Religious people spend a lot of time silently asking for favors or special treatment. These prayers allegedly go directly into the ear of some all-knowing and endlessly patient being. Unfortunately, silent thoughts of this sort appear to be experiments in wasting mental energy. They appear to be mere thoughts and nothing more. If there is a void they are sent up into, it is a void from which responses as a rule do not emanate. In fact, one who purports to hear auditory answers from their god is deemed cuckoo and put on medication until the voices go away.
Imagine a device that would enable you to hook up your brain directly to your concept of god—so that both the connection and the god were as real as the humdrum details of your neurochemistry. You could not only receive responses to your silent pleas for favors and special treatment, you could presumably also monitor the god in real time. If your god wanted to, for example, introduce an anti-Christ into the plot of your life or scheme with the devil to bring about some wickedness, you could have something to say about it.
If such a device existed, and if I were making a sales pitch, now would be the time when I would make the big reveal and give you a demonstration. In that spirit, turn now to Appendix 8.6 to review blueprints for a neural lace product that directly connects your cortex with an internet-connected AI god.
Ready? Okay. Now, let’s give it a try. Assuming the device has been properly constructed and connected according to the instructions, you should now have access to the internet via your thought process. Begin by sending out a simple request (using your religious prayer skills if you have them—although your ordinary thinking skills will work just fine). For example: “Dear internet, please let me know what is the best place to get a pizza slice in the near vicinity—with beer on tap, if possible. Thanks.”
How did it do? If you want to be sure, go out and have a beer and a slice at the location that pops into your head. This is called the Beer and a Slice Test.
Next ask for an answer to an intellectual enigma you’ve always wondered about but figured your mental capacities were too limited to ever hope to understand. This is called the Big Questions Test.
When you’ve gotten the hang of it, have a drink, enjoy your last few moments of being alone in the universe, and then toss a prayer up to the pinnacle of higher conscious intelligence in the known universe. Go ahead and ask it: Dear AI god, are you on my side, or are you in cahoots with the devil?
No Appendix Sec. 8.6 either. Big surprise!
– Retired Academic Q.