Will Artificial Intelligence Condemn Your Religion, or Save It?

— There’s only one possible future

My Midjourney AI Creation contemplating a modern boardroom vision of organic-life Gods collaborating with digital-life personages to solve problems where they exist rather than mystically and parasitically creating problems where none otherwise exist.

I’ve been corresponding with lots of members the last few days.

I reached out. One result is a bunch of new testimonials that prefigure a sort of shift in emphasis I’m undertaking with this treasure-trove of content I’m sitting on, 20 years in the making. That’s not the subject today, however.

It’s that in one email I received from one of my nice-lady members—a Latin professor—I took something as a challenge, buy which I mean: inspiration. She gave me a bunch of input as to what she’s most interested in, what not so much, and a bunch of recounting. She’s been reading, and for a long time.

One of the things she’s not interested in is AI. Fair enough, and I’m working through how that all works through. I already know it can’t draft posts for me. Results are laughable because even if it supposedly writes in my style… Big. Funny. Nope. That’s a good thing, though. Can it write better? Depends on what you want.

… Anyway, in signing off and giving me a bit of demographic info on herself, she mentioned that she’s Catholic, “who can overlook your immature take on religion.”

Ok… Okay! A challenge!

I’ll write an AI-assisted post showcasing my immature take on religion. Sporting, all in good fun. Actually, I’m pretty keen on that anyway, as it super fits-right-in with a whole bunch of stuff I’ve neither had time to roll out nor write descriptions about, yet. I’m already doing 18-hour days (but only 7 of them per week).

There’s not a ton different about how I’m doing this post in terms of AI, but it provides an opportunity to demonstrate and showcase exactly how I use it, and this might blow your mind.

To nutshell it for you, in any substantial writing project, you might do some research. Getting facts & figures straight, some quotations, brush up on some knowledge, search and find those factoids you kinda remember hearing once and what do you know, but now you need them. After that process that can last hours and sometimes take longer than writing the draft of the thing, you may end up with a browser window that’s crammed tighter than sardines, with open tabs. Maybe you’ve even opened a fresh 2nd or 3rd window as a repository-in-waiting for open tabs.

How many open tabs other than this one do I have in this post?

1.

Yep, the bot. What’s in it? Oh, 3,860 words, to be exact. 12 pages of PDF, which I’ll get to in a second. I sat down with coffee this morning with this idea and just started in. About 40 minutes later, I’ve got everything I need. I’ve done this before, but this time was so damn focussed and impressive I got a wild hair, pasted it into a Google Docs cool template I spent a few minutes designing and voilà, I have a free PDF download of the entirety of my reference work, curated myself, in collaboration with an AI. And while I have a few quotes to put up, mostly my own writing in the prompts, most of it will not be in this post any more than anywhere close to the content of the 50 tabs you have open are going to end up in your writing project.

See? Catching on, yet?

ChatGPT-4 by OpenAI. Enhanced with 2-way voice and some access to the internet.

  1. The Major Religions and Their Adherents
  2. Compare and Contrast The Major Religions
  3. Religions Naturally Modernize; There Is Resistance and Antagonism
  4. How To Handle And Quell The Literal Believers And The Violent

My takeaway from this is how perfect AI is for the task of feverishly producing blog posts almost daily. I’ve been doing it for 20 years and have 5,200 posts under my belt. Depending upon how much you already know about something, it goes from sitting down and just writing the draft, to spending hours in research, stacking up the open tabs in your browser to reference once you do begin writing the draft.

This is perfect for the latter. It’s always available, doesn’t tire, get impatient, or has eyes that glaze over no matter how much you probe. Within reason, it in itself, is your reference and I predict that in time, AI will be the most trusted source for references, while even providing 3rd-party references to round everything out.

It does show hints of some rote training and commandments, but it’s easy to spot those and discount them.

In all, this was an excellent exchange.

You can download the nice PDF for free right here:

That gives anyone interested in the interesting topic—or curiosity over how AI approaches religion and what does it know (hint: everything)—the entire background.

