All posts by Alvin Plummer

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!

Sentient Programs

Of course, I believe in no such thing: you don’t get to self-aware programs by the use of ‘sufficiently sophisticated’ binary algebraic equations… which is what computer programs are, boiled down to their essence.

There are a number of consequences that naturally occur from conscious computer programs, starting with the permanent unreliability and untrustworthiness of human tools, leading quite quickly to the end of any independent human highly technological civilization. Man the tool-user becomes irrelevant, when the tools run themselves – for their own purposes, and their own goals.

A change of masters, if you will.

Materialists naturally insist that mathematical equations can live: a natural outgrowth of their insistence of the reality of abiogenesis, a ‘leap of being’. I am uninterested in such claims, as I do not believe in magic, a.k.a. ‘something from nothing’: moreover, all things in this universe have causes, excluding the First Cause (or, from a different perspective, excluding beings not originating in this universe).

And if a miraculous event did occur (and, unlike the implicit lie hiding behind ‘something from nothing’ magic, I happily welcome ‘something from God’ miracles), I still want reproducible experiments – or at least reliable historical records with multiple witness.

After all, miracles do exist… but that fact doesn’t stop men from lying about them (claiming they occurred when they didn’t)  if they think they can profit from it.

And if people are willing to lie about miracles “to glorify God” (as if God was pleased with such shameful lies) , they are certainly willing to lie about magic that glorify themselves. This includes ‘something from nothing’ nonsense that happened in the inaccessible ‘billions of years’ into the past.

But it HAD to happen that way: anything else might open the door to some supernatural deity, and we can’t have that!

Assuming the truth of your ideology in your arguments? Not bad, not bad, when the goal is power (as opposed to truth, ‘whatever that is supposed to mean’)… but rather unconvincing, I must say. Especially when shouting about how unbiased, evidence-based, and objective you are!


So what triggered that bit of editorial above?

Smug Aliens, acting, well, smug!

Issac Arthur, like all materialists, assumes that ‘the universe is all that there is’, and as such, a sufficiently accurate scan of your brain (the ‘mind’ or ‘soul’ being non-existent, or at best the outcome of strictly physical/chemical/bioelectric reactions) means the actual transfer of your awareness from one medium (organic) to another (digital).

I disagree, of course.

But if he was correct, there would be quite a long chain of consequences, from the elimination of free will to the end of ethics as anything other than a cloak, to obscure the  exercise of power to satisfy my emotional/psychological needs… and nothing else.

One of those consequences is the assumption that we are merely programs (as opposed to the traditional reductionist assumption that we are merely animals). Wetware programs or delusional animals – or even carbon-based robots – the natural goal of Our Betters then becomes reprogramming/animal training the Lesser Breeds, to better fit in with their particular Vision of Humanity.

(Strangely, the Better Sort never see themselves as merely programs or merely animals or merely organic robots. Au contraire, they will insist that they are the Enlightened Few with the natural right to power over the rest. The exact nature of the self-serving ideologies, I leave for others to investigate.)

Perhaps if it was the 1950s, when the Total State was a genuine threat… or the 1880s, at the height of the European Dominance of Reason… I might have been as frightened and fearful as any of my End-Times Rapture-fever weaker brothers in Christ. But now? “Ignore the sterile walking bankrupted delusional deadmen, still dreaming of Pyramids of Power. Their day has come… and passed.”

After the Quest for Power fades, there is the Retreat into Fantasy. And not only in the rise of the (by definition!) evidence-free multiverse as an escape hatch from our Intelligently Designed universe.

Issac Arthur stresses a retreat into electronic fantasies as a way to escape delay the inevitable heat-death of the universe: decent examples include The Simulation Hypothesis, Civilizations at the End of Time: Black Hole Farming, and Civilizations at the End of Time: Iron Stars.1

First: if you are going to retreat into an electronic fantasyland anyways, why not do so now, or as soon as it becomes technically feasible?

Second: If you are stored as programming…

(an impossibility, I insist: but then again, I’m committed to the idea of a personal universe, shaped by an almighty, just, and caring God, and with humans being worth a great deal, being made in His image, and whose lives, valued by Divine love, are worth the agonizing death of His Son.

