Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kicking at the darkness

We live in an absolutely fascinating time; a potential transition of epochs for the human race, for earth and possibly the universe: A time when a critical sum of evidence has become available which could trigger an astounding evolution if optimumly applied. Poets were putting it forth a thousand years ago and scientists are finally on board, though each tribe seems not to know of the other.

In its simplest essence: Human beings are not what they think they are.

Believe me, I could go on all day with the details.

Some couple months ago or so I threw a hint on my facebook page to see if anyone might pick up on it. I wrote: What would happen if a robot gained the slightest shred of consciousness? Would it believe you when you told it that it was not responsible for its own apparent choices; that the infantile consciousness only suffered the illusion of choice and responsibility."

No one picked up on what I was really suggesting.

The answer, I'm almost certain, is no, it would not believe you. Because we already have a creature with just such a shred. And that creature does not believe me when I say that you are not what you think you are; that you are not the captain of your ship.

Do you?

The point was to suggest that this robot scenario is precisely the human condition. I know that feels all wrong. But human feelings have never had a talent for approaching truth. Once you contemplate this idea long and courageously enough, it becomes clear there is no other possibility.

"The simplest emotions are born and grow in impenetrable darkness, attracting and repelling each other like thunderclouds in accordance with secret affinities. All we see on the surface of the darkness is the brief flashes of the innaccessible storm. That's why the best psychological hypothesis can perhaps throw some light on the past but can never tell us what the future may hold. And, like many other conjectures, they merely hide a mystery that our minds find intolerable even to contemplate."
- Georges Bernanos: Under Satan's Sun

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