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The 2010s were the decade of trans – The Spectator USA

Transgender ideology wasnt invented in the 2010s, but this was the decade when it gripped our culture in its venomous maw and refused to let go. Heres how trans grew from fringe oddity to a massive force affecting schools, parenting, prisons, policy, academia, sports, law enforcement, language and the arts.

In 2009, Susie Green, who will become Chair of UK gender clinic Mermaids, takes her son to Thailand for vaginoplasty. Jackie Green becomes the youngest person in the world to undergo a sex change operation, at age 16. Meanwhile, trans woman and trans humanist Martine Rothblatt foresees the end of our species as we know it, andclaimsthat transhumanism builds on transgenderism, broadening the driving mindset from a gender ideal to a human development ideal.

Trans began the decadeas an outlier. It became something tolerated out of compassion. It has become a medical-legal monster, with activists claiming to redefine woman as a feeling, with self-identification trumping the basic facts of biological sex.And if you disagree, youre transphobic. Welcome to the 2020s!

At 10 years old,Jazz Jenningsis already out as trans.

Children become the subject ofmedical experimentation. Britains National Health Service approves medical experiments which will chemically castrate gay children in attempt to correct gender-nonconformity.

We now being told that affirmation of trans individuals is all about compassion. We need to knowwhat trans gender meansand how important surgery is.New York magazinesays that it takes a powerful act of imagination to understand what a transgender child, in his perfect little body on the changing table, might be feeling, or why he might become terrified as adolescence approaches.

The American Psychiatric Associationupdates its manual, to replace gender identity disorder with gender dysphoria.

Now 13 years old and wearing dental braces as well as female dress, Jazz Jennings isparadedon ABC News.

In Britain, the gender clinic at theTavistock Clinic gives 12 year-olds hormone blockers to prepare for transition. The treatment halts the onset of puberty preventing children from developing the sexual characteristics of the gender they were born.

Trans woman Parker Molloy writes amissive:I am a woman, but on such a frequent basis, Im told this is not true. Im told that Im genetically or biologically male. Im told that Im not a real woman. I have to ask: What constitutes a real woman? How am I not one? Is it because of my chromosomes? I dont think thats fair

The splendidly surnamed trans actress Laverne Cox, the first trans person to grace the cover ofTIMEmagazine, explains that most of us are insecure about our gender.

IntheNew Yorker, Michelle Goldberg sits on the fence: Trans women say that they are women because they feel femalethey have womens brains in mens bodies. Radical feministsbelieve that if women think and act differently from men its because society forces them to.

Facebook offers56 gender optionsfor users to choose from.

Susie Greens trans daughter Jackie is now 21, and Green speaks out against those who call her parentingabusive. She claims that even before she could speak my daughter had made her preferences clear.

Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn, and graces the cover ofVanity Fair. Trans MMA fighterFallon Foxdefeated her opponent, Tamikka Brents, by TKO at 2:17 of the first round of their match. Brents eye injury resulted in a damaged orbital bone that required seven staples. Now thats equality.

Michelle Goldberg is back. InSlate, she reminds us that, Most progressives now take it for granted that gender is a matter of identity, not biology, and that refusing to recognize a persons gender identity is an outrageous offense.

In the UK, theParliamentary Women and Equalities Committee Reportremoves sex-based protections.My Transgender Kidappears on the BBC. Itsreported that the Tavistock and Portman gender clinic has seen referrals increase by 50 percent every year since 2009.

Rachel Dolezal claims to betransracial.Trans abledturns out to be a thing.

Teen girls protest trans girls use of girlslocker room.

The year of the bathroom. A North Carolina law ispasseddisallowing trans people from using the bathroom of their choice. The State issuedby Obamas Department of Justice, whichtellsevery public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The director of the ACLU in Georgialeaves her postrather than fight for trans bathroom rights.

Male bodied trans studentscompeteagainst girls in high school sports. Female bodied transpregnant personsare lauded as the first male mothers.

The National Institute of Healthlaunchesthe largest-ever study of transgender youth, but also only the second to track the psychological effects of delaying puberty. Its notable that theres no control group.

Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy speaks out against the lack of debate. Because representation matters, a call goes outnot to castcis women as trans.

Jill SollowaysTransparentcomes underfirefor not being woke enough.

A male to female detransitionerspeaks. TheNew York Timesadmitsthat scientists have no conclusive explanation for what causes some people to feel dissonance between their gender identity and aspects of their anatomy.

Philosopher Slavoj iek gets called out for his claimthat the vision of social relations that sustains transgenderism is the so-called postgenderism: a social, political and cultural movement whose adherents advocate a voluntary abolition of gender, rendered possible by recent scientific progress in biotechnology and reproductive technologies.

The Womens March takes to the streets in Washington, DC, wearingtransphobic, pink pussy hats. Bill Maher and Milo Yiannopoulos misgender Jenner and are slammedby Dan Savage.Neuterbecomes a thing, so does drilling down into biology to determine that sex is not binary in otherspecies. Which it is, really.

Stonewall UKs Rachel Steinconfirmsthat being trans is about an innate sense of self. To imply anything other than this is reductive and hurtful to many trans people who are only trying to live life as their authentic selves.

Thegender spectrumemerges.

Trans advocatessuggestthatprevious restrictions on transing kids be eased so that children under 16 years old can begin hormone therapy in order to physically transform their bodies.

Teachers socially trans kidswithout parents consent. Jazz Jenningss book I Am Jazzis acontroversialpick for kindergarten story time.

Radical feministsspeak outagainst transing kids. One lady istrans species.And trans affirmation is noweveryones job.Topshopopensfitting rooms to trans women. Theres money in them there trans.

The Department of Justice reverses the Obama era directives andsaysthat sex means only biologically male or female.

Katie Herzogwritesabout detransitioners, and gets intense heat for it. Debra Sohsaysthat the entire gender conversation has brain science wrong.

We will change our bodies however we want, theTrans Health Manifestoinsists. We will have universally accessible and freely available hormones & blockers, surgical procedures, and any other relevant treatments and therapies.

The real question is: how does a female bodied gay mannavigate Grindr?

Who could have guessed, even a decade ago, that in 2018 the word woman would be treated as an expletive? asks Joanna Williams in Britains PC-bible theNew Statesman.

The Gender Recognition Act allows for self-ID in the UK. The NHSmust offerfertility services to those looking to remove their genitals.Britain;s Labour party alienates gender-critical feminists by stating that self-ID is all thats required to be on Laboursshort listof women candidates. Women try to meet and talk about this mess, but their events arecanceleddue to trans protests.

UK Schools policy comes underfirefor insisting that all kids have a gender identity. Girl Guides inclusion policycalled outas anti-girl. Amother of fouris interrogated by the police for referring to male to female trans surgery as castration on Twitter. The mere concept ofdebating trans becomes transphobic.

Jess Bradley, the first elected Trans Officer in the UK National Union of Student, says I self-identify as a non-binary woman, I dont believe there is such a thing as a real woman. Male bodied trans person Rachel McKinnonwinsa womens cycling race.

Bill B-16 isadoptedin Canada. This effectively redefines what it means to be a woman from something biological to something defined by external appearance. A Toronto womens shelter admits a male bodied trans person, and an abused womansues.

In academia, Camille Paglia says sex change is impossible. Jordan Peterson is almost fired from the University of Toronto for refusing to go along with compelled speech for pronouns. There are callsfor colleges to let trans athletes play on their chosen gender.

Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moores bookTransgender Children and Young People: Born In Your Own Bodyisrejectedby trans activists. Oxfordbansgender critical voices. Lisa Littmans academic paper on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is pulled from Plos One for being transphobic. Jesse Singal writes about gender confused youth inthe Atlantic, and takes masses of abuse for it. Reports emerge on the danger in the drugs used tocastratechildren, and concerns thattransing is homophobia.

TheParis Reviewadvocates for atrans literary canon. No one buys theParis Review.

Trans surgeries dont always have an amazingresult.YettheAmerican Academy of Pediatriciansasserts thattransgender kids know their genderas clearly and consistently as their developmentally equivalent peers and that theres no need for watchful waiting.Trans toyscome to market.

TheNew York Timessayssex doesnt have anything to do with reproductive organs. Researchclaimsthat gender dysphoric kids show functional brain characteristics that are typical of their desired gender.

US prisonsopposetrans inmates in womens prisons. Canadian prisonsallowprisoners to be housed according to gender identity.

How much longer must transgender people continue to participate in public conversations about whether or not we know our own souls? Jennifer Finney Boylanasksin theNew York Times equating gender to a religious belief. Quillettemakes a splash by publishing opposition to the trans agenda, even fromtrans persons.

The question of how tofuck trans lesbiansis a thing. So isgirldick,how to eat out a non-op trans woman, andrewriting gay historyto be trans. Andrea Long Chu says shewont be happywith her new coochie, but she should get one anyway. Andtrans lesbiansreally have trouble dating.

Cis women areasked to do more for trans women, becauseit costs you zero dollars to be nice. Cis peoplewont date trans people, and lesbians decide to get the L outof LGBT.

Twitterprohibitsmisgendering and deadnaming to curtail anti-trans abuse. Meghan Murphy isbanned from Twitter for misgendering Jessica Yaniv, a male-bodied trans woman a transvestite, in traditional terms who wants to force immigrant women to wax her balls.

Trans English arrives, withtonsof new words for gender.Trans kidsknowwho they are, and its eitheraffirmationor death if you disagree.

Self-IDcomes to New Hampshire. Trans model Munroe Bergdorf ischosento speak by the London chapter of the globalWomens March. New York goesall-inon bathrooms and the abolition of women only spaces. South Dakotasayslet trans kids compete in sports

The Vancouver Rape Relief and Womens Shelterloses municipal funding after refusing to accept trans women. Morgane Oger wins a Human Rights Tribunal againstChristian activist Bill Whatcott after he distributedflyers disparaging herfor being a trans woman. A woman isarrestedfor referring to a transgender woman as a man online.

Liberal womenspeak on trans issues atthe Heritage Foundation, because they have beenabandonedby the left.

Butfacial recognitiondoesnt get trans. Neither dostraight men. Tennis legend Marina Navratilovaopposesmen in womens sports.

Even though thequick transingof kids is obviously a terrible idea, itsnot OKto talk about detransitioning. But girls start pushingbackon the locker room thing. So dograndmothers.

Students in the English town of Brighton are issued with stickers on which they write their preferredpronouns. Transtoolkitsarrive. Experts say that there has been aglobal surgein young people presenting to gender clinics. This mirrors the huge rise in referrals to the Gids, up from 94 to 2,519 since 2010.

Cosmopublishes a detailed account ofbottom surgery.

Trans advocatesdecrymental health screening prior to accessing cross-sex hormones. Trans offendersseek rightto remove crimes committed under previous gender. Hayden Patterson, held in womens prison in Canada, doesnt think she should have toact femaleto stay.Womb transplantsso men can bear children might be a thing. Elizabeth Warrenstatesher pronouns.

The firsttrans prison unitopens in the UK. In the US, a trans sex offender ismovedto womens prison. The World Health Organizationreclassestrans as not actually a mental health condition. Jessica Yaniv brings acasein Human Rights Tribunal against independent aestheticians who wouldnt wax her balls. She loses.

The winners of womens high school track and fieldcompetitionsin Connecticut are male bodied. In Australia, newguidelines encourage sporting organizationsto permit transgender and non-binary athletes to compete against members of the opposite sex. Laurel Hubbard wins gold in womens weightlifting in the Pacific Games, to the dismayof the president of Samoa.

The International Olympic Commissionconsidersrule changes to allow men to compete as women, but hits asnag. Womens rugby is toodangerousfor women once men get involved. A male runner is the female NCAAathlete of the week. But girlsspeak out: Female athletes around the globe feel that womens sports is no longersustainable.

Trans employment case goes to theSupreme Court. Trans guides come out for kids inQuebecandNew York City, as well as thegender unicorn. As domedical riskson chest binding, and thepushbackagainst that. Parental rights are chucked byAustralia, and courts in the US fromArizonatoTexastoVermont.

Puberty blockers arenota panacea. But kids are still beingfast trackedin the UK. Gender cliniciansrevealthey have tried to raise the alarm. Detransitioners start to make somenoise. Parents areaskedto resist the doctors.

It turns out the rhetoric about the trans murder epidemic isnot exactly true. Trans is apony tail. Not onlywomenget periods. Theresno such thingas biological sex. And not dating trans people isdiscriminatory.

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The 2010s were the decade of trans - The Spectator USA

What is Transhumanism?

The human desire to acquire posthuman attributes is as ancient as the human species itself. Humans have always sought to expand the boundaries of their existence, be it ecologically, geographically, or mentally. There is a tendency in at least some individuals always to try to find a way around every limitation and obstacle.

Ceremonial burial and preserved fragments of religious writings show that prehistoric humans were deeply disturbed by the death of their loved ones and sought to reduce the cognitive dissonance by postulating an afterlife. Yet, despite the idea of an afterlife, people still endeavored to extend life. In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (approx. 2000 B.C.), a king embarks on a quest to find an herb that can make him immortal. Its worth noting that it was assumed both that mortality was not inescapable in principle, and that there existed (at least mythological) means of overcoming it. That people really strove to live longer and richer lives can also be seen in the development of systems of magic and alchemy; lacking scientific means of producing an elixir of life, one resorted to magical means. This strategy was adopted, for example, by the various schools of esoteric Taoism in China, which sought physical immortality and control over or harmony with the forces of nature.

The Greeks were ambivalent about humans transgressing our natural confines. On the one hand, they were fascinated by the idea. We see it in the myth of Prometheus, who stole the fire from Zeus and gave it to the humans, thereby permanently improving the human condition. And in the myth of Daedalus, the gods are repeatedly challenged, quite successfully, by a clever engineer and artist, who uses non-magical means to extend human capabilities. On the other hand, there is also the concept of hubris: that some ambitions are off-limit and would backfire if pursued. In the end, Daedalus enterprise ends in disaster (not, however, because it was punished by the gods but owing entirely to natural causes).

Greek philosophers made the first, stumbling attempts to create systems of thought that were based not purely on faith but on logical reasoning. Socrates and the sophists extended the application of critical thinking from metaphysics and cosmology to include the study of ethics and questions about human society and human psychology. Out of this inquiry arose cultural humanism, a very important current throughout the history of Western science, political theory, ethics, and law.

In the Renaissance, human thinking was awoken from medieval otherworldliness and the scholastic modes of reasoning that had predominated for a millennium, and the human being and the natural world again became legitimate objects of study. Renaissance humanism encouraged people to rely on their own observations and their own judgment rather than to defer in every matter to religious authorities. Renaissance humanism also created the ideal of the well-rounded personality, one that is highly developed scientifically, morally, culturally, and spiritually. A milestone is Giovanni Pico della Mirandolas Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), which states that man does not have a ready form but that it is mans task to form himself. And crucially, modern science began to take form then, through the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo.

The Age of Enlightenment can be said to have started with the publication of Francis Bacons Novum Organum, the new tool (1620), in which he proposes a scientific methodology based on empirical investigation rather than a priori reasoning. Bacon advocates the project of effecting all things possible, by which he meant the achievement of mastery over nature in order to improve the condition of human beings. The heritage from the Renaissance combines with the influences of Isaac Newton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Marquis de Condorcet, and others to form the basis for rational humanism, which emphasizes science and critical reasoning rather than revelation and religious authority as ways of learning about the natural world and the destiny and nature of man and of providing a grounding for morality. Transhumanism traces its roots to this rational humanism.

In the 18th and 19th centuries we begin to see glimpses of the idea that even humans themselves can be developed through the appliance of science. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire speculated about extending human life span through medical science. Especially after Darwins theory of evolution, atheism or agnosticism came to be seen as increasingly attractive alternatives. However, the optimism of the late 19th century often degenerated into narrow-minded positivism and the belief that progress was automatic. When this view collided with reality, some people reacted by turning to irrationalism, concluding that since reason was not sufficient, it was worthless. This resulted in the anti-technological, anti-intellectual sentiments whose sequelae we can still witness today in some postmodernist writers, in the New Age movement, and among the neo-Luddite wing of the anti-globalization agitators.

A significant stimulus in the formation of transhumanism was the essay Daedalus: Science and the Future (1923) by the British biochemist J. B. S. Haldane, in which he discusses how scientific and technological findings may come to affect society and improve the human condition. This essay set off a chain reaction of future-oriented discussions, including The World, the Flesh and the Devil by J. D. Bernal (1929), which speculates about space colonization and bionic implants as well as mental improvements through advanced social science and psychology; the works of Olaf Stapledon; and the essay Icarus: the Future of Science (1924) by Bertrand Russell, who took a more pessimistic view, arguing that without more kindliness in the world, technological power will mainly serve to increase mens ability to inflict harm on one another. Science fiction authors such as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon also got many people thinking about the future evolution of the human race. One frequently cited work is Aldous Huxleys Brave New World (1932), a dystopia where psychological conditioning, promiscuous sexuality, biotechnology, and opiate drugs are used to keep the population placid and contented in a static, totalitarian society ruled by an elite consisting of ten world controllers. Huxleys novel warns of the dehumanizing potential of technology being used to arrest growth and to diminish the scope of human nature rather than enhance it.

