Why is "God" commonly treated as such an absolute concept?

Most discussions I've ever heard about "God" assume that he/she is the ultimate, the uncaused causer, the creator of everything in the universe, omnipotent and omniscient etc. Now maybe there is such an entity, or maybe there isn't, but it seems a tad provincial to assume the hierarchy is simply animals-man-God. Surely that leaves a huge gap that could be filled by god-knows how many layers of god-like entities (that may or may not each have direct knowledge of the layer "above" them).

Seriously, it's a big and old universe in which we've been around for a comparative eye-blink of time yet we are already on the edge of god-like powers to create artificial life and artificial intelligence. If we manage to survive another thousand or so years we'll probably meet the practical criteria for God-ness as judged from our current perspective (i.e. ability to terraform planets, create life from scratch, vastly extended lifespan, localised omnipresence and omniscience etc. using technologies that are "indistinguishable from magic" as Arthur C. Clarke would say).

Statistically it's arguably likely that our local slice of space-time is already under the immediate influence of an entities or entities that are are functionally and practically God from our perspective but which aren't God in the absolute and ultimate sense. The cool thing about such a local god is that we'll probably get direct evidence of their existence eventually, whereas the "ultimate" God doesn't appear to have any practical utility whatsoever.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
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People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

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  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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