“I describe myself as a “patternist”, someone who views patterns of information as the fundamental reality”
(Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near)
After completing this project I came to read Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity is Near”. The following brief extract covering a conversation between two people resonates closely with the theme of my idea:-
Molly: So, do you believe in God?
Ray: Well, it’s a three – letter – word and a powerful meme
Molly: I realize the word and the idea exist. But does it refer to anything that you believe in?
Ray: People mean lots of things by it
Molly: Do you believe in those things?
Ray: It’s not possible to believe all these things: God is an all-powerful conscious person looking over us, making deals, and getting angry quite a bit. Or He – It – is a pervasive life force underlying all beauty and creativity. Or God created everything and then stepped back…
Molly: I understand, but do you believe in any of them?
Ray: I believe that the universe exists
Molly: Now wait a minute, that’s not a belief, that’s a scientific fact
Ray: Actually, I don’t know for sure if anything exists other than my own thoughts
Molly: Okay, I understand that this is the philosophy chapter, but you can read scientific papers – thousands of them – that corroborate the existence of stars and galaxies. So, all those galaxies – we call that the universe
Ray: Yes, I’ve heard of that, and I do recall reading some of these papers, but I don’t know that those papers really exist, or that the things they refer to really exist, other than in my thoughts
Molly: So you don’t acknowledge the existence of the universe?
Ray: No, I just said that I do believe that it exists, but I’m pointing out that it’s a belief. That’s my personal leap of faith
Molly: All right, but I asked whether you believed in God
Ray: Again, “God” is a word by which people mean different things. For the sake of your question, we can consider God to be the universe, and I said that I believe in the universe
Molly: God is just the universe?
Ray: Just? It’s a pretty big thing to apply the word “just” to. If we are to believe what science tells us-and I said that I do-it’s about as big a phenomenon as we could imagine
Molly: Actually, many physicists now consider our universe to be just one bubble among a vast number of other universes. But I meant that people usually mean something more by the word “God” than “just” the material world. Some people do associate God with everything that exists, but they still consider God to be conscious. So you believe in a God that’s conscious?
Ray: The universe is not conscious-yet. But it will be. Strictly speaking, we should say that very little of it is conscious today. But that will change and soon. I expect that the universe will become sublimely intelligent and will wake up in Epoch Six. The only belief I am positing here is that the universe exists. If we make that leap of faith, the expectation that it will wake up is not so much a belief as an informed understanding, based on the same science that says there is a universe.
Molly: Interesting. You know, that’s essentially the opposite of the view that there was a conscious creator who got everything started and then kind of bowed out. You’re basically saying that a conscious universe will “bow in” during Epoch Six.
Ray: Yes, that’s the essence of Epoch Six.