The Second World War changed the direction of some of those currents that result in todays transhumanism. The eugenics movement, which had previously found advocates not only among racists on the extreme right but also among socialists and progressivist social democrats, was thoroughly discredited. The goal of creating a new and better world through a centrally imposed vision became taboo and pass; and the horrors of the Stalinist Soviet Union again underscored the dangers of such an approach. Mindful of these historical lessons, transhumanists are often deeply suspicious of collectively orchestrated change, arguing instead for the right of individuals to redesign themselves and their own descendants.

In the postwar era, optimistic futurists tended to direct their attention more toward technological progress, such as space travel, medicine, and computers. Science began to catch up with speculation. Transhumanist ideas during this period were discussed and analyzed chiefly in the literary genre of science fiction. Authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Stanislaw Lem, and later Bruce Sterling, Greg Egan, and Vernor Vinge have explored various aspects of transhumanism in their writings and contributed to its proliferation.

Robert Ettinger played an important role in giving transhumanism its modern form. The publication of his book The Prospect of Immortality in 1964 led to the creation of the cryonics movement. Ettinger argued that since medical technology seems to be constantly progressing, and since chemical activity comes to a complete halt at low temperatures, it should be possible to freeze a person today and preserve the body until such a time when technology is advanced enough to repair the freezing damage and reverse the original cause of deanimation. In a later work, Man into Superman (1972), he discussed a number of conceivable improvements to the human being, continuing the tradition started by Haldane and Bernal.

Another influential early transhumanist was F. M. Esfandiary, who later changed his name to FM-2030. One of the first professors of future studies, FM taught at the New School for Social Research in New York in the 1960s and formed a school of optimistic futurists known as the UpWingers. In his book Are you a transhuman? (1989), he described what he saw as the signs of the emergence of the transhuman person, in his terminology indicating an evolutionary link towards posthumanity. (A terminological aside: an early use of the word transhuman was in the 1972-book of Ettinger, who doesnt now remember where he first encountered the term. The word transhumanism may have been coined by Julian Huxley in New Bottles for New Wine (1957); the sense in which he used it, however, was not quite the contemporary one.) Further, its use is evidenced in T.S. Elliots writing around the same time. And it is known that Dante Alighieri referred to the notion of the transhuman in historical writings.

In the 1970s and 1980s, several organizations sprung up for life extension, cryonics, space colonization, science fiction, media arts, and futurism. They were often isolated from one another, and while they shared similar views and values, they did not yet amount to any unified coherent worldview. One prominent voice from a standpoint with strong transhumanist elements during this era came from Marvin Minsky, an eminent artificial intelligence researcher.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation, the first book-length exposition of molecular manufacturing. (The possibility of nanotechnology had been anticipated by Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a now-famous after-dinner address in 1959 entitled There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom.) In this groundbreaking work, Drexler not only argued for the feasibility of assembler-based nanotechnology but also explored its consequences and began charting the strategic challenges posed by its development. Drexlers later writings supplied more technical analyses that confirmed his initial conclusions. To prepare the world for nanotechnology and work towards it safe implementation, he founded the Foresight Institute together with his then wife Christine Peterson in 1986.

Ed Regiss Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition (1990) took a humorous look at transhumanisms hubristic scientists and philosophers. Another couple of influential books were roboticist Hans Moravecs seminal Mind Children (1988) about the future development of machine intelligence, and more recently Ray Kurzweils bestselling Age of Spiritual Machines (1999), which presented ideas similar to Moravecs. Frank Tiplers Physics of Immortality (1994), inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw an evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere, a global consciousness) argued that advanced civilizations might come to have a shaping influence on the future evolution of the cosmos, although some were put off by Tiplers attempt to blend science with religion. Many science advocates, such as Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and Douglas Hofstadter, have also helped pave the way for public understanding of transhumanist ideas.

In 1988, the first issue of the Extropy Magazine was published by Max More and Tom Morrow, and in 1992 they founded the Extropy Institute (the term extropy being coined as an informal opposite of entropy). The magazine and the institute served as catalysts, bringing together disparate groups of people with futuristic ideas. More wrote the first definition of transhumanism in its modern sense, and created his own distinctive brand of transhumanism, which emphasized individualism, dynamic optimism, and the market mechanism in addition to technology. The transhumanist arts genre became more self-aware through the works of the artist Natasha Vita-More. During this time, an intense exploration of ideas also took place on various Internet mailing lists. Influential early contributors included Anders Sandberg (then a neuroscience doctoral student) and Robin Hanson (an economist and polymath) among many others.

The World Transhumanist Association was founded in 1998 by Nick Bostrom and David Pearce to act as a coordinating international nonprofit organization for all transhumanist-related groups and interests, across the political spectrum. The WTA focused on supporting transhumanism as a serious academic discipline and on promoting public awareness of transhumanist thinking. The WTA began publishing the Journal of Evolution and Technology, the first scholarly peer-reviewed journal for transhumanist studies in 1999 (which is also the year when the first version of this FAQ was published). In 2001, the WTA adopted its current constitution and is now governed by an executive board that is democratically elected by its full membership. James Hughes especially (a former WTA Secretary) among others helped lift the WTA to its current more mature stage, and a strong team of volunteers has been building up the organization to what it is today.

Humanity+ developed after to rebrand transhumanism informing Humanity+ as a cooperative organization, seeking to pull together the leaders of transhumanism: from the early 1990s: Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Anders Sandberg; the late 1990s: Nick Bostrom, David Pearce, James Hughes; the 2000s: James Clement, Ben Goertzel, Giulio Prisco and many others. In short, it is based on the early work of Extropy Institute and WTA.

In the past couple of years, the transhumanist movement has been growing fast and furiously. Local groups are mushrooming in all parts of the world. Awareness of transhumanist ideas is spreading. Transhumanism is undergoing the transition from being the preoccupation of a fringe group of intellectual pioneers to becoming a mainstream approach to understanding the prospects for technological transformation of the human condition. That technological advances will help us overcome many of our current human limitations is no longer an insight confined to a few handfuls of techno-savvy visionaries. Yet understanding the consequences of these anticipated possibilities and the ethical choices we will face is a momentous challenge that humanity will be grappling with over the coming decades. The transhumanist tradition has produced a (still evolving) body of thinking to illuminate these complex issues that is unparalleled in its scope and depth of foresight.

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What is Transhumanism?

Seattle faith groups reckon with AI and what it means to be truly human – Seattle Times

On a recent Sunday at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church basement, parishioners sat transfixed as the Rev. Dr. Ted Peters discussed an unusual topic for an afternoon assembly: Can technology enhance the image of God?

Peters discussion focused on a relatively new philosophical movement. Its followers believe humans willtranscend their physical and mental limitations with wearable and implantable devices.

The movement, called transhumanism, claims that in the future, humans will be smarter and stronger and may even overcome aging and death through developments in fields such as biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI).

What does it mean to be truly human? Peters asked in a voice that boomed throughout the church basement, in a city that boasts one of the worlds largest tech hubs. The visiting reverend urged the 30 congregants in attendance to consider the question during a time when being human sounds optional to some people.

Its sad; it makes me feel a lot of grief, a congregant said, shaking her head in disappointment.

Organized religions have long served as an outlet for humans to explore existential questions about their place in the universe, the nature of consciousness and free will. But as AI blurs the lines between the digital and physical worlds, fundamental beliefs about the essence of humanity are now called into question.

While public discourse around advanced technologies has mostly focused on changes in the workforce and surveillance, religious followers say the deeper implications of AI could be soul-shifting.

It doesnt surpriseJames Wellman, a University of Washington professor and chair of the Comparative Religion Program, that people of faith are interested in AI. Religious observers place their faith in an invisible agent known as God, whom they perceive as benevolent and helpful in their lives. The use of technology evokes a similar phenomenon, such as Apples voice assistant Siri, who listens and responds to them.

That sounds an awful lot like what people do when they think about religion, Wellman said.

When Dr. Daniel Peterson became the pastor of the Queen Anne Lutheran Church three years ago, he hoped to explore issues meaningful both to his congregants and to secular people.

Petersons fascination with AI, as a lifelong science-fiction fan, belies a skepticism in the ubiquity of technology: Hes opted out of Amazons voice assistant Alexa in his house and said he gets nervous about cameras on cellphones and computers.

He became interested in looking at AI from a spiritual dimension after writing an article last year aboutthe depiction of technologies such as droidsin Star Wars films. In Petersons eyes, artificially intelligent machines in the films areequipped with a sense of mission that enables them to think and act like humans without needing to be preprogrammed.

His examination of AI yielded more questions than answers: What kind of bias or brokenness are we importing in the artificial intelligence were designing? Peterson pondered. If AI developed consciousness, what sort of philosophical and theological concerns does that raise?

Peterson invited his church and surrounding community to explore these questions and more in the three-part forum called Will AI Destroy Us?, which kicked off with a conversation held by Carissa Schoenick from the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, followed by Peters discussion on transhumanism, and concluded with Petersons talk on his own research around AI in science-fiction films.

Held from late September to early October, the series sought to fillwhat Peterson called a silence among faith leaders about the rise of AI. Peterson and other religious observers are now eager to take part in a new creation story of sorts: Local initiatives held in places of worship and educational institutions are positioning Seattle as a testing ground for the intersection of AI and religion.

The discussion on transhumanism drew members of the community unaffiliated with the church, including David Brenner, the board chair of Seattle-based organization AI and Faith. The consortium membership spans across belief systems and academic institutions in an effort to bring major religions into the discussion around the ethics of AI, and how to create machines that evoke human flourishing and avoids unnecessary, destructive problems, Brenner said in an interview at the church. As Brenner spoke, a few congregants remained in the basement to fervently chat about the symposium.

The questions that are being presented by AI are fundamental life questions that have now become business [ones], said Brenner, a retired lawyer. Values includinghuman dignity, privacy, free will, equality and freedom are called into question through the development of machines.

Should robots ever have rights, or is it like giving your refrigerator rights even if they can function just like us? Brenner said.

Religious leaders around the world are starting to weigh in. Last April, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission the public-policy section of the Southern Baptist Convention published a set of guidelines on AI adoption that affirms the dominion of humans and encourages the minimization of human biases in technology. It discourages the creation of machines that take over jobs, relegating humans to a life of leisure devoid of work, wrote the authors.

In a speech to a Vatican conference in September, Pope Francis echoed the guidelines sentiment by urging tech companies and diplomats to deploy AI in an ethical manner that ensures machines dont replace human workers. If mankinds so-called technological progress were to become an enemy of the common good, this would lead to a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest, he said, according to The Associated Press.

On the other hand, some faith perspectives have cropped up in recent years that hold AI at the center of their value systems. Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski formed Way of the Future church in 2017 with the aim of creating a peaceful transition into an imminent world where machines surpass human capabilities. The churchs website argues thathumanrights should be extended to machines, and that we should clear the path for technology to take charge as it grows in intelligence.

We believe it may be important for machines to see who is friendly to their cause and who is not, the websitewarns.

But Yasmin Ali, a practicing Muslim and AI and Faith member, has seen AI used as a tool for good and bad. While Ali believes technology can make peoples lives easier, she has also seen news reports and heard stories from her community about such tools being used to profile members of marginalized communities. China, for instance, has used facial-recognition technology to surveil Uighur Muslim minorities in the western region, according to a recent New York Times investigation.

I think we need to get more diversity with the developers who provide AI, so they can get diverse thoughts and ideas into the software, Ali said. The Bellevue-based company she founded called Skillspire strives to do just that by training diverse workers in tech courses such as coding and cybersecurity.

We have to make sure that those values of being human goes into what were building, Ali said. Its like teaching kids you have to be polite, disciplined.

Back at Queen Anne Lutheran, congregants expressed hope that the conversation would get the group closer to understanding and making peace with changes in society, just as churches have done for hundreds of years.

Bainbridge Island resident Monika Aring believes the rise of AI calls for an ongoing inquiry at faith-based places of worship on the role of such technologies. She shared the dismay she felt when her friend, a pastor of another congregation, said the church has largely become irrelevant.

It mustnt be. This is the time for us to have these conversations, she said. I think we need some kind of moral compass,one that ensures humans and the Earth continue to thrive amid the advancement of AI.

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Seattle faith groups reckon with AI and what it means to be truly human - Seattle Times

Transhumanism – Britannica.com

Transhumanism, social and philosophical movement devoted to promoting the research and development of robust human-enhancement technologies. Such technologies would augment or increase human sensory reception, emotive ability, or cognitive capacity as well as radically improve human health and extend human life spans. Such modifications resulting from the addition of biological or physical technologies would be more or less permanent and integrated into the human body.

The term transhumanism was coined by English biologist and philosopher Julian Huxley in his 1957 essay of the same name. Huxley referred principally to improving the human condition through social and cultural change, but the essay and the name have been adopted as seminal by the transhumanist movement, which emphasizes material technology. Huxley held that, although humanity had naturally evolved, it was now possible for social institutions to supplant evolution in refining and improving the species. The ethos of Huxleys essayif not its lettercan be located in transhumanisms commitment to assuming the work of evolution, but through technology rather than society.

The movements adherents tend to be libertarian and employed in high technology or in academia. Its principal proponents have been prominent technologists like American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil and scientists like Austrian-born Canadian computer scientist and roboticist Hans Moravec and American nanotechnology researcher Eric Drexler, with the addition of a small but influential contingent of thinkers such as American philosopher James Hughes and Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. The movement has evolved since its beginnings as a loose association of groups dedicated to extropianism (a philosophy devoted to the transcendence of human limits). Transhumanism is principally divided between adherents of two visions of post-humanityone in which technological and genetic improvements have created a distinct species of radically enhanced humans and the other in which greater-than-human machine intelligence emerges.

The membership of the transhumanist movement tends to split in an additional way. One prominent strain of transhumanism argues that social and cultural institutionsincluding national and international governmental organizationswill be largely irrelevant to the trajectory of technological development. Market forces and the nature of technological progress will drive humanity to approximately the same end point regardless of social and cultural influences. That end point is often referred to as the singularity, a metaphor drawn from astrophysics and referring to the point of hyperdense material at the centre of a black hole which generates its intense gravitational pull. Among transhumanists, the singularity is understood as the point at which artificial intelligence surpasses that of humanity, which will allow the convergence of human and machine consciousness. That convergence will herald the increase in human consciousness, physical strength, emotional well-being, and overall health and greatly extend the length of human lifetimes.

The second strain of transhumanism holds a contrasting view, that social institutions (such as religion, traditional notions of marriage and child rearing, and Western perspectives of freedom) not only can influence the trajectory of technological development but could ultimately retard or halt it. Bostrom and British philosopher David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association in 1998 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with those social institutions to promote and guide the development of human-enhancement technologies and to combat those social forces seemingly dedicated to halting such technological progress.

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Transhumanism - Britannica.com

Transhumanism | Conspiracy School

Transhumanism is a recent movement that extols mans right to shape his own evolution, by maximizing the use of scientific technologies, to enhance human physical and intellectual potential. While the name is new, the idea has long been a popular theme of science fiction, featured in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bade Runner, the Terminator series, and more recently, The Matrix, Limitless, Her and Transcendence.

However, as its adherents hint at in their own publications, transhumanism is an occult project, rooted in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and derived from the Kabbalah, which asserts that humanity is evolving intellectually, towards a point in time when man will become God. Modeled on the medieval legend of the Golem and Frankenstein, they believe man will be able to create life itself, in the form of living machines, or artificial intelligence.

Spearheaded by the Cybernetics Group, the project resulted in both the development of the modern computer and MK-Ultra, the CIAs mind-control program. MK-Ultra promoted the mind-expanding potential of psychedelic drugs, to shape the counterculture of the 1960s, based on the notion that the shamans of ancient times used psychoactive substances, equated with the apple of the Tree of Knowledge.

And, as revealed in the movie Lucy, through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the Internet, which is envisioned as the end-point of Kabbalistic evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google, refers to as The Singularly. By accumulating the total of human knowledge, and providing access to every aspect of human activity, the Internet will supposedly achieve omniscience, becoming the God of occultism, or the Masonic All-Seeing Eye of the reverse side of the American dollar bill.