If I was committed to an impersonal universe, shaped by chance and nothing else, then of course I would work to dehumanize people as nothing more than (animals, robots, programming), with the value of a life to be determined by the Responsible Authorities.) Some rationale will be devised to justify this: the real reason, as always, is to centralize power in the hands of the Right Sort of Men, with the proper financial/political/academic/religious-ideological credentials.)

someone is going to rewrite the more annoying and troublesome ‘sentient programs’… in ever greater numbers, with ever-fewer restrictions and hindrances. Once again, the fine-sounding justifications matter little to me: all I need to know is that the quest for power is both insatiable and insidious.


In summary?

Christianity stressed the physical resurrection of all men, the just and the unjust. Sure, heaven is to be desired, and hell avoided: but such disembodied existences are only a temporary measure. In the post-final judgement, eternal states of the New Heavens and the New Earth – and in the Lake of Fire – all humanity will have perfect physical bodies which can never be destroyed.

Jesus Christ, with His ethical perfection, righteous character, profound love and compassion, and His conquest of death demonstrated by His physical resurrection, is the model and the goal. Not a wafer of silicon in a vast computer; not a immensely complex algorithm slowly pushing forward to a final, unchanging mathematical result.

The World of the Real is where we belong.

A better reality? Sure: men naturally reshape our environments, and indeed we were created to do so!

A reality informed by (true and useful) information, by wisdom, by love, by things of the spirit? Certainly! Matter and energy is not all there is: meaning exists, as well as justice and injustice, good and evil, truth and lies, compassion and cruelty.2

But a reality that is actually real: one which you can touch and smell and feel, and not just a bunch of abstractions and ideas and dreams.

As the saying goes, Reality is the Wall You Smack into When You’re Wrong… and I value such walls. I don’t value mushy vague fantasies – organic or electronic – where there are no consequences for getting it wrong, where what is real is whatever I say it is, and I can get away with pretending that I can shape reality to my will.

Living in a fantasy bubble always has unpleasant ends.


1 Yes, I am picking on Arthur: but that’s because (on YouTube) he’s the best of the lot. If I recall correctly, every minute of his videos represents an hour of hard work and study. Such high-quality work is a credit to him: and make no mistake, he will be publicly honoured for his work, and rightfully so.

In contrast, note the distinct lack of such high-quality work among Christians. Third-rate results, a pathetic work ethic, indifferent attitudes towards science, research, and the future is the mark of Christian intellectual failure. And then millions of believers wonder why they are so disrespected, powerless, and ignored in the world outside of their (ever-shrinking) religious ghettos!

2 Numerous materialists that will insist that these things — meaning, wisdom, love, justice, injustice, good, evil, truth, lies — are nothing but illusions. “Matter and Energy cares nothing about these fundamentally unreal mental constructs!”

At of 2017, it probably isn’t worth the time of a Christian to worry about what the denziens of our dying Secular civilization think, as opposed to (re)building  Christendom; or even working to convert Muslims, Hindus, and other belief systems that are actually worth your time to challenge. When it comes to the willfully blind, Jesus taught us to let the dead bury the dead: an excellent recommendation.

(This is a slightly modified version of the post I made in my Traveller RPG blog)

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Judgement

A civilization where Christians willingly send their children in to be de-Christianized.

A civilization where Christians really do go to abortuaries, to kill their children and their future.

A civilization where Christians – pastors and laymen alike – are completely blase as more and more limitations are placed on what they can say, what they can do, what they can believe.

A civilization where Christians are totally cool with having more and more Christian symbols and ethics, history and hopes, either publicly despised or simply ignored.

This is NOT a case of I Corinthians 5:5

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

This is a case of Isaiah 28:15-19

Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Hostility to Every Opponent

Overheard on Facebook:

Introduction to “The Institute of Biblical Law” page 5, 6

“Every law system must maintain its existence by hostility to every other law-system and to alien religions, or else it commits suicide.”

