Fred Hoyle imagined a scientific theology with a hierarchy of Gods in the universe, from lower-case local gods all the way to an asymptotic cosmic God that emerges from the physical universe, comes into full being at the end of time, controls space and time with subtle quantum messages and time loops, seeds the universe with Life, and works through Life.
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.
The Gizmodo article “When Superintelligent AI Arrives, Will Religions Try to Convert It?” by my good friend Zoltan Istvan has gone viral and created a wave of articles about religion in the time of superintelligence.
I think religions that provide hope in personal resurrection – either traditional religions based on the “supernatural” or modern, Cosmist religions based on science, might be our best protection from reckless pursuit of superintelligence and other risky technologies.
Last week I sent my article “A minimalist, open, extensible Cosmic Religion” to several mailing lists: turingchurch, cosmic-engineers, transfigurism, christian-transhumanism (Google Groups) and universalimmortalism (Yahoo Groups). This is a summary of the very interesting discussion on the mailing lists and this website.
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.”
In “Cosmology is not Geography” (please read it first) I argue that we need a new form of religion, based on awesome cosmic visions and enlightened spirituality (cosmology), without “provincial” mythologies and rituals (geography) and petty lifestyle prescriptions (zoning norms).
In the picture I am with many good friends at the yearly meeting of religious and spiritual transhumanists, the 2014 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. See the video and slides of my talk below.
“A new religion has set out to store memories for centuries and deliver its believers into a world where our souls can outlive our selves.” So begins a Time Magazine article about Terasem. The end: “[T]echnology can do almost everything for us… but it can’t bring the people we love back from the beyond. At least, the Terasemians say, not yet.”
Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by “inflation” – the idea that the cosmos experienced an exponential growth spurt in its first trillionth, of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. In related news, surveyors have been climbing and re-measuring some of Britain’s highest peaks, to see if they are high enough to be called mountains. I am sure you see something odd here.
At the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) Online Discussion Group, 25 January 2014, we discussed plans for presentations at the forthcoming 2014 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association (Salt Like City, April 4), and the movie Her.
We also discussed the creation of an umbrella “Transfigurist Network” for religious transhumanists, to be established as a cooperative framework for collaboration between the MTA, the Christian Transhumanist Association (CTA), and other religious transhumanist associations that may emerge in the future.
The discussion at the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) Online Discussion Group, 28 December 2013, was again focused on collaboration between the MTA, the Christian Transhumanist Association (CTA), and other religious transhumanist associations that may emerge in the future.
We discussed the creation of an umbrella “Transfigurist Network” for religious transhumanists. This is a continuation of last month online meeting, and a first analysis of the comments and observations received. Your input is requested! If you haven’t participated in the discussion so far, please do!