At what point can we look in the mirror and say we are gods.

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Human Technology has achieved extremely unbelievable advances throughout the last two centuries. To fly higher than the sky itself, the ability to heal sicknesses thought incurable, the ability to bring life and happiness to so many, to bring swift death on anyone before they even knew they were under attack. Everyday, we learn more, and discover what else we can do with this knowledge.

These are powers once reserved for the divine. Every time a very primitive culture meets the modern world, they cannot accept what they see was done by men, but by those with access to higher powers they can't understand (google cargo cult).

All the time, humans, regular people can now do what was praised of the Gods. Guide arrows to different targets? We have cruise missiles. Wield lighting in our hands? We make music out of it ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_PHLUvDZSg ). The miracles of Christ? Most of those are mere magic tricks of today. Destroy the world? We can level our planet in nuclear destruction a thousand times over if we so desired.

We have questioned the existence of gods, of morality that does not come from our selves.

Now, with all our understanding, all our technology, at what point can we stop and say, "We are Gods."

There is so much to understand, sure, so much we haven't yet done, yes. We are a far cry from omnipotence, although immortality may or may not be that far off.

Yet, even still, we take for granted all that we have so far done. There are very few gods we haven't completely surpassed, the biggest hurdle we have yet to pass is God. Even He we have outdone many of his early achievements.

Just at what societal and technological point do you think we can turn back and say we are gods?

We are not even close to gods, not even metaphorically. We are still flesh and blood, and we still die. We still exist under the basic human conditions, with its greatness and cruelty, that people have done for thousands of years.

For all our vaunted technology we suffer from significant challenges which we struggle to deal with. Technology is costly, and will quickly decay without support. Not to mention the fact that it causes problems of it's own. Diseases like heart disease and obesity are serious problems which the modern world encourages. And our industry, on which we so rely, is poisoning the planet. Progress did not just bring betterment, it brought the Sword of Damocles, and we have done far too little about it.

Technology is just that, technology, and not more. Possession of it does not make us divine, just well equipped.

probably never

We are so insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe that to call ourselves gods would be foolish arrogance. In fact, the second we look in the mirror and actually think we are gods, I hope an asteroid splits the earth in two and kills all of us. That would certainly erase any delusions of godhood we might have about ourselves.

Not G. Ivingname:
Destroy the world? We can level our planet in nuclear destruction a thousand times over if we so desired.

We can't, actually.

Anyway, at no point can we claim to be gods, because religions can keep moving the goalposts because of this sort of thing. They have to if they are to remain in any way relevant.

Never.

A "god" is conceptualized as an entity which possess vastly superior qualities to humans. Stuff like talking to people on the other side of the planet through Skype, visiting the moon, and weaponizing the power of the sun with a hydrogen bomb, would be thought divine centuries ago; but not today.

So the question is instead, how long can people keep making up sufficiently impressive "gods"?

And every time we reach a "new level" with our technological advances - we find out just how little we know.
Even if we were to achieve "perfect immortality" - i doubt any reasonable human would call himself god.

Besides, whats the point of being a god, if everyone else is a god?
Thats just like an army filled with generals alone. No point in that.

As above, we aren't actually close to being gods yet.
That said, with a bit of prep we could certainly persuade people throughout most of history that we were!

Slightly off topic, but this does remind me of that Dan Simmons series where a group of entities with stupidly advanced tech decide to take on the literal role of the greek gods over humans to massage their own egos.

Why do you want to be a god? Isn't this enough?

Not G. Ivingname:

Just at what societal and technological point do you think we can turn back and say we are gods?

Never.

A "god" to any one individual is to all intents and purposes is a being with overwhelming power compared to his own.

Not G. Ivingname:
Now, with all our understanding, all our technology, at what point can we stop and say, "We are Gods."

Well; what is a god? What separates us from gods already?

Personally, I like sentient creation for the key, god-defining power. While gods have been responsible for so many minor things - thunder ,fertility, etc - as our scientific knowledge of these things increased the belief a supernatural entity was responsible decreased. This is true in all areas except; creation.

Particularly our creation. We've 'created' life on smaller scales; and we've spent the majority of our history manipulating life into new, more beneficial forms. Nobody calls us gods now. I certainly wouldn't. However, if we create sentient life - be it AI, biological, whatever - we will take the leap across the gap that separates gods from men.

Also - the first Deus Ex is probably relevant here.

Daft Time:

Not G. Ivingname:
Now, with all our understanding, all our technology, at what point can we stop and say, "We are Gods."

Well; what is a god? What separates us from gods already?

Personally, I like sentient creation for the key, god-defining power. While gods have been responsible for so many minor things - thunder ,fertility, etc - as our scientific knowledge of these things increased the belief a supernatural entity was responsible decreased. This is true in all areas except; creation.