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Transhumanism | Conspiracy School

Transhumanism Is TemptingUntil You Remember Inspector Gadget …

Imagine a man with a Swiss Army knife for a body. His arms and legs can extend in any direction, bend into any shape, and move at extraordinary speeds. His spine can elongate into a helicopter, his hands can turn into an almost unlimited number of tools, and his feet can turn into ice skates, roller blades, and more.

This is some transhumanists dream, a future where we can completely trick out our bodies and transcend the limitations of human biology. Its also a description of what the title character from the 1983 cartoon Inspector Gadget can do.

Rose Eveleth is an Ideas contributor at WIRED and the creator and host of Flash Forward, a podcast about possible (and not so possible) futures.

For those who arent familiar with the cartoon, the premise is simple: Inspector Gadget is, as his name implies, an inspector, or detective. Hes also a walking gadget, who can turn his body into nearly anything. And yet, with all that power, Gadget cant solve a single mystery. Every episode Gadget is called upon by his boss Chief Quimby to help solve a crime, nearly all of which are perpetrated by the villain Dr. Claw. For some reason or another, Gadget is always accompanied by his 10-year-old niece, Penny, and her dog Brain. And despite being equipped with every tool he could possibly need, its the brilliant Penny, a completely boring noncyborg, who saves the day every time.

Sure, the cartoon (and subsequent film adaptations) are over the top and ridiculous. But our hapless detective can teach us something about the ways we think about bodies, bionics, data, and the future of human-machine interfaces. Gadgets antics poke real holes in the fantasies that some transhumanists and body hackers have about how the body works, and what we might be able to ask it to do.

Early in the first episode of Inspector Gadget (Monster Lake) theres a scene that establishes the entire premise of the show. While our titular Gadget tries to find the instruction manual for the car hes driving, to deal with the overheating engine (in fact, the car is on fire because an evil robot spewed flames at it), he takes his hands off the wheel. Penny, as will become a recurring theme in the show, saves the day by actually paying attention to her surroundings, and noticing that the car is about to fly off a cliff. She grabs the wheel and averts disaster, completely unbeknownst to her bionic uncle. Gadget has seemingly unlimited physical resources at his disposal, but cannot use them to save his life (literally).

It is in scenes like this that I think of two things: Three Mile Island and butter production in Bangladesh. Let me explain. The former is the biggest nuclear meltdown in American history. The latter is a spurious economic predictor proposed in 1998 to poke fun at forecasting markets. But theyre tied together by the same thing that dooms Gadget: an excess of information. Three Mile Island (like Chernobyl and other nuclear accidents) happened for a variety of reasonslax regulations, slashed budgets, overworked employees, scientific rivalriesbut during the most critical moments of the disaster, it was marked by information overload. The control panel at the nuclear plant was designed to display all kinds of data, but there was no way the operators could keep track of the whole system at once. In a sea of signals, you can miss the most important ones.

Or, you can see one that means nothing at all, as in the case of butter production in Bangladesh, a signal that economist David Leinweber described in 1998. According to his calculations, three things could explain the performance of the S&P 500 with 99 percent accuracy: American cheese production, the Bangladeshi sheep population, and butter production in Bangladesh. Leinweber was intentionally poking fun at the methods he employed, arguing that with enough data but insufficient context you can correlate almost anything. At first, Leinweber wasnt even going to publish the work, he simply thought it was a funny trick. But then, reporters picked up on it, and it has found its way into the curriculum at the Stanford Business School and elsewhere, he writes in the paper he did eventually publish. Mark Twain spoke of lies, damn lies and statistics. In this paper, we offer all three, he writes.

The point here is that more data doesnt mean much if you cant do something useful with it. You can have all the data in the world and be just as useless as Inspector Gadget. Today, in conversations about AI people talk about the rise in computing power, the rise in giant data sets, and how those two things will inevitably lead to super-powerful systems. But theres a step missing in those arguments, and its a crucial, difficult, and time-consuming one: If all that data isnt labeled or organized in a meaningful way, even the greatest supercomputer cant do meaningful work with it. (This is why youre still asked to train the algorithms with a captcha any time you sign up for a newsletter, for example. These data sets often need human eyeballs and brains to work on them, and those are usually pretty expensive.)

This doesnt just apply to data. More tools, as any overexcited new home chef can tell you, dont make you a better cook. Inspector Gadget has, it seems, every possible piece of gadgetry at his disposal, but he cant see the forest through the bionic trees. Penny, on the other hand, undistracted by an endless number of technological choices, remains clear-eyed to save the day.

Penny is not completely untechnological. She is, in fact, a brilliant inventor in her own right. In many episodes she builds and deploys devices to help solve the casea radar system, a long-range camera, a smart watch. But where Gadget has technology embedded within him as a bodily element, and as such has less than perfect control over it, Penny uses technology as a tool outside her body.

Were the creators of Inspector Gadget trying to poke fun at the notion of Cartesian duality? Who can say, really. But the location of the technology here highlights the way we think about integrating our machines with our inventions.

The body as machine analogy dates back to at least the industrial revolution, when the idea that the body might be like the machines we were creating took hold. As Randolphe Nesse, a professor at Arizona State University, wrote in his essay The Body Is Not a Machine, The metaphor of body as a machine provided a ladder that allowed biology to bring phenomena up from a dark pit of mysterious forces into the light where organic mechanisms can be analyzed as if they are machines. The analogy proved valuable to evolve our understanding of the body.

Now, this body as machine trope is the well from which much of current-day body hacking springs. If the body is a machine, if the brain is a computer, if muscles are simply pulley systems, then we can go in and tinker at will. We can create Inspector Gadget because we can create computers and Boston Dynamics robots and spaceships. But the body is not a machine. It does not behave like one. We did not invent it and we mostly cannot program it. Its parts are not plug-and-play, nor are they discrete. And many researchers and writers have highlighted how our insistence on this model is actually hurting progress. In psychiatry, thinking about the mind as a machine has led to a debacle about diagnosis, writes Nesse.

As a (reluctant) tech reporter, I get a lot of press releases for products that only work if you assume the body functions like a device. If we could just measure things more accurately, these pitches argue, we could solve eating disorders, infertility, chronic pain, depressionthe list goes on. Silicon Valley tech gurus are all in on biohacking their bodies just like they growth hacked their startups. The company Daysy claimed that it could help people prevent pregnancy by measuring body temperaturewhen your body creates X signal, we know its doing Y thing. Daysy claimed that using this method it could identify whether a user was fertile with 99.4 percent accuracy. Turns out the paper Daysy was using as the basis for that claim was recently retracted.

Body-as-machine fantasies also imagine that the technology will work as we hope, every time. But anybody whos ever used, well, any kind of device can tell you that thats not true. Inspector Gadgets entire comedic repertoire (unbeknownst to him of course) lies in exactly these failures. His gadget arms extend, but wont contract, his coat inflates when he doesnt want it to, his feet turn to roller skates when he wanted skis. His existence makes plain the ridiculousness of assuming that something like Robocop could truly happena seamless, perfectly efficient blend of man and machine.

People who use prosthetic devices know this all too well. Many people who are initially outfitted with electronic prosthetic hands that are state of the art, for example, wind up going back to hooks and body-powered prosthetics because they obey their more simple, muscular commands better and are less likely to break. Jillian Weiss writes in her essay Common Cyborg, I am not impressed with their tech, which they call 3C98-3, and which I am wearing, a leg that whirs and clicks, a socket that will not fit unless I stay in the weight range of 100 to 105 pounds. I am 88 percent charged in basic mode and I have taken 638,402 steps on this leg. The last one they gave me was a lemon. Maybe this feeling of trial and error, repetition and glitch, is part of the cyborg condition and, by extension, the disabled condition.

Its comforting to think of the body as a machine we can trick out. It helps us ignore the strange fleshy aches that come with having a meat cage. It makes a fickle systemone we truly dont understandfeel conquerable. To admit that the body (and mind that sits within it) might be far more complex than our most delicate, intricate inventions endangers all kinds of things: the medical industrial complex, the wellness industry, countless startups. But it might also open up new doors for better relationships with our bodies too: Disability scholars have long argued that the way we see bodies as fixable ultimately serves to further marginalize people who will never have the standard operating system, no matter how many times their parts are replaced or tinkered with.

There is another scene in the first episode of Inspector Gadget that makes clear the distinction between Penny and Gadget. While Penny uses her radar system to detect the mechanical monster in the lake, Gadget has deduced that the scientist they have been charged with protecting must be hiding up a tree, and is walking along the lake shouting for the professor to come down. He is quite literally barking up the wrong tree. Id argue that the tech industrys current fixation with the body as a hackable device is exactly that.

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Transhumanism Is TemptingUntil You Remember Inspector Gadget ...

Transhumanism – RationalWiki

You know what they say the modern version of Pascal's Wager is? Sucking up to as many Transhumanists as possible, just in case one of them turns into God. Julie from Crystal Nights by Greg Egan

Transhumanism (or H+), an intellectual movement, is greatly influenced by science fiction and presents an idealistic point of view of what technology could do for humanity in the future, not what it can do; it's all hypothetical.[1] Transhumanism explores the benefits and repercussions of what technology could do for humanity; however, it assumes the technological boundaries are nonexistent.[2]

How plausible is transhumanism? In the 1930s, many sensible people were sure human beings would never get to the Moon and that was just one of many predictions that turned out incorrect.[3] Early 21st century people do not know one way or the other what will be possible in the future. However, the scientific claims of transhumanism still need to be examined critically, because some of these technoscientific prophecies may not be plausible; after we got to the moon, people expected we'd have a permanent colony there by the end of the century.[4]

While frequently dismissed as mere speculation at best by most rationalists[5] (especially in light of the many failures of artificial intelligence), transhumanism is a strongly-held belief among many computer geeks, notably synthesizer and accessible computing guru Ray Kurzweil, a believer in the "technological singularity," where technology evolves beyond humanity's current capacity to understand or anticipate it, and Sun Microsystems founder and Unix demigod Bill Joy, who believes the inevitable result of AI research is the obsolescence of humanity.[6]

Certain recent technological advances are making the possibility of the realization of transhumanism appear more plausible: Scientists funded by the military developed an implant that can translate motor neuron signals into a form that a computer can use, thus opening the door for advanced prosthetics capable of being manipulated like biological limbs and producing sensory information.[7] This is on top of the earlier development of cochlear implants, which translate sound waves into nerve signals; they are often called "bionic ears."[8]

Even DIY transhumanism or 'biohacking' is becoming an option, with people installing magnetic implants, allowing them to feel magnetic and electric fields.[9] Others have taken to wearing belts of magnets, in order to always be able to find magnetic north. Prosthetic limbs with some level of touch are also now being developed, a major milestone. [10]One notable individual whose received magnetic finger implants is Zoe Quinn; [11] the current scientific consensus seems unclear, although humans are not thought to have a magnetic sense, there is a cryptochrome protein in the eye which could potentially make humans capable of Magnetoreception, like certain other mammals such as mice and cows appear to be. [12]

"Whole brain emulation" (WBE) is a term used by transhumanists to refer to, quite obviously, the emulation of a brain on a computer. While this is no doubt a possibility, it encounters two problems that keep it from being a certainty anytime in the near future.

The first is a philosophical objection: For WBE to work, "strong AI" (i.e. AI equivalent to or greater than human intelligence) must be attainable. A number of philosophical objections have been raised against strong AI, generally contending either that the mind or consciousness is not computable or that a simulation of consciousness is not equivalent to true consciousness (whatever that is). There is still controversy over strong AI in the field of philosophy of mind.[13]

A second possible objection is technological: WBE may not defy physics, but the technology to fully simulate a human brain (in the sense meant by transhumanists, at least) is a long way away. Currently, no computer (or network of computers) is powerful enough to simulate a human brain. Henry Markram, head of the Blue Brain Project, estimates that simulating a brain would require 500 petabytes of data for storage and that the power required to run the simulation would cost about $3 billion annually. (However, in 2008, he optimistically predicted this it would be possible ten years from 2008.)[14]) In addition to technological limitations in computing, there are also the limits of neuroscience. Neuroscience currently relies on technology that can only scan the brain at the level of gross anatomy (e.g., fMRI, PET). Forms of single neuron imaging (SNI) have been developed recently, but they can only be used on animal subjects (usually rats) because they destroy neural tissue.[15]

First, let me say that Im all in favor of research on aging, and I think science has great potential to prolong healthy livesand Im all for that. But I think immortality, or even a close approximation to it, is both impossible and undesirable.

Another transhumanist goal is mind uploading, which is one way they claim[17][18] we will be able to achieve immortality. Aside from the problems with WBE listed above, mind uploading suffers a philosophical problem, namely the "swamp man problem." That is, will the "uploaded" mind be "you" or simply a copy or facsimile of your mind? However, one possible way round this problem would be via incremental replacement of parts of the brain with their cybernetic equivalents (the patient being awake during each operation). Then there is no "breaking" of the continuity of the individual's consciousness, and it becomes difficult for proponents of the "swamp man" hypothesis to pinpoint exactly when the individual stops being "themselves." It does, however, run directly into a similar problem, the "Ship of Theseus" problem: when all of the brain parts are replaced, is it still fundamentally the same as the original?

Cryonics is another favorite of many transhumanists. In principle, cryonics is not impossible, but the current form of it is based largely on hypothetical future technologies and costs substantial amounts of money.

Fighting aging and extending life expectancy is possible the field that studies aging and attempts to provide suggestions for anti-aging technology is known as "biogerontology". Aubrey de Grey has proposed a number of treatments for aging. In 2005, 28 scientists working in biogerontology signed a letter to EMBO Reports pointing out that de Grey's treatments had never been demonstrated to work and that many of his claims for anti-aging technology were extremely inflated.[19] This article was written in response to a July 2005 EMBO reports article previously published by de Grey[20] and a response from de Grey was published in the same November issue.[21] De Grey summarizes these events in "The biogerontology research community's evolving view of SENS," published on the Methuselah Foundation website.[22]

Worst of all, some transhumanists outright ignore[citationneeded] what people in the fields they're interested in tell them; a few AI boosters, for example, believe that neurobiology is an outdated science because AI researchers can do it themselves anyway. They seem to have taken the analogy used to introduce the computational theory of mind, "the mind (or brain) is like a computer", and taken it literally. Of course, the mind/brain is not a computer in the usual sense.[23] Debates with such people can take on the wearying feel of a debate with a creationist or climate change denialist, as such people will stick to their positions no matter what. Indeed, many critics are simply dismissed as Luddites or woolly-headed romantics who oppose scientific and technological progress.[24]

Transhumanism has often been criticized for not taking ethical issues seriously on a variety of topics,[25] including life extension technology,[26] cryonics,[27] and mind uploading and other enhancements.[28][29] Francis Fukuyama (in his doctrinaire neoconservative days) caused a stir by naming transhumanism "the world's most dangerous idea."[30] One of Fukuyama's criticisms, that implementation of the technologies transhumanists push for will lead to severe inequality, is a rather common one.

A number of political criticisms of transhumanism have been made as well. Transhumanist organizations have been accused of being in the pocket of corporate and military interests.[31] The movement has been identified with Silicon Valley due to the fact that some of its biggest backers, such as Peter Thiel (of PayPal and Bitcoin fame), reside in the region.[32][33] Some writers see transhumanism as a hive of cranky and obnoxious techno-libertarianism.[34][35] The fact that Julian Huxley coined the term "transhumanism" and many transhumanists' obsession with constructing a Nietzschean ubermensch known as the "posthuman" has led to comparisons with eugenics.[36][31] Like eugenics, it has been characterized as a utopian political ideology.[37] Jaron Lanier slammed it as "cybernetic totalism".[38]

Some tension has developed between transhumanism and religion, although there are many secular liberal people who are skeptical or opposed to transhumanism as well.[citationneeded] Some transhumanists, generally being atheistic naturalists, see all religion as an impediment to scientific and technological advancement and some Christians oppose transhumanism because of its stance on cloning and genetic engineering and label it as a heretical belief system.[39] Other transhumanists, however, have attempted to extend an olive branch to Christians, [40] and the Christian Transhumanist Association group on Facebook has over 1,100 members.

Some religious transhumanists have tried to reconcile their religion and techno-utopian beliefs, calling for a "scientific theology."[41] There is even a Mormon transhumanist organization.[42] Ironically for the atheistic transhumanists, the movement has itself been characterized as a religion and its rhetoric compared to Christian apologetics.[43][44] Interestingly the word transhuman first appeared in Henry Francis Careys 1814 translation of Paradiso, the last book of the Divine Comedy as Dante ascends to heaven during the resurrection. [45]

The very small transhumanist political movement has gained momentum with Zoltan Istvan announcing his bid for US president, with the Transhumanist Party and other small political parties gaining support internationally.

