Pantheism and Deism
Recently I have been looking into the writings of Christopher Langan and his Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe. Which is, as far as I can tell a modern take on pantheism. What is that? A general belief that the universe is god and we are all just pieces of god. For Langan’s specific hypothesis, the universe is a self programming, executing computer. This contrasts with Deism, where a god creates the universe and simply has no more interaction. The issue I personally have with these viewpoints is that it posits a useless god with no utility.
With either of these god concepts, there is no point in prayer, since it will never be answered, and the universe under each viewpoint would be identical, in every way, to a materialistic/mechanical view of the universe. Why add an extra layer of a god when no god is the most parsimonious answer? Getting back to my point of utility; if I can get nothing out of believing, like miracles, eternal life, answered prayers, what’s the point? These viewpoints are worse than useless. They can’t be falsified, and even if the universe was living computer, it would not change anything. The rules are still the same.
The concept of the universe being a self programming, self actuating computer in an interesting concept, and should be testable. However, even the hypothesis that the universe that we observe is a computer simulation, run by a hyper intelligent race is a more tenable concept. Langan’s concept does have interesting points from a 30,000 foot view, but investigating further, it is clear that Langan is very intelligent, but lacks knowledge and has a basic misunderstanding of how computers, language, and syntax work. Getting back to utility, even if CTMU is correct, or if the universe is a hologram, or computer simulation, we are part of that system, and the rules still the same. Again, still no utility, unless we can ‘hack’ the system. If it is true, let’s apply this knowledge, if it not, move on and try to understand how the universe really works.