Is it me or did this story also seem to have a decidedly video game like "sim city" or "civilization" bend to it? There are influences of Sci-fi evident here as well imo, certainly by focusing on technological advancement as a measure of success. Anti-matter, anti-gravity, instant transmission, bio-tech self-evolution, etc. I am somewhat suprised by the fact he makes no point about sustaining and realizing such technological goodies - a talk with god should have waxed upon some sort of "societial values system". Hmm, i guess god gleened over that topic. Or chalked it up to - the easy stuff that humans will evolve out. Or, once everyone has gas and food, we'll stop killing each other. This is dumb. America has lots of gas and food, for example, yet we're shooting each other like crazy and bitching about it. So could he explain how humans start to achieve "societal oneness"? He appears to imply here that somewhere along the line we begin to take care of each other. How does that happen, god? Because we know how we got to level 1 - by embracing religion, for better or worse. Is there not also a "nuking of society" to worry about, by decay of family values. Are psychologists supposed to have some breakthroughs along the timeline that enable us to instill ethical and moral decision making in our kids by swallowing a pill? To me this seems just as problematic if not the precursor to actual nuking. As we progress, if we begin to devalue such "primitive" institutions as religion, which not to mention had been the only way we humans preserve values, through tradition and culture, then in my opinion we screw level 2. One day when we throw out the nation state model, who / what then upholds values? Government programs?
One more idea - religion has never been about war (war, genocide, murder - anything involving humans taking lives of other humans). Those that generally say so are looking for some attention to build their counter culture atheist standpoint. If I may, this was the pivotal moment in my reading which was met with disgust that it all turned out to be some stale old rant we everybody knows. We need more insight about it than that. Wars are caused by humans, and um, are sometimes a part of survival. Ultimately however pride, selfishness, our attempt to preserve dignity, power and influence (or perceptions of), this is the foul nature of humankind, not god.[/i]