Particularly our creation. We've 'created' life on smaller scales; and we've spent the majority of our history manipulating life into new, more beneficial forms. Nobody calls us gods now. I certainly wouldn't. However, if we create sentient life - be it AI, biological, whatever - we will take the leap across the gap that separates gods from men.

Also - the first Deus Ex is probably relevant here.

Hmm...if you take that, though, humans won't be gods when AI is created. Certain humans working together will be involved, but not people as individuals, and not everyone.

thaluikhain:

Daft Time:

Not G. Ivingname:
Now, with all our understanding, all our technology, at what point can we stop and say, "We are Gods."

Well; what is a god? What separates us from gods already?

Personally, I like sentient creation for the key, god-defining power. While gods have been responsible for so many minor things - thunder ,fertility, etc - as our scientific knowledge of these things increased the belief a supernatural entity was responsible decreased. This is true in all areas except; creation.

Particularly our creation. We've 'created' life on smaller scales; and we've spent the majority of our history manipulating life into new, more beneficial forms. Nobody calls us gods now. I certainly wouldn't. However, if we create sentient life - be it AI, biological, whatever - we will take the leap across the gap that separates gods from men.

Also - the first Deus Ex is probably relevant here.

Hmm...if you take that, though, humans won't be gods when AI is created. Certain humans working together will be involved, but not people as individuals, and not everyone.

That's might be true, but it'll be on the backs of the rest of humanity. Who provided the knowledge these people based their work on? The materials? Who brought them the food they needed to live long enough to create life? Not everyone will have the power of creation; but the power of creation will only be derived on the work of humanity as a whole.

Man that made me sound even more like a douche than my original post.

Daft Time:
That's might be true, but it'll be on the backs of the rest of humanity. Who provided the knowledge these people based their work on? The materials? Who brought them the food they needed to live long enough to create life? Not everyone will have the power of creation; but the power of creation will only be derived on the work of humanity as a whole.

Man that made me sound even more like a douche than my original post.

Certainly, but then wouldn't it be fair to say that humanity would become a deity? Not some or all humans becoming deities, but the apotheosis of an entire race, applied retroactively to the long dead as well?

thaluikhain:

Daft Time:
That's might be true, but it'll be on the backs of the rest of humanity. Who provided the knowledge these people based their work on? The materials? Who brought them the food they needed to live long enough to create life? Not everyone will have the power of creation; but the power of creation will only be derived on the work of humanity as a whole.

Man that made me sound even more like a douche than my original post.

Certainly, but then wouldn't it be fair to say that humanity would become a deity? Not some or all humans becoming deities, but the apotheosis of an entire race, applied retroactively to the long dead as well?

Which was the driving force behind my first post. =P Though it's mainly semantics. Gods are simply defined as being supernatural entities which we have worshipped. It's not about their power, just the fact that we don't currently have it.

R Man:
We are not even close to gods, not even metaphorically. We are still flesh and blood, and we still die. We still exist under the basic human conditions, with its greatness and cruelty, that people have done for thousands of years.

For all our vaunted technology we suffer from significant challenges which we struggle to deal with. Technology is costly, and will quickly decay without support. Not to mention the fact that it causes problems of it's own. Diseases like heart disease and obesity are serious problems which the modern world encourages. And our industry, on which we so rely, is poisoning the planet. Progress did not just bring betterment, it brought the Sword of Damocles, and we have done far too little about it.

Technology is just that, technology, and not more. Possession of it does not make us divine, just well equipped.

wrong gods. you think of omnipotent god. very few are. most are like Greek gods ( to take a famous example). petty, cruel, jelous, and worst of all - mortal. not easily killed, but possible.
Other than that i agree on you.

Insert Clarke's laws etc..
Yeah, "god" is such a meaningless term. We certainly surpassed a lot of god-concepts in terms of our capabilities (although we usually require massive resources to do so, while gods could supposedly often do them without such), yet we are still quite limited in many godly ways (mortal, for one).
There'll always be that which is beyond our current reach and there'll always be that which will be attributed to gods. As such, we can never be truly gods, since what gods can do is almost per definitionem beyond us.
We can only overtake "old gods" or rather old god-concepts (since gods' abilities and their supposed realm of influence change over time).

Strazdas:

R Man:
We are not even close to gods, not even metaphorically. We are still flesh and blood, and we still die. We still exist under the basic human conditions, with its greatness and cruelty, that people have done for thousands of years.

For all our vaunted technology we suffer from significant challenges which we struggle to deal with. Technology is costly, and will quickly decay without support. Not to mention the fact that it causes problems of it's own. Diseases like heart disease and obesity are serious problems which the modern world encourages. And our industry, on which we so rely, is poisoning the planet. Progress did not just bring betterment, it brought the Sword of Damocles, and we have done far too little about it.

