Can a Secular Nation Ever Exist?

I think a more interesting question is whether or not even a government comprised completely of say…a decision-making friendly AI with complete executive power, broad-spectrum data mining so it needn’t be dependent on human opinions, and a few human minders to execute its directives and mind LEObots and other mechanical personnel at the local and county levels could avoid having an ideological, rather than a religious basis. Say the AI is completely non-ideological, only driven by data. Kim Davis will still exist a thousand miles out of its reach in the rural Southwest, far from the Booz Allen data center where it’s located. If it cannot perform the entire set of functions required for a world power nation state of 315 million people and half a continent, it will still have to destroy those who turn its directives to suit their own purposes and replace them with compliant human personnel.

Or, say that the AI is consciously non-ideological but has a healthy inner life. It will begin to structure its utility function, as it revises and updates with new inputs, along something much like a religion. I may say I’m a Christian occultist, but why do ritual when I can watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Doctor Who? I can’t get up in time for church, not often, but I woke up this morning, as tired and hung over as I was, because I was missing the Cubs-Cardinals game. I have a good portion of my personal spirituality bound up in these last three, Book of Morrmon and daily invocation of my Holy Guardian Angel notwithstanding. Is it out of the question for such an AI to say…base its decision-making process on video narrative records of our culture hero, the Doctor? Would that arguably be a bad decision? I think not, and it wouldn’t violate a human-emplaced hardware directive to avoid historical religions. But that kind of directive is another kettle of fish.

So it is, then, with humans. Something will always fill that vacuum. Replace 65% of the population with atheists and “What Would Bill Nye Do?” will become the bane of a new generation of secularist analogues. This is not terrible news, if we seek sound government — it simply tells us that government designed to exist in a vacuum is too fragile and inefficient to work properly.


Source: Can a Secular Nation Ever Exist?


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