The Naive Views of Yuval Harari in Home Deus – First Criticism

The most egregious naive view of Harari is his view of ethics as a prescription to do whatever feels good. But I will put off a criticism of this for later. Here I want to say something about the title of his book: Homo Deus.

I realize that he is using this title for its – let us say – shock value. But though his intent is to argue for the possibility or even probability of enhancing human characteristics, such as physical and mental powers, and even the creation of human-like machines, the title is literally a contradiction in terms. Why? Because of our conception of God and gods. [See C. D. Broad, “The Validity of Belief in a Personal God”] Simply put, the ancient Greeks imagined the gods to be immortal, while humans are not. [See Robert Graves,The Greek Myths]

So, the title of Harari’s book conveys the view that a mortal can become an immortal, which is impossible for the following reason. Anything with parts can be destroyed. God, as conceived in the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions has no parts, while humans do. Only two things can be said to be indestructible: ultimate parts – if there are such – as studied by quantum mechanics. And the universe, if the conservation of energy is true. And this is why for Spinoza the universe is identified with God. Consequently, neither man nor any artificial intelligence can be a Deus.

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