The Inevitability Question:
Is God inevitable?
The Inevitability Axiom:
God is inevitable!
The Inevitability Theorem:
Godhood is the inevitable result of the human aspiration to godliness.
The Inevitability Hypothesis:
- Human class intelligence in combination with altruistic behavior is sufficient to eventually advance technology to the point that a minimal level of godhood is achievable.
- Minimal godliness includes immortality. Desirable godliness includes altruism.
- Human class intelligence without altruistic behavior is not likely to advance technology to the point where minimal godhood is achievable.
- Given the likelihood that this earth is not the only nor the first instance of human class intelligence, it is highly likely that a minimal godhood already exists somewhere in the universe.
- Given the likelihood that a minimal godhood already exists but is not evidently exploiting us, then it is highly likely that the minimal godhood is also a desirable godhood, that is, it is altruistic.
- Given that a minimal desirable godhood already exists, then it’s altruism would lead to fostering the development of godliness in like intelligences, therefore the human race is likely its progeny in some form.
The final clause of the Inevitability Hypothesis leads to,
The Inevitability Recursion:
The human aspiration to godliness is the inevitable result of godhood.
The intent of this post is to define the hypothesis, not prove it. Necessarily, the full development of an argument in support of the hypothesis is not included here, but will be in later posts.
I have always been interested in science (eventually getting a Ph.D. in engineering) and have been religious all my life. Consequently, integrating science and religion has always been of importance to me. Because I was on the debate team in high school and college, I got in the habit of conducting philosophical thought experiments. The inevitability hypothesis was the result of one of those thought experiments. I first came to the conclusion that the Inevitability Hypothesis was true sometime in the 1990s.
Over the years, my wife, Alison, and I have had numerous discussions on this topic and in 2010 we decided to flesh this idea out into a book. We started a folder of collected materials and even reserved some internet domain names for the purpose (theinevitabilityofgod.com, inevitabilityofgod.com). But as the saying goes, life happens and we never got very far on the book project. Indeed, more recently, others have been making similar arguments (TNGA Parallels), so its never been more timely to enlarge the discussion.
Instead of debating the existence of God, debating the inevitability of God changes the perspective on what is most important. If we ask the question Is God inevitable?, what matters most is why or how God is inevitable and our role in that inevitability. Thus even if one cannot rationally believe that God exists now, one might still be able to rationally conclude that God is inevitable or, the very least, come up with conditions that, if met, would lead to God’s existence.
I like it, Sam. Some if your comments remind me of an early formulation of the New God Argument that had three Charity Arguments instead of the one Benevolence Argument. The Charity Argument that seemed to function most persuasively with target audiences became the Benevolence Argument. One of the other Charity Arguments elaborated on the idea, as you have, that human thriving within proximity of superintelligence would suggest something about the charity of that superintelligence. In any case, much common thinking here. Is it any wonder? This all comes from authentic Mormonism, reflecting our tradition in context of contemporary science and technology.
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