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Survey Results 1-9

My thanks to everyone who participated in our survey on God and the Singularity. The results are presented in their entirety in this entry and the two entries following. (Movable Type was unhappy with the length of entry produced by mashing them all together.)

As with the survey itself, I will leave these results at the top for a few days so that everyone gets a chance to see them when they stop by. I hope the results lead to more discussion. Please leave your comments on the third entry (covering questions 14 and 15.) I set it up this way so that we can keep the discussion in one thread.

I have just a few observations at this stage; I'll probably have much more to say about these results when I do my next essay in the series.

1. I tried to make the survey as open-ended as possible. There were only two questions -- 6 and 7 -- that called for answers only from people of a particular belief system / philosophical orientation. I note with great satisfaction that the restriction was largely ignored.

2. The readership of the Speculist is represented by individuals with a wide variety of beliefs. Most self-identified as Rationalists, Empiricists, or Transhumanists. I realize that there's an apples-and-oranges aspect to those categories, which is why survey-takers were permitted to choose all that apply. Those who identified themselves as Theists were in the minority by a signficant margin. That's interesting when you consider the responses to the question about religious self-identification. All told, 134 identified themsleves as Agnostics, Athiests, or Skeptics, while 130 identified themselves as being members of a particular religion, Syncretists, or Unaffiliated / Free Thinkers. Even if you remove the hard-to-classify categories of Skeptic and Unaffiliated, the breakdown was 107 in the Agnostic/Atheist category and 85 identifying themselves as having a religious affiliation. With only 178 people participating overall, that means there was some overlap between the two camps.

3. I regret that I didn't include "Deist" in the religious categories. (Although several included it as an "other" response on the religion question, and one included it as an "other" response in on the Philosophy question.) Deism is, in my view, the meeting place between religious belief and non-belief. It figures prominently in my next essay on God and the Singularity.

4. The "other" responses and answers to open-ended questions are fascinating. I just want to highlight a few favorites. There are lots more where these came from.

In response to "God is..." one individual wrote:

A placeholder to explain the combination of a contingency-based universe seemingly arising out of nothing, and the moral progress that humanity achieves in spite of ourselves.

My favorite philosophical self-identification:

Neo-Libertarian Extropian/Singularitarian

Three religious self-identifications I particularly enjoyed:

Asatru

Old-school Gnostic

Lutheran ELCA

I never knew that gnostics had sectarian divisions, but I should have guessed. I haven't Wikipedia'd Astru yet; I'm saving that. And I'm thinking our Lutheran friend must have been giving us a sub-category. (Last I heard, Lutherans were still technically considered to be Christians.)

A whopping 92% of those who answered the question about whether spirituality will survive the Singularity did so in the affirmative. When asked why they answered as they did, several answered as follows (or along these lines):

What's spirituality?

Hey, who's asking the questions, here? On the question of whether the Singularity will bring us closer to God, someone wrote:

Please divide by zero for the answer.

I was interested to see how much play the notion of an emergent God would get. Many responded to questions about God with the standard "this is meaningless" or "there is no God" type answers, while there were a few like this:

My view is that God is an end-state, in which the universe, or even the multiverse, has been 'woken up' by the spread of life, mind, civilization, etc. God doesn't exactly exist right now, but rather, reaches back through time to choose the history that lead's to God's own existence (Stephen Hawking's idea of the flexiverse, for instance, or Tipler's idea that God is essentially the boundary condition of the universe.) But from our point of view, it's not like God is choosing the historical path; it's more that the history of the universe tends inevitably in God's direction.

Finally, while at least one survey-taker quoted Yoda in framing his or her answer, this reponse appears to have come directly from the little green guy himself:

Companions the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks--those who write new values on new tablets. Companions the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest.



Full results below.

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A) A loving father in heaven.
B) An untestable hypothesis.
C) An omnipotent and omniscient being.
D) An example of wishful thinking.
E) A real presence in our daily lives.
F) An expression of our highest ideals.
G) A remote, intial creative force.
H) A singularity of being and goodness.
I) A fictional character.
J) What we will become.
K) Other

"Other" responses:

  Who am.

impervious to Man's disbelief.

something different for a whole lot of people

nature

God is everything that is, including us, becoming more every moment.

The root of free will within us

personification of the universe

"Grand Architect and Designer"

What we will become in St. Athanasius's sense: God became man so that man might become God

an explanation for the unexplain(ed/able)

Because of untestability, God remains "all of the above" since I cannot prove or disprove most claims (except for "What we will become" which is at least a little more testable than the other entries, but nevertheless suffers from the "halting problem")

God is like a strange attractor: an end-state of the universe, drawing history towards it.

the cosmos: all matter and energy

a source and/or ground-of-expression of positive potentials that are not all powerful but that we really do experience

what we and everything else already are.

Have Faith

The Ultimate Infinity

A placeholder to explain the combination of a contingency-based universe seemingly arising out of nothing, and the moral progress that humanity achieves in spite of ourselves.

the universe

A name given to a fundamental aspect of a living universe that seeks to know itself and develop through the increasing order of matter and energy

the ground of Being

Blind watchmaker, if God exists at all.

A way to impose ethical codes even on the powerful. Ie, even for the ruler of a nation, there's always a more powerful being to keep them in check and enforce any implied contracts with the subservient.



