Ten Cosmist Convictions

These Ten Cosmist Convictions, which I co-authored with Ben Goertzel, originally appeared in Ben’s A Cosmist Manifesto blog, and have been published in Ben’s book A Cosmist Manifesto (recommended reading).

Ten Cosmist Convictions

1) Humans will merge with technology, to a rapidly increasing extent. This is a new phase of the evolution of our species, just picking up speed about now. The divide between natural and artificial will blur, then disappear. Some of us will continue to be humans, but with a radically expanded and always growing range of available options, and radically increased diversity and complexity. Others will grow into new forms of intelligence far beyond the human domain.

2) We will develop sentient AI and mind uploading technology. Mind uploading technology will permit an indefinite lifespan to those who choose to leave biology behind and upload. Some uploaded humans will choose to merge with each other and with AIs. This will require reformulations of current notions of self, but we will be able to cope.

3) We will spread to the stars and roam the universe. We will meet and merge with other species out there. We may roam to other dimensions of existence as well, beyond the ones of which we’re currently aware.

4) We will develop interoperable synthetic realities (virtual worlds) able to support sentience. Some uploads will choose to live in virtual worlds. The divide between physical and synthetic realities will blur, then disappear.

5) We will develop spacetime engineering and scientific “future magic” much beyond our current understanding and imagination.

6) Spacetime engineering and future magic will permit achieving, by scientific means, most of the promises of religions — and many amazing things that no human religion ever dreamed. Eventually we will be able to resurrect the dead by “copying them to the future”.

7) Intelligent life will become the main factor in the evolution of the cosmos, and steer it toward an intended path.

8) Radical technological advances will reduce material scarcity drastically, so that abundances of wealth, growth and experience will be available to all minds who so desire. New systems of self-regulation will emerge to mitigate the possibility of mind-creation running amok and exhausting the ample resources of the cosmos.

9) New ethical systems will emerge, based on principles including the spread of joy, growth and freedom through the universe, as well as new principles we cannot yet imagine.

10) All these changes will fundamentally improve the subjective and social experience of humans and our creations and successors, leading to states of individual and shared awareness possessing depth, breadth and wonder far beyond that accessible to “legacy humans”.

NOTE: ‘Will’ is not used in the sense of inevitability, but in the sense of intention: we want to do this, we are confident that we can do it, and we will do our f**king best to do it.

  • Paul Swanson

    I like the way you have thought out this inevitable future of the human species. I would like to share one of my ideas.

    I am writing a science fiction story about our descendants in the future who will copy us to resurrection. The story begins in Rome with notable figures who are resurrected and placed on Planet Rome of the Caesars, one of several terraformed planets circling a “sun” in a distant part of our galaxy.

    Each of the planets would host a different classical period. One would be classical Greece. Another would be classical Egypt. Still another a later Rome of Marcus Aurelius with an emphasis on Roman law and human rights. Others would include Byzantium, etc.

    As the leaders become educated and more are resurrected and placed in an exact copy of the Rome of their time, the ethics of our future descendants require that they encourage those resurrected to live out their new “eternal” lives and develop their culture as it would continue without interference.

    Some would live out lives on one planet in the solar system while their parents lived on another as their general historic periods would dictate. Meetings of such would be controlled on the planet Elysium where they were all resurrected to begin with before being transported to their assigned planet home.

    Each of the planets would also include the other groups and civilizations extant at the same period, i.e. The Rome of Julius Caesar and the Egypt of Cleopatra, etc. Asia of the time and The Americas of the time would also be included, etc.

    These classical planets would of course be far into the project which would have resurrected the most recent history first to resurrect the last humans who died natural deaths before the unlimited life extensions were developed.

    Beyond Rome, the project would go back thousands of years to the beginning of homo sapiens. Allowing the earliest members of our race to develop after thorough education would provide the diversity of thought and culture of a lost time. Medical studies could reveal lost abilities, etc.

    The implications of going even further back into our development may lead us to some answers as to why certain groups arose to homo sapiens, etc.

  • René Milan


    You say these 10CC give you joy and the same is true for me (given two reservations below), but since, as acknowledged in the postscript, nothing is certain, the stronger emotions resulting from this to me are hope and motivation. And the joy will be increased at least tenfold while discussing these topics with friends such as yourself in live (life).

    6. “we will be able to resurrect” – this seems to be a central issue of cosmism, but i haven’t yet seen a careful discussion of the moral issues involved which are essentially the same as for denial of the right to die. I’m sure true buddhists will not be overjoyed finding themselves pulled back from their cherished nirvana; of course if that’s even possible will be a whole different discussion that i look forward to.

    PS: “do our f**king best” – as far as i know there is no word in the english language containing “*”. I do not look kindly on this sort of u.s. inspired hypocrisy. We can watch people fucking on the web, but we can’t correctly spell the word ? What sort of twisted reality did i wake up in ? To me the pronouncement by Dylan’s thief “So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late” is one of the foundations of humanist and transhumanist thought. This example may not appear very important, but i sense an obligation to nip obvious falsities in the bud. No compromise with would be censors.

    Forget my nitpicking, I’m largely in agreement with the 10CC.
    Best, René

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Rene’ – well, what I wrote originally was “fucking” (see first comment here http://cosmistmanifesto.blogspot.hu/2009/01/ten-cosmist-convictions-mostly-by.html ) but I guess that Ben corrected it because the book was going to be published in print. We don’t want to teach bad words to kids, do we. That would be real fucking outrageous ;-)

    Re right to die, see Harry Stottle’s resurrection novel:
    In a future world where the dead can be resurrected, the main character Lou is the first person ever resurrected without having signed a consent form in his first biological lifetime. He is resurrected by his son, who is supposedly able to guess that resurrection would make Lou happy.

    I would make resurrection opt-out instead of opt-in, to play it safe.

  • René Milan

    Thanks Giulio, i’m happy with that.
    Still would like to see a discussion about the issues involved in resurrection, which i assume must be, or have been, taking place among cosmists.
    Hasta pronto – R.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Rene’ I haven’t seen discussions on the ethics of resurrection (right to die and not to be brought back), probably because very few people believe that it will ever be possible to resurrect the dead in the first place.

    I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there. Resurrection will be achieved in the far future, using technologies that would seem totally magic to us. I guess they will be also more advanced than us ethically.

    • beachmike

      Near future and far future makes no difference to someone resurrected. To them, it will be as if a moment has passed (I’m sure you’ve thought of this, Giulio).

      • Giulio Prisco

        Hi Beachmike, sure. I have thought of this and written about this concept elsewhere. BTW note that the new version of this website is at turingchurch.net

  • Khannea Suntzu
  • Giulio Prisco

    K sweetie, try hot chocolate, they say it improves mood.

  • Eduardo Antonio Echeverri

    We are on the verge of understanding Self-awereness and Conscioussness (the Subjective Experience of being) I am confident that many of these already life-embedded aspirations will come to be (I hope they come to be) Thank you for the inspiring thoughts. There is a struggle between the old, ancestral aspirations and fears and those we are allowing to whisper to us, talking from our own bodies and minds (they just did not have a voice before)