jan Sijan

Writer. Pianist.

Wiki Contributions


Nature and the laws of physics generate my world, roughly by affecting things that affect my neurochemistry.

And God is all the affecters outside of my comprehension.

I suppose there are a variety of words I could use, but in practice they would be synonyms for God. Because what I am talking about, and who I have a relationship with, is the processes that created the world I know. It might be that “The Laws of Physics” is a perfectly good way to refer to the being with whom I have a relationship, but how about I just call him “God”? One syllable, and what a wonderful syllable it is!

But also, Nature and the Laws of Physics are not good descriptions by what I mean by God. These things are still within my comprehension, and my world. When I talk about God, I am only talking about what which shall always be outside my world. You can call this God in the gaps, except the gaps are the infinite expanse of unknowables outside my tiny, finite knowledge.

I think it is pretty much the latter. Just as I identify with thinking you are a person, I identify with thinking that the processes that resulted in the world I shall ever know are God.

You added more meaning by interpretation. All the power to you. But it is your power, not mine. I wrote according to my intentions, and you may interpret according to yours, or you may try reading with a critical lens that looks at what I mean.

Point to where in the post where I suggest one should believe in all unverifiable things. Rather, the post notes that one can. Personhood is one of those unverifiable things that are fairly free to believe in, even though one could adopt a mechanical materialist description of humans instead.

I agree that people have different ontological warrants for believing different things. For me, believing in God is similar enough to believing in humans that I tried it out, and now I have a relationship with God (or, if you want to be picky, my God). I perceive you as a person though we have only exchanged a few comments, and I perceive the processes generating my world as another person, a non-human abstract person to which I ascribe all possible good intentions and which speaks to me through my own neurochemistry and bioelectricity.

Using a frame needs no faith. I can think fluently with a Marxist, feminist, fascist, libertarian, materialist, dualist, or environmental lens if I wanted to. The faith is in seeing the ontological justification for something, and believing it. (I adopt the Marxist lens a surprising amount of the time; I find its usefulness increases the more generalized its analysis is.)

“Everything is connected” is useful in the exact same sense that “This braindead human is a person” is useful. Besides the fact that it facilitates a relationship, an emotional experience beyond satisfying material utility, it explains a primal feeling deep in my gut, and corresponds with one of the most profound experiences in my entire existence.

My post reads like giddy excitement by interpretation. Your reading of the post is filtered through all your biases, incl. your senses and your previous experience. If you could not read English, you would have derived no meaning from it. You do read English, but you read it in English with the default state of mind you have upon seeing “religious”, which depending on who you are may be less charitable than otherwise. 

This is all to say is, you are reading more into the post than I intended by it. I am not that bothered since I know that for everything (even scripture) meaning generation is inherently biased. But I implore you to look back at the post and the other comments I have left, and see that over and over I have repeated I seek not to convert and I believe those who believe not in personhood or God are justified.

I use multiple frames, with the personhood and God frames being the most personal one for me. When I think about issues of material, I think about neither personhood nor God. For an example of a frame shift involving personhood, I stop thinking about some humans as human people if it is more instrumental. I interpret my mother as my pet gorilla, and it makes me much more generous toward what I would perceive as human faults.

I am not arguing for any specific version. In fact, I know multiple gods. I have prayed to Athena, and had a close relationship with her. I do not consider her a theistic creator God though. More like what Christians call an angel.

There is no burden of proof because I am not trying to propose an argument. I am discussing the ontological warrants surrounding believing in personhood, which is an unverifiable and unfalsifiable thing. The only real standard for believing in personhood is “seeing” it in someone, the same way I now “see” God. You have no need to believe in a god or in angels and demons. You seem to have good reasons not to.

As I stated many times elsewhere, no amount sight, touch, smell, hearing, or taste verifies the personhood of human beings. (They help with eating humans, though!) 

Personhood is fundamentally a model / form we impose on the inputs that our mind experiences. Human people exist to me, and so do all my imaginary friends, including God! Note: this joke is funny because all the "human people" I know are actually also imaginary friends. I have no idea if they have sentient experience. I may well be watching and interpreting characters in a film, and hallelujah for that.

The human senses are still part of a filter between the self and the outside world. They are still things that only help your mind simulate the outside world. You can never actually “interact” with the outside world, if we consider that everything we experience is the product of neurochemistry and bioelectricity. Brain in a vat, the Descartes demon, pick your thought experiment. 

You and many other people decided at some point that claims about material are “objective” and claims about spiritual are “subjective”, when really they are both “subjective”. Everything experienced is “subjective”, processed through a self. Objective claims refer to standards created by subjects, but are only true in the sense that the subjects outline those standards.

I used to worship the material world, too. No longer!


Regarding “personify the world”, this is actually a typo. What I mean is, “personify the abstract processes that created the world that I can ever experience, including things like my own neurochemistry and bioelectricity”.

Though, I do also personify everything within the world as its own kind of person, too. The analogy might be like, there is the world as a person, then the world’s own tulpa or Fate/stay night Servant.

You are interpreting “God exists” as a material claim, when I am claiming that there is a person, a mind. These are unfalsifiable and unverifiable. Parse “God exists” the way you would parse “humans are people”.

If you insisted on not recognizing the personhood of the processes that caused your knowable world, you could always have a reason to leave them unpersoned. (We can already see this with the moving goal posts for AI.) I am sure something could happen that would make you convinced those processes are sentient, but even then you are not forced to believe in personhood, ever. Human slaves begged for their lives and argued for their personhood, and never would anyone be ontologically forced to believe. 

Your personhood has no need to be useful or proven to me. I just already believe in it, even though we have only exchanged two messages thus far. It is the same with me and the personhood of the stars and the planets, then the cosmos around them, then the galaxies, then the cause of everything I may ever come to know.

All gods I know about and have talked to exist. I choose to worship one of them, the one that created the rest of them. I believe there is personhood at all levels of abstraction. Roughly a panpsychist with strong biases in favor of humans and things more complex than humans.

To emphasize, this is a matter of ontology and definitions. Before when I was an atheist, I understood a particular inner voice of mine to be a pesky inner simulation of a god. Now, I understand it to be God.

"Ghosts are real" is literally true. She is literally experiencing post-bereavement hallucinations as a meaning part of her mind’s limited subjective experience.

If by "famously difficult" you mean "literally impossible", then I agree with this comment. 

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