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Ian_C. comments on Beyond the Reach of God - Less Wrong

68 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 October 2008 03:42PM

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Comment author: Ian_C. 04 October 2008 05:21:40PM 8 points [-]

Reminds me of this: "Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

But my question would be: Is the universe of cause and effect really so less safe than the universe of God? At least in this universe, someone who has an evil whim is limited by the laws of cause and effect, e.g. Hitler had to build tanks first, which gave the allies time to prepare. In that other universe, Supreme Being decides he's bored with us and zap we're gone, no rules he has to follow to achieve that outcome.

So why is relying on the goodness of God safer than relying on the inexorability of cause and effect?

Comment author: LawrenceC 13 October 2014 05:06:29PM 1 point [-]

Short Answer: It's not.

Longer Explanation: The way I understand it, the universe of God feels safer because we think of God as like us. In that world, there's a higher being out there. Since we model that being as having similar motivations, desires, etc., we believe that God will also follow some sort of morality and subscribe to basic ideas of fairness. So He'll be compelled to intervene in the case things get too bad.

The existence of God also makes you feel less responsible for your fate. For example, if he chooses to smite you, there's nothing you can do. But in a universe of Math, if you don't take action, no higher being is going to step in to hurt/harm you.

Comment author: CCC 14 October 2014 07:39:13AM 1 point [-]

Since we model that being as having similar motivations, desires, etc., we believe that God will also follow some sort of morality and subscribe to basic ideas of fairness.

Also, consider that we exist. If there is such a supreme being, then logically, that supreme being does not object to our existence (since we have not yet been smited). Therefore, to said supreme being, our presence is either desirable or irrelevant. If desirable, our presence can be expected to continue; and the human ego will not allow many people to seriously consider ourselves irrelevant, so that option is often simply not considered.