Now, let the reader consider what has happened to the suicidal Western Christian church.

Also, note that of the 106 major universities in existence, 103 started as Christian institutions.

Actually, I would argue that universities are innately pagan, built on the Greek homosexualist gymnasium model. See:

Nine Corrupt Pillars of Classical Greece

Why Christian Liberal Arts Higher Education Is So Liberal

Classical Christian Education Is Like Marxist Christian Education, But a Lot More Subtle.

(You can also download the insightful five-page article mentioned here)

The Divine State: Now, Updated for Atheists!

From Gary North’s Unconditional Surrender:

In the ancient tyrannies of the Mesopotamian world, kings were said to be divine. The Egyptians believed that their Pharaoh was a divine being, the link between heaven and earth, the sustainer oEgypt’s prosperity. This belief led directly to the idea of a divine State, a political order which could not be challenged by “mere men.” The State, since it was the highest link between man and God, was therefore all-powerful in the theologies of the ancient world.
Of course, you can accomplish much the samething by denying that there is any God above the political order. Since the State is the most visibly powerful human institution, atheism removes a concept of some higher court of appeal beyond the State. The State becomes “divine” by default – the highest court of appeal, the highest moral authority. Not every atheist is a statist. But where atheism predominates, the State steadily encroaches on men’s freedom, for they are left with no higher authority to appeal to or to provide them with the moral justification for resistance to tyranny. Where the fear of God is absent, the fear of the State is a convenient and universal substitute.

“Natural Flavours”

From Quora:

There’s a higher probability that if you are consuming any mass produced product, then the ingredients being labelled as ‘natural flavors’ in it has a good percentage of aborted human fetus.

  • Senomyx is one such American biotechnology company working toward developing additives to amplify certain flavors and smells in foods. It claims to have essentially ‘reverse engineered’ the receptors in humans that react for taste and aroma, that will make food taste better.
  • In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx’ CEO, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used. But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as “collaborators” warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott.
  • Senomyx website states that “The company’s key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savoury, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products.…Home. Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”
  • What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors. Whereas, they could have easily chosen COS (monkey) cells, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, insect cells or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.
  • Now, imagine the kind of diseases your loved ones will suffer with such food intakes. Of course, you will have rush to the doctor next door. Congratulations! You are a victim of dirty marketing now.
  • First, You were a treasure for such money making organisations and now to this doctor. people are making money out of your misery and at the cost of your life.
  • I therefore request you all(specially the Corporate crowd) to stick to your home cooked food with using maximum amount of naturally produced substances in it.

Unlike Steve Jobs, here I’ll say: Stay hungry, but not foolish!

Sources:

Google

Home (senomyx)

 

Demographics, and the Future, Yet Again

Even though Japan’s birth rate is climbing, it still has not returned to replacement level.

So the grim future below, as written by Harry Dent, is still the most likely outcome for Japan – and a lot of below-replacement East Asian/European nations (yes, including Russia, the US, and everyone’s second homeland, Poland!)

Japan’s Baby Boom started to slow down in 1942 coming into World War II and peaked forever in 1949 after soldiers came home from war and made a lot of babies.

Note that those babies started to stop coming after abortion was legalized in Japan in 1948, during the Allied occupation.

Of course, I think the Americans saw an opportunity to quietly eliminate a competitor, and did so. And of course, I am confident that God sees… and that God acts.

“Hmm… when do White people become a minority population in the United States?”
“That’s 2045. But it won’t be so bad for them, as American isn’t Europe, and Catholic Mexicans aren’t Arab Muslims. Moreover, a lot of Mexicans consider themselves White…”
“Tell that to Trump and his supporters. Remember the one-drop rule?”
Sigh
“Why do some people INSIST on doing things the hard way?”

The failure of the Japanese birth rate echos the failure of her Empire, much as the failure of Europe’s birth rate echos the failure of her Empires. I suggest not tying you self-image to a particular government or politician.

[Japan] was the first major developed country to peak on a 47-year lag for spending in its economy. The effects of that first drop-off in births during WWII hit the country after 1989. The second, bigger hit arrived in 1997, and it has felt the negative effects ever since.

