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Old 11-18-2001, 12:55 AM   #1
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I wrote this just for you, rougerum.

http://forum.interference.com/u2feed...ML/000777.html

So I’m supposed to be on holiday but I have not stopped thinking about this subject. I was reading 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke and came across an elaboration of Kubrick’s statement:

“…mind would eventually free itself from matter. The robot body, like the flesh-and-blood one, would be no more than a stepping-stone to something which, long ago, men had called ‘spirit’.

And if there was anything beyond that, its name could only be God.” (Chapter 32)


This is one aspect of Kubrick’s hypothesis that I would like to refute. My stand is that such an event (the catharsis from imperfect to perfect being, a ‘God’) is not possible, not without the aid of another Perfect Power. It appears to me that Kubrick and Clarke have forgotten the fundamental fact that something imperfect can never be perfect through its own efforts simply because imperfect beings cannot grasp perfection. It is impossible for something imperfect to be perfect by themselves. So, it is through a negation method that I’m arguing this particular point.

(Here I add a second voice)
Person 2: But who said this was an issue about imperfect beings becoming perfect? No one said that these highly evolved aliens are perfect.

Person 1: Arthur C. Clarke said it. “And if there was anything beyond that, its name could only be God.” Both Kubrick and Clarke implied that civilizations could advance forever until finally they reached a superlative state of being/enlightenment, what we understand as ‘God’—not God Himself but the idea of God. Now, it is understood that the idea of God is something that is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful: perfect. Even if there were aliens who/that evolved (even if evolution was a valid concept) to become spirits, they could never be as perfect as ‘God’.

Person 2: Can’t imperfect beings strive towards perfection?

Person 1: They can strive alright, but they’ll never reach it, just like an exponential graph can never cross a certain point although it always seems to be reaching it.

Person 2: So you’re saying that there is a complete dichotomy between perfection and imperfection.

Person 1: Correct. Something is either perfect or not perfect. One cannot be “more perfect” than another. This point has to be made in order to prove that humans, imperfect as we are, cannot cross the bridge into complete understanding, omnipresence etc. by our own efforts.

I also gather from Kubrick/Clarke’s hypothesis that mankind can ‘rule the universe’ only with the help of technology. The apeman from the movie, Moonwatcher, helped his kind advance after discovering a weapon, the bone. Generations later, mankind advanced further into space only through the use of high technology like spacecrafts and supercomputers like Hal 9000. In the book and movie, the astronauts Bowman and Poole rely heavily on Hal to operate the spacecraft. In the book, Clarke suggests that later humans would replace their bodies with plastic or metal in order to have ‘perfect’ physiques, and eventually even the brain might go, therefore “freeing itself from matter” and making humans evolve into spirits. That last bit of Clarke’s hypothesis cannot happen because if mankind depended on technology more and more across the generations, that means it would rely on technology in order to become perfect beings. But perfection isn’t reliant on anything. And how can you explain humans having such a great reliance on technology until there would be no need for reliance on it anymore? If your leg was broken and you needed a crutch to help it get better, over time you’d need the crutch less and less until finally your leg could operate on its own; the reliance on the crutch decreases over time. Kubrick and Clarke got it wrong, therefore: mankind can never attain perfection, or attain to spirituality, or get better, if it is obviously relying on technology more and more. In any case, I doubt technology is the stepping stone to spirituality.

Person 2: So aliens who/that Kubrick suspects are God-like cannot possibly be God-like because they are still imperfect. And if they were perfect, they would have needed the aid of another Perfect Power that has existed before them in order to become as they are now. So you’re saying it is a chicken and egg situation, right?

Person 1: That is if you have accepted that aliens could not have possibly evolved to such a degree by their own efforts and that they would have needed help from an already perfect source or entity. The question then would be who perfected those other aliens who are perfect, and so on?

The answer is, it can only have been Something that was always perfect, that didn’t even have to evolve to become perfect. It stands outside of Time. So, the buck stops there. Therefore, this Something that was always perfect could not have been an alien civilization if it didn’t evolve, didn’t exist within Time. Like 'God'. I suppose we have sort of reconciled Kubrick’s seemingly atheistic theory with a theistic one. In this theory, aliens can exist, they can evolve, but ‘God’ also exists and ‘God’ is not an alien.

Person 2: But is there one God or more?

Person 1: That’s another discussion altogether.


---------------
foray




[This message has been edited by foray (edited 11-18-2001).]
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Old 11-19-2001, 09:31 PM   #2
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don't let this sink like Limp Bizkit
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Old 11-19-2001, 11:00 PM   #3
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Who said the God they were talking about was a perfect one? All they said is that their intelligence and power would be that as a god to us. Kubrick gave the example that an ant, if it could comprehend the existence of humans who kill them, would see us as gods. Are we perfect? What he means by the statement is that these beings are so far removed from us that the only definition we could give to them would be that of a god. And who says your God is a perfect god? With all the problems in this world, I'm sure that is not the case. We are not living in a perfect world.

~rougerum


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Old 11-19-2001, 11:50 PM   #4
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Before I reply that, I'm actually most interested in what you think about this part:
Quote:
how can you explain humans having such a great reliance on technology until there would be no need for reliance on it anymore? If your leg was broken and you needed a crutch to help it get better, over time you’d need the crutch less and less until finally your leg could operate on its own; the reliance on the crutch decreases over time. Kubrick and Clarke got it wrong, therefore: mankind can never attain perfection, or attain to spirituality, or get better, if it is obviously relying on technology more and more. In any case, I doubt technology is the stepping stone to spirituality.
I'm not looking for a refute, if that's what you think. Just your opinion and whether you agree or not.

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Old 11-20-2001, 12:41 AM   #5
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Technology is not a stepping stone at all to spirituality. I think it is fair to say we have already achieved spirituality, what technology does is let us better develop to be more powerful beings as in having the technology to cure death. Even though death seems natural and unnavoidable it can be cured. Technology lets us visit farther away world in outer space and technology finally in the end, when is developed enough, can give us control over our bodies to be able to control what we want. We would be like Gods then. We would have by that time learned all we need to know about the universe around us and how to use it to our advantage to do things that in our position now seem like one only a god could do.

~rougerum

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