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e-Book CyberGrace: The Search for God in the Digital World download

e-Book CyberGrace: The Search for God in the Digital World download

by Jennifer Cobb

ISBN: 0517706792
ISBN13: 978-0517706794
Language: English
Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (May 5, 1998)
Pages: 258
Category: Christian Living
Subategory: Christian Books

ePub size: 1299 kb
Fb2 size: 1521 kb
DJVU size: 1836 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 311
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Theologian and high-tech consultant Jennifer Cobb combines her expertise. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Jennifer Cobb explores a sense of encounter with the Divine in relation to cyberspace, which she concludes is essentially a world of processes - and hence a perfect medium for finding the God of Process Theology. The book has some superb reflections upon the nature of realities that can be found in a cyber dimension of the lives we live. This, in fact, is the great strength of this book. If the reader has a strong appreciation for Process thought, this is a book that will be of interest.

Cobb, Jennifer J. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by ttscribe22. hongkong on October 2, 2018. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

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.

Cobb, a theologian and computer consultant, has a large philosophical framework to work within-and against. She begins by ascribing human beings' preoccupation with materialism to the rise of Modernism, which, not coincidentally, gave way to the ascent of atheism. Cobb goes on to investigate some very lifelike aspects of cyberspace, such as the ability of certain programs and of artificial intelligence both to mimic life in the traditional definition of the word and to replicate and actually evolve in a nco-Darwinian sense.

Conventional wisdom sees a division between the spiritual and the world of the machine. 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.

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1st ed. by Jennifer J. Cobb. Published 1998 by Crown in New York. Attributes, Computers, Creative ability, Cyberspace, God, Religion and science, Religious aspects, Religious aspects of Computers, Religious aspects of Cyberspace, Techniek, Godsdienst. Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-246) and index. 215. Library of Congress.

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From the Publisher:Theologian and high-tech consultant Jennifer Cobb combines her expertise to create a new theory of the Divine in the Information Ag. s computers and artificial intelligence systems become more sophisticated, the question of whether we can find spiritual life in cyberspace is beginning to be asked.

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.
Comments:
Maman
Jennifer Cobb explores a sense of encounter with the Divine in relation to cyberspace, which she concludes is essentially a world of processes -- and hence a perfect medium for finding the God of Process Theology.
The book has some superb reflections upon the nature of realities that can be found in a cyber dimension of the lives we live. This, in fact, is the great strength of this book. If the reader has a strong appreciation for Process thought, this is a book that will be of interest. Those who come to it with more of a traditional Incarnational theology (rooted in Christianity) may find some of her optimism about disembodied minds to be a bit disturbing -- a disembodied ANYTHING is a problem for Incarnational thinkers. Cobb heightens some of the problems inherent in Process thought and adds to them.
With all of the book's strengths and weaknesses, on balance I feel the book is very good and well worth the read. In fact, I recommend it.

Felhann
The first thing that we must note is that this book is no way intended to foster dialogue between Christianity and technology - it has very little to do with Christianity.
Combining emergent technologies and the spiritual evolution of both de Chardin and Cobb can be seen as only analogous, but Jennifer Cobb sets out to show how these evolutionary theories are not simply analogous, but point to the same metaphysical process in which we participate. Speculative at best, not very useful or enlightening in the end.
The chief problem is that of inserting both humanity and the technology we create into a radical panentheistic view which is also radically deterministic. If my actions are simply reflective of the divine unfolding of a metaphyisical creative energy, freedom of choice, the human will, is simply destroyed in the end. What she does is collapse the necessary divide that humanity has with its creations, its media, transporting human consciousness into a bizarre realm of ethical hierarchies that need caveats upon caveats to ensure the intelligibility of humankind. There is nothing here that requires moral obligation to the other for the sake of the other. If we were to look at ethics this way from her perspective the only way that I am able to serve the other for the sake of the other is if such an act forsters my own creative potential and richness of experience. Such an admittedly relativistic ethics that intentionally pulls us away from the categorical imperative leaves us with more ambiguity than calrity, more painful questions than answers. And let us not forget about the whole Christian expression of divine love in the revelation of God's own self in Christ on the cross - this act could not have happened at all. The point being is that in her ethics there is an extreme danger of relegating our ethics into an obscure situational relativism in which it is impossible for one to give of one's self for the sake of the other alone. So if you are out there trying to serve your fellow human being out of a free moral obligation, you ought to stop if you are not enhancing your richness of experience.
All of that aside, what in the world does it have to do with cyberspace? Divinizing a communications medium has nothing to do with enriching religious experience and fostering ethical obligation but divorces us from it. Talk to any pastor about his or her calling and how it would look without necessary physical contact with the parishoner in pain. You will no doubt get a very practical criticism as have I. Cyberspace promotes extreme individualism and ego-centrism if it is not looked at as a creation of human invention. Just as Whitehead thought, with his pal Bertrand Russell, that they had finally discovered the pure set of axiomatic truths in mathematics, so he envisioned a world of absolute and radical determinism. Godel exposed his flaw of a self-referential system that can in no way prove its own truth. Truth, while reflected in human experience, must come from outside of human experience to be Truth. Thus, Cobb's theo-technologism undermines itself in the end. She carelessly notes some of the dangers of computerization in the end, but fails to take them seriously and so, we ought not take this book very seriously either.
For a much better anaylsis of philosophy and technology let me suggest "The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality" by Michael Heim. For a far more comprehensive and honest look at cyberspace let me suggest "Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet" by Tim Jordan. To find out why I feel this book is so unfounded read "Technopoly" by Neil Postman.

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