Q: Many people conceive of the universe as a "supreme being". The interconnectedness is evident in the consistency of physical laws and repetition of motif seen on a many levels. What is interesting is understanding the sentience of that supreme being. A drive toward growth, or self-actualization seems evident, but how can we prove a "will of God" that would go beyond a drive toward optimal actualization? A: There are several ways that we can be logically certain that the being called "reality" or "the universe" is sentient. 1. *We're* sentient. Because we live in the medium known as "reality", and because any attribute supported by a medium exists throughout the medium in the form of potential (to be objectively actualized), sentience implicitly exists in reality. 2. Despite the principle of locality - the existence of separate locales and local systems within the universe - the universe is globally consistent. The aspect of a system which reflexively enforces global consistency is necessarily globally coherent, and that which is coherently reflexive (self-active, self-referential) is, in effect, "sentient". 3. Because, by definition, there is nothing outside of reality that is sufficiently real to recognize the existence of reality, reality must distributively recognize its own existence; every time one object interacts with another within it, the objects "recognize" each other as things with which to interact. But that means that reality is distributively self-aware. Now, given the absolute logical certainty that the universe is sentient (self-aware) – a certainty that nobody can possibly refute, as we see from the inevitability of 1-3 above - can we characterize its "will"? Yes. First, what is will? That function of a sentient entity which forms intent prior to actualization. So by definition, the "will" of the universe is that function which determines how the universe will configure itself "in advance" of actualization. In cosmological terms, this function is just that which determines, among other things, the laws of mathematics and physics embodied by reality. Such a function must, after all, exist. For without it, there would be no reason, from one moment to the next, why the laws of physics should not spontaneously change into one of the infinite number of other nomologies that might have arisen. Concisely, this function is defined as that reflexive mapping which effects the nomological character and stability of reality. The "will of the universe", AKA the "will of God", AKA teleology, is the name of this function, which we have just concretely defined. Does the universe "feel" its volition as do we? Well, let’s see. What the universe feels properly includes what *we* feel, plus much more (because we are merely parts of it). The universe therefore "feels" teleology far more powerfully than a mere human being "feels" an act of human will. The mechanism of its "feeling"? Well, there are a lot of those, including every human being, every animal, every plant, and every alien microbe on every planet in every star system in every galaxy in the cosmos. As you can well imagine, the impressions that get channeled to the universe through all of these "sense receptors" add up to very powerful sensations indeed. In fact, these are the sensations that feed back to teleology to tell the universe how to self-actualize in the "optimal" way…i.e., so that it ends up with the "best feeling" possible. They have already told the universe how to configure the laws of math and physics; for more specific elements of configuration, the universe relies on US. Every decision we make, including our every act of will, we make on behalf of the universe. That’s why we should always make the very best decisions we can. Q (On 3/24/2002 8:03:00 AM, Darko Djurdjic wrote): Einstein said that he 'do not believe in a personal God' because he 'cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves'. And he also said that 'mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all'. So my question for You would be: is God person or not? And what does CTMU say about that? A: The CTMU says that God, as embodied by the universe, Self-configures. To do this, He needs two things: (1) active sensors (agents, internal proxies) who can recognize and affect the state of the universe from local internal vantages; (2) a stratified utility function allowing Him and His agents to prefer one possible future over another. Human beings and other intelligent life forms are useful to God on both of these counts. Thus, the first criterion of His development is the possibility, and in fact the inevitability, of their existence. To understand this, consider an extraordinarily wise child responsible for the development and maintenance of its own body and physiology (because the universe is in the process of self-configuration, we can liken it to a child). To meet this responsibility, the child requires internal sensors that provide information on exactly what is happening deep inside its growing body, preferably at the intracellular level, and that permit feedback. The child further requires that these sensors be able to register the utility of what they detect... whether it is "good" or "bad" from their own local perspectives. That way, the child can weigh the perceptions and utilities of all of its internal sensors to form overall developmental goals. In order to meet the Self-configurative goals that it sets (as aggregates of the goals of its sensors), the child has the power to establish internal self-optimizative tendencies that affect the behavior of its internal agents, influencing them to perform such local operations and make such repairs as are necessary for the good of the whole child. To this end, they are equipped with global utility functions, "consciences", that combine with intelligence to make them responsive to the welfare of the whole organism (as opposed to their own individual welfares). For want of a better name, we can use the term "soul" to describe the channel through which individual and global utility functions are put in consistent mutual contact. This channel permits the sensors to make more informed, more global, and more valid judgments about what is "good" and what is "bad", and gives them the internal strength to do what is good even if it means sacrificing individual utility (because global utility is an aggregate function of individual utility, serving global utility ultimately makes individuals happier)."