AI: How Bad Could It Be?

Monday 24 November 2014 Leave a comment

I have no doubt we shall be troubled greatly by whatever passes for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The term AI itself is ill-defined at best, but that’s not the point. We are developing machines capable of acting on some measure of volition and our own imperfections will ensure this turns out bad at some point. When humans are forced to defend themselves by destroying a machine lacking human limitations, it won’t much matter what kind of AI is behind it. In a certain sense, we are already there.

But the whole question of what AI is or could be rests on a false assumption we’ve often identified here: that true awareness rests in the intellect. There is no doubt we will at some point rig up machinery that is indistinguishable from humans on the level of intellect and perhaps some mimicking measure of creativity. What we cannot create is a sensory heart.

We struggle mightily as it is to awaken the sensory heart in real people. That is, we struggle to get folks to pay attention to their own hearts. It’s a much bigger problem than the mere Satanic idiocy of associating the heart with emotions. If there is one lie from Hell that has done more to keep folks away from their divine heritage, I would be hard put to identify it. In Western mythology, anything not purely intellectual must be relegated to mere sentiment. The Western orthodoxy that there is nothing higher than pure reason is the damnedest of damned lies.

This is a portion of what makes us fallen, a critical element in the Fall itself. The Fall is in essence the choice to place human capability on the throne of the soul. For the most part, that means electing to measure and judge morality from reason alone. This defines Western Civilization itself. No other civilization on record made that mistake, and our Western hubris has surpassed every boundary so far. Even what little humility we can drum up is merely the product of intellect.

Those of us who have become aware of other faculties granted by our Creator, and have begun to exercise those faculties that are far above mere intellect, are few in number. It’s not a question of being smarter than the bulk of Western humanity, not wiser than those of primitive barbaric superstition, but of having sufficient wisdom to climb down from the throne. We realize we aren’t in charge of ourselves very much, never mind anything external to us. We couldn’t possibly change the weather beyond highly limited localized effects; God’s Word warns us of as much. Nor could we possibly create sentience after our own image.

More likely, we shall permit the psychopaths to affect the programming of AI in their image. Bad enough are weapons of mass destruction that make no distinction. We face weapons of mass destruction that will be frighteningly selective, creating a fear like no other. We face machinery that will be unfailing in its implementation of human failure.

And our God is still bigger than those threats.

Divine Friendship

Sunday 23 November 2014 1 comment

It’s a divine tactic against evil to make friends.

The biggest killer is operating by fear. The world is full of people who need help dealing with the Devil’s lies about our existence here, buried under countless layers of deception. God grants a spontaneous breakthrough for some of those layers, but He chooses to use us in the process. We place ourselves in the best position for use when we are at least willing to interact with perfect strangers.

If you listen to mainstream Christians, they’ll tell you to start every encounter with a gospel sales pitch. Wrong. We don’t sell anything and we don’t convert people into loyal customers of our favorite brand. We simply live the gospel message, living in the context of the Spirit’s moving in that moment. It might be hard to predict what shape that sacrificial living takes in the storms of human decision. If the Holy Spirit opposes some of my silly choices, He might well guide me to fight something out of compassion for a fool in his folly. Despite how it might sound, it can be a friendly act to punch someone’s lights out if your reason for doing so is within divine justice. We are friends of God first. Being a friend to your fellow humans is something on the level of the heart, not a learned script. You can’t allow the recipient to order what they want from you; it’s commanded by God.

You can only give what you have; you can only be what God made you to be. It’s for sure your self-concept under the Spirit will be in constant motion. God help me if I’m not a different man from two weeks ago. However, the only way I can do God’s will is be forthrightly what He has made of me thus far. If allowing others to see some change is a critical element of my testimony of His glory, then let me boldly show it. Yeah, this is totally contrary to what our culture pretends is good and right.