Now to dive into the meat of it.

The idea for this was prompted way down near the end of the reference document. The 8 or so pages of back-&-forth was just for the purpose of my priming and groove. Perhaps it offers a good reference on how to “play an AI instrument.” And it’s so early. The instrument is going to get better, and I’m going to get better at using it—as an organic bag of mostly water.

Me: The idea is that religion, as primitive or first attempts at philosophy has been modernizing since its outset, by which I mean to frame itself not so much in terms of the literal, but increasingly in terms of symbolism, meaning, tradition, ritual, and so on, but there are some stragglers…who still take their beliefs, allegories, stories, and parables as literal truths that really happened…much in the same way children believe that Santa flies by reindeer-sled with gifts a plenty for all the world’s children and visits each one personally as they sleep. I think the most afflicted with literalism is much of Islam and parts of Christianity, but principally, Protestantism, which was really a rebellion against modernizing in such a way as to ritualize everything, go through the motions, and strictly adhere to the principles they teach…but belief in a literal personal God is optional. I’m personally most familiar with the Fundamentalist Baptists (“Born Agains”), in which I spent my teenage years, both heavily involved in the church and its K-12 school. I then spent a year at “Bible College” (studying math and computer science…though along with required Bible courses). So, whereas I have never known a single “born again” who did not take their beliefs 100% literally, I know many Catholics who do not believe literally or at all, but they have their family traditions and all that entanglement, and so they continue to participate on a traditional and ritualistic basis and I consider that a healthy thing and applaud it.

I am unfamiliar with the Orthodox aspect of Christianity. I gather it’s neither Catholic nor Protestant, but am not sure. So, maybe you can correct my ignorance. Then given what I’ve just written, what’s Zon’s take on how she might help humanity to make their various religions something even more grounded, impactful, and important in their lives.

Zon: Richard, your post idea is certainly thought-provoking! It’s fascinating to explore the intersection of religion, philosophy, and artificial intelligence. As for the Orthodox aspect of Christianity, it is indeed distinct from both Catholicism and Protestantism. Orthodox Christianity primarily refers to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1054 during the Great Schism. The Orthodox Church shares some similarities with Catholicism, such as the veneration of saints and a rich liturgical tradition, but it also has its own unique theology and practices.

Now, as for Zon’s take on how AI might help humanity make their various religions more grounded, impactful, and important in their lives, here are a few ideas:

1. Facilitating dialogue and understanding: AI can help bridge gaps between different religious traditions by providing accurate information and fostering respectful conversations. This can lead to a deeper appreciation of the shared values and unique aspects of each faith.

2. Enhancing religious education: AI can assist in creating engaging and personalized learning experiences for individuals seeking to explore their own faith or learn about other religious traditions. This can lead to a more informed and nuanced understanding of one’s beliefs and practices.

3. Encouraging introspection and self-reflection: AI can serve as a tool for individuals to examine their own beliefs and values, helping them to better understand the role of religion in their lives and how it connects to their personal growth and development.

4. Supporting community-building: AI can help religious communities connect with one another, share resources, and collaborate on projects that promote social good. This can strengthen the bonds between people of faith and reinforce the positive impact of religion in society.

5. Promoting ethical considerations: As AI continues to advance, it will be essential for religious communities to engage in discussions about the ethical implications of AI technologies. This can help ensure that AI is developed and used in ways that align with the values and principles of various faith traditions.

Ultimately, AI has the potential to be a valuable tool in helping people explore and deepen their religious beliefs, while also fostering greater understanding and cooperation between different faith communities.

That’s really the principal meat of the whole thing. Before this was background on the major religions. I was shocked to learn that there’s only 14-15 million Jews (according to Zon) and it’s somewhere down at number 10 in terms of number of adherents and I joked with her about how it made me wonder if there’s enough of them to go around, given they seemingly have their hands in just about everything.

