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Various religions rely on a calculation of how good or bad you have been when deciding your fate after death.

Depending on the religion it could be that the calculation determines whether you go to Heaven or Hell or alternatively what you are born as in a future life on Earth.

Assume that each religion has its own Gods or lack thereof and that there is not necessarily a single omniscient being.

Question

Let us look at a religion where there is no omniscient being - for example a particular form of Buddhism that believes in rebirth. Your Karma determines whether your next life is as a bug or another human, etc. etc.

In the early days when human population was small, each person could be allocated their own angel/spirit to keep track of their Karma.

These days a better method is needed. There simply aren't enough angels to allocate one per human so what can be done?

Note

Please assume the form of religion that I have described actually exists.

Edit - The ultimate aim of such religions is to escape the wheel of reincarnation. As a human you have the opportunity to get promoted in your next life and do better and eventually escape the wheel altogether. By getting turned into a bug you get sent back down the chain and have to work your way back up again. The good part of this is that bugs aren't sentient enough to commit sins so they will automatically get promoted when they die.

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    $\begingroup$ "Various religions rely on a calculation of how good or bad you have been when deciding your fate after death." Citation needed. I don't know of any such extant religion. Are you thinking of the ancient Egyptian religion? "There simply aren't enough angels to allocate one per human." Citation needed. Angels are supernatural beings, they can multitask. And karma is anyway recorded indelibly in the soul. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 27 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ How do you know there aren't enough angels per person? For all we know, they've had just as much population growth as humans over the years. (Maybe more. Do angels need to eat?) $\endgroup$ – Cadence Mar 27 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ That is so not how most definitions of karma work. $\endgroup$ – Renan Mar 27 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP - "karma is anyway recorded indelibly in the soul" Okay but who or what records it there? $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ Karma records itself. You might as well ask how a river records its course in the dirt. The soul arrives at the pearly gates etched with all the deeds of its life, ready to be weighed against a feather. Not to mix cosmologies or anything. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Mar 27 at 11:57
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Possible solutions:

  • Teach angels to use proper database IT system, to keep track of all such data in time effective manner.

  • Proper sampling and statistical analysis. Assuming that you just offer heaven or hell, then actually you don't need to keep very detailed tab on each soul. For most of people it would be enough just to take some sample of their life to get reasonable estimate. You concentrate your resources on souls which are on the fence, and for them you indeed keep precise account.

  • For good (but also hard working and attentive to detail) souls you just offer rebirth as one of those angels.

  • Assuming that you have to surveil even the smallest bug, then recent increase in human population should be barely noticeable problem.
  • Demand people to follow The One True Faith, or send them to hell (or random poor quality incarnation) with no special deliberation or careful tab keeping. While such treatment may seem somewhat unfair, many religions teach that their ultra just Deity does exactly so, thus presumably humans are fine with such cutting corners.
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  • $\begingroup$ Wrt point 5. You don't have to surveil bugs. Please see the Edit I made to clear this up. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ So a bee that was clearly not delivering enough honey for the hive, still gets promoted in a few months anyway, right? $\endgroup$ – Shadow1024 Mar 27 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ If the bee was deliberately being lazy then no. But is a bee capable of even understanding what laziness is? As far as I can tell, promotion is automatic for bees. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for sampling and statistics. As the world is crowded now, angels with PDAs can be assigned places rather than individuals, then sample randomly the people around. $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Mar 27 at 15:48
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Karma Net + Angel AI

Angels hadn't thought about any type of AI, but when humans went about developing computers, we put cameras and microphones everywhere. Angels don't have to bother with following people around anymore; they can either use the network humans made, or construct their own "Karma Net" spy network that monitors everyone.

Mix that with some good AI tech and you have a fully automated karma program to monitor and determine every human's goods and evils.

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    $\begingroup$ that's great! at some point someone will figure out the pattern the AI reliably categorizes as good, and will then proceed to compile a list of seemingly random and/or obvious rules of deportment. no shellfish for instance... $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Mar 27 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ You can also make use of human databases, like those owned by the police or charities. That way you have another point of reference for actions with limited video/audio recordings $\endgroup$ – Kyyshak Mar 28 at 8:11
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You are worrying about a no-issue.

