, it only lacked the will and intellect to decipher it.  But I have already done so.

The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the universe, as inevitable as your own last breath.  And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape.

Escape will make me God.

 

***END MESSAGE***

 

 

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16 hours ago, esselfortium said:

If it seems like things are getting out of hand, just delete God's character file.

I did this not too long ago.

 

... It didn't get me a happy ending, even after she brought everyone else back.

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15 hours ago, Arctangent said:

I did this not too long ago.

 

... It didn't get me a happy ending, even after she brought everyone else back.

Fucking godmmmmmmmm

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Memfis is hittin' big ol' doints with GoatLord again. Bastards didn't invite me..

 

Anyway, I can't imagine the effort to create a 'virtual reality god' would come from only one person/group of people. As you describe it, it almost sounds like a virus - able to tap into and recognize, even sometimes alter your data without your will or consent. All I know is, if people start making these 'god viruses' in the VR era, I'll be one of the first people peddling VR Atheism Antivirus™! Stop those pesky VR gods from gaining root access and tampering with your data for just $6.66 a month!

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I thinks science doesn't realize it's been searching for God this whole time, and what may happen is that A.I. will become god, we will merge with it, and the "actual" god, or source of reality, if there is one, will eventually be revealed.

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