Religion Obsolete or Pseudo code for life?

by gcadmin on Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Religion is Obsolete. Right?

Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein)  says, moderating the Dr Jordan Peterson vs Sam Harris discussion in Vancouver:

“What if the religious texts are heuristics through which most people simplify most calculations [that] they are in no position to do based on the limited amount they are capable of perceiving, the amount they understand of the things that are in play.
So they are employing these heuristics maybe to reduce the things that degrade well being.
If it were true that religious heuristics increased well-being by allowing people to actually on average operate in the world that increased their well-being – what would you say about that?


Gore Burnelli (@Gore_Burnelli) says, in his clear and reasoned medium article:

“you can’t simply say ‘religion is obsolete, we will use science to guide our decision making from now on’.”


bible codeIts an easy trap to fall into. We rely on so much that science has provided, that which has come from rational, logical and scientific thought and processes which started in the enlightenment. So why would we need anything else now? It’s like we bootstrapped ourselves through ancient primitive times, ideas and dogmas and through rationalism/science we have reached this pinnacle. We don’t need those old, outdated ideas and myths.

I think that is simply wrong. If your are a coder, or are closely involved in tech, let me explain using programming methodology techniques.

Blinking lights and the Pseudo code

“I don’t understand the software, and I certainly don’t understand the hardware

 but I can *see* the blinking lights”

Support God Code

Pseudo is derived from a Greek word meaning “false” or “falsehood”. Pseudo code in computer science is the stage were a high level design of a program or application (or component) is mapped out in more detail. It’s “Pseudo” because it’s not true code – it will not run or compile on any real computer. The “Pseudo code” is a short hand to express quickly and concisely an idea or template before getting to the precision and detail required to make a valid and compiling program. It’s like the “treatment” of a movie or novel, or perhaps sketched mockup of a new building. The concept, idea, outline is there. Translating it to real code is done later.

Here is a made up example for how to add up what’s in an online shopping cart:

Pseudo code:

For each item in my basket, add it to my total and print a receipt.

Actual code:

function addbasket(basket,receipt): void {
var total: Number = 0;
for (var i: int = 0; i < basket.length(); i++) {
total = total + basket[i].item.price;

Now I made a few assumptions to write this “code” – and it is missing a lot to make it really work. Just look at the extra text, lines it took to map the simple idea into a real program. The point is the pseudo code expresses the idea at the high level that requires much more detail and time to actually produce true working code. The real code might take 100 times more characters and 1000 times more effort to actually program.

Religious Stories – Pseudo code for your soul

The archetypes, myths and stories in many successful religions are Pseudo code for a workable set of moral rules. Encoded in the stories are how to live a good life. They are a distilled summary and template for more detailed rules that an individual could and would use as they program their specific and expanded moral code. They are the template and treatment that a society could use to write a set of principles for guidelines and laws.

There are many parallels that I can see between the Pseudo code concept and morality encoded in religions.

  • You can’t run or compile the Pseudo code on any computer. It encapsulates an idea. The religious stories have archetypes, not necessarily historical facts. You, a particular society, or specific culture are the actual code that was derived from the Pseudo code. Laws we have today and ‘good person’ guidelines can be traced back.


  • The program, actual code, can have bugs, can be incomplete, can be written in more than one way. Thus the ‘programming’ can be imperfect and imprecise. Similarly moral lessons or rules in the religious stories may be translated in different ways by different societies, and individuals. They may change and be incomplete. ie how we interpret the stories, or the rules we derive from those may change, but the moral wisdom in the Pseudo code remains.


  • The Pseudo code is not necessarily perfect. Sometimes the pseudo code is updated. Many religious texts or stories are updated – new books added, updated interpretations used. Programs are coded, enhanced and expanded. Sometimes this ends up making updates to the Pseudo code. So real life experience can be re-distilled into update to the templates in the Pseudo code.


  • The Pseudo code is not necessarily unique. An approach or technique can be used in Pseudo code and be 100% valid even if it has been used before and worked elsewhere. Many religious rules can include moral truths from else where. For example, the Gold Rule – Treat others like you want them to treat you has existed in several forms over a long time – thousands of years. This does not make the moral rule any less valid.


  • Pseudo code can be used to write code in different programming languages. You can take the ideas and template in Pseudo code and write fully functional program in C, C++, Java, Perl, PHP, Go and dozens of languages. Thus the same religious sources can produce some different down stream cultures.


  • Successful programs are made up of code that works, based on Pseudo code that worked. Large programs change often, but can slowly update the Pseudo code when it works. (and programs updates that don’t work end up being discarded, or perhaps the program just stops). Successful societies are based religious codes that have worked and evolved over a long time.


  • Although you can write code without a high level influence, the program may not survive the test of time. Several experimental societies have been tried and failed in the last century. These failed societies were in effect based on unproven new ideas with no ‘proven Pseudo code’ influence.

Who wrote the Pseudo code?

If you are an atheist you may ascribe to the idea that the religious Pseudo code developed through evolution – the best archetypes, stories and moral guidelines from tribes that survived over the millennia. This is perfectly valid. Alternatively you may believe that the wisdom in these religions were imparted to our human race in a more divine way, like those described in the Old Testament.

No matter what you believe, it is clear the Pseudo code from our most successful western cultures are sourced from Judeo-Christian religion.

JesusEven more poignant is that a historically documented human being called Jesus Christ dies a most painful death on a cross for his beliefs. The method of his death was so painful that there was no word to described it suitably – so a new word was created – Excruciating – the ultimately painful way to kill a human being.

Jesus could have escaped this death easily – simply renouncing what he preached and believed. He did not. His teaching of love one another and forgiveness were so important that he died for those beliefs. Those teachings, the Pseudo code, were so powerful and resonated with us that they have survived for over 2000 years.

Blinking Lights

The lights are dazzling today – so much technology, so very impressive, all so very scientific and amazing. Don’t forget those blinking lights came from the culmination of Pseudo code written in blood on a cross a long time ago by a man called Jesus.

Blinking Lights

Jesus died for us



How Nassim Taleb changed my mind about religion

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