Gnus like to laugh at Christian beliefs, but they too hope for paradise and immortality. They just actually believe they can do it themselves.
From Jerry Coyne’s scholarly colleague and ally:
But what is likely, indeed certain, if we keep our peace and prosperity long enough, is a world where human rights and freedoms are universally respected, and everything is free except human labor. All our needs will be satisfied by safe machines that can create anything, drawing on self-sustaining power sources like clean fusion or orbital solar. There will be no poverty. The mentally and physically ill will be cared for. The ignorant will be educated.
We might even make immortality possible. It may even happen that, in the fullness of time, we will be able to transfer our minds, by transferring the patterns of our brains, into computer-simulated worlds that are in even more perfect regulation than the physical world, a true paradise. And this simulated universe, and the computers that produce it, would itself be a self-sustaining, self-maintaining, self-repairing, self-expanding artificial organism. It is possible it will never die. As the Third Law of Thermodynamics entails, it will take infinite time for the Second Law of Thermodynamics to dissipate all the available energy in the universe into unusable form. So there will always be an energy differential in the cosmos that a resourceful machine can exploit as a power source. Perhaps this will never be achieved in practice, but in theory it can be hoped for.
This is all science fiction, surely. But I hope one day to make it science fact.
- Richard Carrier
Gnus in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.