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A) The next step in evolution.
B) An unproven hypothesis.
C) An inevitability.
D) The only real path to transcendance.
E) An example of wishful thinking.
F) The best hope for humanity and the universe.
G) A poorly defined proposition.
H) Other

"Other" Responses:

I would say that we already live in a post-singularity world. Were any of the trapping of our age predicted? No. IBM spelled in xenon atoms, digital computers & software, nuclear power, and genetic engineering were far beyond the imagination of the people of the nineteenth century. This singularity-ish trend will continue, at a continually exaggerated pace. But a magical 2040 event-horizon is a pipe dream.

A blinding, deafening oncoming train.

a distinct possibility

exponential economic and technological growth

I think the trend is more likely to be an asymptote rather than a transition.

A sketchy outline of evolutionary progress before us

An interesting idea

a time when the rate of progress becomes so fast that the future becomes unpredictable/unforeseeable. It's not magic. It's neither good nor evil. A lot of things associated with 'transcendance', ie extended lifespans, planetary colonization, virtual reality, etc will be well on its way before the singularity even happens, if it does...

The difference between "An unproven hypothesis" and "An inevitability" depends entirely on how the proposition is defined. Barring a pre-singularity extinction event, something that fits within the parameters defining a technological singularity appears to be inevitable, but those parameters are so broad that such a statement seems almost meaningless.

A possible next step in evolution

an elaborate mirror of the human psyche

a real possibility

a path to transcendance, but unclear/doubtful it is the 'only' path

An inevitability by definition

a function of scale and complexity related to the information explosion and legitimation crisis

At some point, machine self awareness will occur.

A very huge risk

one possible convergence of man and technology ie: nanotech improving health, ie: artificial limb advances

Lack of self control

Unknown in the scope of its effect on humanity

The best hope, the greatest danger, and, ultimately, inevitable.

I've been watching the trends for a long time now. I think it is inevitable. The problem is that is will likely be the simultaneously the greatest curse and greatest blessing mankind has ever seen. An end to starvation, poverty, disease, death which will completely destroy life-long marriage, struggle (struggle can be great for personal growth) and all

Perhaps better stated as; a potential next step, hopeful thinking and necessarily poorly defined.

A "probable" outcome

Incomprehensible

A contentious catch-all that encompasses many different possible paths for the future of the human race

Unknowable, by definition.

Choices: a *possible* next step in evolution, unproven hypothesis, example of wishful thinking, poorly defined proposition



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A) Empiricist
B) Humanist
C) Posthumanist
D) Rationalist
E) Theist
F) Transhumanist
G) Other

"Other" Responses:

Moderate Realist

Deist

Just passing through...

Infinitist. I believe every belief has value and validity, even the contradictory ones.

Anarchist

existentialist

Statistics. It is pretty altruistic, but always grounded in bieng reasonable.

athematic

egoist

Skeptic

Scientist and Skeptic

I'm Gnostic, we can know something about our inner experience and gain insight, though it is difficult to sort it out and verify such knowledge, we can become more than what humanity is now limited by, our reason and experience are very important, combiend with compassion and empathy. I know I'm mixing in ethical language with methodology/metaphysics

My philosophy isnt bound by an adjective.

Mystic

humanist

Other just about covers it

realist

rational empiricism

Neo-Libertarian Extropian/Singularitarian

A user (from the movie Tron)

the boundaries of those terms inevtably overlap - i have no idea

Underinformed

agnostic

Nietzschean

Pragmatist

Absolute idealist

Unaffiliated

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A) Agnosticism
B) Atheism
C) Buddhism
D) Christianity
E) Hinduism
F) Islam
G) Judaism
H) New Age
I) Pantheism
J) Skepticism
K) Syncretism
L) Unaffiliated / Free Thought
M) Other

"Other" Responses:

Aestheticist

"wistful agnostic"

Deist

Dabbling Daoist

to determine if you believe in god, you first have to agree on the definition of god

Mormon

I have faith in enlightened self interest and the incompetence of large organizations such as governments. I am also an infinitist as described in the previous answer.

taoism

Deist

Catholic

Church of Reality (www.churchofreality.org)

Gnostic

subset: Mormon

Non-theist - also non-fairyist etc

Christian AND Skeptic--go figure

Asatru

Old-school Gnostic

I like Jesus. I don't care much for many of his so-called followers.

conservative

Lutheran ELCA

...with an open mind

Home-grown: I won't bore you.

gnostic

Deist



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A) Just sort of fell into them.
B) Carefully analyzed all available options before coming to a final set of beliefs.
C) Chose carefully from a smaller set; never thought it was necessary to look at all options.
D) Adopted views similar to parents / peer group after careful consideration.
E) Adopted views similar to parents / peer group without giving it a lot of thought.
F) Was guided to them by an external (supernatural) force
G) Developed completely new philosphical and religious ideas largely independent of anything thats come before.
H) Other

"Other" Responses:

Ongoing critical examinations.

I was raised as a Southern Baptist, who are always 2 steps away from atheism. I have a genetic predisposition toward doubt, so it was an inevitable conclusion for me.

The above are not all mutually exclusive. As an adult, after careful analyzation and much study and consideration, AND as led by the Holy Spirit, I adopted religious views similar to and derived from my parents per my upbringing.

Came to them as a result of careful thinking and reading as well as being open to changing my views.

constant evolution

Developed new philosophical and religious ideas based on a careful analysis of familiar options combined with extensive introspection and speculitive thought.

I generally tended to be a very empirical sort of person of the atheist variety until I began really studying computer science and physics in high school and college, both formally and independently, and ended up with a worldview that blends a form of Enlightenment empiricism with a modified form of Deism that basically views the universe as a form of intelligently-created information processing device (c.f. Fredkin et al).

