Several friends have asked for my opinion on a set of controversial topics in Mormonism that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) addressed in a series of essays during 2013 and 2014. The topics include "Are Mormons Christian?", "Becoming Like God", "Book of Mormon and DNA Studies", "Book of Mormon Translation", "First Vision Accounts", "Peace and Violence among 19th Century Latter-day Saints", "Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", "Race and the Priesthood", and "Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham".
A friend recently shared with me some questions about Mormon Transhumanism. The questions arose in response to a recording of my presentation at the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. In that presentation, I comment on the purpose of the Association and explain why I believe Mormonism mandates Transhumanism. Here are the questions and my thoughts in response.
In his Orthogonality Thesis, Nick Bostrom proposes that "intelligence and final goals are orthogonal: more or less any level of intelligence could in principle be combined with more or less any final goal." However, there's a problem hinted at by the combination of "orthogonality" and "more or less". Nick acknowledges that intelligent purpose actually does have some constraints. And arguably those constraints are actually quite strong, which would mean the Orthogonality Thesis is rather weak. But the weakness may not be fatal. We can formulate a Semi-Orthogonality Thesis that actually accounts better for Nick's own observations and reasoning without overstating their ramifications, which remain momentous.