It’s that pretense that destroys our witness. We cannot let the world to shape us, but to force the world to deal with us as we present God’s truth. The power of His truth is most gloriously proclaimed in how we deal with people. There are some common elements within the total uniqueness of His calling for each of us. There are some common tactics in pushing back the darkness.

You can’t be a friend to everyone. That’s part of the calling; we are all different in our witness because everyone in the world is different. Never mind why, that’s how God does things. You can bring redemption to every life, but sometimes that means moving out of their world gracefully. Only the Lord can decide when persistence is right and when bowing out is grace.

Let me suggest a few ideas that should work well enough in our current social context.

We humans laugh at all kinds of things. Snickering at the misfortunes of others is the symptom of serious moral disorder. It signals an arrogance and smug self-righteousness that has nothing to do with God. It’s all the more evil when you are the least bit hypocritical about it. What follows assumes you already know that empathy is a moral necessity, that compassion is our first order of business in dealing with human moral blindness.

Humor is easily the one thing that separates us most quickly. Try to understand that you cannot and should not try to apologize for what you find funny. For example, a morbid sense of humor isn’t evil. Don’t accept anyone’s attempt to shame you for laughing at what amuses you, especially if the scolding is based purely on cultural bias. Only Satan does that, trying to deny your sense of joy and amusement at his antics. Laugh at their rejection because such censure comes from the Devil. Let your sense of humor separate you from people who aren’t ready for your friendship. By the same token, be graceful with the humor of others. Offer when you can to provoke their laughter. Take no offense, but recognize the boundaries humor draws. It’s one of the best and quickest paths to sorting things out.

For the most part, compel no one put up with you who struggles over it. Be what God has made of you, and be where you must and when you must be there, but don’t rub people raw simply for the sake of your own entertainment. There’s a fine line of separation there in refusing to be shamed for what is wired into your character. Don’t hide your amusement at the energy they waste, but don’t go out of your way to harass.

Be the strong one when possible. A story best illustrates: There was a believer who came into work every day, greeting some woman at the front desk with his sunny disposition. She was always icy, if not bitter, in rejecting his warm wishes. Yet he remained consistent in treating her kindly, refusing to absorb her misery. He never pried or hinted at some character flaw in her. As naturally happens in this world, their paths diverged and he didn’t see her any more. Some time later she sent him a note thanking him for his caring attitude during a very difficult time in her life. She wanted to know what kind of church he attended. It wasn’t being nice that won it for her, but his strength and fortitude in his calling. Love is what held Christ on the Cross, not the nails. He could have called a legion of angels.

Never fear appearing self-contradictory. Our whole world was built on the wrong logic; it cannot comprehend God’s character. If nothing else, be ready to say, “Well, it makes sense to me.” Let such criticism roll off your back. The ethic is that we don’t expect people to agree with us because we know they can’t possibly understand in the first place. Don’t apologize for it, but willingly explain as much as you can in any context.

The power granted through living by God’s moral character is overwhelming, but it’s a power against the Devil, not directly against this world. Satan’s character is deception, so it’s no surprise that the world can’t follow divine logic in deciding what matters in each context. You can’t even pretend infallibility, but you can be certain of God’s will for you in any given context. Reach for that. Your sense of certainty is your greatest victory.

God says your friendship, whatever shape it takes, is the key to setting souls free from prison.

Another Parable of Life

Sunday 23 November 2014 2 comments

The ultimate truth of things is far beyond our grasp, never mind our ability to discuss. We are left with symbols, imagery and parables to indicate just enough that we can serve and manifest God’s glory. It’s not so much what we do as that we stand in the place where His glory waits for us. There’s a place for you and one for me. I can tell you what I see of His glory, but you’ll have to find your own place to see for yourself.

I struggle at times to put into words even so much as I can see. My mind reels at the impact of things spilling out of my heart.