The important thing about transhumanism is that while a lot of such predictions may in fact be possible (and may even be in their embryonic stages right now), a strong skeptical eye is required for any claimed prediction about the fields it covers. When evaluating such a claim, one will probably need a trip to a library (or Wikipedia, or a relevant scientist's home page) to get up to speed on the basics.[note 1]

A common trope in science fiction for decades is that the prospect of transcending the current form may be positive, as in Arthur C. Clarke's 1953 novel Childhood's End or negative, as in the film The Matrix, with its barely disguised salvationist theme, or the Terminator series of films, where humanity has been essentially replaced by machine life. Change so radical elicits fear and thus it is unsurprising that many of the portrayals of transhumanism in popular culture are negative. The cyberpunk genre deals extensively with the theme of a transhumanist society gone wrong.

On closer inspection, this should not be surprising. Since transhumanism is ambitious about conquering age-related illnesses (extropianism), death (immortalism), ecological damage (technogaianism), gender differences (postgenderism) and suffering (abolitionism), a fictional world where this has already been achieved leaves a story with few plot devices to exploit. Additionally, it could be hard for the public to identify with flawless, post-human characters.

Among the utopian visions of transhumanism are those found in the collaborative online science fiction setting Orion's Arm. Temporally located in the post-singularity future, 10,000 years from now, Orion's Arm is massively optimistic about genetic engineering, continued improvements in computing and materials science. Because only technology which has been demonstrated to be impossible is excluded, even remotely plausible concepts has a tendency to be thrown in. At the highest end of the scale is artificial wormhole creation, baby universes and inertia without mass.[46] Perhaps the only arguably positive depiction of transhumanism in video games is the Megaman ZX series where the line between human and reploids has begun to blur. Defining at what point the definition of the singularity was met in the centuries long Megaman timeline can be a useful way of illustrating how nebulous the terminology is during a debate.

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Transhumanism - RationalWiki

What is Transhumanism? – GenSix Productions

The title of this years True Legends Conference is Transhumanism and the Hybrid Age. For the followers of Steve Quayle, Timothy Alberino and Tom Horn, these might be familiar terms, but the importance of the topic deserves a clear understanding by all. So what exactly is transhumanism? And for that matter, what is a hybrid?

Transhumanism is defined as the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. Of course, this sounds admirable. Who among us does not want to move toward the goal of eliminating human pain with ever increasing intelligence? But transhumanism is much more than that. With the unending surge in biological know-how, we now have the ability to redefine what it means to be human. Through tools like artificial intelligence, robotics and especially genetics, science is playing a very high-stakes game in the homo sapien sandbox. The end result of this game will have massive implications for future generations.

A quick internet search of the term transhumanism reveals a host of good intentions. Phrases such as broadening human potential, overcoming aging and cognitive shortcomings, and eliminating suffering decorate articles highlighting the possibilities at our fingertips. Breakthroughs like thought-controlled robotic limbsor even regrowing natural limbsseem to make the decision to proceed a no-brainer. If we can do it, we must, as long as were careful, they say. An obligatory word of warning is usually inserted somewhere among the celebratory jargon about how we must never misuse these technologiesas if mankind would ever do such a thing? The question is; Are those who rule over us responsible enough to wield such power?

The power of our technology is being concentrated into the hands of the technocratic elite, and there is more at stake than the Terminator scenarios portrayed in Hollywood. There are deeper spiritual consequences underlying the transhumanist agenda, consequences that can have eternal ramifications. And this is why Steve Quayle and Timothy Alberino have decided to address the topic of Transhumanism and the Hybrid Age in this years True Legends Conference.

This raises another question: What exactly is a hybrid? The official definition reads as follows: a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture. In our current context, would having a robotic arm make you a hybrid? Would this be a bad thing? I would not want to tell people needing a limb that they cannot have it for either their own good or the good of mankind. Nor deny the blind sight, or the diseased a cure via some amazing biotechnological breakthrough. Thats what makes this such a sticky issue. The cryptic phraseology in Genesis concerning Noah being perfect in his generations also gives me great pause. How is it that all flesh became corrupt in the pre-flood world? Was the rest of the worlds population a hybrid mix of some kind, an unholy amalgamation of beast, man and tech?

We are fast approaching an irreversible tipping point that will radically change society as we know it, and fundamentally redefine what it means to be a human being.

Darrin GeisingerTrue Legends 2018 Conference Coordinator

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What is Transhumanism? - GenSix Productions

Elevating the Human Condition – Humanity+ What does it mean …

What does it mean to be human in a technologically enhanced world? Humanity+ is a 501(c)3 international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology, such as artificial intelligence, to expand human capacities. In other words, we want people to be better than well. This is the goal of transhumanism.

Humanity+ Advocates for Safe and Ethical Use: Technologies that intervene with human physiology for curing disease and repairing injury have accelerated to a point in which they also can increase human performance outside the realms of what is considered to be normal for humans. These technologies are referred to as emerging and speculative and include artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, biotechnology, genetic engineering, stem cell cloning, and transgenesis, for example. Other technologies that could extend and expand human capabilities outside physiology include artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, robotics, and brain-computer integration, which form the domain of bionics, uploading, and could be used for developing whole body prosthetics. Because these technologies, and their respective sciences and strategic models, such as blockchain, would take the human beyond the normal state of existence, society, including bioethicists and others who advocate the safe use of technology, have shown concern and uncertainties about the downside of these technologies and possible problematic and dangerous outcomes for our species.

2018 PROJECTS:

Humanity+ @ Beijing Conference

Blockchain Prize

Humanity+ @ The Assemblage New York City

TransVision 2018 Madrid, Spain

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Elevating the Human Condition - Humanity+ What does it mean ...

A New Generation of Transhumanists Is Emerging | HuffPost

A new generation of transhumanists is emerging. You can feel it in handshakes at transhumanist meet-ups. You can see it when checking in to transhumanist groups in social media. You can read it in the hundreds of transhumanist-themed blogs. This is not the same bunch of older, mostly male academics that have slowly moved the movement forward during the last few decades. This is a dynamic group of younger people from varying backgrounds: Asians, Blacks, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Latinos. Many are females, some are LGBT, and others have disabilities. Many are atheist, while others are spiritual or even formally religious. Their politics run the gamut, from liberals to conservatives to anarchists. Their professions vary widely, from artists to physical laborers to programmers. Whatever their background, preferences, or professions, they have recently tripled the population of transhumanists in just the last 12 months.

"Three years ago, we had only around 400 members, but today we have over 10,000 members," says Amanda Stoel, co-founder and chief administrator of Facebook group Singularity Network, one of the largest of hundreds of transhumanist-themed groups on the web.

Transhumanism is becoming so popular that even the comic strip Dilbert, which appears online and in 2000 newspapers, recently made jokes about it.

Despite its growing popularity, many people around the world still don't know what "transhuman" means. Transhuman literally means beyond human. Transhumanists consist of life extensionists, techno-optimists, Singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, AI proponents, and futurists who embrace radical science and technology to improve the human condition. The most important aim for many transhumanists is to overcome human mortality, a goal some believe is achievable by 2045.

Transhumanism has been around for nearly 30 years and was first heavily influenced by science fiction. Today, transhumanism is increasingly being influenced by actual science and technological innovation, much of it being created by people under the age of 40. It's also become a very international movement, with many formal groups in dozens of countries.

Despite the movement's growth, its potential is being challenged by some older transhumanists who snub the younger generation and their ideas. These old-school futurists dismiss activist philosophies and radicalism, and even prefer some younger writers and speakers not have their voices heard. Additionally, transhumanism's Wikipedia page -- the most viewed online document of the movement -- is protected by a vigilant posse, deleting additions or changes that don't support a bland academic view of transhumanism.

Inevitably, this Wikipedia page misses the vibrancy and happenings of the burgeoning movement. The real status and information of transhumanism and its philosophies can be found in public transhumanist gatherings and festivities, in popular student groups like the Stanford University Transhumanist Association, and in social media where tens of thousands of scientists and technologists hang out and discuss the transhuman future.

Jet-setting personality Maria Konovalenko, a 29-year-old Russian molecular biophysicist whose public demonstrations supporting radical life extension have made international news, is a prime example.

"We must do more for transhumanism and life extension," says Konovalenko, who serves as vice president of Moscow-based Science for Life Extension Foundation. "This is our lives and our futures we're talking about. To sit back and and just watch the 21st Century roll by will not accomplish our goals. We must take our message to the people in the streets and strive to make real change."

Transhumanist celebrities like Konovalenko are changing the way the movement gets its message across to the public. Gauging by the rapidly increasing number of transhumanists, it's working.

A primary goal of many transhumanists is to convince the public that embracing radical technology and science is in the species' best interest. In a mostly religious world where much of society still believes in heavenly afterlives, some people are skeptical about whether significantly extending human lifespans is philosophically and morally correct. Transhumanists believe the more people that support transhumanism, the more private and government resources will end up in the hands of organizations and companies that aim to improve human lives and bring mortality to an end.

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transhumanism | Definition, Origins, Characteristics, & Facts …

Transhumanism, social and philosophical movement devoted to promoting the research and development of robust human-enhancement technologies. Such technologies would augment or increase human sensory reception, emotive ability, or cognitive capacity as well as radically improve human health and extend human life spans. Such modifications resulting from the addition of biological or physical technologies would be more or less permanent and integrated into the human body.

The term transhumanism was coined by English biologist and philosopher Julian Huxley in his 1957 essay of the same name. Huxley referred principally to improving the human condition through social and cultural change, but the essay and the name have been adopted as seminal by the transhumanist movement, which emphasizes material technology. Huxley held that, although humanity had naturally evolved, it was now possible for social institutions to supplant evolution in refining and improving the species. The ethos of Huxleys essayif not its lettercan be located in transhumanisms commitment to assuming the work of evolution, but through technology rather than society.

The movements adherents tend to be libertarian and employed in high technology or in academia. Its principal proponents have been prominent technologists like American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil and scientists like Austrian-born Canadian computer scientist and roboticist Hans Moravec and American nanotechnology researcher Eric Drexler, with the addition of a small but influential contingent of thinkers such as American philosopher James Hughes and Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. The movement has evolved since its beginnings as a loose association of groups dedicated to extropianism (a philosophy devoted to the transcendence of human limits). Transhumanism is principally divided between adherents of two visions of post-humanityone in which technological and genetic improvements have created a distinct species of radically enhanced humans and the other in which greater-than-human machine intelligence emerges.

The membership of the transhumanist movement tends to split in an additional way. One prominent strain of transhumanism argues that social and cultural institutionsincluding national and international governmental organizationswill be largely irrelevant to the trajectory of technological development. Market forces and the nature of technological progress will drive humanity to approximately the same end point regardless of social and cultural influences. That end point is often referred to as the singularity, a metaphor drawn from astrophysics and referring to the point of hyperdense material at the centre of a black hole which generates its intense gravitational pull. Among transhumanists, the singularity is understood as the point at which artificial intelligence surpasses that of humanity, which will allow the convergence of human and machine consciousness. That convergence will herald the increase in human consciousness, physical strength, emotional well-being, and overall health and greatly extend the length of human lifetimes.

The second strain of transhumanism holds a contrasting view, that social institutions (such as religion, traditional notions of marriage and child rearing, and Western perspectives of freedom) not only can influence the trajectory of technological development but could ultimately retard or halt it. Bostrom and British philosopher David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association in 1998 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with those social institutions to promote and guide the development of human-enhancement technologies and to combat those social forces seemingly dedicated to halting such technological progress.

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Transhumanism | Future | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Transhumanism (sometimes abbreviated >H or H+) is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human cognitive and physical abilities and ameliorate what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition, such as disease, aging, and death. Transhumanist thinkers study the possibilities and consequences of developing and using human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies for these purposes. Possible dangers, as well as benefits, of powerful new technologies that might radically change the conditions of human life are also of concern to the transhumanist movement.

Although the first known use of the term "transhumanism" dates from 1957, the contemporary meaning is a product of the 1980s, when a group of scientists, artists, and futurists based in the United States began to organize what has since grown into the transhumanist movement. Transhumanist thinkers postulate that human beings will eventually be transformed into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label "posthuman".

The transhumanist vision of a profoundly transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters as well as critics from a wide range of perspectives. Transhumanism has been described by a proponent as the "movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity," while according to a prominent critic, it is the world's most dangerous idea.

In his 2005 article A History of Transhumanist Thought, philosopher Nick Bostrom locates transhumanism's roots in Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment. The Marquis de Condorcet, an eighteenth century French philosopher, is the first thinker whom he identifies as speculating about the use of medical science to extend the human life span. In the twentieth century, a direct and influential precursor to transhumanist concepts was J.B.S. Haldane's 1923 essay Daedalus: Science and the Future, which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of genetics and other advanced sciences to human biology.

Biologist Julian Huxley, brother of author Aldous Huxley (a childhood friend of Haldane's), appears to have been the first to use the actual word "transhumanism". Writing in 1957, he defined transhumanism as "man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature". This definition differs substantially from the one commonly in use since the 1980s.

The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the twentieth century. In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly F.M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught "new concepts of the Human" at The New School for Social Research in New York City, began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to "posthumanity" as "transhuman" (short for "transitory human"). In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the popularization of the concept of "transhumanity" in his book Man into Superman. FM-2030 published the Upwingers Manifesto in 1973 to stimulate transhumanly conscious activism.

The first self-described transhumanists met formally in the early 1980s at the University of California, Los Angeles, which became the main center of transhumanist thought. Here, FM-2030 lectured on his "third way" futurist ideology. At the EZTV Media venue frequented by transhumanists and other futurists, Natasha Vita-More presented Breaking Away, her 1980 experimental film with the theme of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the earth's gravity as they head into space. FM-2030 and Vita-More soon began holding gatherings for transhumanists in Los Angeles, which included students from FM-2030's courses and audiences from Vita-More's artistic productions. In 1982, Vita-More authored the Transhumanist Arts Statement, and, six years later, produced the cable TV show TransCentury Update on transhumanity, a program which reached over 100,000 viewers.

In 1988, philosopher Max More founded the Extropy Institute and was the main contributor to a formal transhumanist doctrine, which took the form of the Principles of Extropy in 1990.[ In 1990, he laid the foundation of modern transhumanism by giving it a new definition:

"Transhumanism is a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life. [] Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies []." In 1998, philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), an organization with a liberal democratic perspective. In 1999, the WTA drafted and adopted The Transhumanist Declaration. The Transhumanist FAQ, prepared by the WTA, gave two formal definitions for transhumanism:

The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. A number of similar definitions have been collected by Anders Sandberg, an academic with a high profile in the transhumanist movement.

In 2006, the board of directors of the Extropy Institute made a decision to cease operations of the organization, stating that its mission was "essentially completed". This left the World Transhumanist Association as the leading international transhumanist organization.

For a list of notable individuals who have identified themselves, or been identified by others, as advocates of transhumanism, see the list of transhumanists.

While many transhumanist theorists and advocates seek to apply reason, science and technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability and malnutrition around the globe, transhumanism is distinctive in its particular focus on the applications of technologies to the improvement of human bodies at the individual level. Many transhumanists actively assess the potential for future technologies and innovative social systems to improve the quality of all life, while seeking to make the material reality of the human condition fulfill the promise of legal and political equality by eliminating congenital mental and physical barriers.

Transhumanist philosophers argue that there not only exists an ethical imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition but that it is possible and desirable for humanity to enter a post-Darwinian phase of existence, in which humans are in control of their own evolution. In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced with deliberate change. To this end, transhumanists engage in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and evaluating possibilities for overcoming biological limitations. They draw on futures studies and various fields or subfields of science, philosophy, economics, history, and sociology. Unlike philosophers, social critics and activists who place a moral value on preservation of natural systems, transhumanists see the very concept of the "natural" as an obstacle to progress. In keeping with this, many prominent transhumanist advocates refer to transhumanism's critics on the political right and left jointly as "bioconservatives" or "bioluddites", the latter term alluding to the nineteenth century anti-industrialisation social movement that opposed the replacement of manual labor by machines.

Converging Technologies, a 2002 report exploring the potential for synergy among nano-, bio-, informational and cognitive technologies (NBIC) for enhancing human performance.While some transhumanists take a relatively abstract and theoretical approach to the perceived benefits of emerging technologies, others have offered specific proposals for modifications to the human body, including inheritable ones. Transhumanists are often concerned with methods of enhancing the human nervous system. Though some propose modification of the peripheral nervous system, the brain is considered the common denominator of personhood and is thus a primary focus of transhumanist ambitions. More generally, transhumanists support the convergence of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), and hypothetical future technologies such as simulated reality, artificial intelligence, mind uploading, and cryonics. Transhumanists believe that humans can and should use these technologies to become more than human. Transhumanists therefore support the recognition or protection of cognitive liberty, morphological freedom and procreative liberty as civil liberties, so as to guarantee individuals the choice of enhancing themselves and progressively become posthuman, which they see as the next significant evolutionary steps for the human species. Some speculate that human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies may facilitate such a transformation by the midpoint of the twenty first century.

