The CTMU says that God, as embodied by the universe, Self-configures.
To do this, He needs two things: (1) active sensors (agents, internal proxies) who can recognize and affect the state of the universe from local internal vantages; (2) a stratified utility function allowing Him and His agents to prefer one possible future over another. Human beings and other intelligent life forms are useful to God on both of these counts. Thus, the first criterion of His development is the possibility, and in fact the inevitability, of their existence.
To understand this, consider an extraordinarily wise child responsible for the development and maintenance of its own body and physiology (because the universe is in the process of self-configuration, we can liken it to a child). To meet this responsibility, the child requires internal sensors that provide information on exactly what is happening deep inside its growing body, preferably at the intracellular level, and that permit feedback. The child further requires that these sensors be able to register the utility of what they detect... whether it is "good" or "bad" from their own local perspectives. That way, the child can weigh the perceptions and utilities of all of its internal sensors to form overall developmental goals.
In order to meet the Self-configurative goals that it sets (as aggregates of the goals of its sensors), the child has the power to establish internal self-optimizative tendencies that affect the behavior of its internal agents, influencing them to perform such local operations and make such repairs as are necessary for the good of the whole child. To this end, they are equipped with global utility functions, "consciences", that combine with intelligence to make them responsive to the welfare of the whole organism (as opposed to their own individual welfares).
For want of a better name, we can use the term "soul" to describe the channel through which individual and global utility functions are put in consistent mutual contact. This channel permits the sensors to make more informed, more global, and more valid judgments about what is "good" and what is "bad", and gives them the internal strength to do what is good even if it means sacrificing individual utility (because global utility is an aggregate function of individual utility, serving global utilityultimately makes individuals happier).
Now let’s look at some convincing cybernetic
evidence that we participate in the self-creation of reality.
Because intentional self-creation entails an internal stimulusresponse
dynamic consisting of feedback, any selfconfiguring
system needs internal sensors (agents, internal
self-proxies) capable of not only recognizing and affecting its
state from local internal vantages, but of responding to
higher-level instructions tending to enforce global structural
criteria. Moreover, the system must possess a stratified
utility function allowing it and its agents to prefer one
possible future over another. Human beings and other
intelligent life forms are useful to reality on both of these
counts. So the first criterion of reality is the possibility, and
in fact the inevitability, of the existence of “sensors” just like
us…sensors with an advanced capacity to recognize,
evaluate and respond to internal states of the system.
How, in general, would the universe self-configure? It
would select itself from a set of internally-generated,
internally-refined structural possibilities in order to
maximize its self-defined value. In the (somewhat
inadequate) terminology of quantum mechanics, this set of
possibilities is called its quantum wave function or QWF, and
the utility-maximizing self-selection principle is traditionally
called teleology. In exploiting this self-actualization
mechanism, human beings would select their specific goals
from the global QWF according to their own specific self
selection principles or “teleses”. In the course of being
realized, these individual teleses would interfere with
teleology (and each other) in a constructive or destructive
way, depending on whether they and their specific methods
of implementation (modes of interference) are teleologically
consistent or inconsistent. In this way, the “good”, or
teleologically constructive, may be distinguished from the
“bad”, or teleologically destructive. I.e., free will would give
human beings a real choice between good and evil…a choice
like that which we already seem to possess.
- The Anthropic Principle, a controversial (but in the final analysis, necessary) ingredient of modern cosmology, is already about as anthropocentric as it gets. The CTMU replaces it with something called the Telic Principle, which avoids reference to particular agents such as human beings. The Telic Principle says merely that the universe, in addition to being self-configuring and self-processing, is self-justifying. Only the real universe can formulate and provide a real answer for the question of why it exists, and it does so through internal self-projections (distributed syntactic endomorphisms) called sentient agents.
- Intelligence is inseparable from purpose, and since the CTMU distributes intelligence over the universe, it does the same for purpose. Voila - a new brand of teleology that prefers increasing control and knowledge to a dysgenic deterioration of cognitive ability. You're right that humanity can "screw everything up". But if it does, it won't enjoy the luxury of a valid philosophical justification for its crime.