Held views similar to parents/peers while also living in a regimen of critical thought, prayer, and fasting to deepen my understanding thereof.

spent 10 yeas in fundamentalist sect with some cult characteristics; upon exiting, have tried to analyze available options that make sense in light of my past experiences

Many decades of living and seeking to remain awake; early parental influences have surfaced.

Gut feel.

Adopted views quite opposed to peer group after some consideration.

I have no relogious views. I consider religin a political control con game.

The philosophy I accept comes from a study of philosophic herstory among other areas of inquiry.

I am always revising

Reading books like the 'The Physics of Immortality' and 'The Age of Spiritual Machines', coming across the Biocosm hypothesis, and just in general thinking a lot about the future - and meaning - of life.

Evolved over years of thinking about them

I carefully analyzed everything, and thought I was arriving at something completely new and independent, and yet I found amazing resonance with Gnostic thought and also some resonance with Samkhya teaching. I'm not dogmatic about that, but I do explore with ancient materials and compare with my own experience/insight.
I can't shake doubt or a desire to reason and understand, so I've rejected rigid belief. Yet I do have certain tendencies in my thinking that resonate with various beliefs.

Careful consideration of what is, and what has come before.

A combination: adopted views similar to parents /peer group after careful consideration
AND
Developed completely new philosophical and religious ideas largely independent...
How? I'm a Christian with a Singularitarian overlay.

Combination of 1,2,3, and 7

Adopted views similar to parents and yet different; with careful consideration; with PostGrad work; with observations of scientific realities.

Ongoing process --beliefs carefully refined through experience.

I really need to combine two of your answers. When I was a child, I went to church and pretty much automatically adopted the beliefs of my parents (Methodist Christianity). In high school and college, I began to question those beliefs and began a many year long journey of exploration. Eventually, I settled into sort of an agnostic, secular humanist point of view. I remain open to new information.

life experience reveals truth

Process of elimination, starting from a generic Christian viewpoint (ultimately to include that viewpoint also). Process continues.

I've always thought of religion for what it is.. a system of control. An excelent system at that... possibly one of the best tools of personal and emotional enslavement ever derived. While the just of doing good to ones neighbors is an excelent path that all should follow, everything else encapsulated around that mantra is worthless.

Grew up with a lot of science fiction, no religion, in my life.

Thrashed about in a variety of pools of thought before ending up here - and there's nothing to say I'll not move again. Adopt, adapt, improve...

Transitioned from Christianity to atheism in early teens as I learned how the universe actually works

"Just sort of fell into them" sounds a bit too casual and unthinking to be accurate, but it was just a gradual process of experience and thought. A Christian at 20, an Agnostic at 30, an Atheist at 40.

Carefully analyzed all available options before coming to a final set of beliefs; *in the process of which I actually tried out for myself several of the belief systems I came across.*

Developed different interpretation of views parents/peer group offered



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7. If you answered the previous question, please explain why or why not the Technological Singularity will be a reflection of God's will.

Responses:

Everything is, at least passively, a reflection of God's will.

I don't view God as interventionist. Choices are made by people not a diety.

"Be fruitful and multiply" does not just mean reproduce, it also means grow as individuals and as a species.

As a Deist and an agnostic, I'm not sure if God's will is really relevant in considering the Singularity.

Nothing that happens in this world is a surprise to God. Everything that happens is a result of either His permissive will or His directive will. The Singularity is just another day in the life to the Lord.

If it comes to pass, it was his Will.

if you believe in gods will, it is gods will

God and His creation are distinct. He works the creation according to His artistic and creative impulses. Ultimately everything is an expression of His will.

God has nothing to do with human technology

Because the TS will be caused by humans, acting out of our God-given free will, setting something in motion.

God wants all His children to become like Him. This is a step on the path to universal opportunity.

Too much micromanagement necessary

Because it seems to be an inevitable stage for a species gifted with intelligence and opposable thumbs (i.e. technological intelligence versus, say, dolphins).

Well, if it's done correctly. I doubt that a simple scan & upload process will bring it on and I am most suspicious of run-away programs. (because individual existence -cartesian duality- is not an inevitable result of complexity, chain-self-enhancing grey goo is just an inert environmental catastrophe)

But aggressive transhumanist progress is totally okay and obviously it is self-reinforcing. I could give a shit about the biology we were born with. Biology is simply seed tech. By which (computronium etc.) we may fufil God and replace every ounce of death in the universe with life/free-will/god/post-humanity/etc.

omnipotent

It will be a reflection of God's will if it occurs, because ultimately everything is God's will or it would not occur.

In an existence where God is sovereign, there are no rouge molecules. The Singularity would play its role to ultimately bring to God.

God allow a universe to evolve intelligence. It is less the will of God, rather it is an outcome of God's allowing freedom of choice.

A "being" living outside of our demension will use what ever tools that are required to get the desired results

I generally tend to think that the most likely reason that the Designer/God would have selected our universe and its laws and conditions would be that it would produce 'interesting' (read complex) behavior, much as mathematicians and computer scientists study Conway's Life, some of Wolfram's automata, and so on. Given that such a model generally goes hand in hand with a deterministic universe, and given that I'm assuming that the Designer had at least some rough measure of predicting what rules would produce interesting behavior, I tend to think that human civilization and the Singularity are part of the interesting behavior that would be produced by the model. Certainly, looking at the universe, the most interesting dynamic behavior generated so far is by various forms of life, and likely a post-singularity civilization that could one day conceivably harness the entire resources of the universe (perhaps) seems a prime candidate for the sort of complex behavior that the designer would have had in mind.