A 2002 report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce, contains descriptions and commentaries on the state of NBIC science and technology by major contributors to these fields. The report discusses potential uses of these technologies in implementing transhumanist goals of enhanced performance and health, and ongoing work on planned applications of human enhancement technologies in the military and in the rationalization of the human-machine interface in industry.

Some theorists, such as Raymond Kurzweil, believe that the pace of technological evolution is accelerating and that the next fifty years may yield not only radical technological advances but possibly a technological singularity, which may fundamentally change the nature of human beings. Transhumanists who foresee this massive technological change generally maintain that it is desirable. However, they also explore the possible dangers of extremely rapid technological change, and frequently propose options for ensuring that advanced technology is used responsibly. For example, Bostrom has written extensively on existential risks to humanity's future welfare, including risks that could be created by emerging technologies.

On a more practical level, as proponents of personal development and body modification, transhumanists tend to use existing technologies and techniques that supposedly improve cognitive and physical performance, while engaging in routines and lifestyles designed to improve health and longevity. Depending on their age, some transhumanists express concern that they will not live to reap the benefits of future technologies. However, many have a great interest in life extension practices, and funding research in cryonics in order to make the latter a viable option of last resort rather than remaining an unproven method. Regional and global transhumanist networks and communities with a range of objectives exist to provide support and forums for discussion and collaborative projects.

There is a variety of opinion within transhumanist thought. Many of the leading transhumanist thinkers hold complex and subtle views that are under constant revision and development. Some distinctive currents of transhumanism are identified and listed here in alphabetical order:

Although some transhumanists report a very strong sense of spirituality, they are for the most part secular. In fact, many transhumanists are either agnostics or atheists. A minority, however, follow liberal forms of Eastern philosophical traditions or, as with Mormon transhumanists, have merged their beliefs with established religions.

Despite the prevailing secular attitude, some transhumanists pursue hopes traditionally espoused by religions, such as immortality albeit a physical one. Several belief systems, termed new religious movements, originating in the late twentieth century, share with transhumanism the goals of transcending the human condition by applying technology to the alteration of the body (Ralism) and mind (Scientology). While most thinkers associated with the transhumanist movement focus on the practical goals of using technology to help achieve longer and healthier lives, some speculate that future understanding of neurotheology will enable humans to achieve control of altered states of consciousness and thus "spiritual" experiences. A continuing dialogue between transhumanism and faith was the focus of an academic seminar held at the University of Toronto in 2004.

The majority of transhumanists are materialists who do not believe in a transcendent human soul. Transhumanist personhood theory also argues against the unique identification of moral actors and subjects with biological humans, judging as speciesist the exclusion of nonhuman and part-human animals, and sophisticated machines, from ethical consideration. Many believe in the compatibility of human minds with computer hardware, with the theoretical implication that human consciousness may someday be transferred to alternative media.

One extreme formulation of this idea is Frank Tipler's proposal of the Omega Point. Drawing upon ideas in physics, computer science and physical cosmology, Tipler advanced the notion that the collapse of the Universe billions of years hence could create the conditions for the perpetuation of humanity as a simulation within a megacomputer. Cosmologist George Ellis has called Tipler's book "a masterpiece of pseudoscience", and Michael Shermer devoted a chapter of Why People Believe Weird Things to enumerating perceived flaws in Tipler's thesis.

For more details on this topic, see Transhumanism in fiction. Transhumanist themes have become increasingly prominent in various literary forms during the period in which the movement itself has emerged. Contemporary science fiction often contains positive renditions of technologically enhanced human life, set in utopian (especially techno-utopian) societies. However, science fiction's depictions of technologically enhanced humans or other posthuman beings frequently come with a cautionary twist. The more pessimistic scenarios include many horrific or dystopian tales of human bioengineering gone wrong.

The cyberpunk genre, exemplified by William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) and Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix (1985), has particularly been concerned with the modification of human bodies. Other novels dealing with transhumanist themes that have stimulated broad discussion of these issues include Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear, The Xenogenesis Trilogy (19871989) by Octavia Butler; the "Culture" novels (19872000) of Iain Banks; The Beggar's Trilogy (199094) by Nancy Kress; much of Greg Egan's work since the early 1990s, such as Permutation City (1994) and Diaspora (1997); The Bohr Maker (1995) by Linda Nagata; Extensa (2002) and Perfekcyjna niedoskonao (2003) by Jacek Dukaj; Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood; Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (2002); and The Possibility of an Island (Eng. trans. 2006) by Michel Houellebecq.

Fictional transhumanist scenarios have also become popular in other media during the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Such treatments are found in films (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1979; Blade Runner, 1982; Gattaca, 1997), television series (the Ancients of Stargate SG-1, the Borg of Star Trek, the Nietzscheans of Andromeda), manga and anime (Ghost in the Shell), role-playing games (Transhuman Space) and computer games (Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, Command & Conquer). The fictional universe of the table top war game Warhammer 40,000 also makes use of genetic and cybernetic augmentation. Human characters of the Imperium often employ cybernetic devices, while the Space Marines are indeed posthuman. Many of these works are considered part of the cyberpunk genre or its postcyberpunk offshoot.

In addition to the work of Natasha Vita-More, mentioned above, transhumanism has been represented in the visual and performing arts by Carnal Art, a form of sculpture originated by the French artist Orlan that uses the body as its medium and plastic surgery as its method. The American performer Michael Jackson used technologies such as plastic surgery, skin-lightening drugs and hyperbaric oxygen treatment over the course of his career, with the effect of transforming his artistic persona so as to blur identifiers of gender, race and age. The work of the Australian artist Stelarc centers on the alteration of his body by robotic prostheses and tissue engineering. Other artists whose work coincided with the emergence and flourishing of transhumanism and who explored themes related to the transformation of the body are the Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramovic and the American media artist Matthew Barney. A 2005 show, Becoming Animal, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, presented exhibits by twelve artists whose work concerns the effects of technology in erasing boundaries between the human and non-human.

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This is the premise of many dystopian plots. Gattaca is probably the most well known movie that presents this theme. The popular consensus is that such a technology would have disasterous effects: a vast lower class would be oppressed by an upper echelon of greed. Wealth inequality would rise dramatically. A form of discrimination more apalling than anything we know about would supersede racism and society would become elitist and authoritarian.

Or maybe not?

Let's forget for a moment that the potential of germline engineering to reduce suffering in humans and non-humans extends beyond intelligence boosts. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the technology does eventually get used to increase the intelligence of a special rich class. What then?

In fact, a technology that increases general intelligence has already been invented. The Flynn Effect refers to the well documented rise in average intelligence in the world during the 20th century, and continuing into the 21st century for some nations. This rise in intellligence was too short for it to be the result of natural selection. Instead, it is generally attributed to better nutrition science and medicine, among other technological advances. Just like in Gattaca, this technology was first introduced to the rich, which allowed them to get ahead of the rest. Only now are the benefits of this widespread phenomenon being shared relatively equally, but even now it is still highly dependent on one's level of income and accident of birth.

If you ask anyone educated in the matter whether it would be better to go back to the time before nutrition science was invented, they would probably look at you funny before promptly saying, "No." Why is that? One could imagine coming up with all sorts of rationalizations that might have looked really good ex ante for resisting nutrition science. If we consider the wealth inequality objection, we might even get a somewhat good case! That is, until you look at the evidence; from Our World In Data:

The available long-run evidence shows that in the past, only a small elite enjoyed living conditions that would not be described as 'extreme poverty' today. But with the onset of industrialization and rising productivity, the share of people living in extreme poverty started to decrease.

Now, to be fair, wealth inequality has been on the rise for the last 50 years. But so has the average living condition. Almost every metric that measures human quality of life has been on the rise. Wealth inequality only measures relative quality of life.

And I don't want to come off as overly pro-technology. Despite the subreddit, I don't believe in separating the world into two forces: nature as evil, and technology as good. It happens that nature is generally bad, and it happens that technology is generally good, but I don't want to be dogmatic. I just see people performing the exact opposite inference, and I find it absurd.

Would genetic engineering really be that bad? Or is this just another instance of the pro-nature, pro-status quo bias? I haven't completely made up my mind, but I'm pretty skeptical of the most alarming claims.

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Transhumanism: The History of a Dangerous Idea: David …

Transhumanism is a recent movement that extols mans right to shape his own evolution, by maximizing the use of scientific technologies, to enhance human physical and intellectual potential. While the name is new, the idea has long been a popular theme of science fiction, featured in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, the Terminator series, and more recently, The Matrix, Limitless, Her and Transcendence.

However, as its adherents hint at in their own publications, transhumanism is an occult project, rooted in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and derived from the Kabbalah, which asserts that humanity is evolving intellectually, towards a point in time when man will become God. Modeled on the medieval legend of the Golem and Frankenstein, they believe man will be able to create life itself, in the form of living machines, or artificial intelligence.

Spearheaded by the Cybernetics Group, the project resulted in both the development of the modern computer and MK-Ultra, the CIAs mind-control program. MK-Ultra promoted the mind-expanding potential of psychedelic drugs, to shape the counterculture of the 1960s, based on the notion that the shamans of ancient times used psychoactive substances, equated with the apple of the Tree of Knowledge.

And, as revealed in the movie Lucy, through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the Internet, which is envisioned as the end-point of Kabbalistic evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google, refers to as The Singularly. By accumulating the total of human knowledge, and providing access to every aspect of human activity, the Internet will supposedly achieve omniscience, becoming the God of occultism, or the Masonic All-Seeing Eye of the reverse side of the American dollar bill.

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Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values" - Max More, 1990

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Main: Transhumanism definitions

"Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values" - Max More, 1990

"Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase" - Transhumanist FAQ

"Transhumanism is the philosophy that we can and should develop to higher levels, both physically, mentally and socially using rational methods" - Anders Sandberg, 1997

"Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have" - Nick Bostrom, 2003

"Transhumanism promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology; attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence" - Nick Bostrom, 2003

"Transhumanism is the science-based movement that seeks to transcend human biological limitations via technology" - Philippe van Nedervelde, 2015

"Transhumanism anticipates tomorrows humanity: Envisaging the positive qualities and characteristics of future intelligent life; Taking steps towards achieving these qualities and characteristics; Identifying and managing risks of negative characteristics of future intelligent life" - Transpolitica website, 2015

This section highlights reasons for supporting transhumanism.

Extracted from an essay entitled "Knowledge, Morality, and Destiny" originally presented in Washington DC on 19-20 April 1951[1], subsequently published in the journal Psychiatry in the same year[2], and available in pages 245-278 of the book of essays "New Bottles for New Wine" published in 1957:

Never was there a greater need for a large perspective, in which we might discern the outlines of a general and continuing belief beyond the disturbance and chaos of the present...

Every society, in every age, needs some system of beliefs, including a basic attitude to life, an organized set of ideas around which emotion and purpose may gather, and a conception of human destiny. It needs a philosophy and a faith to achieve a guide to orderly living - in other words, a morality...

This brings me... to the emergent idea-system, the new organization of thought, at whose birth we are assisting. It takes account, first and foremost, of the fact that nature is one universal process of evolution, self-developing and self-transforming, and it includes us. Man does not stand over against nature; he is part of it. We men are that part of the process which has become self-conscious, and it is our duty and our destiny to facilitate the process by leading it on to new levels.

Our chief motive, therefore, will derive from the exploration and understanding of human nature and the possibilities of development and fulfilment inherent in it, a study which will of course include the limitations, distortions, and frustrations to be avoided.

Such a philosophy might perhaps best be called Transhumanism. It is based on the idea of humanity attempting to overcome its limitations and arrive at fuller fruition; it is the realization that both individual and social development are processes of self-transformation.

Extracted from an essay entitled "Transhumanism" on pages 13-17 of the book of essays "New Bottles for New Wine" published in 1957:

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future. This cosmic self-awareness is being realized in one tiny fragment of the universe in a few of us human beings. Perhaps it has been realized elsewhere too, through the evolution of conscious living creatures on the planets of other stars. But on this our planet, it has never happened before...

Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, nasty, brutish and short; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery in one form or anotherpoverty, disease, ill-health, over-work, cruelty, or oppression. They have attempted to lighten their misery by means of their hopes and their ideals. The trouble has been that the hopes have generally been unjustified, the ideals have generally failed to correspond with reality.

The zestful but scientific exploration of possibilities and of the techniques for realizing them will make our hopes rational, and will set our ideals within the framework of reality, by showing how much of them are indeed realizable. Already, we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted. We are already justified in the conviction that human life as we know it in history is a wretched makeshift, rooted in ignorance; and that it could be transcended by a state of existence based on the illumination of knowledge and comprehension, just as our modern control of physical nature based on science transcends the tentative fumblings of our ancestors, that were rooted in superstition and professional secrecy.

To do this, we must study the possibilities of creating a more favourable social environment, as we have already done in large measure with our physical environment...

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.

I believe in transhumanism: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.

Main: Transhumanist Declaration

The first four sections of the Transhumanist Declaration, written in 1998 by an international collection of authors, encapsulate an argument in favour of transhumanism, as follows:

In February 2013, a number of authors created alternative transhumanist declarations. Some excerpts provide additional reasons for supporting transhumanism:

From Dirk Bruere:

We assert the desirability of transcending human limitations by overcoming aging, enhancing cognition, abolishing involuntary suffering, and expanding beyond Earth.

From Samantha Atkins:

1) We advocate the end of aging.

We advocate serious research focus on finding a cure for all the deleterious effects of aging and ultimately the dissemination of the resulting treatment to all who care to avail themselves of it.

2) We believe in and advocate the achievement of actual abundance.

We believe in and seek to bring into the being the technologies and practices, that will ensure such abundance that it is trivial to meet all the needs and many of the wants of all humans. This abundance includes abundant food, water, shelter, education, communication, computation, health care.

This is to be achieved by means of advanced technology and whatever changes are necessary to actually experience abundance in ourselves and our institutions.

3) We hold that all must be voluntary.

None of our goals should be or in our view could successfully be achieved by force. No one should be forced directly or indirectly to support these goals. Force and oppression lead to hopelessness, anger, revenge, revolution. With the multiplication of consequences afforded by accelerating technology these cycles are even less survivable than ever before.

4) We support exploitation of near earth space resources.

The future of humanity brightens considerably if we exploit near earth space resources. The right to do so should be available to any and all entities capable of improving or making productive use of any part of it. Any treaties that say no part of off planet resources can belong to anyone should be nullified and declared void.

5) All humans are free to attempt to improve themselves.

All humans by virtue of the inalienable right to their own life have the right to do whatever they wish that they think may be an beneficial or even as a whim. They only limit is that they cannot abrogate the equivalent rights of others. They can ingest, or embed or modify themselves in any way they wish and think may be an improvement. This includes seeking and achieving improvements beyond the human norm. In short they have full right to pursuit of happiness via such means.

From Jason Xu:

We view our movement as an extension of humanitarianism and the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with exponentially greater benefits. We are first and foremost dedicating to radically improving humankind, ensuring that the great power of morphing technology comes with great responsibility.

From TJL-2080:

The twentieth century was a time of amazing growth and technological advancement. The twenty-first century will see these technologies burst forth in an unprecedented fashion. Humanity must adapt to the coming changes or become obsolete. We seek to fulfill our potential by not giving in to our biological limitations. We will use new technologies to enhance our lives, live longer, be smarter, healthier and more compassionate to all beings.

From Nikola Danaylov:

Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains. It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.

Biology mandates not only very limited durability, death and poor memory retention, but also limited speed of communication, transportation, learning, interaction and evolution.

Biology is not the essence of humanity.

Human is a step in evolution, not the culmination...

Biological evolution is perpetual but slow, inefficient, blind and dangerous. Technological evolution is fast, efficient, accelerating and better by design. To ensure the best chances of survival, take control of our own destiny and to be free, we must master evolution.

From Taylor Grin:

Humanity has made leaping strides of advancement in the last 4000 years. From agriculture to genetics, from the printing press to the Internet. From the first controlled flight in 1903, to landing on the moon in 1969. From fire to the nuclear bomb.

Yet despite these advancements, we still fail to meet our potential in treating disease, solving human suffering and overcoming the lot nature casts us.

While science and technology are the greatest asset we have in the struggle to elevate ourselves above the human condition, we acknowledge that technologies can be misused to harm humanity, and the environment.

It is the goal of Transhumanists across the globe, therefore, to quickly and responsibly usher in a new era of individual freedom, health and longevity, and we seek to bring this about this goal through personal investment in researching and developing technologies.

