Humans talk about intelligence, communication, awareness ... as though they were black and white, either / or. Is the glass that has some water in it full? If it isn't empty is full the only other possibility?
I see intelligence, communication, awareness ... as spectra (as my Thinking Tools said) (see pkTools blog). At the same time I see that my fellows see things, "think" things, in either/or absolutes. God isn't intelligent, he's perfectly intelligent; God isn't aware, he's infallibly aware: can't be wrong, not in one shade of one point.
I see intelligence as evolving. It's development is related to microbial interactions with environment, as it is to the brain stem of tyrannosaurus. Lewis Thomas argued that only those capable of making mistakes, the fallible, can learn: only mistakes can be learned from. Thus any giraffe that falls short of the leaves but that then grows a longer neck, stochastically, over time, the species if not the individual, is potentially more intelligent than any infallible God palmed off (by a very fallible Church). But that's Lewis Thomas, and Darwin, and Gregory Bateson, and me. I don't think Thomas or Darwin or Bateson number among my readers, if indeed my readers have any number at all, other than zero. Thus I revert to the fundamentalism I grew up with, writing for readers that do exist: in absolute, either/or terms.
Either God exists or he doesn't. Don't tell me that there are more choices than two, that the duality is a false one, my readers won't understand it. Either, or. Either God is perfect, or he's not. If God is aware of the fall of a sparrow then God must also be aware of every possible position of every possible electron, positron, photon, neutrino ... Thus God knows every single good thing I've ever done, and every good thing I've tried to do, what I said, and what I meant, and what was done by the society, by my family, by my wife, by my teachers, by my friends, to misunderstand what I said, so that that part of my speaking that tried to convey messages from God, from Jesus, from inspired geniuses such as Bucky Fuller and Ivan Illich will be understood by God, understood perfectly, and so, no matter what God will do to me because of all the bad things I've said, or done, or meant, he'll also know how his messages were sabotaged by the society and its members, its families and its churches and its universities, its media, its governments ...
And therefore, since God can do anything, even make the stones understand Judgment at Judgment, it can only be true that everyone, every stone, every giraffe, every tyrannosaur, every teacher, priest, and moron will, at Judgment, understand what I did and said that they didn't understand in life.
And, finally, I will have succeeded in communication: God doing the heavy lifting, succeeding in the impossible part, in making human intellects understand.
Yeah. What if there is no Judgment? What if there will be no understanding? no communication? only the false communications of the priests, the authorities?
What if the slaves, the conquered, the women, the wogs ... finally get "their day in court" only to get steamrolled? What if even in heaven Sutter never gets a dime for the gold and family and cattle and land we stole from him? What if even in heaven Ivan Illich and I get no credit for the internet we invented, trying to save the people from coercion?
Will there be Justice? Or not!
You know, it's like asking whether or not sentience will succeed in evolving in this universe! What the hell. I'm not sure I even care any more.
pk translates: Look at it this way:
It's possible that this universe is the only one, that the beer commercial has it right. There is no karma, no meta-view, no god: just us. We're not a lab experiment, certainly not a lab experiment gone awry; we're the cats pajamas. OK. Then being or trying to be Genghis or Hitler or Stalin or Napoleon makes sense. Achilleus makes sense, Agammemnon makes sense. Jesus and Oedipus and St. Francis are just wacko.
But say on the other hand that this universe might be a petri dish in some god's lab somewhere. The god is running an experiment to see how many petri dishes of the several hundred, or million, he starts with, fifty seeded with one kind of life, fifty with another, fifty left alone, fifty plugged into the god, fifty not plugged in ... will develop sentience: and of those, how many produce kleptocracies, and of those how many produce a Jesus, of those how many listen to Jesus and how many crucify Jesus without learning a thing ... Only a human could be stupid enough to believe that he, the human, is running the experiment! Only a church could be vain enough to believe that once the Jesus is crucified, that then they're the pipeline about the experiment.
pk translates further: only a church, or a government, or a university ... could be stupid enough to believe that they're anything but kleptocratic careerists: unless: their supposed pipeline to the god is entirely open to rational examination by any subject of the kleptocracy! pk translates still further: in other words, the kid who says The Emperor has no clothes by saying The Emperor has no clothes "should" instantly cancel the legitimacy of the kleptocracy. It's not that the kid should become emperor: the kleptocracy should see that there should be no emperor: not the old one, not a new one either.
Or: let the god do whatever he wants, however he wants: it's none of our business. We, I, are not competent even to think about it.
That won't stop us from "thinking"; but does thinking, even by an Einstein, have much more significance than a fly buzzing?
The first draft of this, posted a few days ago, began very differently. I hope this version is better, but the other had some funny devices: so I keep both up.
Obviously what I mean is that being aware somewhere along a spectrum of awareness doesn't prove that you're aware of everything, and certainly not the most important thing. It doesn't even prove that you can know what the most important things are. In Catch-22 Yossarian bandages Snowden's wound aboard the bomber only to discover that 90% of Snowden's guts have meantime been spilling out a huge wound in Snowden's back that Yossarian had no suspicion of. It would be very helpful to human sanity if humans could have charts for other species as well as for whole pantheons of gods in a wide sampling of civilizations or other sentiences on a wide sampling of planets. It's dandy that we find ourselves more aware than a stone or a newt or an orangutan; it's dandy to say that Yahweh is more aware than Baal or that Christ is more aware than Yahweh; but it would be better yet if we could assess awareness of the smart mushrooms on Beta Dingle in the Coal Sack and the awareness of their god, Lacy Spoor, as well: assess it that is without being totally inept in the assessment.
I realize that my obsessions are vanities. The Japanese soldier was raised to believe that the emperor was a sun god (and that the sun was a big deal; not a minor star in a galactic backwater). Stick him on a Pacific Island, and the idiot is still fighting for his immortan emperor in 1950, 1955, 1960 ... No one's fed him, no one's paid him ... He's still fighting.
Or Jesus preaches human messages to a Third World Israel, gobbled down by Imperial Rome: the biggest baddest colonizing kleptocracy in the "ancient" world. Jesus gets arrested, gets convicted, tortured, murdered, the Jews and other Third Worlders standing with their thumb in their ass, pretending not to know him. Next thing you know, other Third Worlders get demoted and swallowed by Napoleon, by Wellington, by Washington, by Stalin ...
Jesus writhes on the cross, his corpse spins in the tomb, there's an ache in heaven ... But is it his fault? Is the emperor's mortality, the abandoned soldier's fault? Maybe: but only a very little: a little nothing compared to the sins of Rome swallowing Jerusalem, or the US swallowing the Pacific ...
I tried to help helpless Jesus to save the "world." I made mistakes, sure. I wasn't always dedicated 24/7. But I was denied resources, cheated, blackballed ... stripped, arrested, tortured, censored ... How is our failure my fault?
I agree that it is my fault: the least part my fault; and the greatest part everyone else's fault.