Jan 22Liked by Robin Hanson

You and Brink Lindsey have similar thoughts

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> In that spirit, as they are mostly fundamentalist Judeo-Christians

I don't think that's correct. The Amish are quite different from fundamentalist Christians. They highly value tradition rather than thinking everyone reading the Bible can come to understand proper religion, which is actually more like Catholics than fundamentalist Protestants. They don't really seek converts, which is again unlike fundamentalists. My understanding is that the most important text for ultra-orthodox Jews is not the Tanakh but the Talmud, which is again a tradition of understanding. Fundamentalism bears a certain resemblance to thinking like a nerd, while Joseph Henrich's "The Secret of Our Success" is about the relatively unthinking tradition that is characteristic of primitive society.

> FYI, other ancient civs told similar stories.

All of the examples in that link appear to be descended from the one in Genesis. Except for the Sumerian one, which just contains a big tower but no mention of scattering into different languages.

> Christianity in particular arose at the peak of the Roman Empire, and didn’t much care for that empire, which declined as Christianity grew fast to take it over.

I think that depends on what one thinks of the Byzantine empire. Though it's possible these future Amish-like people won't care about such details.

> And as our current world-spanning civ is the most civvy one yet, and has long been drifting away from its Judeo-Christian roots, God may especially dislike much of it

Eh, God seemed to tolerate plenty that weren't Judeo-Christian at all. The ancient civilizations did eventually go under, but their lifespans fit oddly with the idea that God disliked them for their religion and decided to punish them very late for it.

> Our now-small Amish-like insular fertile subcultures are already wary of excess density

Maybe the Amish, but not the ultra-orthodox. Which could give them an advantage by thriving in a common environment and not being victimized by their own success in growing their population.

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This is all going to take quite some time. The Amish are only 0.1% of the US population, and would need to double 9 or 10 times over to become the dominant culture in the US. That will take at least 250 years. How many culture predictions from 1750 would hold water today? It's fun and all to speculate but I would argue the future is even murkier today than it was in 1750.

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One observation that comes to mind: high-fertility small-groups can potentially evolve through group-selection, as they may be able to satisfy the stringent Price equation conditions of adequate _n_, persistence of traits, and relationship to group survival. Incorporating an intrinsic hatred of large groups would itself be a group-selected-by belief: small groups which inherit that trait-meme will fission much more, and those fission groups can themselves reproduce fast, avoid gambler's ruin/drift, and provide _n_ for additional group-selection on adaptive traits.

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I wrote a response here pointing out how unrealistic it is for you the suppose that the Amish are the most realistic future for humanity, precisely because they do not fight and so cannot compete against more aggressive cultures. https://nonviolence.substack.com/p/progressives-and-liberals-you-have

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I followed you until you said the high fertility insular cultures of the future might support space colonization. But doesn't space colonization involve too much high tech, AI, arrogance, and “playing God” ?

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I'm happy you mentioned Mormons. However, the fertility rate is declining fast among them.

- https://ifstudies.org/blog/americas-growing-religious-secular-fertility-divide

- https://religionnews.com/2019/06/15/the-incredible-shrinking-mormon-american-family/

How about a Mormon space station that can travel lightspeeds towards possible habitable worlds? The Expanse TV series/books come to mind here.

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Fortunately for us, ideas do not reproduce biologically.

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These are sincere questions. I am genuinely curious, given the departures from objective Logic within this publication.

To be fair, I have an advanced education in Logic, as well as being retired from a career as a Systems Engineer, and a veteran of Army Special Operations with a Special Forces education in Psychological Operations.

To be clear, Language operates upon immutable axioms of Propositional/Predicate Logic - not opinion. Logically certain fact is Truth - opinion is Fiction. Three axioms of Language to consider here are - opinion is not Logic, Logic is not opinion, and Truth is a product of Logic not opinion.

The Bible is not a work of Logically certain Truth, it's a work of fictional stories, meant as allegory of Logic, but it's hardly a good example of such literature. It's a convoluted mess of ancient government/religious psychological operation meant to subjugate and deceive. This is the only sincere objective behind the creation of the 'Bible' - power and control.

How is it possible to overcome bias with more bias? Belief is bias. How exactly does that work in Logically certain Propositional terms? All intelligent human beings want the answer to this question. Especially, given the Bible is inherently unbelievable to anyone who hasn't compromised their inherent intellectual integrity, in order to accept the popular fallacies of Religion, or civilization in general.

How is it possible to find Logically certain Truth in an archaic book of ancient, inherently fallacious allegory, and pathetically puerile ancient superstition designed to manipulate, deceive, and subjugate?

It is possible to read the Bible objectively, without bias. I have done it several times. Even Thomas Jefferson wrote a version of the Bible, he believed to be without metaphysical supernatural superstition... But reading the Jeffersonian Bible reveals much of President Jefferson's own bias.

The Bible is not now, nor has it ever been, a work of fact. It's a book of allegory at best. None of the stories contained within are meant to be taken literally, as most make no Logical sense whatsoever, and many are disturbingly dark, abusive, violent, and nihilistic. There is exactly zero Logical legitimacy to the Bible in contemporary context, and when deconstructed by the axioms of Logic upon which all Language operate, it loses all credibility, like a house of cards in a strong wind. The Bible is demonstrably replete with axiomatic fallacy of Logic. Moreover, unbiased historical record of the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New, elucidate the known truth of this psychological device. The councils of Nicea are a matter of history, not Biblical slight of hand.

The cult of the Sun God Mithra existed for centuries before the myth of Jesus. Can you explain why every aspect of the Jesus myth is direct appropriation of the myth of the Sun God Mithra? The birth of Mithra was celebrated on the 25th of December long before Emperor Constantine's Councils of Nicea decided it was to become the birthday of Jesus Christ. Constantine himself was a member of the cult of Mithra, as it was the predominant religion of all members of the military long before, as well as during his lifetime.

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This sounds so much like Arnold Toynbee. I love it. He saw civilizational cycles of rise and decline, as did many others. But he observed that out of the chaotic decline phase each time there arose a new and higher religion, a chrysalis that would then flower into the succeeding civilization, more or less driving the world toward a progressively higher spiritual plane over time.

The Book of Revelation is usually interpreted as also predicting a period of chaos and decline followed by the emergence of a higher civilization, which we refer to as the Millennium.

Historian Herbert Butterfield quipped that, given what the West became, historians don’t spend much time mourning the fall of Rome. I think historians of the next civilization will say the same of ours.

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The Taliban has the first three of the Bible's four civilisation-scale events, but not the fourth. They are open to any technology that doesn't disrupt certain of their social norms, and open to society wide coordination. They appear to have given up on hosting international terrorists, and to have learnt their lesson in that regard. Perhaps you should be pinning your hopes on them.

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If the US returned to a fertility level of 2.5 by 2050, what do you think is the most likely cause? Massive immigration from higher fertility countries? A tech breakthrough that extends reproductive years? A large cultural change that encourages earlier births? Other?

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So let's back up a taste. God, the Creator, in light of the New Testament did not take away free will. Nor did the Creator ask for a Boxer Rebellion against the Roman without nor the Roman within. In light of Christianity the Creator said love one another. Humans, like human wolves, run in packs first and later chip flint to an edge to slaughter one another in the name of the Divine.

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