Individual redemption unto eternity is a given. It is real and we can be aware of our own spiritual awakening. We can sometimes see glimpses of it in others. However, the particulars are beyond our understanding. God says it’s not for everyone, and that He does make a selection between us here below, but says little else about it. What He does say makes no sense on our level; it’s loaded with apparent contradictions. We are assured it is a miracle, that He alone decides, that we cannot possibly know for anyone but ourselves.

Instead, we pretend, we act as if it’s somehow possible for others to seize upon something in our lives that would bring to them at least the realization of it. There is something about breathing in the winds of Heaven and exhaling that sweet breath of the divine into our world that gives us a reason to keep on living. Otherwise, we are in a hurry to get out of here and be with Our Lord. In His time, when He is done with us in His glory here.

We are not unopposed in this mission.

Satan is not having a good time. His assigned job in Creation is not his original role and he is not happy at all with the demotion. The Scripture characterizes him as previously the Covering Cherub, a mission that placed him between God and His Creation. Something in his character was flawed, and the glory that should have simply passed through him, he tried to claim some of it as his own. Something in his mistake adheres to the issue of God’s glory flowing between Him and His Creation.

So God reassigned Satan to the task of Divine Lictor and Jailer. There are distinct limits on this role. Something about it confines the Devil to this sphere of existence. He’s not allowed to hang out in Heaven as a member of the Divine Inner Council. Whatever his previous reward, it’s now confined to consuming us and our souls in a certain sense. There’s nothing he can do about people going to Heaven, but he does have a lot of authority over human life down here.

The hardest thing you’ll do here is discard all the imagery of our Western culture in regards to Satan’s character and powers. It should come as no surprise that much of our Western consciousness is pretty much what Satan designed. Whatever resentment he has with his demotion is expressed in keeping us away from God’s glory. All the things I complain about as limitations in Western intellectual traditions reflect an acute awareness of how it keeps us from seizing the full inheritance that comes with spiritual birth.

More than that, it is the blessings of divine justice on this level of existence that Satan denies all humanity, as much as possible. Blindness to the moral fabric of the universe is his greatest achievement against humanity. It’s the single greatest factor in denying God His due glory from us. You see, that moral discernment and living by divine justice is the glory of God. It’s the best possible life we could have here below in this prison. It’s how we tell Satan to keep his hands off of us.

No, it’s not a total release from every aspect of slavery. We are still here in his sphere, after all. But our cry for the character of God is answered and somewhere between the total depravity of the Curse and our departure to Heaven is a life of moral justice that weakens the Devil’s hold over us. We get a taste of divine glory and it begins the process of bringing us out of this world.

Psalm 25

Saturday 22 November 2014 Leave a comment

In the Hebrew intellectual traditions, what can appear free association to mere intellect is a structure in itself perceived only in the heart. This song is a Hebrew acrostic, though imperfect, perhaps because of subsequent editing. Regardless, the burden is on the reader to absorb the message and find their own soul’s pattern. Hebrew was never meant to convey truth, but to stand as a sign post indicating where truth can be found.

This is not a psalm one could write when things are going well. It calls for contemplation, a time of waiting upon God to speak to the heart while letting the mind be patient. The mind of a man can be all over the place, but the heart works on a level far beyond mere sensory awareness or reason. Sometimes the answer is not in action but in remembering just Who is in charge. In these verses David calls to his mind to cease the frantic search for solutions.

The image of what David seeks is not mere political victory, but a sense of peace with God. People who ignore divine justice can still have a lot of things, but not the peace often indicated by the word shalom. The shame David fears is standing embarrassed before God. The Hebrew concept of noble character is not implacable and demanding, but places the highest value on personnel. Thus, David’s request for training and education in God’s ways is entirely appropriate protocol. However long it takes for God to make him understand, David is in no hurry for his own relief.

David calls God’s attention to the most ancient promises of mercy for those who embraced His justice, stretching back before human memory. How much has God already overlooked in His divine favor? David knows it was a matter of God’s glory, nothing less. Those who humble themselves before His glory have every reason to expect His patience. David is not blind to his own sin, but realizes that God’s glory is the one reason He offers mercy. So while David celebrates all the fame of God’s mercy, he knows he has to play his part. He’s no better than any other man. What God offers David is hardly different from what any man could have if he simply obeys from the heart.

