Theologian and high-tech consultant Jennifer Cobb combines her expertise to create a new theory of the Divine in the Information Age.
As computers and artificial intelligence systems become more sophisticated, the question of whether we can find spiritual life in cyberspace is beginning to be asked. CyberGrace: The Search for God in the Digital World is a bold, thought-provoking, affirmative answer to one of the most intriguing inquiries of our time.
Until now, an unbridgeable schism has separated the world of the spirit and that of the machine. According to an increasingly compelling concept known as emergence, the gulf may be an imaginary one. Fifty years ago, Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin combined his lifelong passions of God and science to predict the emergence of cyberspace, based on his studies of evolution. Using Teilhard's theories as a starting point, Jennifer Cobb asserts that as technical systems become more complex--with simple, predictable mechanisms coalescing into hierarchies of increasing organization--something elegant, inspired, and absolutely unpredictable simply and suddenly "emerges." Many observers today see this "hand of God" showing itself in disparate disciplines, from evolutionary theory to artificial intelligence--and especially in the furthest realms of cyberspace, where brute computation seems to give way to divine inspiration.
CyberGrace offers paradoxical evidence that our machines may be conduits to a deeper spirituality. With daily headlines announcing dizzying advances in science and information technology, many people wonder about their--and their children's--ability to lead lives imbued by a sense of the sacred. In the new world, where the search for spirituality may seem scattered and unfocused, Cobb brilliantly uses the most popular and prevalent phenomenon of our times--the computer--to find a world filled with meaning and love.
Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
Is there something of the divine on the Internet? Conventional wisdom sees a division between the spiritual and the world of the machine. Yet the theological and philosophical theory called "emergence" suggests that the chasm between the two may be of our own creation. Using the writings of the eminent 20th-century theologian Teilhard de Chardin, Jennifer Cobb sees something more in how our technological complexity often produces something elegant and inspired. Rather than seeing creation as a one-time event, some theologians think that the creative power of God can be part of the evolutionary process. That creative power would then extend to the computer and cyberspace.
Cobb writes, "Nature has spawned us. We have spawned machines. Any line between these realms quickly becomes arbitrary." She encourages us to reject the sort of dualism between mind and body that has driven so much of Western thought, philosophy, and theology. "Real life," she states, "is never that tidy. As our days unfold, the contents of our boxes--mind, body, God--continually spill into one another, creating both personal confusion and a philosophical morass."
While investigating a wide range of questions that inform spirituality--such as "What is life?" and "Is there something other than us?"--Cobb writes with level-headed exuberance about her own experiences in finding the spiritual in computing. In her chapter on virtual ethics, she lays out a framework that can aid others in making that same connection. This is a unique and intelligent book for those who are concerned with the consequences of technology with regard to our humanity and our spirits. --Elizabeth LewisFrom the Back Cover:
"A book about spirituality that goes beyond the human spirit to a larger view that includes our technological creations. A compelling meditation on the notion that divinity can inhabit the fruits of our labors--the machines and the 'minds' that we make. Fascinating."
Sherry Turkle, author of The Second Self and Life on the Screen
"Teilhard de Chardin, in his often poetic style, wrote, 'A glow ripples outward from the first spark of conscious reflection. The point of ignition grows larger. The fire spreads in ever-widening circles till finally the whole planet is covered with incandescence. Only one interpretation, only one name can be found worthy of this grand phenomenon. Much more coherent and just as extensive as any preceding layer, it is really a new layer, the "thinking layer," which, since its germination at the end of the Tertiary period, has spread over and above the world of plants and animals. In others words, outside and above the biosphere there is a noosphere.' The noosphere represents a stage of evolution characterized by a complex membrane of thought, fueled by human consciousness. This distinctly nontraditional evolutionary idea may strike us as odd until we consider the phenomenon of cyberspace, that electronically supported layer of human consciousness that now encircles the globe."
Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.
Descrizione libro Crown. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0517706792 Ships promptly. Codice libro della libreria HCI1782KBGG040617H0066A
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97805177067941.0
Descrizione libro Crown, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 1. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0517706792
Descrizione libro Crown, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0517706792
Descrizione libro Crown, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110517706792
Descrizione libro Crown. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0517706792 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1178075