Technology is just that, technology, and not more. Possession of it does not make us divine, just well equipped.

wrong gods. you think of omnipotent god. very few are. most are like Greek gods ( to take a famous example). petty, cruel, jelous, and worst of all - mortal. not easily killed, but possible.

While Greek gods (and pretty much all pagan gods with a few exceptions) were petty, cruel, rape-happy, assholes, I don't think any of them were actually mortal. Sure they all make frequent trips to Tartarus and Hades, but it's generally phrased as being imprisoned there after their defeat. That may have just been the way they worded killing a god, but the frequent use of imprisonment under mountains and in Tartarus (as well as the frequent escapes) makes it seem like that's all you can really do to deities you don't like. And, as far as I'm aware, this applies similarly to Norse (though I believe Ymir can be referred to as dead considering he's been dismembered to create the world), Roman (unless you count Emperors), and Indian mythology.

OT: As Agema pointed out, a god is supposed to be something incredibly more powerful than you, so the goalpost is always kind of moving. And, even if it weren't, what the hell's the point of being a god if every single other person you ever meet is also a god and you have absolutely nothing other than past incarnations of humans to feel superior to?

Not G. Ivingname:

These are powers once reserved for the divine. Every time a very primitive culture meets the modern world, they cannot accept what they see was done by men, but by those with access to higher powers they can't understand (google cargo cult).

Ehh, it happened in the pacific but people the world over had many reactions. As for when we might proclaim ourselves Gods, by the time we reach that level of power that word will have little meaning I think.

kind of a shame Danyal is not here for this topic.
i know what he would have said tho: when we reach "The Singularity" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

personally i refuse to admit its even the future because we don't have flying cars...

and on an individual level i don't think we are actually all that more "advanced" than our forebears.

we have more stuff and a higher stack of encyclopaedias (metaphorically) but we actually haven't changed all that much in the last 10,000 years and a lot of the supposition that we have is largely just arrogance.

in fact in some respects we may well be moving backwards.

we are massively reliant on the system in which we exist to supply our needs and most people wouldn't have the first clue about how to supply their own to the point that something as simple as "the lights going out" could, in many peoples opinion, "destroy civilization".

you can say many things about "Gods" but they generally have no problem with self sufficiency...

"we" can't destroy the planet. a machine that took millions of man hours to make and has seen the work of 10s thousands of hands put into it can. a machine that most of us here will never lay eyes on. just because we collectively can do such a thing we can't ascribe the feat to everyone individually. the fact "we" went to the moon doesn't make me an astronaut. i no more personally possess the power to destroy the planet than an ant in my garden.

"we" can largely do jack shit bar get up every morning, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat until dead (interspersed with occasional trips to the shops/beach).

Gods ? maybe to some of the (still) "lost tribes"...and even they would see through us eventually...but to ourselves in the mirror ?
not even close.

While we have seized a meager handful of powers once reserved for the divine, to call us gods is to call an ant a human. At best, it is a crude imitation of what we believe gods are capable of.

Call me when you figure out unaging immortality, then we can talk about gods...

What's the point of giving ourselves the title other than to pat ourselves on the back? Besides, man would not have become a god, he would have only made technology a substitute for god. Get rid of the technology and you're back to being a normal man with the same petty ego driven dilemmas. The person is still exactly the same with technology or not.
...well I guess tech can help us communicate and understand each other better, making us better people, but then going and calling ourselves "gods" is kind of retrogressive in that regard. Technology is just nice to have, nothing more, nothing less, so please don't fetishize it.

Even if we were at a technological place where we could have the hubris to call ourselves gods, that privilege would be reserved for the scientists, engineers, and researchers that actually accomplish all this stuff. We can claim nothing.

Pretty much every deity ever described defines, defies, and/or bends the rules of reality. Some to a greater degree than others of course.

We merely use collected knowledge of the established rules of reality for the sake of a nifty bag of tricks. Not quite the same thing.

Even were that not a factor, none of these achievements are innate. We can't do them without outside assistance. Take away our tools, and we are just another bunch of animals, rather pathetic ones at that. It won't be until we start redefining what it means to be human, by changing our own nature, that we can even begin to approach the question of godhood. (and even then we will have a VERY long road to walk)

Sleekit:
personally i refuse to admit its even the future because we don't have flying cars...

and on an individual level i don't think we are actually all that more "advanced" than our forebears.

Well...was the future ever really about flying cars? Sure, in "the future", we'd all have jetpacks, but as I understand it, it wasn't going to be now + more toys. We have more toys...maybe not the ones we thought we'd have, but I can type this from anywhere in the world while downloading totally not illegal movies and games for free.