In the final verses, David recalls what brought him to God’s face again. He’s not having a good day, to the say the least. So he calls on the Lord to save His own glory yet again by enforcing His justice on the earth. David would be the first to realize how fallible he is, as all men are. It’s not as if the righteous would ever run out of enemies in this world. Without divine mercy and protection, there would be no David, no king, no Israel.

Network Civ: Games and Game

Friday 21 November 2014 Leave a comment

It doesn’t matter what you believe is morally right if you aren’t using it as the power to face reality.

Your moral understanding has to account for reality in the first place. I agree with Dr. Helen’s analysis, as far as it goes. Consider this: The gamma class is growing quickly, displacing the delta crowd of past ages in human society. And it is gammas that dominate the Internet, not just in terms of numerical dominance, but in terms of culture. Indeed, this is a strong element in the nascent Network Civilization.

Dr. Helen makes note of “shirtgate,” but there’s nearly a dozen different memes sporting that label. This is what she’s referring to, and the mainstream doesn’t get it. Of course, the mainstream is feminist and deluded, so Time also gets it wrong.

In the Western War between the Sexes, the feminists have always been the establishment. In the past century, they came out from behind the scenes where they have always ruled, and asserted their dominance overtly. Western Civilization is inherently feminist, in the sense that the underlying mythology and assumptions about reality are firmly in the grip of the Oester worshipers. Never mind the propaganda about Oester, this is the dirty mother goddess of the dreary world of Beowulf and Grendel’s mother. Notice who is actually in charge of the evil Grendel does; he’s just the adventurous little boy in the household, the quintessential Western male of feminist orthodoxy. The basic storyline behind Beowulf is the dream of Western men to reassert their masculine dominance, but it will ever remain a myth. Western men only imagine that they can restore patriarchal order on their own terms, when they never actually had it.

The Network can and does restore order on the geek’s own terms. As Dr. Helen notes, the gamer geek and has built his virtual world and it borrows precious little from Western Civilization. The gammas of Geekworld have become the reverse harem of the few women willing to cater to them. These women don’t have to endure the repulsive physical touch of these men, simply serve as an avatar for their mythology. For their service, they receive the worshiping adoration of thousands, even millions. This is where Oester gets her due these days. Meanwhile, the gammas will pay a healthy tribute to these women on those terms. Virtual romance is good enough.

This is what is completely missing from whiny studies like Sext Up Kids. The documentary video does a good job of explaining the bad consequences of kids getting their hands on networked devices with full access to each other and pornographic marketing, but the video offers nothing of what feeds into this problem. As I’ve noted often, pedophilia is the natural result of Western worship of youth. If this universe is all there is, and this life is all we have, then the resulting materialism naturally places eternal youth on the pedestal. And it’s only a short hop from there to pedophilia, the sexual idolization of youth. One should be surprised it took this long, so we have no trouble seeing how networked devices remove the last hedge protecing what is left of genuine sexual intimacy.

The documentary leaves us with the unspoken assumption that we simply must put controls on the Internet. That won’t happen, not effectively and not for long. The video shows a narrow slice of the wider gamma geek world and attempts to reassert feminist control. The mythology of Oester won’t die easily, if ever. It will assert with truculence that Geekworld is not really different, but feminism has no place in the coming Network Civilization. Western feminism is dead and doesn’t know it. Where the geeks don’t rule, the Red Pill society with their own games will.

Game over, Babe.

The Structure of Superstition

Friday 21 November 2014 4 comments

Western Christians are easily the most superstitious folks I know.

