Re: Theology and Analogy

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 11:14:21 EDT

  • Next message: Dr. Blake Nelson: "Re: Randomness"

    As an analogy (model?) for the relationship between
    God and the world the programmer/program is an
    interesting one. I have thought about this as well.
    There are potentially a couple issues that would need
    to be ironed out.

    One big one is the immanence of God (a programmer is
    certainly transcendant in relation to his program).
    Is a programmer immanent in his running program? It
    depends how you define it, but probably not in the way
    we think of God's immanence. The programmer can be
    aware (assuming he has written the code thus) of every
    variable in his program at every moment in time (at
    least within human limitations).

    I have also thought about it from the other side. Can
    an AI program prove that it has a programmer? Or
    would AI programs, assuming sentience which is a huge
    assumption, running on the same system and able to
    communicate with one another be of different opinions
    within the confines of their system about the
    existence of their programmer? It seems to me that
    they likely would. I find this analogy helpful for
    thinking about the situation in which we find
    ourselves. One can imagine that arguments among AI
    entities could be much the same as the arguments that
    have occupied mankind certainly over the last couple
    of thousand of years.

    I could expound at length about the analogy, but
    suffice it to say I too find it interesting.


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