… that the mythology fanboys have never thought of.
This is going to be another excursion on my part, into conceptual territory that I present honestly as speculative, but which I present for a reason.
Quite simply, I’ll start with a question. Namely, if you suddenly found yourself possessing the ability to bring an entire new universe into being, via whatever means, would you be content to do this just once?
Now I don’t know about anyone else here, but if I found myself with this capability, I’d be curious about several aspects thereof. Such as, if I exert the requisite power more than once, will the resulting universes be the same, or different? I’d want to explore what rules governed this new found capability of mine, and what outcomes were made possible thereby.
Now it so happens, that the Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem touched upon questions of this sort (and numerous others) in his short story Non Serviam, which explored the conceptual landscape that would open up, if computer scientists were given the hardware and software required to run a universe simulation in the laboratory. Now, his exposition centred upon an issue that I’ve covered in my exposition on how braneworld cosmology made me conceive of a better god than the cartoon characters contained in pre-scientific mythologies. That issue centres upon the relationship between those responsible for instantiating a universe, and any sentient inhabitants thereof that might arise as said universe evolves through time.
Lem was interested in some of the ethical issues involved in said relationship, while I was merely concerned with the ramifications of such a relationship, for the limited religious preconceptions that have held sway since humans invented them. But, Lem’s story implied the existence of multiple experiments in this vein, conducted as a means of seeking answers to questions that were deemed intractable by various philosophers. Not for nothing did Lem use phrases such as “experimental theogony” in his story. My regular readers can already deduce the enjoyment I’m having at this juncture.
In my case, I’m asking this question not with respect to simulations of a universe, but with actual physical instantiation of new universes as an experimental endeavour. Quite simply, why would any entity with such an ability only do this once?
Of course, this hypothetical scenario also requires that I would persist as a sentient entity, long enough to perform the requisite investigations, but we’ll assume that this additional ability is granted, for the purpose of pursuing this question. Those familiar with the conduct of scientists, will know that they prefer to work with as diverse a data set as possible, before attempting to formulate any conclusions. If your data set is characterised by N=1, your ability to derive substantive knowledge therefrom is necessarily limited, even if the resulting data set is large. If, on the other hand, you’re working with a data set characterised by, say, N=1,000, then your conclusions will be on much more solid ground. A relationship that holds in the N=1 case may fall apart completely upon moving on to the N=1,000 case.
As a corollary of that elementary fact I’ve just presented, any sentient entity, even one possessing stupendous gifts of knowledge, must surely still possess the basic curiosity required to ask that question - “what happens if I do this again?” Which becomes even more pressing, if it transpires that the mechanism for instantiating a new universe possesses numerous parameters, able to be set to arbitrary values by any entity deploying that mechanism.
I cannot emphasise that last point more strongly. If you’re able to fabricate a large collection of universes, each with different settings of the parameter knobs, surely you’re going to want to try this out? Upon doing so, you’ll probably be even more strongly motivated to pursue this course of action, if the first few trials yield, say, universes with radically different sets of indigenous physical laws, or different sets of macroscopic spacetime dimensions.
Now, in the light of the above, again, why launch a new universe into existence only once? It doesn’t make any sense. What makes even less sense, is doing so just once, for the express purpose of seeing that universe produce some sentient beings, which you then manipulate to treat nonsense as fact, just so that you can savour the spectacle of them engaging in ever more egregious behaviour, which they pursue with the aim of demonstrating how much they want to kiss your arse.
That is just so sad.
By taking this course of action, you would demonstrate, in effect, that you were going to be the “god” of these sentient beings, in the most sad-bastard way possible, by demanding that these hapless sentient beings waste their time masturbating your manchild ego. How low would you have stooped to, to turn a newly emergent sentient species into subjugated chattels, their mental well-being poisoned forever by your decreeing on high, that perfectly natural and harmless behaviour on their part constitutes some sort of “abomination” in your eyes, and that they have to subject themselves and each other to damaging repression in order to please you?
If I found myself in the position to influence such a species, I would want that species to learn. I would want to encourage its curiosity, and seek to teach that species useful facts that said species can then build upon and use to improve their lot. I certainly wouldn’t teach them that curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge were “sins”.
For that matter, I would dispense altogether with mythology as a means of disseminating knowledge, because it’s manifestly the least reliable medium for the purpose. No, I would start by teaching them how to build lenses. From there, I’d move on to teaching them how to build telescopes and microscopes, and tell them in advance the sort of things they would see with their new instruments, so that they knew that I coul be trusted, when they discover that yes, indeed, they do see the things I tell them. I certainly wouldn’t fill their heads with nonsense about diseases being the product of “demons”, when there are perfectly observable bacteria, protozoans and viruses in their universe as causative agents, or whatever other organisms fulfil the same role in their universe.
But of course, mythology fanboys routinely demonstrate, that they are incapable of thinking in terms other than “my mythology is shiny and precious and wonderful and so is my magic man”, and engage in at times egregiously mendacious fabrication in order to prop up this tinselly hologram. The idea that there may exist candidates for the “god role” other than their pet choice of magic man, let alone better choices, is completely alien to them.
Isn’t it wonderful, being able to think for yourself?