The word “superstition” comes to us from Latin and implies a dread of the supernatural. Thus, much of Christian belief tends to be false, based on the heathen fears passed to our culture the Germanic hordes, not on the high intellectual culture of the Ancient Near East (ANE). The effect of Aristotelian logic stripped away the strong mystical roots of the ANE and left people wide open to all sorts of truly silly notions.

Did Aristotle and his friends imagine they could keep people away from genuine religion? The Jews managed to absorb the entire raft of his assumptions. While it did destroy their faith, turning it into an empty and legalistic religion, they did manage to keep some of their ancient savvy. They went after the early churches and succeeded in Judaizing them sufficiently to destroy the Christians’ ANE mystical approach. The Jews threw it away, rejected Christ’s call to come back to it, and insisted no one else resurrect it. Christian religion was mostly cerebral by AD 200.

Yet humanity is inherently mystical in nature. If you deny them a strong and forthright mysticism, they’ll be wide open to any heathen mythology.

Once the established church organizations capitulated to Roman politics under Constantine, it was just a matter of time. They didn’t adopt Constantine’s pagan solar worship, but when Roman political power collapsed under the onslaught of Germanic tribes, the only way for the Church to survive was to compromise with the new overlords. The official church organization embraced Germanic tribal mythology, at first as cultural and language. But when more and more Germanic nobles entered the Church hierarchy, it became fully paganized. Neither the Reformation nor the Enlightenment churches broke free. They simply assumed the Germanic view of reality was the default.

We who are connected to the Eternal One are so because of His election. Nothing in us could have wanted it, Paul warns in Romans. However, a dread and fear of God was not the default in his day. It came later. Virtually the entire range of pagan religion in the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia held a strong respect for the supernatural, but a dark foreboding was actually quite rare. That’s more common among the Nordic races. Thus, Paul’s warning becomes dark and ugly only if you first assume that dreary atmosphere that dominates Beowulf.

We aren’t sure where the Germanic tribes got that fearful superstition, but it’s not the human default. However, it has become the Western default. Thus, the full range of Western Church History is replete with superstition masquerading as theology.

For example, today’s Charismatics teach a demonology based entirely on fear. You can’t afford to say the wrong words, touch or own the wrong objects, or read the wrong materials. Demons will seize you through those open doorways, as the Charismatics see it. The Devil is little more than some kind of Grendel, but with an almost equal footing with Christ. Review in your mind for a moment all the movies where terror or fright was a part of the storyline and you’ll see it’s a narrow cultural view of reality peculiar to Western superstitions. It also colors American religion a great deal.

On the one hand, if you immerse yourself in a certain type of literature, it will dominate your thinking. On the other hand, reading a single book by Aleister Crowley will not infect you with his demons. I note in passing that his brilliant mind did not grant him the power to walk in his own teaching because his heart was bound by a lack of full freedom. It’s not that he didn’t know about ANE thinking, because too much of his work shows it. Rather, he was trying every door except the one where Christ stood. His pursuit of all those other avenues is what left him open to demons and frustration. You don’t get his demons from his books like some kind of communicable disease. You get them by rejecting moral truth.

The same goes for any other “black magic” lore. If you approach it with a superstitious mind, your heart will not protect you very well from a fearful imagination. If you can climb back up into the high intellectual learning of the ANE, you realize how silly all that stuff is. Perhaps not totally wrong, since the most learned scholars of the alternative mystical approaches often come up with surprising accurate insights. Even Crowley understood that mere intellectual reason was a trap; he just didn’t have a clear view of what was above the intellect.

No, I’m not into tarot, numerology, arcane rituals for casting out demons, etc. I find Kabbalah is simply the secret sister of Judaism, still too much the result of Hellenism. They are all human efforts to reclaim the power of revelation without referring directly to revelation. In my personal view, they are probably quite entertaining, but largely harmless because they are powerless to do the one thing that matters most: change us into channels of our Creator’s glory. He’s not a grouch about pagan stuff; His character reflects precious little of the European mythical deities. That He was so demanding with Israel under the Covenant of Moses, as He explained through the prophets, was because they were easily the most fickle nation in human history, chasing every deity down dark alleys like a true hooker.