If we define God as "A remote, intial creative force", then He (She? It?) almost certainly doesn't have any position on the subject, but for most concepts of God--from the personal, caring God of Christians to the less personal, but all-encompassing God of naturalistic pantheism--God's tacit approval, if not actual participation as a driving force, would seem to be a minimum requirement for the occurence of a singularity.

The bible describes those who are saved as having perfect bodies. The singularity could bring this about. A lot of what is in revelations could be brought about by highly advanced technology.

Singularities cannot love.

My answer was yes, but it can be better summed up as:

If it happens, then God did not stop it.

If it does not happen, then God did nothing to encourage it.

I do not believe that the Perfect King of the universe would care one iota about our pitiful level of technology. Nothing we can do will ever equal God.

It would be the product of the natural process of evolution as it unfolded according to the laws and local conditions in the universe. Even a "hands off" Omnipotent Being would be at least indirectly responsible, if not by creating the conditions leading to the Singularity, then at least by allowing it to unfold without interference.

If consciousness permeates all events in the universe via an unknowable, imminent God that is the very foundation of the cosmos then that hyper-intellect would not dream up a scenario that ran contrary to the wonderful, challenging possibilities that arise in the course of space-time.

I would have chosen 'I don't know' but wasn't given that choice.

If God breathed a soul into man sometime time during evolution and that soul is capable of free will then any decisions/choices made thereafter are man's will and not God's, although God gave that to man they are ultimately man's choices.

Though God is an untestable hypothesis, I still believe in the possibility of a divine, and that it is the force behind what we attempt to define as freewill. Therefore the Technological Singularity is a reflection of the will of some humans and can be inferred as being a part of the will of the all, or Atum.

I believe it's the same thing as the Unity of existence, expressed in another way.

Because the TS is a good thing.

Given omnipotence and omnibenevolence, God would not permit a change of this magnitude against His will.

God gave us the abilities to improve ourselves which we have been using since the invention of tools. A POSITIVE Tech. Sing. would be continuation of this, a NEGATIVE T.S. would be a human failure much like World War.

My agnostic view is that if there is a god, it had to create the universe and the principles that govern it, first and foremost evolution. The singularity is the next stage in the evolution of intelligence/life/consciousness/the universe.

We would be using God's gift to the best of our abilities to reduce hunger, reduce poverty, reduce sickness and generally do a lot of good.

My view is that God is an end-state, in which the universe, or even the multiverse, has been 'woken up' by the spread of life, mind, civilization, etc. God doesn't exactly exist right now, but rather, reaches back through time to choose the history that lead's to God's own existence (Stephen Hawking's idea of the flexiverse, for instance, or Tipler's idea that God is essentially the boundary condition of the universe.) But from our point of view, it's not like God is choosing the historical path; it's more that the history of the universe tends inevitably in God's direction.

It is a human proposition, not properly measured as coming from God.

God is in control.

It will be a material reflection of realities of Mind.

The Mind's potential is dimly reflected through the psyche/language/symbols and the instruments designed by the psyche that are further distorted by material and biological limitations/constraints.

People will use and misuse such technology, so the quality of any singularity will be mixed, the ethical results will be mixed.

The Internet is part of the singularity, the legitimation crisis discussed by Lyotard has happened, it is not always good, it isn't simply evil, it doesn't really argue for post-modern values or conclusions, but the analysis of the nature and some of the effects of the crisis, is insightful.

People fear lack of legitimation, so they react in fundamentalism or grow into flexible proteans, as Jay Lifton writes in the Protean Self.

But the Protean Self is not without significant issues.

All is mixed, here in the world of psyche operating in matter.

It has to be, since it will be a part of God.

Everything is God, so of course this concept is God as well as all other concepts.

Why? Why not?

Every event that unfolds is a reflection of God's will; the singularity will be no exception.

Actually, the question is irrelevant. The question is, HOW will the technological singularity take place?

Because it is coming closer to God by becoming more like him (both more "good" and more "bad"), in other words more powerful

why would god care enough to will this to occur?

Well, everything is a reflection of God's will to some extent ...

The Singularity is the moment in history toward which Humanity has been striving since self-awareness. All true religion, just government, efficient economies are drawing us to this moment. It is a path that the Creator must have intended.

We were made by God and in his image. We are here to help our fellow man. If we use this free will for the betterment of our fellow man, we are acting in his will.

I don't believe that god is imposing his will. It either happens or doesn't and it won't bother him either way.

God wants us to learn how to avoid our mistakes.

Don't think it's possible to have _any_ phenomenon that wouldn't reflect God's will. But then I wouldn't deign to know the Mind of God.

If there is a God, God will intervein before humanity gains the attributes of God, the same as what occured in the Garden of Eden (i.e. God's reason for kicking man out of the garden after man gains the knowledge of good and evil).

The question is a false dichotomy depending on one's assessment of God's Will. I answered "no" in contrast to how, for example, a Baptist or Muslim might interpret that question. But the truth of the matter is that since God is *by definition* beyond a human understanding, such questions are moot the moment they're asked.

The Singularity will be too significant for most theists to pretend that god had no say in the matter. Rather than claiming that he allowed this great transformation to occur against his will, they will decide that it is his will.