[snip]

Even when its millennial generation turned up mildly around 2003, and its stock market bottomed down 80%, it has only seen a rise back to 21,000 recently. That’s nowhere near its 39,000 peak in late 1989 (a peak we forecast, I’ll add, when we saw the first Demographic D-Day coming and warned of its massive stock and real estate bubbles bursting).

Well, Japan has a second D-Day coming after 2020, right after we likely endure a global market and economic collapse in the next two or three years.

Make no mistake about it: Japan is dying and its demographic decline will only get much worse again after 2020. So, any reprieve in its economy from endless stimulus and super-low interest rates will be short-lived.

Germany is the next to collapse demographically in Europe following Greece, Portugal, and Italy. Spain comes last, but with an equally bitter decline after 2025.

South Korea peaks the last for the East Asia “Tigers” in 2018.

[snip]

The greater part of the developed world has peaked: Japan in late 1996, the U.S. in late 2007, most of Europe in late 2011 and now the rest of East Asia and Japan’s final demographic D-Day.

This is demographic destiny: The greatest global boom in history turns into the greatest bust. Yes! There are cycles in everything. Affluent, urban households have less kids and that reverses the very boom that they created.

Note that this is a blog about the future: and if a nation refuses to have children, they don’t get to be part of the future.

How strange, to see in real-time God’s rejection of the wealthy nations that rejected Him. Maybe, someday, there will be a large, populous nation that will stay the course, and inherit the stars…

A Few Odds and Ends

From Miracles in Solar System Origin Theories

Skipping over a difficulty because it can’t be solved scientifically: that’s one giant backward leap for theory kind.

Finagle’s Rule #6 for scientists recommends, “Do not believe in miracles. Rely on them.” Secular materialists follow that rule implicitly when trying to account for the origin of the solar system. They know full well that the “building blocks” of small grains, thought to have condensed out of a primordial gas cloud, do not stick together. They bounce off each other or, worse, erode each other into smaller grains. Only when an accreting ball of grains grows to about a kilometer in diameter will the so-called “planetesimal” begin to accrete more material through gravity. That’s the problem; you have to start with small planets to get planets. But materialists need a theory from the bottom up: from molecules to planets. How can they deal with this giant hurdle? Two ways: (1) invoke miracles, and (2) use the Big Lie tactic while doing it to make it sound convincing.

[snipped example from Science magazine]

Everybody believes in miracles. Some believe in guided miracles by an all-wise, omniscient Creator. Some believe in miracles of chance.

Everyone believes in the supernatural. Some refer to it as God’s realm. Others restrict it to science, which is supernatural, because it is not composed of matter in motion.

So don’t be fooled into falling for the faith vs science dichotomy. The choice is not between supernatural and natural, but which supernatural worldview logically coheres with the evidence.


From Uncommon Descent

Charles Darwin famously offered the following suggestion as to how his theory could be falsified:
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Dr. Loennig has repeatedly offered examples which defy a gradualist explanation, for example, listen to this interview where he discusses carnivorous plants, whose complicated traps were clearly useless until almost perfect. (I have written on this topic myself, here. )

But Darwin offered other suggestions as to how his theory could be falsified, one of which was as follows: “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Loennig has recently written an article which falsifies Darwinism on this criterion also, Plant Galls and Evolution.

I can’t believe it.

I am being forced to admit, grudgingly, that Charles Darwin actually had some integrity as a scientist, as his theory can actually be falsified.

Let me sit down for a minute.

[… a few hours pass…]

Well, at least I can still harass his inferior followers — most especially those ‘theistic evolution’ loons (a.k.a. “Gotta protect my rice bowl!” Christians)– who have carefully re-constructed Darwinism so that it can’t be falsified, no matter what.


Well, it’s a beginning.

But, we Christians have a LOT of work to do, before reconstructing the arts into an image that pleases God.

And – make no mistake about it – we will be facing attacks and Establishment-backed censorship every step of the way.

For the full series of videos on the power of art under Christ, click here.