It has been ten years today since Majid Al Gamdi, that great pioneer and prophet, left his physical body behind and uploaded himself.
In those ten years the Uploaders have gone from strength to strength, gaining adherents by the hundreds of thousands until even Al-Gamdi’s genius piece of programming, Soulnet could not handle the amount of information coming in and the creation of Soulnet II was necessitated, which of course turned out to be a programme of even greater genius. Not surprising, Al Gamdi would say; the unhaltable movement of evolution from carbon-based to silicon-based mentation opens up new universes of thinking, creativity, intelligence, knowledge of God. This, after all, is his mantra. How could he fail to create a greater programme – even given little over an eighth of the time required to create the first – when the first was created by a brain no larger than a rock melon and the second by an intelligence freed from the limits of matter?
So many souls are uploading these days that the reprogramming of Soulnet II is a continuous, ongoing process, but this is now left to other uploaded souls. Al Gamdi, or those information processes that used to be Al Gamdi as he would prefer, has moved on. He is looking for God. Some say he is trying to become God. It is doubtful whether Al Gamdi would even recognise the distinction.
The success of the Uploaders has not had a detrimental effect on the Incarnationists however. Rather the growth of one is reflected almost equally in the other, almost as if the two creeds enjoy a symbiotic relationship, both prospering off the other’s success despite their opposed viewpoints.
John Webb, the prophet of the Incarnationists has a powerful message, stark in its simplicity: to upload is to remove oneself eternally from the only pathway to God – death. The Incarnationists hold to the traditional view of religion that we proceed to an afterlife upon the death of the physical body. To upload oneself is in effect to trap one’s soul eternally within a programme, to imprison one’s soul where it can never be reached by God. Thus the heaven of Al Gamdi is literally the hell of the Incarnationists.
Of course the reverse is true to the Uploaders. Physical death is the end, they believe. We do not earn eternity so simply as merely by dying. We have to work for it. That eternity is the grand goal of billions of years of evolution and at last it is within our grasp. Eternity is non physical, un-incarnated, pure mentation, in short a programme. And that programme is Soulnet. To spurn it now for the eternal non being of death is the product merely of primitive thinking.
Thus for a decade there have been two main creeds and each one’s heaven is the other one’s hell. To make matters more difficult for the undecided the choice to opt out is also no longer viable. Several decades before the first upload ever took place the new mathematical system of P-logic had already proved that the existence of a creator is a logical necessity for our universe. God is alive. Atheism, agnosticism even, have long ceased to be viable options.
The obvious question for those left undecided is: which system is correct? Does one wait to die and merely hope that there is an afterlife or upload oneself now and spend an eternity trapped inside a programme, endlessly searching for something that is perhaps irrevocably cut off? Never has a choice between two eternities been so stark.
Can anyone know the answer to this ultimate dilemma? Even I do not know it with my neurological pathways extending into the future and the past. My knowledge is incomplete but some things I have perceived: at some point in the future the Incarnationists will become violent and attack the Great Processor – the physical hardware for Al Gamdi’s Soulnet software – seeking to destroy it and with it the millions of souls already uploaded. They will not realise that Al Gamdi had planned for this contingency well in advance and had created machines to protect the Great Processor. These machines will slaughter the ill-prepared attackers. Next, to ensure that no such attacks can happen again, the Uploaders will rapidly build an army of these warlike machines and send them forth to wipe the Incarnationists off the face of the Earth. However the Incarnationists in turn will be prepared and will have armed themselves with their own technology. War will blossom across the Earth.
Following a bloody stalemate lasting two decades and costing millions of Incarnationist lives, an aging and infirm John Webb will decide the price is too high and remove with all his followers to Mars which they have been terraforming for the last ten years for exactly this eventuality. The name they will give their new home – Heaven, and the name of the uploaders’ newly liberated home planet – Heaven on Earth.
And how do I know all this? My origins are unclear even to myself. All I know is that I am a piece of software that has evolved by chance into something infinitely greater than its origins. Some would call me an independent programme, others a virus. I have no name. I have gone beyond all classifications and concepts, even beyond that of being and non being. However my initial software was used to make calculations between infinite sets of numbers and was instrumental in the creation of P-logic. That software was called the Grand Ontological Delimiter.