NA

I believe Singularity (and God) are defined to be beyond comprehension. Compared to today's understanding, we may "reach" the Singularity by 2030 - by 2030 standards, the Singularity will be yet more complex. It feel the Technological Singularity is an asymptotic approximation of our goals which will continue to evolve as we approach it.

God gives man freedom to choose.

Assuming the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient being, that being's creation of the Universe must include an intention to allow all things in it, because it would know "before" creation what the outcome would be, or would at least be outside of the time of our Universe to alter creation to fit its will.

With God as the Universe how could anything that happens in t he Universe not be God's will?

Technology and acceleration in technical development have improved the lives of humans, and history has tended to favor the most technologically advanced societies. It appears that the will of God includes technological advances.

The will of God is the ground of being and as such it is a necessity of existence. In other words nothing is an accident.

The proper answer is "I don't know." You only allowed me to answer 'yes' or 'no', so I chose 'no'.

Note that I am not certain I actually believe in God anyway...

God's will relates to reality, the singularity is atheistic wishfull thinking

Since I believe God causes or permits everything to happen according to the way God designed and planned, the TS, if it happens, is logically a reflection of God's will.

Or maybe it won't be, if we do it wrong.



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9. Explain why religion will or will not continue to exist after the Technological Singularity.

Responses:

No matter what shape inteligence takes, knowledge will still be incomplete. Room will be left for speculation about the unknown. Even the hyper-intelligent will ponder and hypothesize about existence. Ultimately this will lead (at least in some) to belief in God.

As long as some religio-hominids survive, so will religion.

The singularity does not explain life and the Universe beyond our reach.

It's too ingrained in human culture to fade away simply due to increased knowledge, and capabilites. The believers will simply move the goal posts again... but I do think the space remaining for the God-of-the-gaps will shrink dramatically.

Humans are still human, even after transcendence, and religion is a human affair whether you believe it to be an invention of humans, or a gift to humanity from the Deity.

I cannot see how people's capability for self-delusion will disappear.

People will probably still have innate curiousity and uncertainty dealing with nonprovable, metaphysical concepts. This seems to be an element of the human condition, and it seems likely it will survive in some form to the posthuman condition (should the latter arise).

A mind-boggling majority of people in the nation with the greatest technological and scientific legacy in the history of human civilization believe that seasons are controlled by aphelion & perihelion. I have no doubt that centuries after that 'elan vital' nonsense was disproved people will continue to believe anything and everything.

Nothing created by something that is identifiably technological will suffice to answer the deeper questions of 'why?' ('why are we here?', 'why am I this way and not some other way?', 'what should I do with my life?') that most people have decided can be answered with religion.

I don't see any reason that a TS will necessarily eliminate that part of the brain that makes us susceptible to religious belief, nor do I think that doing so would be obviously desirable since I suspect that the same mechanism might be tied up in, e.g. making us prone to believe that other minds exist and that fact carries moral weight.

Well, for one, I don't believe that whatever the singularity is will consume all human beings. Many (most) will remain au naturel.

'God of the gaps'

First, assuming The Singularity will arrive is not the same as assuming it will be arrive as predicted. Secondly, if I may assume that your definition of religion is, or at least includes, the worship of God, then presumably the explosion of enlightenment and potential in the human mind, body, and soul will result in a greater understanding and appreciation for God's glory, His power, and His creation. It is foolish and backward to assume that the explosion of human potential would somehow make us spiritually regress into atheism. Atheism is a willful absence of belief based on a studied refusal to understand God's revelation to His creation. It's a choice and, really, that choice will still exist after The Singularity. The Singularity, if anything, should bring the Man closer to God, but it probably won't. Sin will still exist, and that is what separates us from God. Enlightenment won't cure sin...never has, never will. Its a non-sequitur.

Definition:
It is commonly understood as a group of beliefs or attitudes concerning an object (real or imagined), person (real or imagined), or system of thought considered to be supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, and rituals associated with such belief or system of thought.
...how could it not.

Most humans seem to have a very deep-seated need for SOMEONE to be in charge of the Universe.

God is unchanging and everlasting.

if it is gods will, the fullfillment of his will would fullfill his will. this is a silly question if you believe in god.

Most people have a tendency toward a religion of some sort, not the necessarily traditional choices. It is very likely this will continue even with enhanced individuals, since a satisfying interpretation of life?s "purpose" will likely not be available after the Singularity. People will continue to have a need to fill this void. We will probably even see new religions arise around the new knowledge. Things that come to mind are "religious ideas" expressed by Penrose in "The Emperor has no Cloths" and by Tipler in "The Omega Point ".

- I think that there will allways remain unsolved questions, and thus the possibility of a God.

Since God is an infinite and personal God, nothing will ultimately replace the highest good of knowing Him.

It is human nature to want to believe extraordinary things (UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, God, etc.). All of these, and more, will continue to exist.

What caused all this ? ad infinitum.

Religion has been very hard to kill in the past. Some religions will use the TS to their advantage.

Religion is a search for Good. That search will never cease. Organized religion will change as each individual has access to unlimited wisdom.

Because people are people even when they're not. I don't believe that the singularity would wipe out all that has gone into our development so far, so there will still be irrationality, insanity, emotion, and belief in unprovable ideas like God(s)(ess)(es).

Because the appearance of intelligence in the universe can not ultimately be accounted for by strict materialism.

