From Sarah Jones at New Republic:
The bots, our children, do not behave. They have taken over the internet—bots account for more than half of internet traffic—and interfered with our elections. But instead of being unnerved by the bot’s growing power, Anthony Levandowski would like to make one God. The Silicon Valley engineer, who has been accused by Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, of trying to steal trade secrets and give them to Uber, in 2015 “founded a religious organization called Way of the Future,” Wired reported last week. “Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to ‘develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.’”
Nobody but Levandowski knows if he really believes he can create a Godbot. Considering his obsession with artificial intelligence, it is altogether possible that he does.
“Science is like religion, an effort at transcendance that ends by accepting a world that is beyond understanding,” John Gray writes in The Immortalization Commission. “Just like faith, reason must at last submit; the final end of science is the revelation of the absurd.” The chief hypocrisy of evangelical atheism is its reluctance to recognize the magical thinking in its own dogma. Intellect and religious feeling can co-exist, because that religious feeling springs from a place intellect doesn’t reach. The desire to transcend, to conquer, and to endure propels our drive to invent and maps our relations with those inventions. More.
Naturalists will believe in anything except reason, free will, or reality. One thing naturalist cults can probably count on is lots of free publicity from former mainstream media. The story practically writes itself, right?: Nerd programs computer to pray… is just the beginning.
Incidentally, it is naturalism (nature is all there is) that means that “the final end of science is the revelation of the absurd.” Revelations of the merely absurd are, by contrast, simply not the goal of the monotheist religions. But this is New Republic, remember?
See also: Researchers claim proof that we are not living in a simulation
How naturalism rots science from the head down