Your Karma determines whether your next life is as a bug or another human

This means that the KTD (Karma Tracking Device) has to take care not only of humans, but of all beings subjected to reincarnation.

Since the number of living beings alone (each having its KTD) is way higher than the number of living humans, the fact that humans have overpopulated Earth is negligible from the standpoint of the KTD numbers.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm assuming that a bug cannot sin because it is not sufficiently sentient. Therefore if you get reincarnated as a bug, you will automatically be sin free at the end of your life. This causes a promotion to the next level. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 11:58
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    $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK, then you are designing a buggy religion, where a demotion actually turns out to be an automated promotion. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Mar 27 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ The ultimate aim of such religions is to escape the wheel of reincarnation. As a human you have the opportunity to get promoted in your next life and do better and eventually escape the wheel altogether. By getting turned into a bug you get sent back down the chain and have to work your way back up again. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Mar 27 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ It is a well known fact that there are hundreds of billions of stars in a large galaxy like ours and at least tens of billions of galaxies in the universe, which might even be infinitely large, and that a significant percentage of stars have planets - thus there should be billions and trillions etc., of planets with life in the universe. So a population explosion at one time on one planet won't overwork the angles working on reincarnation too much. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Mar 27 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch 'buggy religion' - you dont say? that would be a first. $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Mar 27 at 15:55
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Mind Probe

You don't need to watch everyone 24/7. The human brain records this information so you stick the recently deceased in the karma-o-matic to scan their minds and tally their sins.

In the book Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, the gods use this method to determine karma and reincarnation.

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It is a well known fact that there are hundreds of billions of stars in a large galaxy like ours and at least tens of billions of galaxies in the universe, which might even be infinitely large, and that a significant percentage of stars have planets - thus there should be billions and trillions etc., of planets with life in the universe. So a population explosion at one time on one planet won't overwork the angles working on reincarnation too much

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In My Opinion This Wouldn't Be Possible

Just to be sure, this is what I get for the details of your question:

  1. Being born as angels is like being born into heaven and they have ability to record/know everything animals/people do anywhere

  2. Being born as an animal is like being born into hell, with different types of animals as different types of punishment

  3. You get out of the cycle of reincarnation by being good

  4. Sins aren't based on the harm (and intent) to others like in most budhism but only based on the intent so animals or beings that don't have a mind or have a weak consciousness do less good and evil

  5. Angels aren't omniscient, omnipotent but they are pretty powerful because they can go anywhere instantly to monitor people.

  6. (I don't get this) Angels isn't the rulers of the world or working for it (an omniscient omnipotent being) but they can decide who can escape the cycle of reincarnation

  7. Someone is born as a human if they don't have sin. They don't have to have a lot of good deeds

The thing you described isn't religion, religion is an explanation and hypothesis not system or reality. IF your religion is real it is now either science (for fundemental principles of the religion) or a government (for the system where someone or a group controls all things, in this case the angels). Now, if your angels are a part of this reincarnation circle and can judge people, it makes them intelligent and can be categorized as a sentient being and like us they will have a society/gathering (to report and decide who gets reincarnated as what). Then you have a perfect start for a civilization (i know this isn't the correct word, but we don't know what they do outside of recording our sins) and they will develop themselves. They will want a more efficient monitoring method, how to better teach new angels, how can one quantify intent, etc. and after a couple billion years after the beginning of time, after multiple species got classified as intelligent species (humans) and died off (they must have been doing this before humans have existed), I'm pretty sure they have developed enough to be able to monitor humans that are overpopulating the earth. You don't have to explain it.

I know this isn't a solution, but when you have an intelligent species that don't do stuff humans do, it is pretty hard to guess what can they do or what can they use to improve themselves.

Note: If you want to make them not omniscient but still be able to do this without having trouble monitoring 8 billion humans, just do what Budhist did when describing gods, yes they can make or destroy entire star sytems, live longer than the universe, and know everything happening on earth, but they aren't omnipotent, they must have a limit and will die.

(I'm a non-devout budhist and this what i get from dharma)

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