[LMB] 5GU holy days recapped

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Wed Jun 23 23:26:40 BST 2021

On Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 11:12 AM Lois Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com> wrote:

> At the risk of explaining how sausages are made, it might also help to
> think of the 5GU gods, as I do, as emergent properties of the world.
> Not separate -- no dualism here, thankyouverymuch.  I touch on this in
> the recent Smart Bitches interview.
> If you take the emergent properties model, physics is emergent from the
> underlying structure of the universe, chemistry is emergent from
> physics, biology is emergent from chemistry, and life and mind are
> emergent from biology.  Take it up one step or level further, and the
> gods are the emergent property of all.  So matter and spirit are not two
> things; spirit (or mind, if you like) is an inherent expression of
> matter, generated by it.

Human souls persist for a time after the material structures that created
and sustained them have altered.  This suggests that, whatever 'souls' are,
they're not merely emergent properties of an underlying system, because the
'material' system can be destroyed without wiping out the 'soul'.
Presumably the 'spirit' level of analysis is ultimately part of the
underlying physics, but...  If the principles that create chemistry were
altered, biology would be obliterated.  If biology changed to almost any
other organizing principles, mind would be erased.  If the behavior of
subatomic particles shifted to any significant degree, chemistry would
follow suit.  One hypothetical way of 'destroying' the universe would be to
induce vacuum decay, which would wipe out all the patterns we're used to
even while the most basic nature of existence would in some sense not be

If there were a tremendous mundane disaster - say, a really big meteorite
striking the 5GW and shattering the planet - what would happen to the gods?

Matt G.

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