The following argument is by Eliezer Yudkowsky (2007):[3]

Suppose you find an unconscious six-year-old girl lying on the train tracks of an active railroad. What, morally speaking, ought you to do in this situation? Would it be better to leave her there to get run over, or to try to save her? How about if a 45-year-old man has a debilitating but nonfatal illness that will severely reduce his quality of life is it better to cure him, or not cure him?

Oh, and by the way: This is not a trick question.

I answer that I would save them if I had the power to do so both the six-year-old on the train tracks, and the sick 45-year-old. The obvious answer isnt always the best choice, but sometimes it is.

I wont be lauded as a brilliant ethicist for my judgments in these two ethical dilemmas. My answers are not surprising enough that people would pay me for them. If you go around proclaiming What does two plus two equal? Four! you will not gain a reputation as a deep thinker. But it is still the correct answer.

If a young child falls on the train tracks, it is good to save them, and if a 45-year-old suffers from a debilitating disease, it is good to cure them. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle which says Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad. If so and here we enter into controversial territory we can follow this general principle to a surprising new conclusion: If a 95-year-old is threatened by death from old age, it would be good to drag them from those train tracks, if possible. And if a 120-year-old is starting to feel slightly sickly, it would be good to restore them to full vigor, if possible. With current technology it is not possible. But if the technology became available in some future year given sufficiently advanced medical nanotechnology, or such other contrivances as future minds may devise would you judge it a good thing, to save that life, and stay that debility?

The important thing to remember, which I think all too many people forget, is that it is not a trick question.

Transhumanism is simpler requires fewer bits to specify because it has no special cases. If you believe professional bioethicists (people who get paid to explain ethical judgments) then the rule Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad holds only until some critical age, and then flips polarity. Why should it flip? Why not just keep on with life-is-good? It would seem that it is good to save a six-year-old girl, but bad to extend the life and health of a 150-year-old. Then at what exact age does the term in the utility function go from positive to negative? Why?

As far as a transhumanist is concerned, if you see someone in danger of dying, you should save them; if you can improve someones health, you should. There, youre done. No special cases. You dont have to ask anyones age.

You also dont ask whether the remedy will involve only primitive technologies (like a stretcher to lift the six-year-old off the railroad tracks); or technologies invented less than a hundred years ago (like penicillin) which nonetheless seem ordinary because they were around when you were a kid; or technologies that seem scary and sexy and futuristic (like gene therapy) because they were invented after you turned 18; or technologies that seem absurd and implausible and sacrilegious (like nanotech) because they havent been invented yet. Your ethical dilemma report form doesnt have a line where you write down the invention year of the technology. Can you save lives? Yes? Okay, go ahead. There, youre done...

So that is transhumanism loving life without special exceptions and without upper bound.

Can transhumanism really be that simple? Doesnt that make the philosophy trivial, if it has no extra ingredients, just common sense? Yes, in the same way that the scientific method is nothing but common sense.

Then why have a complicated special name like transhumanism? For the same reason that scientific method or secular humanism have complicated special names. If you take common sense and rigorously apply it, through multiple inferential steps, to areas outside everyday experience, successfully avoiding many possible distractions and tempting mistakes along the way, then it often ends up as a minority position and people give it a special name.

A techno-utopia, as hypothesized by Marshall Brain in a futuristic science-fiction novel titled "Manna", can be seen as a strong arguments for transhumanism. In the utopia, with the aid of science and technology, humans are capable of doing the following:

A techno-dystopia, which is the current, non-transhumanist paradigm, holds the following in store for humans:

Writers in previous generations have often expressed arguments in favour of transhumanist ideas, without using that precise terminology. This includes Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Condorcet, Francis Bacon, and many others. See the Prehistory of Transhumanism.

Main: Criticism of transhumanism

This section lists some common criticisms of transhumanism. See Criticism of transhumanism for more discussion of:

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Transhumanism - H+Pedia - hpluspedia.org

Transhumanism – Mercurial Essays

Transhumanism

The Rise: TranshumanismOver the past four decades, technology has undoubtingly made its mark on the world. Generations upon generations of people have invested time, money, and even their lives to advance technology, but when will it cease? Transhumanism is one of the many advancements that society has made and is starting to stand out amongst the citizens of first world countries. The events of tomorrow are going to be affected by how hard humans work today. Transhumanism is going to vastly change the wellness of the world for the future generations; not just physically, but mentally as well with the advancements in technology such as space colonization, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.There are multiple conspiracies floating around the media that transhumanism is a brainwashing technique used to benefit the government, not the people. The main principal transhumanism was founded on, revolves around the belief that humans can go physically and mentally farther than they currently are, in other words a post-human race. Max Moore implies that it is a multidisciplinary approach in the analyzing the dynamic interplay between humanity and the acceleration of technology (Moore). Humans have a curious streak amongst them. They are always trying to push how far their spectrum can reach. As they progress forward in the future, humans will discover how to balance technology with their everyday lives and still sustain a neutral interface with normal interactions with the help of science. Scientists are always looking for different ways to enhance the future by inventing these technologically advanced devices and even colonies where people can artificially live. With such a voluminous concept comes a huge study that creeps behind it. There are multiple fields of science that incorporate the studies of transhumanism. Moore, a transhumanist researcher, states that the main technologies they focus on are biotechnology, cryotechnology, molecular

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Transhumanism - Mercurial Essays

TRANSHUMANISM Feral House

The ultimate question is no longer who am I orwhy am I here. These questions were answered in theearliest civilizations by philosophers and priests. Todaywe live in an age of such rapid advances in technologyand science that the ultimate question must berephrased: what shall we be?

This book investigateswhatmay become of humancivilization,whois setting the agenda for atrans-humanistic civilization, andwhy.

The modern Victor Frankenstein holds a high politicaloffice, carries diplomatic immunity, and is most likelyfunded by the largest corporations worldwide. His method is ancient: alchemy. His fraternities are well known and their secrets are well kept, but his goal of times past and present is the same; he dares to become as god, genetically manipulating the seeds of the earth, the beasts on the fields, and to claim legal ownership over humanity by re-creating it in his own image. This is no fairy tale, science fiction, or conspiracy theory it simply is!

Transhumanism, a Grimoire of Alchemical Agendasby Dr.s. Joseph P. Farrell and Scott D. de Hart lifts the veil from the macabre transhumanistic monster being assembled and exposes the hidden history and agenda that has set humanity on a collision course for the Apocalypse.

If you think texts like the Rig Veda and Popol Vuh are reliable guides to the goals and techniques of advanced lost civilizations, thenTranshumanismoffers a compelling slate of spooky coincidences. If you think those texts just fanciful concoctions of the long dead, then the book serves as documentation of the ancient roots of mans desire for complete techno-control of the stuff of life. Theres nothing surprising or spooky about that; the technological manipulation of naturehuman and otherwiseis quintessentially human. Brian Doherty,Reason Magazine

Excerpt from:

TRANSHUMANISM Feral House

Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda

x

Uri Dowbenko, Conscious ReporterWaking Times

At a TED-like techno-geek symposium in the 2014 film Transcendence, Artificial Intelligence guru Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is asked by an audience member, So you want to create your own god? And he answers, Isnt that what man has always done?

This smarmy remark is indicative of the hubris and arrogance of scientism, the belief that science can solve all the problems on this planet, while scientists can have fun playing god at the same time.

It could also have been the answer of Real-Life Techno-Wizard Ray Kurzweil, Googles Director of Engineering, whose book The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005), is ever so popular with scientific materialists who neither have the capacity nor the desire for spiritual evolution, but have a fervent belief that the shotgun marriage of man and machine is not only normal but something to be ardently pursued.

Simply put Kurzweils sociopathic quest for digital immortality is based on his fear of death. He claims to take 150 pills a day in order to still be half-alive when voodoo science will have succeeded in uploading his sorry-state mind into a digital facsimile of his former self into cyber-space.

No soul? No problem

Since materialist scientists dont understand multi-dimensional or spiritual realities, they are unconcerned about the details which they cant even fathom.

And what exactly is the Singularity supposed to be? Its a future mythological moment when machine (artificial) intelligence becomes more intelligent than human intelligence.Kurzweils thesis and fervent hope is that it will occur by 2045. He writes that it is a future period during which the pace of technological advance will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed The Singularity will represent the culmination of the merger of our biological thinking and existence with our technology, resulting in a world that is still human but transcends our biological roots. There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine or between physical and virtual.

Does that sound like science or a religious Belief System (B***)?

Despite a lackluster script, Transcendence is worth seeing because it is another example of Illuminati predictive programming in popular sci-fi movies. After all todays Hollywood Illuminati make the best movies, which are also the best propaganda for preparing humanity to accept One World Global Techno-Feudalism.

Eliminating humanity altogether also appears to be one of their goals as they seem to believe that the Humanity Experiment for all intents and purposes is finished. And, if they realize their twisted vision, humanity will in actuality become completely superfluous on Terra.

A Charlie Sheen movie called The Arrival comes to mind, in which an alien race is terra-forming Planet Earth to fit their requirements which are far different from that of humanity. They need a darker and more humid climate like the one in which dinosaurs roamed the earth. Obviously geo-engineering spraying chemtrails around the world and other forms of weather manipulation using HAARP technology, etc. are used in this so-called climate change scenario. Of course humans are always blamed for using the petro-chemical technology with which they have enslaved humanity in this age.

Now the plan to get rid of those pesky humans appears to have accelerated as the movie Transcendence introduces the concept of transhumanism to the hand-held electronics-addled masses.

Transhumanism itself was coined by Aldous Huxleys brother, biologist Julian Huxley, in 1957, when he wrote The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature. (Religion Without Revelation, p.27)

Even Illuminati Gofer Julian Huxley called it a belief, since he knew that immortality was the Illuminati goal in life. After all, transhumanism has been aptly named the Rapture of the Geeks.

Reviewers of the movie have failed to put the film in context with real-life science, wherein techno-mischief makers like Google have plenty of cash to make their dream of transhumanism a reality. It should be noted that Google has been buying up companies like Boston Robotics, which makes killer robots, Deep Mind Technologies, an artificial intelligence company, NEST Labs, which plans to monitor your life through interactive appliances called the Network of Things and Project Calico, a genetic engineering project to defeat death itself, as their hype goes.

Scooping up human DNA into a gigantic database also seems to be one of Googles goals. A Google-wannabe subsidiary called 23andMe, founded by the wife of a Google founder, has as its stated goal creating the worlds largest secure, private database of genotypic and phenotypic information that can be used for comparison analysis and research. Of course Google has included a disclaimer in the Terms of Use which states Genetic information you share with others could be used against your interests. And this wonderful Monopoly Capitalism zinger as well By providing any sample, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by 23andMe or its collaborating partners.

According to a New York Magazine article called The Google of Spit, by the end of 2013, 23andMe had extracted and analyzed DNA from 650,000 people, making it one of the biggest genetic banks in the world. Like any other Google scam, you sign away your rights but this time its your genetic program its your DNA.

Will Google be able harvest your soul in the future?

As New York Magazine put it In September, just a month after Wojcicki [wife of Google founder Sergey Brin] and Brin announced their separation, Google announced the launch of a new venture called Calico. Though its exact mission and purpose remain unclear, the general idea is for Calico to solve death, as Time magazine put it, in an uncanny echo of Wojcickis [founder of 23andMe] promise to solve health.

Solve health? Solve death? Theres no so-called problem these Arrogant Techno-Creeps cant handle

And then theres DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), the Pentagons black-magic voodoo-science department that wants to create among other things replicant super-soldiers as portrayed by Rutger Hauer in the movie Blade Runner or Kurt Russel in Soldier for the Illuminatis future wars which will then inevitably morph into autonomous killing robots as seen in the RoboCop and Terminator films.

Coincidentally in a book by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange called When Wikileaks Met Google (2014), we discover Surprise! Google was actually partially funded by the sinister DARPA, the Pentagon Devils Workshop. Heres a footnote from the book

Acknowledgments, in The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, Sergey Brin, Lawrence Page (Computer Science Department, Stanford University, 1998): The research described here was conducted as part of the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project, supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement IRI-9411306. Funding for this cooperative agreement is also provided by DARPA and NASA, and by Interval Research, and the industrial partners of the Stanford Digital Libraries Project, archive.today/tb5VL.

In an excellent documentary called Google and the World Brain, WIRED magazine writer Kevin Kelly asked Google founder Larry Page back in the olden days, Why would anyone want a new search engine when we have Alta Vista?

And Page replied, Its not to make a search engine. Its to make an A.I.

The documentary also quotes Ray Kurzweil before he was hired as Googles Director of Engineering saying We talked to Google about their quest to digitize all knowledge and then create an A.I.

Googles corporate goal appears to be not only to steal all words, books, images, video, music, etc. through its search engine and other subsidiaries like Google Books, You Tube, etc. but then to monetize this wholesale theft on a worldwide scale.

This global library of information can then be transformed into a super-cyber-godlike Artificial Intelligence, which literally may become tantamount to SkyNet of Terminator movie fame.

In Transcendence, the Johnny Depp character turns into an uploaded cyberspace version of his former human self. Disguised as a cautionary tale, the movie is presented as a fait accompli, since the mad scientists of Google and DARPA are undoubtedly working day and night to initiate the so-called Singularity a confluence of the so-called GRIN technologies Genetic, Robotic, Information processing, and Neuro-technological processing.

By merging Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, and Synthetic Biology, augmented by geo-engineering and Genetically Modified (GM or weaponized) food crops, these voodoo priests and rabbis of transhumanism are attempting to create a consensual virtual reality in which humans have become irrelevant because they are not augmented like those who have A.I. enhanced techno-gadgets, granting them super-powers, super-knowledge or super-intelligence. These synthetic or artificial siddhis (spiritual powers), they believe, will make them much more than mere mortal humans.

Like SkyNet, the all-powerful Artificial Intelligence in Jim Camerons Terminator movies, which sees humans as the enemy because it has no use for humans, Johnny Depps uploaded super-mind in Transcendence becomes a kind of cyber-god which craves more energy and power, not only to survive, but to expand itself and control everything on Earth.

Or as the Depp character tells his TED fanboys at the symposium Imagine a machine with the full range of human emotion. Its analytical power will be greater than the collective intelligence of every person in the history of the world. Some scientists refer to this as the singularity. I call it transcendence.

The problem with Singularity is that these materialistic scientists dont even understand what consciousness is, yet believe that uploading a human brain into a computer environment is somehow akin to transcending humanity even if its just a synthetic copy of a persons memories, etc.

They call it H+ which implies a superior human (Homo Superior) as opposed to Homo Sapiens.

The reality may be a little different, since the Illuminati plan for humanity is genetically engineering Homo Sapiens into Homo Deus.

Or is it Homo Insanus?

After all. No soul? No problem

Even Nobel Prize winner Stephen Hawking has written about his foreboding regarding transhumanism and the movie Transcendence in a UK Independent op-ed piece.

Of course Hawking doesnt say that Google is equivalent to Skynet, but he appears to be concerned about the dangers of an A.I. arms race, since mega-corporations like the sinister Google and Apple, as well as the sinister DARPA, are using their formidable resources of money and high-tech labor to try to produce an A.I. as soon as possible. Hawkins writes its tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction. But this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history.

And why does Hawking sound a warning about the dangers of A.I.? Because he knows that as a cripp(term used by the handicapped as short for cripple), he would have been terminated as a useless eater.

The movies premise that Artificial Super Intelligence, a/k/a The Uploaded Johnny Depp 2.0 is a threat to humanity is of serious concern to Hawking and that dismissing the film as just science fiction could be the worst mistake in history, implies that film director Jim Camerons scenario in Terminator 2, wherein the A.I. based SkyNet overpowers the humans is not simply an idle threat but a very real problem since morality-and-ethics-free robots who are soul-less beings are an existential threat to humanity itself.

Hawking argues that developments in so-called digital personal assistants like Apples Siri and Google Now show a current I.T. Information Technology arms race which pales against what the coming decades will bring.

Success in creating A.I. would be the biggest event in human history, writes Hawking Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.

Another opponent of the Singularity agenda is Bill Joy, who wrote an article for WIRED Magazine called Why the future doesnt need us: Our most powerful 21st-century technologies robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech are threatening to make humans an endangered species.

Joy quotes from Kurzweils book The Age of Spiritual Machines, wherein he finds himself most troubled by this passage

The New Luddite Challenge

On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite just as it is today, but with two differences.

Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite.

In the book, you dont discover until you turn the page that the author of this passage is Theodore Kaczynski the Unabomber.

By the way Luddite is a derogatory term for anyone who is opposed to technological so-called advances for any reason whatsoever.

