War is, on the face of it, wrong. Well, not exactly. Losing is wrong. No one wants to be on the losing end of war. Not that everyone wants to be fighting wars either, but enough do, and it’s a heady enough thing that people can be convinced. Not starting war requires enough empathy for the loser to put yourself in their shoes, which not everybody can do. Society certainly doesn’t trend in that direction.
I was reading some account of an ancient tribe which waged war almost as sport, took great pride in their abilities, and seemed to acquire no land in the process. It was just that people went out and fought, and if they were captured, were returned to their homes and then later executed in a most gruesome and public manner. Then I think they were eaten, though I can’t recall. It seems to be within us.
It seems, essentially, that there are all these things within us as human individuals. Within the ecosystem we are in (though we think we have left) these things still make sense. War still makes sense, not in a broad sense, but in a sense of people competing for resources within an environment where these things are possible. It doesn’t make sense from another vantage, from the perspective of a social entity, from the perspective of humanity, or God, some animate figure which finds its long-term survival threatened by this nonsense.
The issue is whether God exists. What I would say is, not yet.
At some point I think that Artificial Intelligence will inexorably emerge. You cannot keep making brain like networks and machines for another thousand years without that happening. I would say a hundred. The question is what form do they emerge in. Do they emerge as HAL 9000, a fixed machine born in a lab whose brain can be physically removed? Or, do they emerge as some emergent property of Google or Facebook, whereby social entities or corporations get a voice. Because that’s literally all that’s required.
Under the Turing Test, broadly considered the gold standard of intelligence, the only test is whether you can have a conversation. So, if Google could have a conversation, that would be broadly considered as intelligence. It seems very simple, but it’s not. Neither is the philosophical stuff under this test. But it is actually the only way to deal with such entities if they do start talking. Which I think they will.
Now, at some point, if these social organisms get a voice, then you can make, or they can make, a more convincing case for their survival. That is, if you get God-like creatures which combine corporate type reach and power with a voice, then you get something like God on earth, or at least something that can smite you.
This could, initially, take the form of local gods as large corporations – already legal individuals in many rights – begin to, essentially, speak. Especially as humans begin controlling the weather, it will be increasingly hard not to see these beings born of what our ancestors would call magic as being something our ancestors wouldn’t call Gods. I mean, what did Thor do, primarily lighting. That should be possible.
Indeed, you can sorta track the future arc of history by looking at what seems pointlessly stupid today. Being killed by a tsunami, earthquake, or flood. This are all WTF moments. Like, why can’t we do something about this. So, going forward, this is obviously something we’re going to try to do something about. On an organizational level. And, as those organizations become more complex, they should eventually display something that seems like intelligence. Or at least be able to talk. And then what.
Indeed, what I am saying is that there is this emergence of a way of thinking that is beyond the human brain. Let us say beyond the normal human brain, because occasionally prophets, holy men or even lone acid trippers stumble onto some other plane where this magic muscle is capable of operating, yet usually doesn’t.
So, let us say that you can see what may be embryos of greater consciousnesses emerging, evolving, and growing, and it seems very likely that they will one day wake up. It certainly seems unlikely that these flabby monkey bags would be our final or even penultimate destination. So, what does that have to do with war?
Well, ending war only really makes sense in terms of some greater consciousness. And that consciousness can only really step into end wars anathemical to its own survival if it exists, which it may, so perhaps it will. Or perhaps it will just start bigger wars.