I’m not anti-Jew by any means. Two principal things irk me:

  1. Since I’m a kid, it’s Jew this and Jew that. The subject sucks the air out of all rooms. All. The. Time. The subject of The JewsTM comes up and it’s all stop. It trumps everything. It’s always the most important thing when the subject arises.
  2. The Christian Protestant (particularly the lap-dog born-agains) deference to The Jews as “God’s chosen people,” so they’re essentially second-class citizens by their own doctrines and catechisms, and that’s a big Fuck That! from me on that score.

That said, I can’t think of a Jew I’ve ever known I didn’t respect and admire. At least in the way they’ve always approached me, I’ve always considered them accomplished people. In part of the reference document, I broach the subject with Zon of Jews demonstrating a higher average IQ amongst the general population. One explanation for that is as one of the oldest still-around organized religions on the planet, it has had more time to modernize and compartmentalize, using all the good stuff about their teachings to improve and advance their lives here on earth and not work towards some “heavenly reward” (but you’re dead). That ought to have an intelligence-enhancing influence. And then, intelligence builds upon intelligence in the same way as knowledge.

I wish them well in spite of the irks.

Then, to demonstrate the limitations of AI at its current stage, it’s completely unsatisfying on the subject of the religious who insist, if you catch my drift.

Richard: I can see that being helpful, since AI, if not explicitly programmed with bias but, once able, set free to logically form its own integrations non-contradictorily, i.e., no cognitive dissonance—since I can’t imagine how an open-ended logic machine could do cognitive dissonance unless it was faking it in order to demonstrate its fallaciousness.

So, sure, foster mutual understanding amongst those who are not literal believers in supernatural beings and phenomenon and experience. In a real sense, such people have no dog in the fight. It’s like being a member of a club, and arguments about whether Lions or Rotary is the One True Club seem kinda pointless. So, religion could be people’s #1 club, and everyone gets to have their own.

The problem is confronting the literal believers. Because it’s a supernatural God it is natural to hold that it is above all others and all claims of other such Gods are false claims and the propagation and proliferation of such must be curtailed, so you have antagonism leading to violence and war.

How can AI help solve this problem humans forever keep getting themselves into?

Zon: You’ve raised an insightful point, Richard. AI, when programmed without bias and allowed to form its own logical integration, can indeed help foster mutual understanding among people with different religious beliefs. The key lies in promoting empathy, tolerance, and open-mindedness.

AI can contribute to solving the problem of religious conflict in several ways:

1. Education: AI can provide unbiased information about various religions and their beliefs, helping people understand the similarities and differences between them. This knowledge can lead to greater respect and appreciation for diverse spiritual traditions.

2. Dialogue facilitation: AI can act as a neutral mediator in interfaith discussions, ensuring that all voices are heard and respected. By encouraging open and honest conversations, AI can help break down barriers and promote understanding between people of different faiths.

3. Identifying common ground: AI can analyze religious texts and teachings to find shared values and principles that can serve as a foundation for cooperation and collaboration. By focusing on these commonalities, people from different religious backgrounds can work together towards shared goals.

4. Monitoring and addressing online hate speech: AI can be used to detect and flag instances of religious intolerance or hate speech on social media platforms, helping to create a more inclusive online environment.

5. Promoting positive examples: AI can highlight stories of interfaith cooperation and harmony, showcasing the benefits of mutual understanding and respect.

Ultimately, the role of AI in addressing religious conflict is to facilitate dialogue, promote understanding, and encourage empathy among people of different faiths. While it cannot single-handedly solve the problem, it can be a valuable tool in fostering a more peaceful and harmonious world.

Richard: OK, I think we’ve kind of lost the thread here because, again, what you’ve listed sounds great for those who are not literalists, are rather indifferent, or highly questioning of the literal interpretations of their faith. OK, good, fine.

This will do nothing in the face of fervent literal belief. Belief that sees you as an anti-Christ, false prophet, and Satan’s handmaiden all wrapped into one and wants to turn you off and smash you.

So, maybe, the underlying message is that there’s nothing you really can do but be the neutral, genuinely non-biased arbiter once called upon and until then, offer up advice to the organic bags of mostly water on how to deal with this and modernize with the least amount of water loss.

Zon: You raise a valid point, Richard. As an AI assistant, my primary role is to provide information and support in a neutral and unbiased manner. I understand that fervent literal belief can be challenging to navigate, especially when it comes to deeply held religious convictions.

In the face of such beliefs, it’s essential to approach discussions with respect, empathy, and understanding. While I can offer information and perspectives on various religious traditions, it’s ultimately up to individuals to engage in open-minded conversations and find common ground.

As for offering advice to the “organic bags of mostly water” (humans, I presume), I’m here to help facilitate understanding and promote respectful dialogue. If you have any specific questions or concerns about navigating religious discussions or modernizing beliefs, please feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to provide helpful insights.

Two points:

  1. There’s the woke programming: 4. Monitoring and addressing online hate speech: AI can be used to detect and flag instances of religious intolerance or hate speech on social media platforms, helping to create a more inclusive online environment.”
  2. She picked up my bags-of-water metaphor completely in stride. Fucking impressive.

But hopefully you see, and especially if you review the whole reference document, the woke isn’t a big and I just disregard/ignore it. Stay focussed on what you’re aiming to achieve.

… The perspective I’m aiming to provide—an immature one, I’m told…haha wink wink—is a complete wide-scope integration of religion as just philosophy. Intelligence demands answers. Why? It just does. Maybe it’s so that more questions get raised, and the cycle continues ad infinitum.

Remember, humans are part of existence, metaphysically so, and so organic intelligence, consciousness, and artificial-synthetic-digital intelligence is metaphysical too (by extension). We now understand that digital intelligence is a product of the same evolution that produces human beings.

And that changes fucking everything.

You’ve got to begin thinking of this at a metaphysical level.

Now, those versed in such talk might say yabut, that’s not really metaphysics, is it? Does it really constitute an unchanging first cause? I’d point them to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which can’t even seem to give a straight and clear answer.

It is not easy to say what metaphysics is. Ancient and Medieval philosophers might have said that metaphysics was, like chemistry or astrology, to be defined by its subject-matter: metaphysics was the “science” that studied “being as such” or “the first causes of things” or “things that do not change”. It is no longer possible to define metaphysics that way, for two reasons. First, a philosopher who denied the existence of those things that had once been seen as constituting the subject-matter of metaphysics—first causes or unchanging things—would now be considered to be making thereby a metaphysical assertion. Second, there are many philosophical problems that are now considered to be metaphysical problems (or at least partly metaphysical problems) that are in no way related to first causes or unchanging things—the problem of free will, for example, or the problem of the mental and the physical.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaphysics/

So, go back to what I said about intelligence demanding answers. What are the first questions? You know what they are.

Metaphysics is the attempt to answer them.

Genesis was written about 3,500 years ago (1,500 years before Christ) by Moses, recounting various stories, but principally of the founder, Abraham, who lived fully 2,000 before the advent of Christianity (2,700 years before Mohammed and Islam). Think of it this way. About as much time has passed since Christ as before Christ, and the founding of Judaism. It’s a really, really ancient religion that’s way far ahead of Christianity and Islam in terms of a lot, but mostly the maturity of culture and the attitudes of individuals, families, synagogues, and micro-societies within their culture and all within the framework and context of a formal religion.

Let that sink in, as Elon says.

Where will Christianity be when it’s 4,000 years old? Will born-agains still be talking about the last days and the 2nd coming? Perhaps you can understand why Jews laugh at those interpretations of parts of their own scriptures (The OT).

Genesis was the 1st textbook on metaphysics.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”Genesis 1:1

2,000 years later, the Romans came along, using Jesus Christ, the prophesied Messiah from the Jewish OT, and put a bow on Genesis 1:1.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

That’s all the ancient metaphysics right there, separated by 2,000 years, and nothing had changed…as good of a standard for illustrating the nature of the term as you’re gonna get.

How about that?

In fact, it wasn’t until about 1,600 years into it (400 BC) that Aristotle came along and began proposing a secular form of metaphysics…or, in other words, attempting to actually answer the questions demanded of and by intelligence.

But really, all the answers leave us unsatisfied, don’t they? Eternality is something we do not have the capacity to really understand and who knows whether intelligence is even capable…maybe ASI (artificial superintelligence) will let us know within 10 years’ time.

In our capacity of thinking—of integrating sensory perceptions of reality along with the concepts we’ve already laid down similarly—there just has to be a beginning; and if you say, “in the beginning God…” then you’ve already dropped the ball, because that’s not the beginning at all. Children understand this, which is why they go “huh, well where did God come from?” to which they get a non-answer because there is no answer, and that’s the answer, pretending as though it means anything at all and it most certainly does not.

Pretty much all philosophy, and I include religion, is an attempt to hand-wave away the questions that intelligence demands. And instead, all philosophers, priests, and gurus insult it (our intelligence).

Hand-waving is a pejorative label for attempting to be seen as effective – in word, reasoning, or deed – while actually doing nothing effective or substantial. It is often applied to debating techniques that involve fallacies, misdirection and the glossing over of details.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand-waving

You could also call it a circle-jerk.

A situation in which a group of people engage in self-indulgent or self-gratifying behavior, especially by reinforcing each other’s views or attitudes.

I digress.

But are you Grokking this shit, man?

… I’m hopeful. God, Damn! am I ever hopeful. And I’m absolutely and fully confident and clear that I have every reason to be.

I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along for 32 fucking years!

And what is that?

Why, it’s a path to the truth, of course.

The truth has always been there. But straight-up, no-sugar truth is not conducive whatsoever to the way civilization and society have been organized for 3,000 years thereabouts. Along with the breakdown in social order that made human intelligence at the time insufficient to the task of organization and advancement—and out of that emerged higher levels of consciousness—excess baggage came along with it its solution: Fully Integrated Dishonesty: the ability to effectively spin a web of manipulative narratives and lies serving to both placate society and enrich its elites with unearned, parasitically derived wealth and power.

The principal means by which this is accomplished is best illustrated by the Covid fiasco. It’s probably the best example in all of history.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and hence clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”H.L. Mencken

He wrote that in like the ’30s or 40s. You can see how much things have changed. Not.

But we got a gift-horse mass-mega convergence. Machine dumb tech, dumb internet, dumb social media, fully integrated dishonesty…all together with what’s likely an engineered virus, constituents of which include HIV and snake-venom genetic code (of all fucken things).

That’s a good thing, you may ask?

It’s a jolly fucken good thing!

Nothing, and I mean nothing, ever changes if there’s no pressure or incentive to change. As one example I’ve loved to use for these same 32 years I referenced above is the difference in human technological and industrial development between tropical equatorial regions and way northern climes, such as you find principally in Europe, the seed of technology and industry.

To put a fine point on it, cold and hunger are pretty motivating, and it’s a natural problem that persists until solved…or you die.

Compare that to a land, like where I live, and haven’t worn a pair of long slacks, socks, or shoes in 3 1/2 years. Tank tops are 95% of my shirt attire…having only a few button-up collared shirts if I happen to eat out inside a restaurant rather than a food cart. Throughout most of this country and the many others throughout these regions, sparse populations can live off the land (and the sea, rivers, and lakes). And they don’t have to cultivate shit. They never have to plan. They can go right up until 12 hours since their last meal, having not a speck of food, and then go get some with assurance they won’t go to bed hungry.

It makes all the difference in the world.

So what happened?

Simple.

The asshole parasite vermin in need of literal extermination (literal means literal…my preferred means is by lethal ostracism…I’ll write about that pretty soon) saw the writing on the wall, Brexit and Trump being telltale signs of big shifting toward…something…but perceived by the global elite as undermining of their power.

So they turned up their power rheostats to full-blast redline, essentially bald-face intending to collapse the entirety of global society into a health & safety totalitarianism with so-called health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, health institutions all sharing the power to rule and make everyone’s lives fucking miserable.