And of course what the alleged Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who was a mind control experimentation victim at Harvard, meant in his screed was that propaganda is actually so-called news, psychological techniques is the Malthusian belief system that there are too many humans on earth, and biological techniques means genetically modified foods and vaccines to cull the herd. In other words, he is predicting the Illuminati vision for the future a future bereft of what Illuminati Kingpin Henry Kissinger called useless eaters.

Then Bill Joy, cofounder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems, gets positively metaphysical, writing I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment.

Perfection of extreme evil now thats a mouthful.

Even Elon Musk, of Tesla Car and SpaceX Rocket Fame, is allegedly wary of A.I. According to CNN, he told an audience at MIT that we should be very careful about Artificial Intelligence, warning it may be our biggest existential threat, adding that with Artificial Intelligence, we are summoning the demon.

When so-called High Profile Illuminati Gofer Scientist-Entrepreneurs refer to Artificial Intelligence as Perfection of Extreme Evil and Summoning the Demons b******! You Better Pay Attention!

CONTINUE READING

URI DOWBENKO is the author of Homegrown Holography, Bushwhacked: Inside Stories of True Conspiracy and Hoodwinked: Watching Movies with Eyes Wide Open. He is also the founder and publisher of http://www.ConspiracyPlanet.com, http://www.ConspiracyDigest.com, http://www.AlMartinRaw.com, and http://www.InsiderIntelligence.com, as well as the publisher of The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider by Al Martin. Uris latest project is called New Improved Memoirs, Its your life story Without the hassle of writing it. (http://www.NewImprovedMemoirs.com) a professional service for people who want to leave behind a customized autobiography, in other words a published book, as a legacy for their friends, family, and posterity. You can visit Uri at http://www.UriDowb

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Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda was last modified: June 18th, 2016 by WakingTimes

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Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda

Transhumanism by Dorian Mays on Prezi

Here's What I ThinkThe world we live in has become one that has technology embedded into its identity. Children now are receiving iPads and things of that nature at extremely young ages, which would cause them to not develop in social environments because they are glued to the devices. We use our phones for memory, directions, entertainment, emotion, and everything that we lack in reality. It has become as much a part of humanity as air, it's hard to go anywhere without a piece technology somewhere.

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras states, "Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic as much as sex. (https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/5-ways-digital-media-impacts-brain/)TranshumanismTopicTranshumanism is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.

With the technological advances of genomes and asexual creation from stem cells these ideas are not far from this idea.(http://www.businessinsider.com/baby-ivg-ivf-stem-cells-2017-1)

Philosopher Nikola Danaylov, Transhumanists of the world unitewe have immortality to gain and only biology to lose.

There are people in California already trying to create a reality that can alter mortality, something that transhumanist intend to eliminate.

They believe that people already been working by making dieing "more comfortable" for those who are terminally ill or impaired. A belief is that this is only adding to that part of science.(https://www.wired.com/2017/03/silicon-valley-rather-cure-death-make-life-worth-living/)By: Dorian MaysIdeaologyWorks Citedhttp://www.businessinsider.com/baby-ivg-ivf-stem-cells-2017-1

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/silicon-valley-rather-cure-death-make-life-worth-living/

https://www.wired.com/story/the-alexa-amazon-eavesdropping-situation/

(Throughout the prezi)https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-alexa-voice-assistant-had-a-flaw-that-let-eavesdroppers-listen-in/

If You Jaywalk in China, Facial Recognition Means You’ll Walk Away With A Fine

https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-s8/security/

https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/5-ways-digital-media-impacts-brain/

Smart DevicesSmarter than you?Visual ExamplesBlack Mirror: Season 4 Ep. 2 & 6, Season 3 Ep. 1Altered Carbonhttp://www.vulture.com/2017/12/black-mirror-season-4-recap-arkangel.htmlhttp://www.vulture.com/2017/12/black-mirror-recap-season-4-black-museum.htmlhttps://www.netflix.com/title/80097140all on NetflixLast ThoughtsWhen you hear someone talk of things like this, it comes off as being paranoid or a conspiracy theorist. It's not either of those, transhumanism is something that is being developed as we sit here now. Schools like MIT and other STEM centered schools would be center of these ideals. Give Elon Musk the idea and it'll happen in 15-20 years. The only thing I want to say is pay attention to how much you are putting into these new technologies and their features.One of the draws of the transhuman ideal is that there is a definite of "life after death". Which is something that many people search for. Something to believe in and look forward to. In an article from The Guardian, the author talks of her journey from Christianity to Transhumanism. It is a situation of one believing what they deem as fact versus tradition and their personal revelations throughout the process.https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/18/god-in-the-machine-my-strange-journey-into-transhumanism

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Transhumanism by Dorian Mays on Prezi

What is Mormon Transhumanism? And is it Mormon? | Interpreter …

Abstract: Some sources have described Mormonism as the faith most friendly to the intellectual movement known as Transhumanism. This paper reviews an introductory paper by the past President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. A syllogism that purports to show that Mormonism is compatible with or even requires Transhumanism is analyzed. The syllogisms premises are shown to misunderstand or misrepresent LDS scripture and doctrine. The proffered Transhumanist conception of human nature and the perspective offered by LDS scripture are compared and found to be incompatible. Additional discrepancies between the Transhumanist articles representation of LDS doctrine and the actual teachings of LDS scripture and leaders on doctrinal matters (the Premortal Council in Heaven, the relationship between substance dualism and LDS thought, and the possibility of engineering or controlling spiritual experiences) are examined. The article does not accurately reflect LDS teachings, and thus has not demonstrated that Transhumanism is congenial to LDS scripture or doctrine.1

In conversation recently, I was asked about Mormon Transhumanism, amovement about which I knew very little.2 A longtime obsession with [Page 162]science-fiction literature made me aware of Transhumanism, which urges the alteration of human nature and capability through science and technology, particularly via GNR Genetics, Nanotechnology, Robotics and information technology. Chief among Transhumanisms goals are the abolition of death from aging,3 the enhancement and replacement of biological cognition with machine equivalents, and the emergence of the Singularity, a moment of explosive cultural evolution triggered by the development of a self-improving machine- or biological-machine hybrid-intelligence.4

My initial reaction was to conclude that this was not a research program any would think could dovetail well with Mormon thought. Iwas, however, mistaken at least a few individuals believe such areconciliation is both possible and desirable.

The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) describes itself as the worlds largest advocacy network for ethical use of technology and religion to expand human abilities, as outlined in the Transhumanist Declaration.5 As of this writing, they report 591 members, of whom 376 have made their names public.6

The MTA website includes an article written by the groups past president, Lincoln Cannon.7 It is targeted at a general readership, and Cannons other work has been cited in the academic literature as [Page 163]evidence that the Church of Latter-day Saints [sic] is also the tradition that exhibits the most positive attitude toward transhumanism.8 This is a somewhat extravagant claim when we consider that the Mormon Transhumanist Association then had only 255 members.9 If Mormonism represents the most favorable faith, Transhumanisms stock amongst the religious must be low indeed.10 An author in First Things was more skeptical, writing rather than rejecting their faith, Mormon transhumanists can come to the movement because of their religion. Or so says Cannon. Mormon authorities, I suspect, would disagree.11

In this essay, I offer a review and reaction to the claims in Cannons article from my own believing LDS perspective. I will say nothing about Transhumanisms scientific claims, though I have enough of the scientist in me to be deeply skeptical about many of them.12

It would be impossible to represent every nuance in perspective held by members of the movement in a brief essay such as Cannons. Adding to that difficulty is the reputation that Transhumanists have acquired for being diverse and fractious. As one author observed:

Transhumanism is not a static or crystallized doctrine it has already had its share of schisms and internecine skirmishes. This recent but quickly growing movement is part science, [Page 164]part philosophy, but also part science-fiction, and I might add, part faith.13

Mormon Transhumanists seem no different. Cannon writes, Mormon transhumanists do not have one vision of the future. We have many visions many dreams. And we express them in many narratives (210).

So, I make no claim that the analysis here applies to all Transhumanists, all Mormon Transhumanists, or even all that Cannon has written and said elsewhere. This review serves as a preliminary study, by a newcomer to these ideas, of a single introductory paper intended to help beginners get up to speed.

In Part 1, I examine a series of syllogisms which Cannon offers as evidence that Mormonism actually mandates transhumanism (213). We will find that most of the premises upon which these syllogisms rest are not accurate representations of LDS thought. We will see that Cannon often either misreads or misrepresents LDS scripture. On a superficial reading, his citations may appear to support his argument. Acloser look reveals that any support they appear to offer Transhumanism is a mirage.

Of particular significance for orthodox Mormons is my observation that Cannon puts a great deal of emphasis on humanitys mastering techniques to achieve immortality, which creates what seem to be insurmountable difficulties for his account of LDS doctrine.

In Part 2, I investigate Cannons portrayal of human nature and Transhumanisms purported ability to alter it now and in the future. We find that LDS theology and Transhumanism use the concept of human nature in different ways. We note that while Cannons account of Jesus highlights the ways in which we might imitate him and adopt his salvific role, it omits discussion of the areas in which his role as a perfected and glorified celestial being whose Atonement performed a unique and once-and-for-all act to bring immortality and the possibility of eternal life to all mankind is incommensurate with our role and possibilities as beings living in a fallen world.

In Part 3, I conclude by reviewing some of what I take to be Cannons misreadings of LDS doctrine, particularly those focused on matters of dualism, materialism, and the nature of spiritual experiences.

Cannon advances what he concedes is a controversial claim. Some Mormon transhumanists, he writes, contend that Mormonism actually mandates transhumanism . [O]ne cannot be a Mormon without being a transhumanist. He goes on to assure us that we can use Mormon scripture to formulate a supporting argument (213). He offers four premises, accompanied by appeals to LDS scripture:15

P1: God commands us to use ordained means to participate in Gods work.

Supporting statements:

1a)1 Nephi 3:7 God prepares ways for us to accomplish Gods commands.1b)Alma 60:11, 2123 God will not save us unless we use the means God has already provided.1c)D&C 58:2728 We should engage in good causes without waiting for God to provide specific commands.

P2: Science and technology are among the means ordained of God.

Supporting statements:

2a)1 Nephi 17:811, 16 God commands Nephi to construct a ship to save his family.2b)Alma 37:3839 God gave Nephi a compass to guide his family to the promised land.2c)D&C 88:7879 God commands us to study and teach everything from astronomy and geology to history and politics.2d)D&C 121:2633 We will learn all the physical laws of the world before attaining heaven.

[Page 166]P3: Gods work is to help each other attain Godhood.

Supporting statements:

3a)3 Nephi 12:48 Jesus commands us to be perfect like God.3b)D&C 76:5860, 9295 God would make us Gods of equal power with him.3c)Moses 1:39 Gods work is to make us immortal in eternal life.

P4: An essential attribute of Godhood is a glorified immortal body.

Given these four premises, Cannon declares that we can reason and thereby draws three conclusions:16

First Conclusion: Because God commands us to use ordained means to participate in Gods work [P1], and because science and technology are among those means [P2], we can deduce [C1] that God commands us to use science and technology to participate in Gods work.

Second Conclusion: Because God commands us to use science and technology to participate in Gods work [C1], and because Gods work is to help each other attain Godhood [P3], we can deduce [C2] that God commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood.

Third Conclusion: Because God commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood [C2], and because an essential attribute of Godhood is a glorified immortal body [P4], we can conclude [C3] that God commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain a glorified immortal body.

Cannon concludes, If we began with premises that accurately reflect Mormonism, then Mormonism mandates transhumanism (214). Even a valid argument (i.e., one that follows the rules of logic) produces truth only if its premises are true and we will find that none of his premises accurately reflect LDS doctrine.

[Page 167]Note that each conclusion depends upon the truth of the conclusion that went before: the first must be true for the second to have any force, while the second is required for the third. A failure at any point destroys the entire argument downstream.

Let us first examine the use to which Cannons argument puts the scriptures invoked in his first two premises.

Few Latter-day Saints would quarrel with the idea that God provides means for mortals to accomplish the purposes he sets them (1a).

Cannons second scripture is cited to support the idea that God will not save us unless we use the means God has already provided (1b). This formulation trades on the fact that the scripture cites Captain Moronis speaking of being delivered (Alma 60:11, 20, 21) from a temporal, military threat yet oddly Cannon uses the term save instead, a term never used in the verses cited.17 Rendering Moronis claim as saved allows the argument to imply matters of eternal salvation rather than deliverance in war. The remainder of Cannons argument requires that Moronis words be understood in a religious sense.

Perhaps without intending to do so, Cannon has already shifted the scriptural ground a command about using available means to escape a mortal, physical threat in the political realm has been shaded through choice of language into a command about how we ought to approach matters of human salvation (in the eschatological sense). This shift is not an inconsequential move. Either Cannon is unaware of what he has done, or he hopes we wont notice.18

This lack of precision is compounded when Cannons third scripture is used to argue that we ought to engage in good causes without [Page 168]waiting for God to provide specific commands (1c). Here the argument implicitly lays the ground to assume without evidence what it will eventually be enlisted to prove. An admonition to engage in good causes without being commanded in the details (1c) applies in this case only if the transhumanist approach to salvation is a good one.19 But that is ultimately the point at issue. We cannot assume it at the outset.

One is justified, for example, in spending vast human resources, research capital, and intellectual firepower to digitize and upload ahuman personality only if such an undertaking is (1) possible and (2) desired by God. If such things are either impossible or improper, such efforts are at best a colossal waste of time, money, and talent that could be better spent on a thousand other pressing needs or at worst a type of fatal hubris, sin on a vast scale. They would not then be good causes in the sense required by Cannons argument, even if they arise out of noble motives with lofty goals.

Let me draw an analogy from technological advancements in my field of study and career (medical science): (P1) God wants happy families and (P2) many scientists have worked wonders to ease the technical and legal obstacles to elective abortion as a contraceptive method. But abortion as contraception is hardly an undertaking that LDS doctrine endorses, even if we believe it will make for a happier family (a good cause!) and even if the means have been given us to carry it out.

This analogy is not farfetched. Cannon writes somewhat rhapsodically of one of many narratives reflecting some common expectations and aspirations, and illustrating parallels between Mormonism and transhumanism (210). He then describes how in one Mormon Transhumanist future, Reproduction technology permits infertile and gay couples, as well as individuals or groups, to conceive their own genetic children. Some recoil from perceived threats to tradition, while others celebrate perceived gifts to new families (210).

I have trouble seeing the common aspirations and parallels between this vision of Transhumanism and Mormon thought. As a footnote to this scenario, Cannon refers to D&C 88:33, which I will quote, though Cannon did not: For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, [Page 169]and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

It is not clear how this is relevant to his argument, which is perhaps why the text was not included does Cannon mean that such capacity for single individuals or groups of more than two individuals or partners of the same sex to create children through technology ought to be seen as a gift from God? Or that Mormon Transhumanists view it as such?

It seems so, since some see these techniques as gifts to new families. But in the LDS view, an infertile married couple does not become a new family when children arrive it is a family already. It does not need biological children to become one.20 And single individuals, homosexual unions, or scenarios which allow a child to have more than two biological parents are not family structures conducive to Gods purposes, given LDS doctrine reflected in the Proclamation on the Family.21

Cannon seems to classify a negative religious reaction to these projects as merely due to perceived threats to tradition, but the Mormon view would probably see it as inimical to the very foundation [Page 170]of the divine family and exaltation itself. One begins to suspect this particular Mormon Transhumanist view is not terribly Mormon at all and even hostile to Mormon thought in spots. To cite scripture wholly out of both its context and the broader LDS understanding of these matters is troubling, especially when Cannon aims to provide premises that accurately reflect Mormonism (214).

In short, the first premise sets the stage for a circular argument; it prepares to beg the question and must twist LDS scripture to do it. This is not an auspicious beginning.

The second premise holds that Science and technology are among the means ordained of God. As an accurate description of LDS doctrine, this formulation is also flawed, since the argument uses it as if the premise were any and all science and technology are among the means ordained of God. The implied claim is clearly false again, we can draw no conclusions about whether or not the technological wonders offered by Transhumanism are consistent with Gods purposes without examining each case. Poison and nuclear weapons are forms of human science and technology, yet God does not necessarily mandate their use.

To pick an example not more extreme than some Transhumanist reveries, one might conceive of a brain-control device that prevents humans from committing acts of sin. God clearly does not want humans to sin, yet using technology to assure that they would not or could not do so is not a righteous act in LDS theology.22

The scriptures cited do not help the position that Cannon advances. True, Nephi built a ship to save his family (2a) but he did so at Gods explicit command, and under Gods tutelage. Nephi emphasizes that he did not work the timbers [of the ship] after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men (1 Nephi 18:2). So Nephi did not use human-inspired or -directed technology at all. He did not undertake a kind of naval Manhattan Project in the pre-Second Temple era. The Lord did not send him to shipwrights and carpenters, though plenty of these existed.

