Giulio writes extensively about his techno-religious views therefore I feel it is important for me to explain how technological progress is not religious. The Mormon Transhumanist Association is another religious futurist factor necessitating this response. If our goal is intelligence augmentation it's important to explain the flaws of religious thinking. Ben Goertzl also seems to have religious leanings in his Cosmist Manifesto, which Giulio Prisco explains:
"In A Cosmist Manifesto, Ben writes also about meditation, positive thinking, mental health, achievement, relationships, sexuality, zen, joy and (why not?) religion. Ben’s book is a unique blend of science and spirituality, futurism and compassion, technology and art, practical life strategies and cosmic visions, where every reader will find snippets of spiritual wisdom and practical advice."
My comments inspired by Giulio and others:
There is no "intersection of science and religion", they don't intersect. Robots or uploaded entities are not "cyber angels" but considering the legacy of Christianity (2012 years since the start of the Christian era) it is understandable how people with religious leanings want to fit everything into the religion box. Our lives so often must conform to the religious bent of civilization, but thankfully religious conformity is less forced these days (no Inquisition or stake-burnings). Thankfully religion is becoming redundant. To describe technological advancement as "Religion 2.0." is absurd. Belief in God is absurd thus the absurdity of seeing religion in something not religious (technology) is understandable.
I fail to see what benefits people get from thinking technological advancement is religious. Sloppy thinking is bad, there is no excuse, no justification. Instead if wasting brainpower upon deluded techno-religious thinking, religious futurists would make a better contribution to the world if they embraced rationality, logic. The whole God issue is a waste of brainpower which causes suffering on many levels. If God created the universe why does God allow excessive suffering and why does God refuse to communicate (in any meaningful, logical sense) with humans?
If I was designing a universe/humans I could a far better job with my mere human brain than God has done. If God exists I think God is an a-hole (I am not trying to offend you). Surely you can see how our world is deeply flawed? Surely you can see how no rational being would create life and the universe to be the way it is? We can't know for certain at this point in time how our universe was created but it's structure and human life indicates accident rather than design, unless God is a sadistic lunatic. Religions and cults are essentially the same thing (note Opus Dei) but technology is neither.
Why do people need to worship things or beings? I think overbearing parents and institutions have indoctrinated people into roles of submissiveness and worship. Worship is a weakness of mind in my opinion. A weakness arsing from an intellectually primitive culture.
If the universe is a computer it is safe to assume the creator had a competent computer to create it. We see how computers allow us to predict the outcome of creations. We can compute the aerodynamics of a car, we can compute the requisite strength for the foundations of buildings. We can forecast many things.
Computational skill and personal intelligence needed to create a universe implies a level of thoughtfulness not evident in the structure of our universe. I assert any being competent enough to create a universe is competent enough to create things far greater than our universe; what I mean is that the hypothetical creation of our universe by God was probably akin to humans (circa 2012) creating a hamster cage and some hamsters to populate the cage, or perhaps the creation of a tasty God-meal, thus God would have possessed a computer far more powerful than the computational capacity of our universe, similar to how our computers are more powerful than the meals we cook. Both God and I can predict the behavior of hamsters, we can also state a tasty meal will be tasty. Everything in our universe could have been easily predicted if our universe was created by an advanced being.
My views regarding a hypothetical God do not anthropomorphize God or suffering. For example I don't find the suffering of a wolf eating a rabbit disturbing, but I find human stupidity disturbing. The wolf and rabbit are not intelligent because they are not human, they don't know any better, but God would be intelligent, God would be human in the deeply humane intellectual sense of empathy for fellow intelligent beings, God should know better, God should have the intelligence, the logic, to comprehend the ramifications of a creation. Evil and pain do not need to be impossible, a good and omnipotent God could permit evil, my point is that life seems to have been created to encourage evil and pain; there is an excessive focus on evil and pain; it is as though God has intentionally created the most painful universe imaginable, thus if God exists or existed then he/she/it is undoubtedly a sadist, but instead of a mentally deranged God it is more logical and natural to assume no God, pure accidental creation by nobody.
Things progress. Over time our computers become more powerful, for example consider the Law of Accelerating Returns defined by Ray's data. When we reach Singularity we could be seeing, based on the 2001 rate of progress, around 100 or 2,000 years of progress or more (becoming quicker all the time) within 1 year, every year.
Upon reaching Singularity circa 2045 I assume we won't immediately be able to create new universes. My guess is the creation of new universes will be towards the end of this century, which will be: Singularity plus approximately 55 years, which means the rate of technological progress will be a lot faster at the universe creating point.
So if someone wants to create a universe, the question is would they immediately rush into creating a universe upon the instant they gain the technological proficiency to do so? Or would they take time to plan and test how their universe will evolve over billions of years?
If they take time to plan how their universe will evolve I am sure considering the accelerating rate of progress they would have better modelling computers, before they actually create the universe, within a short period of time, due to the Law of Accelerating Returns. They would quickly surpass the technological pinnacle of universe creation within a few years or perhaps within a few seconds, or milliseconds. So it is very likely they would possess computers more powerful than the universe before the universe is created thus they could predict absolutely everything that would happen in the universe they were about to create. I will also contemplate the possibility they rushed blindly and stupidly into the creation of a universe the first moment they had the capability to do so.
Consider the technological accomplishment needed to create a universe; it is safe to state such creators are very intelligent, thoughtful people, very considerate regarding their actions, but maybe recklessly insane people will also exist in the super-intelligent future. People must have an utterly AWESOME level of technology if they can create universes; the mind boggles thinking about it but surely we can see how even in the case where a flawed universe is impetuously created by amateur-creators the corrections could easily be fixed within a few seconds, hours, or years after creation due to the Law of Accelerating Returns? Our universe would be obsolete within a few days or years.
We can update our computers with patches to secure a vulnerability, we can even install an entirely new OS. Surely advanced beings could update the universe to eliminate all bugs?
Surely God has heard of How about Jesus Christ! God is an incompetent fool. I think nobody created our universe but if they did it would've been very stupid to rush into the creation process. Please note A UNIVERSE IS FOR LIFE NOT JUST CHRISTMAS (think twice before creating a universe):
Our universe is comparable to a dog, hamster, or a tasty meal. Considering super-intelligence, our universe is not very technically accomplished. It would be easy to predict everything that happened in our universe; or if sufficient prediction capability was not available at the time of creation it would be easy to install an update a few seconds or years after creation. The update would be feasible due to the ever advancing nature of progress. There is no justification for creating a flawed universe, but if God never existed the flaws are justified.
It is pretty easy to see how the ongoing financial criss can be interpreted as precursor to the Mayan 21st December 2012 end of the world. My point is people often think things are easy to interpret according to their bias, thus when they read their star signs or tea-leaves they may say it is pretty easy to see how the signs apply wholly to their life circumstances. Or the paranoid schizophrenic thinks it's easy to see how Obama is an evil robot trying to brainwash everyone via nanobots in the water supply.
It isn't actually easy to see how the Bible relates to extreme technological progress (Transhumanism), unless of course you have a religious bias, a blind-spot, which means you see everything through a religious filter, thus everything is God's work.
The Bible doesn't actually predict the Singularity but people see signs and codes where there are none, thus at various points in history people believed Nostradamus predicted various events, but most scholars reject the predictive ability of Nostradamus. I hope you will also reject the pseudo-linkage between religion and the Singularity, similar to how rational people reject the end of the world Mayan 21st December 2012 predictions.