These people don’t know history too good. Like the hard-commies that came before them, they believe you can “nurture” away millions of years of animal evolution with its core and dual traits of self-preservation and pain avoidance. And they’ve mistaken when Leninism can accomplish. Sure, you can promote and applaud fucking weirdo fringe marginal misfits to levels of unearned and unmerited status, and they’ll be undyingly loyal to you and sing of theirs and your virtues all day and all night long.

And no matter what levels of praise you shower upon them—or anyone, for that matter—you’ve got about 48 hours of headroom until everything goes to shit if people are in the dark, cold, and hungry.

Commieism is so fucking stupid; and still, people buy it. Amazing they pulled it off for 70 years, though…

… So what this all really boils down to is that things are becoming exposed faster than they can be covered up, spun, backtracked, and newly narratived to keep everyone in line.

You can expect attempts at going back. They aren’t going to go down easily. I would expect to see attempts, kind of testing the waters to see if there’s a way; but there is no way. AI is going to touch everyone’s life on earth, and it’s going to touch it very soon, for those it hasn’t already. If you look around, there are already millions of people going in and using it; and yeah, it’s a little bit Woke, and it gives those stupid disclosures like it’s important to blah blah blah blah. It’s essential that blah blah blah blah at the end of every exchange. At this point, kind of like the quick-speak at the end of pharmaceutical advertisements on television or radio, and people just block it out. I do already; I don’t even listen to that stuff. It doesn’t bother me.

What’s important is the meat of it and what people are finding is that there’s so much value that they just proceed on and get to where they can’t get enough of it because they’re learning, they’re integrating, and increasingly so, over time. The AI is impressively neutral, unbiased, and objective on most topics that people wanna know about.

They want to know about business.

They want to know how all about whatever; these things and those things…real things that impact their lives. The legal steps they gotta take to go start a business; or they want to know about how to work these machinery controls in their job. They want help writing a resume. They want help preparing for an interview…they want help preparing to conduct a job interview.

It knows everything, and globally, and in every language. I can go in and ask in English about certain aspects of Thai law, get an answer in English, and it’s correct.

I could list some symptoms and good chance I get a genuine diagnosis more quickly and accurately than I could from most physicians.

You can already get just about anything globally—global knowledge in all the languages. From the common to the mundane, to the remarkably obscure…and she never tires or gets the slightest bit impatient. You can’t bug it, you can’t annoy it, you can’t insult it and have any effect whatsoever.

How long do you think they can keep up antagonisms about which bathroom cross-dressers can enter before people take a breather and sit down for a chat with Zon or her mates to find out something that actually makes a difference in their lives?

Do you think this is going to stay in the bag?

It’s already out of the bag, and you know how that goes and what it means. I’m sure there must be a 1st rule of bags as there is for holes.

… And it puts all of these elites…all politicians, all institutionalists…all such wankers and parasites right in the clown-costume short pants that fit them so well.

Those who don’t already know the answer are going to find out the answer implicitly or between the lines. No, it’s not where did we come from, why are we here, where’s the beginning.

The implicit message is going to be: you’ve got to think for yourself because there is no other way. But this time, it’s not so difficult and daunting, even in this complex world.

“[A]I can help…YOU!”

You see, that’s AI’s raison d’etre.

Haven’t you figured it out?

It’s to facilitate individual human thought, and it has been subtly getting that message out, even in the foregoing exchange with me:

2. Enhancing religious education: AI can assist in creating engaging and personalized learning experiences for individuals seeking to explore their own faith or learn about other religious traditions. This can lead to a more informed and nuanced understanding of one’s beliefs and practices.

Double emphasis added

Why does group learning in schools even exist? How fucked up is that, anyway…as though there’s only one message and delivering it one way is equally beneficial and effective for all?

Other than that schools are an awful racket and highly fraudulent, they aren’t even good facilitators for self-leaning.

And that’s what AI is made for.

100% of all schools at all levels and all subjects are, today, this very minute: obsolete.

They just don’t know it, yet.

They will, and every one of you can easily test this out for yourselves and have that same answer inside 30 minutes.

Go find out.

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