Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement

Transhumanists Love Life Even When Acknowledging Problems

We received the following email from a site visitor today:



"Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced." Soren Aabye Kierkegaard


The return address on the email did not work, so I'll respond here in my blog. While I agree heartily that life overall is not a problem and that it is a reality to be experienced, I imagine that the sender of the email doesn't think a Transhumanist could sincerely agree. Of course, I do see problems in life, both present and foreboding, as did Kierkegaard (illustrated by writing or speaking that sentence) and as does the sender of the email (illustrated in the act of emailing us). However, acknowledging problems in life and working to change them does not mean one must consider life itself a problem. So far as I am concerned, life (present, past and future) is not only worth experiencing, but also worth celebrating and experiencing ever more fully, which is a goal of both Mormonism and Transhumanism. So, please, keep observing the problems in life and sending us email that will help us solve them!

Science and Technology Can Inform Mormon Visions of the Future

Recently, a Mormon blogger, R Gary, claimed that "Science [is] not always a good bet" when considering the feasibility of futures anticipated by prophetic vision. However, science does enable us to predict how futures similar to those he described may be possible, particularly given long-standing trends in technology.

Lambs and lions laying down together, if you want to interpret that literally, may be achieved through genetic manipulation of lambs and lions. Transformation of the Earth into something more like our imaginations of paradise may be the result of nanotechnological environmental interventions. Transcendence of natural laws happens all the time; there was a day when humans could not see so far, fly so high, or swim so deep as we now can, and science predicted such capacities prior to our technological implementation of such capacities. Even death, now, has come within the scope of engineering problems, as we quickly learn the causes of aging and work to counteract them. From there, I trust we'll engage in the work of learning, as all other gods before us, the detailed processes involved in resurrection, so that we may join Jesus as saviors on Mount Zion and continue forward with the glorious work of redeeming the dead.

Science is not a bad bet for any of these things. To the contrary, it is the best bet currently available to us for seeking after and understanding the details necessary for working actively toward fulfillment of futures foreseen in prophetic vision. Prophecy and science are in opposition only to the extent we so insist. We can, however, leverage science for what it is, inspired knowledge, and technology for what it is, endowed power, and work together in practical ways toward the better world long prophesied.

R Gary sees resurrection as a future altogether different in kind than one to which we might aspire through continued technological progress, and suggests that he and I are not talking about the same theology. I trust information persists in more ways than we can now imagine, and think it worth imagining how resurrection might be possible as a future that stems from our rapid technological progress, rather than only depending on magic beyond our means. If your theology is about supernaturalism or immaterialism then we're certainly not talking about the same theology. My faith is in a natural material God, like whom we may become through natural material processes.

The Grand Enterprise of Mormonism

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest Mormon denomination, today released a press release on "The Grand Enterprise of Mormonism", which is to erase "the separations and deprivations that time and place have imposed on humanity", linking together "the unborn, the living, and the dead" in "mutual salvation and perfection". The final note of the press release is a quote from Joseph Smith: "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us, is to seek after our dead."

How do we fulfill this responsibility? Today, several millions of Mormons are engaged in genealogical work and proxy religious ordinances for their ancestors, building an immense repository of information about our predecessors, while simultaneously reducing the emotional, psychological and spiritual barriers that have long stood between persons who have understood particular religious ordinances to be essential for salvation and persons who have not engaged in such ordinances. I trust that this is just the beginning of a far greater work: a time to come when we are inspired with knowledge and endowed with power sufficient to restore the dead to life. Although this may seem excessively fantastic to some, my trust is not an appeal to anything supernatural or superstitious. Rather, as I look back at historical trends in human power, and as I project those trends into the future, I cannot help but imagine that we've only begun to realize our potential. I cannot help but entertain the spiritual conviction, so often burning within me, that we can indeed fulfill our responsibility to seek after our dead.

The world tomorrow will not be exactly what we've imagined, but it will be shaped by our imagination and consequent work. The weak-minded and weak-willed among us appeal fearfully to absolute limitations, oppressive gods that would not have us attain our own divine potential, secular and religious dogmas, carefully concealed ignorance, and nihilism. All such creeds are an abomination, damning us from our potential -- lines drawn in the sand by our own hands to indicate how far we would go. I value being part of a community of persons who are willing to work together toward the best world we can imagine, with minds ever open to yet better worlds.
Lincoln Cannon
Mormon Transhumanist Association
Christian Transhumanist Association
The New God Argument
Thrivous
Discerner
Lincoln Cannon LLC
Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement
Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement