I have long been persuaded that there are strong parallels between transhumanism and religion, not only “new” religions but the traditional religions of our grandfathers as well. There are, of course, differences, but I prefer to emphasize the parallels. After some deep reading and thinking, I realize that Christianity and Transhumanism are closer than I thought, and much closer than you probably think.
Physicist Richard Jones, author of the (highly recommended) nanotechnology book “Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life” and editor of the Soft Machines blog, has written a short book provocatively titled “Against Transhumanism – The delusion of technological transcendence.” The book, an edited compilation of essays previously published on Soft Machines and IEEE Spectrum, is free to download.
My article “Michael LaTorra explains Buddhist Transhumanism in a nutshell” has been published on The Transfigurist, the blog of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.
In an interesting article titled “Transhumanism has never been modern” Richard Jones argues that “[Transhumanists] have deep roots, perhaps surprising roots… in the views of the early 20th century British scientific left-wing, and in the early Russian ideologues of space exploration.”
My 2009 article “I am a Singularitian who does not believe in the Singularity” started interesting online discussions [ExI] [SL4]. I wrote this revised version after reading “Is It Time to Give Up on the Singularity?” on io9, by George Dvorsky and Ramez Naam.
Death is Wrong is a delicious little book for children and for life-extension advocates of all ages. Written by philosopher and futurist Gennady Stolyarov and illustrated by artist Wendy Stolyarov, the book shows that death is not inevitable, but a disease that can and will be cured by science. I am very pleased to see that Death is Wrong is going viral, with mentions and discussions all over the mainstream Internet.
Now a film, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” by George Carey, and a book, “The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers,” by George M. Young, make Russian Cosmism much more accessible to a Western audience.
Peter Rothman, editor of H+ Magazine, has written a piece on “What is Transhumanism?” I like Peter’s article, and mostly agree with his opinions. However, here I want to focus on the points of disagreement.
It’s easy to predict that Dan Brown’s Inferno will be a bestseller, probably followed by a successful film, and the first introduction to transhumanism for millions of readers. This is an important moment in the history of transhumanism – but good or bad? I participated in a discussion organized by London Futurists via Hangouts On Air.
book review | Dan Brown’s Inferno, KurzweilAI — Dan Brown’s latest action thriller Inferno follows art historian Robert Langdon in a fast-paced roller-coaster hunt for the source of a genetic hack delivered to everyone on the planet via a highly contagious airborne virus. Continue reading Dan Brown’s Inferno
The Transhumanist Reader (April 2013) is the first authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking, with an emphasis on the fresh, solar, energetic, irreverent and optimistic spirit of early transhumanism. Continue reading The Transhumanist Reader, edited by Max and Natasha, to be published in April
This review first appeared on Transhumanity in 2002. Transhumanity was the late lamented magazine of the World Transhumanist Association (now Humanity+). I was editor of Transhumanity at the time.
“The World, the Flesh, and the Devil” (WFD), a transhumanist classic, is available online at the URL given below . I have known this for some time but until now I had never taken the time to read the book in full. What stimulated me to do so was realizing that it is quoted as a seminal reference in two books that I am reading again: Olaf Stapledon’s “Star Maker” (a SF classic), and Frank Tipler’s “The Physics of Immortality”. Both these authors state that WFD marked the beginning of the line of thought that culminated in their own work. WFD is subtitled “An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul”: our rational soul can progress toward a better future by overcoming limitations associated with the physical world, human physiology (the Flesh), and human psychology (the Devil). Continue reading John D. Bernal’s The World, the Flesh, and the Devil, a transhumanist classic