With us today, He’s there waiting for people to work their way through whatever it is in front of them until they realize nothing works like the Blood of His Son. Hint: That’s a parabolic symbol. There is no spiritual or moral power in anything that you can touch, see, name or understand, only in that living connection between our spirits and His Spirit.

Meanwhile, most of what evangelicals in general say about “black magic” is caricature, taking as viable sources some of the biggest frauds and tricksters in the market. They would hardly know the difference between a real wiccan and Wendy the cartoon witch. Remember that bogus satanic child abduction scare from the late 1980s? A surprisingly large number of evangelicals still believe that stuff. They also have no idea what folks like Crowley even taught. God has been pretty patient with Western Christians, too.

An awful lot of common evangelical Christian belief arises from the same superstitious background that they denigrate.

Divine Tolerance

Thursday 20 November 2014 2 comments

If you take yourself too seriously, you cannot follow Christ.

Holy Cynicism is not dismissive of humanity, but of human motivations. When we keep in mind that this entire universe is a deception, locked under the Curse of the Fall, we can to train the mind to operate for Christ’s glory. His glory for you is wherever He calls you. All human rules about religion are inherently bogus because humans keep trying to change reality. Not just in the particulars, but it’s fallen human nature to ignore God’s revelation of reality and to keep trying to fix things that God says cannot be fixed.

That sort of mistake leaves little room for focusing on things Christ said can be fixed inside of us. Christ redeems individuals, not human institutions or systems. Human systems are doomed and damned, belonging to this world which has a distinct expiration date known only to God.

Holy Cynicism says you can join the military and bless His name. Not because you believe the relentless bullshit of the official narrative, but you let it slide and pretend to care. Yeah, the officials take it seriously — maybe. Meanwhile, you know that you wear the uniform of Heaven first, and the rest is just the context of your service in Christ’s Kingdom. His Kingdom manifests on earth through individuals walking by His illumination and power, but is not rooted on this earth. So we allow fallen and blind men to assert their human authority and play along because it’s where the Lord wants us.

Holy Cynicism allows you to see that the training and experiences of such military service can help you overcome your flesh. It can teach you to discount the cry of the flesh for comfort, in favor of pursuing something bigger than your self. You learn to tolerate discomfort and Spartan conditions because some things are worth doing at almost any cost. It doesn’t make you a hero, just useful for certain objectives. That’s good enough to earn your keep while chasing Christ’s glory. While the worthy pursuits are seldom what the military officers say they are, that’s not the point. If you feel called to serve in a military uniform, by all means, seek Christ there, because the whole earth is the Lord’s domain. Manifest His glory by how you go about the task.

Trust in God. If He allows you to face those impossible decisions along the way, you aren’t alone in them. There is precious little moral difference between that and serving as a peace activist and anti-government protester. The ostensible aim of both occupations is just more of human politics. You can learn the same self-denial and Spartan comfort either way, but if you take the official narrative seriously, both are sin for you.

The difference is in you, not in the activity itself. Making room in your mind for tolerance of human futility is a necessary element in bringing Christ and His glory to human awareness. People are going to do stupid shit and devote vast resources to lies. That is the norm of human existence. Yes, it’s evil, but it’s not your problem. Your problem is your self; therein lies something you can change with the help of Christ.

It only sounds like moral relativism if your moral frame of reference is here rooted on earth. If you can understand it with your mind, it’s not worth your care. The only things truly worthy of devotion are beyond your mind. Stop serving your intellect; make it serve you in following Christ. Your intellect is under the Curse of the Fall. Don’t trust it. You must unseat the mind from the throne of your soul, or Christ cannot rule. Your mind is arrogantly convinced it can handle ultimate truth, that it can measure and grasp reality.

You can’t handle the truth, but you can let Him handle you.

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