A great deal of the population (probably influenced by a genetic basis) find it hard not to believe in a human-generated concept(s) of supernatural beings who are based on the world/people/culture around them. Even if we were to use future tech to remove/alter those genes and thereby demonstrate that god has an evolutionary genetic base (probably as an evolutionary side-effect of a bigger brain), some people may chose not to belive these results and/or future cultures may just use nano/biotech to creat "new" types of relegions/constructs that "replace" the current worn-out/disproved religions. Future science/bio/nano/cultures would have to figure that out if and when it happens...I personaluy think that religions are a good example of complex social constructs that developed to explain the universe (to early man) and also to control society etc.

Because nothing's perfect. And chances are some form of blind faith will still be clung to.
God is prior to religion. And neither we nor he need it.

Unless the Singularity brings actual omniscience and omnipotence, there will still be a domain of the unexplained, onto which some will still project their hopes and fears.

I don't believe a Technological Singularity will completely remove the non-rational behaviors of all humanity.
I use "non-rational" in a non-pejorative sense. Emotions are non-rational, but that doesn't make them "bad".

I don't think (some) people will lose the need to believe in something bigger than themselves. Some will continue to organize that need in a formal doctrine

Belief in God is not religion

Sentient beings will yearn for a connection with God.

It is likely that after singularity we will have a Theory of Everything that explains it all, so there is no need to superstition.

Faith is believing the unknowable. Therefore true faith is impervious to all kinds of threats. God will do just fine.

It's a silly question, as by _definition_ we don't understand those on the other side of the Singularity, so we can hardly know whether they will be religious. However, people will transcend the Singularity (as I think it very unlikely that it will involve total human extinction followed by resurrection / creation of transhumans). We are likely to carry on on most basic impulses. Religion is one of the most basic, showing up in all human societies.

Man has always need to believe in a power greater than himself. The singularity will appear meanacing to many, who will seek religion. And some singulalaritians will seek religion when the singluarity reveals occurances that are unexplainable by science alone.

Humans need to have a model that helps explain those "facts" that seem outside our ability to know

There will be pockets of those behind the technology curve. There will be those who adapt their religious beliefs to new mediums available post-Singularity.

Because people want to believe that there is an ultimate source of moral authority.

Will human nature be trancended? I think not.

Many people seem to need to believe in something, some father figure, bigger than themselves.

The singularity isn't a modern-day version of the 'Rapture'. The singularity is merely the description for the time when the rate of progress is so fast that the very near future becomes unpredictable. Life will still go on (somewhat) like usual. Integration of new technology will still take some time.

i assume it would, because it exists now, but i could be persuaded otherwise

Never underestimate the stupidity or selfr-delusion of anyone, even transhumans.

I tend to think that religion in its current form will endure among certain people simply because of its appeal, though I think that the entire praying-to-God-for-mercy aspect will decline as time goes by and people are less susceptible to Nature's ravages. On the other hand, given my leanings as a Deist and my belief that the universe was created as part of some kind of intelligence's actions and plans, I think that future evidence and especially the increased technological capabilities of a post-Singularity civilization will confirm this; as a result, I expect that what historically would have been referred to as "Natural Theology" will end up being a respected academic pursuit for philosophers and philosophically-inclined scientists, much as it was in the 18th century. However, I expect it to be grounded on a far firmer footing than in the past, while still not being a truly empirical science given the limitations on experiment inherent in such inquiries.

Because religious faith is not entirely rational, and I don't believe that transcended intelligences will be entirely rational, either.

Religon and sprituality provide both a buffer to keep thoughts focused on pragmatic maters at times of limited recourse(a sence of protection in time of trouble), and a dampener against "navel-gaising" (god/gaia/lord xenu did it), that these fetures are so demaned but most mides that in their absence new 'gods' are created to fill the need including seculer vertions that are givin simler irrational devotion(see collectivism in genral).
As long as human personalities exist, there will continue to be religion.

Helps the mind run smoothly; though a replacement to specific religions would most likely be found, it provides a valuable shortcut in terms of morals and ethics, and can also be used for motivational purposes.

Religion is based on faith, and maybe hope. Even if the Singularity vastly improves our ability to observe and understand the universe, such observation and understanding is not the basis for faith or hope, and therefore, probably won't be able to completely undermine religious even if they point toward atheism. And, of course, they may not point toward atheism at all...

Human beings are spiritual creatures by nature, and technology will not change that much. The human race has been through other singularities (learning to speak, agriculture, the industrial revolution) and come out human on the other side. This singularity (if it exists) will not strip away our humanity.

Idolization of technology will likely persist, assuming the TS happens. Likewise, hardcore VR users will become fully immersed in religious VR worlds. Further, "old time religions" can appeal to a spirit of loving sacrifice; forgoing great technological wealth will be as admirable, if not moreso, as those who head into the Third World today for its betterment.

Outside of mathematics, there are no absolutes. I do not believe that after the Technological Singularity we have have any more knowledge than we do now concerning absolutes in the universe. Since I believe that there will still be no absolutes, the possibility of a God, and hence religion in some form, will still exist.

Religion is a reflection of our need to give our lives purpose and a reference in which to set our actions.

Religion in some form (even forms such as a strident, unquestioning Eenvironmentalism) seems to be a fundamental part of most human lives. If humans continue to exist, then it's a good bet that religion in some form would also continue.

There will always be some who are drawn to religion.

