In the era of scientific enlightenment, progress, and technological sophistication, “magic” might be the last word one might use to describe the activity of modern Western culture. We live in an age of reason, not superstition. Right? The old world of myth, mystery, and religion is holed away in museums and cathedrals; these are relics of an admirable but outdated generation. After Reason In a fascinating new article from The New Atlantis, writer Tara Isabella Burton writes about the “postrationalists,” an Internet subculture disillusioned with the technocratic rationalism of Silicon Valley and in search of a sense of the mystical and divine. “Reason,” or the modern conception of it, has left the postrationalists disappointed. Neither, however, are they flocking to Read More ›
Can ChatGPT write funny jokes? The answer is yes. To try and generate some short jokes, I went to ChatGPT and started all my queries with: “Complete the following to make it funny:” Doing so alerts ChatGPT about my end goal. Without this preamble, I could make queries all day and get no funny responses. I started with the beginnings of some well-known quotes. To Be or Not to Be Consider for example the quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” I instructed ChatGPT with the following command: “Complete the following to make it funny: To be or not to be…” One of the better responses I got was “To be or Read More ›
By Jeff Gardner The threat that artificial intelligence (AI) poses to us has been dominating the news cycle. Exactly what AI will do to us is hard to predict — it hasn’t happened yet. But some, like Elon Musk, worry that AI will be used primarily to peddle lies to us. Musk is right, but not because AI is the next thing in fake news. “Fake news” is already here, and it’s not composed of made-up stories. It is someone’s opinion being passed off as the story, the “facts” of the event. With fake news, the events are real, but the assigned meaning, the “frame” as it is called in the media, is manufactured. The Problem AI’s danger to us Read More ›
The pandemic changed the way we work, with more people opting for online or “hybrid” schedules, office buildings emptying, and boundaries between work and other aspects of life starting to get blurred. But what is the general attitude towards work in the United States? According to Simone Stolzoff, author of the forthcoming The Good Enough Job, Americans are turning to their careers like people used to turn to religion: for meaning and a sense of self-worth. This new secular religion is called “workism.” In an interview with Wired, Stolzoff said, [Workism] is treating work akin to a religious identity. It’s looking to work not just for a paycheck but also for a community, a sense of identity and purpose and Read More ›
Bob and Sue were on their way to church one morning. On their way they ran into their friend Fred. Fred was very wealthy, a billionaire in fact. Fred waved hi. Bob and Sue waved back. They asked Fred to come with them to church. Fred said no, he had more important things to do. “What is so important,” asked Sue. “I’m off to the real deal,” beamed Fred. Bob looked confused. “Real deal about what?” “You have a fake promise of eternal life. I’m about to get the real thing.” “You can’t be serious. Start talking some sense.” “Seriously. Here’s my voucher, see it right here.” Sue grabbed the piece of paper from Fred and read it aloud. “Good for one digital immortalization Read More ›
April 9th was Easter Sunday for the Western churches. Next Sunday, for Eastern Orthodox churches. For believing Christians, whether Eastern or Western, celebrating Christ’s Resurrection joyfully commemorates the permanent defeat of death and entrance into eternal life. Transhumanism, which is a quasi-religion that worships at the altar of technology, promotes its own defeat-of-death eschatology. Instead of the New Jerusalem for which Christians yearn, transhumanists hope to live indefinitely — if not forever — in the corporeal world through the wonders of AI and other human-invented methods of technologically defeating death. And it could be here by 2050! From the Daily Mail story: Despite the setback, that same year, a prominent futurist predicted that ‘electronic immortality’ would be available to humans by 2050. Dr Read More ›
Robert J. Marks, director of Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center, recently appeared on a podcast episode with Fox News host Laura Ingraham to talk about artificial intelligence, tech, and Dr. Marks’s book Non-Computable You: What You Do That AI Never Will. Ingraham prefaced the conversation with some thoughts on the rapidly evolving technological world we find ourselves in, and the changes such developments are inflicting on society. In response to the futurism and unbounded optimism in AI systems like ChatGPT that many modern figures hold, Marks said that what computers do is strictly algorithmic, This leads us to the idea of whether or not there are non-computable characteristics of human beings, and I think there is growing evidence that there Read More ›
How does artificial intelligence deal with the teachings of Jesus Christ? Apparently quite well in some cases. Super Bowl ads this year included two about Jesus from the ministry He Gets Us. There are more thought-provoking videos at their web site HeGetsUs.com. One, linked here, is about AI. An artificial intelligence image synthesizer Midjourney was asked by He Gets It to generate images about love from simple text prompts. The video shows generated images using software from the company Midjourney. When prompted to synthesize an image from the prompt “love”, the response was pictures containing hearts – the kind you might see on a cheesy valentine day’s card. Then the AI was asked to visualize love the way Read More ›
While the battle against constant distraction might seem like a new problem posed by our diffuse technologies, a new book from Jamie Kreiner argues that the struggle is perennial. The book is The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction. Kreiner takes the problem of distraction and puts it into the hands of the religious recluses of late antiquity. It turns out they had a lot to say. Like us, they struggled to maintain vigorous work routines. They courted the opinions of other monks and writers on what a modern-day LinkedIn guru would call “workflow” or “hustle.” In short, they were not so different from us. In his review of the book for Wired, Matt Reynolds writes, Early Read More ›
Arjuna Gallagher is the host of the YouTube Channel called Theology Unleashed and a Hindu. He discusses Hinduism’s unique perspective regarding subjects such as metaphysics, evil, and free will with Dr. Michael Egnor. They also address creation, social ethics, and the relationship of the mind and the body. Additional Resources Dr. Michael Egnor Follow Arjuna Gallagher on Facebook Subscribe to Read More ›
Arjuna Gallagher is the host of the YouTube Channel called Theology Unleashed and a Hindu. He discusses Hinduism, reincarnation, karma, and other religious subjects as they pertain to the relationship between the mind and the body with Michael Egnor. Show Notes 00:05 | Introducing Arjuna Gallagher 01:33 | What is Hinduism? 03:03 | Central Themes of Hinduism 04:09 | Is Read More ›
Those proclaiming that exclusive truth lives totally in naturalism are constrained to a sadly narrow view of the world. Some naturalists have put their faith in AI and have founded the AI Church. They may think they are doing something new and cutting edge, but as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun (1:9).
A book on the new pop science religion might well be titled “Tales of the Invented God.” Its author would likely be challenged to keep up with all the non-events breathlessly documented. After all, the technocrats who invent their future gods can change, re-envision, replace, upgrade, eliminate them at any time.
Many Singulatarians hold that their soon-to-be-realized technology will be indistinguishable by the rest of us from magic. Are they serious? Well, in 2005, Kurzweil said that the magical Harry Potter stories “are not unreasonable visions of our world as it will exist only a few decades from now.” when, due to AI, “the entire universe will become saturated with our intelligence.” Keas warns that this type of thing encourages people “to expect the experiential equivalent of occult phenomena.”
Unfortunately, most of the public knows about science only through science media professionals. And it is apparent that science media professionals often know little to nothing of what they are talking about.
The team is pessimistic about getting politicians on side and hopes to persuade policy analysts to convince the politicians to adopt the policies their model suggests instead. Wildman predicts, “We’re going to get them in the end.”