A lot of the jetpacky stuff just had that as a trapping. The future was going to be great because we were going to be great, people would solve problems, make a better society, and then build jetpacks to fly around it.

Which, of course, is a laughably naive belief. People are still more or less the same. Maybe we know we aren't supposed to be as blatant in some of our vices, but that's not to say we're prevented from them all.

Strazdas:

R Man:
We are not even close to gods, not even metaphorically. We are still flesh and blood, and we still die. We still exist under the basic human conditions, with its greatness and cruelty, that people have done for thousands of years.

For all our vaunted technology we suffer from significant challenges which we struggle to deal with. Technology is costly, and will quickly decay without support. Not to mention the fact that it causes problems of it's own. Diseases like heart disease and obesity are serious problems which the modern world encourages. And our industry, on which we so rely, is poisoning the planet. Progress did not just bring betterment, it brought the Sword of Damocles, and we have done far too little about it.

Technology is just that, technology, and not more. Possession of it does not make us divine, just well equipped.

wrong gods. you think of omnipotent god. very few are. most are like Greek gods ( to take a famous example). petty, cruel, jelous, and worst of all - mortal. not easily killed, but possible.
Other than that i agree on you.

I do not. I considered many sources of divinity. As for polytheistic gods, they are far more complex, high concept and esoteric than is often assumed. Over time the gods of Mesopotamia, Mexico, Egypt and Northern Europe became 'Flanderised', partly by Christianity that wanted to portray them as demons, and historians who often had little to go on. The end rsult is that these gods get portrayed as dudes with super powers, which is not accurate to their real significance. I can't be sure that this is what happened to Greek and Roman Gods, but it would not surprise me if that was the case. They are far from simple, far from primitive, and far from mortal.

Almost every definition of a 'god' can be boiled down to some form of (or is dependent upon) the super-natural. Unless we can ever verify the existence of the super-natural, and both tap into and exert control over it, we'll probably never meet the definition of any 'god' as we currently understand them.

But languages can and do evolve, you can be a 'god' right now if your only defining characteristic for godliness is consciousness...

EvolutionKills:
Almost every definition of a 'god' can be boiled down to some form of (or is dependent upon) the super-natural. Unless we can ever verify the existence of the super-natural, and both tap into and exert control over it, we'll probably never meet the definition of any 'god' as we currently understand them.

Once it is verified, it's not super-natural anymore, it's just another branch of science.

thaluikhain:

EvolutionKills:
Almost every definition of a 'god' can be boiled down to some form of (or is dependent upon) the super-natural. Unless we can ever verify the existence of the super-natural, and both tap into and exert control over it, we'll probably never meet the definition of any 'god' as we currently understand them.

Once it is verified, it's not super-natural anymore, it's just another branch of science.

And therein lies the catch 22, the paradox of the supernatural.

If all the supernatural really boils down to is, essentially, just a place holder or stand in for our own ignorance. Then ignorance is a defining characteristic of the nature of the divine. When people worship gods, they are to an extent worshiping ignorance; that of themselves and their fellow humans, both present and long since dead.

When someone from the south says that you hate gay people, I think.

This reminds me of a really good Asimov story, the Last Question. In it, men become as gods eventually, but they are still powerless to stop the heat death of the universe, while generations of increasingly advanced super computers work on the problem.
Read it here: http://www.epubbud.com/read.php?g=N8YACER3

thaluikhain:

Which, of course, is a laughably naive belief.

Violence becomes less and less common, it's been true since we started recording things.

We are slowly becoming better through the use of technology.

Maybe once we figure out the whole 'immortality' thing, fix aging, and have traditional superpowers, then yes we could be considered gods. Until then, though, we're just highly advanced in our technology. Oh, and don't forget forign solar system colonization, massive spaceships, and warp drive. :D

Hafrael:

thaluikhain:

Which, of course, is a laughably naive belief.

Violence becomes less and less common, it's been true since we started recording things.

We are slowly becoming better through the use of technology.

Emphasis on "slowly". People seemed to think the wonderful future was something they'd live long enough to see, not a distant hope.

thaluikhain:

Hafrael:

thaluikhain:

Which, of course, is a laughably naive belief.

Violence becomes less and less common, it's been true since we started recording things.

We are slowly becoming better through the use of technology.

Emphasis on "slowly". People seemed to think the wonderful future was something they'd live long enough to see, not a distant hope.

It completely depends on what people you mean. I'd wager that in any point in time most people thought it was going to get worse.

It's just a matter of hierarchy. The kings of ancient Egypt were "gods".

All it takes is an iron grip on a nation and a cult of worship and you're a god. Perhaps in a distant future we can vat grow gods who are ageless and bulletproof aswell.

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