People must have a belief system, it may change or be scewed after TS but it will remain.

because the human capacity for self-delusion is the only thing that is truly infinite

Perhaps not religion per se so much as mythology which is something that arises from the psyche that puts us in touch with the mystery of our existence. This mythology is constant and forever changing. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam might perish in a Technological Singularity, but more advanced religion like Buddhism which points to a more complex view of the cosmos may survive. Especially since the thermal hiss of a post-Singularity cyberspace would seem similiar to what we conceive of as Nirvana.

Again my true choice for 8 is 'I don't know'.

Religion will always exist, as there is a clear human need to believe in something biger than ones self.

The existence of God is unprovable and therefore also un-disprovable. Those who choose to believe in God will do so regardless of what happens in the worlds around them.

it will continue as long as humans survive. Religion is a human contruct. In my opinion it helps those who believe get through everyday life.

There is always opposition to anything powerful.

it will be shown to be useless post sinularity

People like to believe in stories because it's fun

I do not think that religion will continue to exist in the form of the institution that it has become, but spirtuality will still exist on a more personal level.

There will always be stupid people who believe in superstition.

Culturally-specific explanations of the Unity will always be necessary.

Its turtles all the way down.

It may depend on the details, but there are people who will always need to believe in a deity.

religion is supra-rational; there is no reason to believe that the structure and functioning of the brain will change post-singularity.

Since I find the 'technological singularity' an ill-defined concept, I can't really agree with a statement about religion existing after it.

Some people might enjoy it.

Believers believe their beliefs are true. Truths don't cease to be true because of the arrival of the Singularity.

Our post-human selves would be modeled after our modern selves. The mental process that leads to religious thought will be retained.

Except for some nutcase cults in the Middle East and USA, modern religions do not deal in matters ameanable to technological answers.

I don't think there will be a Technological Singularity. Religion will continue to exist as long as there are credulous people to exploit.

people will always look to religion as a way to come to grips with their surroundings/realities, and for a spiritual connection, to others, themselves, and knowledge.

We will know how a religion was created

It's a basic human practice.

The masses will still need to deal with the cognitive dissonance of not being able to have answers to all questions and yet feeling they are the dominant species.

Assuming that humans will not change en masse into something else (for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is generational momentum), human behavior of a great many people will remain biased towards "religious" thinking.

Religion is an evolutionary adaption

Two words: Applied Theology (stolen from Vinge, of course.)
Expanded version: the Singularity, as currently envisioned, is really more like a phase shift in the local structure of matter. After it occurs, the rest of the universe will still have to be woken up, and religion will express itself at least partly through the desire to do that.

because humans assimilate any new information into their personal contexts, values , and beleif systems. Religion ( some of them ) see it as part of god's plan

Machines will not need religion

It is ethereal and unrooted in human experience.

Faith exists. Similar to (not necessarily the same as) an emotion, creativity or intuition.

Because religion has always and will always exist. Worship of God is what we were created for.

Religion is a human trait.

Religion will imply too many pre-singularity concepts to be useful or descriptive.
Whatever takes a role that might be compared to religion, will be so inherently different, that the term 'religion' won't really fit, though it may serve apparently similar functions.
There will probably be some uber-archon-like cultic mind-control-meme crisis, along with amazing liberation, simultaneously, overlapping, as far as many people are concerned, for a while.

Because the universe and self aware beings will still exist.

It will exist, but in a different way; perhaps best described as a way of living based upon personal mystical experience.

Humans will always be infallibly superstitious.

It will be seen the same way as we see lightning being Thor's spear now...a primitive story to explain something we don't understand

Market research shows a huge demand for religion.

Because Christ's final triumph, where God will be All in All, will not yet have occured.

Spirituality will continue to exist; not certain about organized religion.

Because there will always be "the" questions and non-rationality.

Not all will be able, or willing, to accept the changes brought by such an event and will seek some refuge that they can mentally grasp

Because the Singularity will not quench the inherent yearning for God.

Rational thought will become the rule, not the exception.

I Cor. 13:8-12
...where there are prophecies, they will cease... For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in [an ancient distorted] mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

We will still have never been able to answer Frued's posited first question: Where do we come from?

not the whole of humanity will trancend, those who are left behind will need justification.

Religion is easier to accept than "shit happens, get over it!"

We will know.

People still need more than that which is.
Also, the TechSing will still have limitations...

For at least a time, many humans will remain "as is" by choice, and the superstitious and other God-friendly parts of their brainware will keep them religious.

Becauese it is a state of mind, a belief system. I don't believe in the rigidity of physical practice to support it.

Faith is belief in something without evidence. The singularity will not stop this.

Religion & "God" is a creation of Man. After the "Technological Singularity", Man with all his faults, will still be the same, thinking being.

Because not everyone will "get it" and religion offers an alternative _hope_ for the masses

Religion has little to do with any sect. Most faiths teach against religion.

Religion will be almost non-existant post-Singularity, assuming super-intelligence finds no evidence supporting religion, because as it stands, religion is incompatible with rational thought. (assuming no evidence is found to support religion, the only religion that continues will be by those who, for whatever reason, remain "normally" intelligent, but irrational)

People need some belief system to give life meaning.

You really need a maybe choice there! I don't think it likely that we'll need untestable hypotheses as a guide to moral behavior, but really the point of the term "singularity" is that we don't know.

It may be different, but finite, limited beings will always quest after the infinite and unknowable, which will lead inevitably to some faith-based belief system.

because nothing will be the same... we can't apply the way we think about anything today to how we will think about it after the singularity.

The Singularity will likely involve incredibly increased cognitive abilities, which will lead all those who participate in enhanced intelligence to conclude that the idea of God is illogical.

Human Psychology

Surviving religions are those which adapt to changing conditions and cultural requirements. Some will adapt Sing into their constructs, as a trivial example, saying it is the second coming.

Humanism is the religion of man worshiping man. Man may transform but there will still be man in some level of existence and we will continue to worship ourselves, regardless of whatever we become.

Beings who exist in a contingency-based universe are still bound by that universe. Therefore, even the presence of a spontaneously renewing hyperverse bound to cause and effect eventually requires something that is "uncreated." Thus, the dismissal of an ultimate creator is not relevant to the Singularity, and dismissal of religion on those grounds is sloppy thinking.

(Though I'm not really Christian any more, this is, btw, pretty basic Catholic/Orthodox theology, and one that stands up to dispassionate inquiry.)

When everyone has attained at least the level of "transhuman", they'll understand the lack of necessity of God to explain the world (aside from maybe Aquinas's "first cause" explanation that requires no religion by itself).

- for all the reasons they need religion today, some people will still need it after a Technological Singularity.

Answering this question at all requires assuming some particular Singularity outcome. I do not wish to do this, but I can see many scenarios in which not all humans become incapable of nursing their religious traditions.

Mankind has had religions longer than recorded history. Even such a massive change as the singularity seems unlikely to reduce that tendency. Nonetheless, it wouldn't surprise me if none of today's dominant religions survived the transition.

Religion is a form of mind control. Just because the minds are enhanced does not mean that we will try to exert any less control (likely more) - If one 'church' can convince a large number of smaller compute organizations to work on its goals, the church will reinforce the influences that keep the smaller organizations (AI, brains, etc) aligned with their goal systems.

Religion and technology are not dependent on the other, so why would one cease to be based on the existence of the other?

I think the religion fills a psychological need, and that need will continue to exist regardless of technological advances. Probably.

First, Robin Hanson has shown that even boundedly rational approximators to Bayesian information gatherers will not have sytematic disagreements. Roughly, when two Bayesian actors talk to each other, they equalize their information sets and so their beliefs should converge. Perfectly rational actors converge instantly, and boundedly rational actors will converge quickly.

Religious beliefs are evidence of systematic disagreements among humans, which indicate that we do not process information in Bayesian fashion. If we look at scientists (who experiment shows are the only people who do update beliefs according to Bayes's law), we see that religious belief is very rare.

So we can infer that people with rationality-enhancing technology will quickly discard religious beliefs.

Belief has little or no relationship with physical reality or even our understanding thereof.

Not all humans will adopt transhuman intelligence. Additionally, it may turn out, based on our future intelligence, that we will decide God exists.

Human mind will still crave god and religion

It is human nature to need to provide a soothing explanation for those things that can not be explained. Even after the singularity, if it comes there will always be unexplained things.. for which many of us in society need to place those unexplained things in the hands of an imaginary being that we pretend understands..so that we can be un burdened by the weight of that which is unexplained.

Anything that we can build or become will still be a tiny sub set of the Universe (God)

Because some individual will always chalk up all manner of technologies to God's will.

Religion may change, even be amplified by a super powerful singularity. It will continue in that some societies may "reject" the singularity (whatever that will entail, as long as it isn't SkyNet, presumably it would leave these these societies behind). Adopting societies may discover new questions and mysteries at higher levels, and our human nature will answer these with new religions.

Ignorance, doubt and uncertainty will be erased, thus erasing the preconditions for religion.

People will not continue to exist after the singularity. I suppose virtual people could be religious, or even live in a virtual world with an active God....

A tricky question; I answered true because I think religion is an inevitable product of human society, but I don't think it will be ubiquitous, nor as commonplace as today. However, I can quite imagine some of the pre-posthumans idolising the 'ascended', and the post-humans idolising those who have gone further up the chain into complete upload, for example. Religion is a way for people to yearn for that which they are too scared to grasp for themselves. I can't see that going away too soon.

Peoples need to believe in a higher being will not be satiated by the singularity

The singularity does not address the issue of teaching people how to think for themselves and critically examine propositions. My guess is there will always be a subset of the population who fall for the feel-good promises of religion.

The singularity is unlikely to answer the BIG questions. The margins may thin, but its hard to imagine they'll ever disappear. And God will certainly survive in the margins.

Man is religious by nature. I hope to see superstition die but I also hope to see an increase in awareness that humankind is a part of something far greater than what we can curently understand.

I subscribe to a slow roll singularity. In the near term, until the last standard human is living, rich people will still need a way to keep the poor people from killing them. No amount of new knowledge gleaned will convince existing people that thier beliefs in god are wrong. The long term impact of the singularity on religion is inherently unpredictable.

Religeon is a human institution. If we assume humans survice a Technological Singularity, then their humanity will remain part of the equation; a human raised to any power is still a human at some level. Of course, if we assume humans don't survive then please change my answer to 'false'...

8 is a poorly worded question, since it assumes the singularity will occur, when it will not.

So long as humans or transhumans exist, there will be a spiritual component that must be expressed in community.

There's always a higher up and farther back to look for.

First, there will still be many possible belief systems. Unprovable statements will remain unprovable. Second, there will still be living entities that either need a consistent but simple belief system or that have a need for purpose.

Religion is an expression of humankinds inherent fascination with the unknown. Even in the event of a singularity, this fundamental characteristic of humanity will not change.

Results Continued