January 31st, 2007

Is God me?

Trying to keep up with y'all and posting something useful. I'm real short on input and have been using LJ as one way to try and get some, but that only goes so far, I know I need to make my contribution, too.

On an intro message to a new friedn yesterday I spoke about anthropomorphization. Religious types turn God into a person because it's easier for them to deal with a person than an abstraction. Some people go a bit further and personalize smaller spirits. I often go the other way and don't even anthropomorphize *people*; I see people, including myself, as emergent properties of groups of intelligent agents. And sometimes it's possible to address one agent in a person, or persuade the composite entity to exclude an agent from a given vote, and so on.

Are we better served by thinking of, say, God as a person? I don't think policy decisions are required for that; all that's needed is precise language so that if *you're* using God that way today you can let *me* know that's how you're thinking. I have no personal need to run *your* operating system; I just need to know how to integrate your results.

But that's not *always* true. Let's see if I have enough attention span to get back to this later today.