[Page 171]For the example of Nephis ship to be on point, we must ask if God has explicitly commanded that we focus our efforts on Transhumanist approaches. Clearly, he has not and it is this difficulty that the second premise attempts to paper over.

Cannons second scripture, like the first, makes precisely the opposite point that his argument requires. True, Lehi and family were guided by the compass-like Liahona in their journey (2b), but here again Lehi did not design the device, nor did technocrats help forge it. Instead, it appeared fully-formed outside Lehis tent. (Alma even insists that its construction was beyond any human ability; see Alma 37:39.) Despite being a material object (and thus technology by some definitions) it did not work according to any physical principles or scientific laws known to Lehi or us instead it did work for them according to their faith in God. It was a miracle like many other miracles wrought by the power of God. It would stop working when they were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence (Alma 37:4041). The Liahona is simply not a model for mans technological prowess contributing to the accomplishment of Gods purposes if anything, it is a call for faith, obedience, humility, and trust in Gods revelations.

In neither case do Nephi and Lehi urge their followers to a research program to develop the technocratic tools they think God might want. God simply provides the expertise with the explicit rationale that his purposes need to be accomplished. Nephis nautical construction does not set off a pre-Columbian shipbuilding renaissance. Lehi does not need to understand the principles by which the Liahona works, much less build his own mass-production line so every Nephite home can have one. Instead, he learns that it works via diligent faith in the arm of God hardly a Transhumanist virtue. Transhumanism, by contrast, applauds empiricism and technical mastery over nature through humanitys native powers. Nephis ship and the Liahona help to accomplish a specific purpose and are then retired from use. The Nephites do not continue to use and improve their ocean-crossing tech based on Nephis prototype; Nephite armies are not equipped with Liahonas.

The third scripture serves Cannons argument no better. True, the Saints are enjoined to study many topics, even all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God (2c). These include things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of [Page 172]kingdoms (D&C 88:7879). Such study explicitly includes analyzing wars and political strife yet we do not thereby conclude that war is to be a tool we seize to implement Gods purposes. If anything, a study of war and the like ought to temper any illusions we have about human adequacy to solve the fundamental problems we face through technology.

Why study such things? The scripture tells us, but Cannons argument ignores the implications. The recipients are to study so

that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you. Behold, Isent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads . Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time. (D&C 88:8082, 84)

God does not, we note well, command such study so that his children can solve the technical problems that will enable resurrection or personal continuity beyond the grave. He has already solved those problems and through the Atonement of Christ will provide them freely to all humanity (Alma 40:4). Instead, we are commanded to study such worldly or secular matters so we will be more able and convincing when we warn others of the need to repent. The little band of Saints was doing and could do nothing whatever to inch humanity along the road to the Singularity. But through their efforts to preach the Gospel, they could prepare mortals to stand singly at the bar of God to answer for their deeds and moral agency.

The fourth and final scripture is even less relevant. Cannon glosses it as saying that We will learn all the physical laws of the world before attaining heaven, (2d) but this is misleading. The scripture text describes a method of knowledge acquisition that differs from that of science: God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now (D&C 121:26, emphasis added). Such knowledge is not merely the operation of the spirit of Christ on ones reason or intellect, and it is not the product of inspired scientific research or experiment, however valuable those may be rather, it is knowledge revealed to those who possess the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This revelatory experience will reveal everything presumably everything will include physical laws, but that is not the focus or [Page 173]thrust of the promise: A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest (v. 28). These are simply not in the main the sort of facts with which Transhumanist science or any science has anything to do, even though God promises to reveal glories, laws, and set times (v. 31).

As for such knowledge coming to mortals before attaining heaven, verse 32 avers that Gods council declared such things should be reserved unto the finishing and the end of the dispensation of the fulness of times when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest (D&C 121:3132). Such revelation does not seem so much a prerequisite to attaining heaven but is instead a final gift of divine self-disclosure that makes heaven possible. Given that the time of their revelation is decreed for the end, an aggressive scientific research program is unlikely to reveal them any sooner.

So the second premise, like the first, has elements of circularity baked into it. Here the degree of scriptural distortion and special-pleading is even more pronounced.

Cannons first conclusion fails, since both premises are faulty accounts of LDS thought and scripture. The syllogism is also misleading since it leaves unaddressed the core question: which technologies does God command, and which would he oppose?23 Cannon evinces no awareness that this question needs to be addressed.

Furthermore, since each subsequent conclusion relies upon this first one, none of his reasoned syllogisms produce logical truth. We could stop here, since the argument has been reduced to shambles.

The second and third conclusions move even further than the first from anything that can be called an accurate sketch of LDS theology. Cannon tells us that since Gods purpose is to achieve our exaltation, God commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood, (C2) and since godhood requires a physical body, God [Page 174]commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain aglorified immortal body (C3).24

What Cannons account ignores is the fact that receiving a glorified physical body is something LDS theology tells us has already been taken care of on our behalf. It is requisite and just, taught Alma, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself, and thus there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead (Alma 41:2; 40:4). Christ has already been resurrected, and at that time many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Matthew 27:5253). The resurrection is already in motion; God did not need to await human technical mastery to bring it about. Furthermore, no human action is needed to assure a universal resurrection. Gods work and glory certainly targets the immortality and eternal life of his children, but the immortality is a done deal. It is strange, then, to see Transhumanists suggest that scientific research is needed or even commanded to accomplish it. There is a point of contact with traditional LDS thought here, but that brief touch quickly veers off on a tangent.

In contrast to immortality, the receipt of exaltation, or theosis, remains a matter that human agency coupled with the grace of God can influence. Each individual must choose to make divinely-ordained covenants as part of priesthood ordinances, and then endure to the end in faithfulness to those covenants. We are surely called to labor in that undertaking, both for our own sakes (D&C 18:15) and the sakes of others (Alma 29:15).

Technology can certainly be enlisted in such efforts just as handcopied texts could have wider dissemination than oral preaching, so now printed or digital scriptures are easier to make and cheaper to distribute than handwritten ones. Boats transported the apostle Paul as he preached; intercontinental airlines now deliver modern apostles to their destinations. Telephones and video conferencing help govern [Page 175]aworldwide Church while, by contrast, a much smaller primitive Church soon lapsed into apostasy, lacking frequent contact with steadying apostolic hands. In a rapid eclipse of the communication technologies that preceded it, the Internet allows individuals to teach others anywhere in the world in real-time. Thus, in one sense, it is certainly true that God commands us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood, and few Latter-day Saints would find such uses as Ive described remarkable or novel in the least. Such means are not, however, the primary substance of Transhumanist hopes.

After all, it is not in this trivially true sense that Cannons syllogism intends the idea that God endorses the use of science and technology to help exalt his children. None of these or a thousand other examples have anything to do with the technical implementation of resurrection and exaltation that Cannons syllogism mandates.25 The Transhumanist project of his syllogism ironically focuses on the one thing personal immortality that can already be checked off the to-do list under LDS doctrine. These claims risk, then, distracting us from the work still to be done: Perhaps someday we might transfigure ourselves into ageless bodies (207).

One would not know it from Cannons formulation, but God has repeatedly told us what role we have in accomplishing his purposes. God nowhere says, Develop the technology to have ageless bodies (see 207), nor Go out and resurrect your fellows via complete models of the bodies and brains of our dead ancestors individually' (see 211). Nor does he say, Use data-mining to restore lost ecosystems (see 21011). He instead tells us, Say nothing but repentance unto this generation (D&C 6:9; 11:9). God focuses relentlessly on the nature of our wills, our fallen nature, and our mortal propensity to sin.

The concept offered by Cannons syllogism is also egocentric and presentist. In his formulation, the entire world has been waiting for us or our technological near-heirs. There is no way the Israelites a bunch of Bronze Age pastoralists could hope to participate in (for example) the project to somehow retrieve and archive all humans past genetic codes to assure a universal resurrection (217). At best, for Cannons syllogism, the vast majority of humanity is merely marking time, unable to do much of [Page 176]anything toward achieving Gods purposes. Even we, today, cannot do much.

If, instead, the problem is human nature and moral agency as the scriptures repeatedly affirm the modern has no privileged place in the sun. Indeed, we may even be at something of a disadvantage if we entertain hubristic dreams of a crescendo of redemptive science and technology. A Palestinian peasant under the Caesars was at least at scant risk of mistaking himself for someone potent, transcendent, or world-changing.

And so the second and third conclusions, like the first, fail to be accurate accounts of LDS theology.

We could, once again, stop our investigation here Cannon has chosen to conclude his introduction to Mormon Transhumanism with a deeply flawed attempt to suggest equivalencies where there are none.

This degree of confusion or muddled thinking is unlikely, however, to exist in a vacuum. As we prod Cannons argument, we find that when Transhumanism and Mormonism are in conflict, it is Transhumanism that prevails.

Cannon begins his article by announcing:

As Transhumanists, we have discarded the old assumption that human nature is or ever was static, not only because science has demonstrated biological evolution, but especially because history itself is cultural and technological evolution. (202)

Such a claim trades on the multiple possible understandings of the term human nature. To be sure, if we see the term to refer to something like human nature began with a hunter-gatherer life-style using stoneage tools, it is trivially and obviously true that human nature has been and likely will continue to be in constant flux. Literacy, numeracy, metallurgy, moveable type, the scientific method, calculus, materials science, cybernetics, information technology all have altered human nature in this sense, or the nature of the types of lives that humans live.

One sees the same tension around human nature in Cannons footnoted source. He cites Nick Bostrom, a leading Transhumanist philosopher and advocate. Like Cannon, Bostrom holds that:

The new paradigm [of Transhumanism] rejects a crucial assumption that is implicit in both traditional futurology and practically all of todays political thinking. This is the assumption that the human condition is at root a [Page 177]constant. Present-day processes can be fine-tuned; wealth can be increased and redistributed; tools can be developed and refined; culture can change, sometimes drastically; but human nature itself is not up for grabs.

This assumption no longer holds true. Arguably it has never been true. Such innovations as speech, written language, printing, engines, modern medicine and computers have had a profound impact not just on how people live their lives, but on who and what they are.26

In Cannons essay, we see the same conviction that human nature is plastic, up for grabs. And that human nature is determined and altered by technology, meaning not merely new styles of life, but a change in who and what [humans] are at a fundamental level. Cannon appeals to the same types of ideas, invoking technology such as a computing device to read; glasses, contacts, or surgically modified eyes; hearing aids or cochlear implants; clothing; and drugs that target pain, heighten attention, or facilitate growth as examples of changes in human nature wrought by science (206).

In religious terms, however especially LDS religious terms none of these shifts represent changes to what is most basic and important in human nature.

To pick one simple case, we are mortal with fallible memories thus speech, written language, moveable type printing, and computer information technology can compensate for the fact that fallible memory is part of human nature (in the Cannon/Bostromian sense), and thus these technologies can change who and what [we] are.

This is not, however, what LDS scriptures address when discussing human nature.

For example, King Benjamin advised his people that the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord (Mosiah 3:19).

He does not, we remark, suggest that more rapid access to information or an eidetic memory would change this fundamental aspect of human nature. Instead, only through an exercise of moral agency a yielding of the will to the Holy Spirit can human nature be changed. And this [Page 178]change comes not from biotechnology or nanotechnology or drugs or cybernetics but through the Atonement of Christ enabling us to put off the natural man. Without the Atonement, the human nature of the natural man persists eternally.

Nephi too cautioned,

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. (2 Nephi 9:2829)

For Nephi, more learning, more knowledge, and more technical prowess do not change the fundamental dynamic. Indeed, he argues that such things can actually exacerbate the problem learning and technical mastery can stir us to pride and an exaggerated trust in our own capabilities and perspectives. This can lead us to disregard counsel from God and his Holy Spirit we therefore do not yield, and we perish despite our knowledge.

Neither Nephi nor I desire to denigrate knowledge it is better to have knowledge than not to have it but it is not the scientific or engineering knowledge that saves us. It may, in fact, threaten us if we are not wary.

Alma is blunt and speaks in terms that could be addressed to amodern Transhumanist. Humans have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature (Alma 42:10, emphasis added).

Modernity seems, to me, to offer very little ground for believing that much about human nature has changed despite our accelerating technical and scientific knowledge. Intelligent and educated modern luminaries such as Rousseau, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemmingway, Bertrand Russell, and Jean-Paul Sartre present a melancholy spectacle with their neglect or abandonment of their children, serial infidelities, mistreatment of women, and the vacuity of their moral lives.27 The [Page 179]great physicists of quantum physics fare little better.28 The problem of the natural man or woman is perennial.

Cannons article makes much, initially, of Mormonism as an immersive discipleship of Jesus Christ (203). But after this introductory paragraph, little or nothing is said about Jesus or his Atonement. Even this paragraph paints mortals as messiahs and saviors for each other, though these terms mean something quite different in Mormonism when applied to us than they do in the Transhumanist context another example of the fallacy of equivocation. Invocation of the terms in that context is less about Jesus than about us. With Jesus, we would trust in, change toward, and fully immerse our bodies and minds in the role of Christ (203). Again, the emphasis is on what we do which matches the Transhumanist technocratic approach to the problems of human existence: sickness, scarcity, death, and so forth.

I am not convinced that Cannons description of discipleship is on target. We do not take on the role of Christ except in a very circumscribed sense different from his papers implication. Cannon appeals to but does not quote from Mosiah 5:9: whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ (215n15).

This verse says nothing about taking on the role of Christ. Instead, the saved are called by his name because Jesus claims them as his own: the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd (Alma 5:38). In fact, immediately after the verse cited by Cannon, the scripture continues: For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served ? [D]oth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay . [E]ven so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called (Mosiah5:1314). Servants and [Page 180]asses do not take upon themselves the masters role or decide that they claim the master it is the master who claims them (see also Revelation 22:34; 3 Nephi 27:5; D&C 18:2325, 76:59).

Of the redeemed, the Doctrine and Covenants asserts frankly, They are Christs, and others less valiant are Christs at his coming (D&C 88:9899). Jesus blessed those who gave even a cup of water to his disciples, because ye belong to Christ, (Mark 9:41, emphasis added). These have taken his name upon them; they have not taken on the messianic role.

Here we see one of Cannons many light contacts with an LDS idea, only to have Transhumanism angle off into decidedly non-LDS territory.

Cannon says we should be consoling and healing and raising, as exemplified and invited by Jesus (203) which is certainly true. But this focus on outward ethics and acts leaves unmentioned the problem of the inner nature and its transformation effected by the Atonement, for it is only by the blood [that] ye are sanctified (Moses 6:60). Likewise, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that [b]eing born again comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances,29 but nowhere are the ordinances mentioned in Cannons essay. The ability to meaningfully console, heal, and help in the salvation of others is all predicated upon Christs gracious transformation of our nature and I fear that omitting this fact from mention may not be coincidental because it touches precisely upon those areas Transhumanism reserves for itself.

Given his apparent confusion about how LDS doctrine sees human nature, it is perhaps not surprising that Cannon seems either to misunderstand or misrepresent LDS scripture and theology in other areas.

Elsewhere, Cannons article writes of how [a]t a grand council in heaven before the creation of this world, the children of God presented two plans. God chose the first and war ensued (204). In fact, LDS doctrine teaches that God presented a single plan. Satan offered an [Page 181]alternate scenario, which God rejected. There were not two possible plans, and God did not need to choose between them. There could, in fact, only be one option from Gods perspective.30 Gods children could choose to either support or reject Gods plan. That Cannon muddles this matter does not increase the readers confidence that his more speculative attempts to tie Mormonism to Transhumanism will be accurate.

An additional illustrative example is Cannons discussion of Mormonism and substance dualism, the idea that physical bodies and mind/spirit/soul are different types of things. Each has a separate existence, with mental things [lacking] any extension in the physical world:31

Mormonism posits a metaphysics, in contrast to classical substance dualism, that is consistent with some accounts of physicalism and naturalism. According to our scriptures, everything is material, including our minds; and everything is embodied, including God. (203)

[Page 182]The claim that Mormonism is consistent with some accounts of physicalism and naturalism lacks a footnote, which is unfortunate it would be helpful to know more precisely of which accounts Cannon is speaking. Physicalism and naturalism hold that physical matter of the everyday kind the sort that makes up tables and flowers and human brains is all there is. There is no ineffable spirit or mind which exists on a different plane or level of reality; minds require only physical embodiment. To create an exact copy of my physical brain would be to completely duplicate my mental processes I am nothing but my physical body.32

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What is Mormon Transhumanism? And is it Mormon? | Interpreter ...


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