Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement

Non-Superlative Religious Ideologies

Absolutely nothing if not sublimely eloquent, Dale Carrico criticizes transhumanism as necessarily superlative -- depending on exaggerations, absolutes, extremes, determinisms, and so forth.

I agree with his criticism of superlativity as nonsensical and practically detrimental. However, I disagree with his assessment of transhumanism's reliance on superlativity. Dale suggests that, without superlativity, transhumanism is nothing more than his own technoprogressivism, which he describes as a commitment to universal healthcare and pro-choice politics. He's incorrect.

For all the reasons that criticisms of superlativity do not apply to some theologies, such as those concerned with progressing gods, the criticisms also do not necessarily apply to transhumanism. For all the reasons that non-superlative theologies are not necessarily humanism, non-superlative transhumanism also is not necessarily technoprogressivism.

For good or ill, some ideologies are more powerful than others, precisely because of what Dale considers to be their cult-like attributes. The religious attitude will endure when and where the non-religious attitude will not. The power of the esthetic and the meaning of the myth will move the person that would otherwise halt apathetically. Superlatives have been and are certainly at play among those of us who are religious, but they are hardly universal.

Most transhumanists, of course, would not identify themselves as religious persons. Fine. Neither would early adherents to various major ideologies that we now commonly recognize as religions. Whether future persons identify transhumanists as religious or not, we're operating with a different esthetic than that espoused by Dale's technoprogressivism, with or without superlativity.

I don't know how long and to what extent transhumanism, or mormonism, will endure and excel as organizing forces, but I'll bet on something like them outlasting any ideology that expresses itself most fully in eloquent moderation.

Invitation to Leon Kass

I've heard through the grapevine that Leon Kass has told his students that Mormon Transhumanists are very confused persons. I invite Leon to explain to us our confusion, and put to rest my suspicion that what he really means is that we confuse him. What do you say, Leon?

President Barack Obama, Technophile-in-Chief

Today, the United States of America celebrated the inauguration of President Barack Obama. While we may each identify various reasons to join in the celebration, there are a few that may stand out for Mormon Transhumanists.

Is God a Subtle Singleton?

In a short paper entitled "What is a Singleton?", Nick Bostrom defines "singleton" as a world order with a single decision-making entity at the highest level, and briefly describes a variety of possible singletons. Of particular interest, the paper notes the following:

Theological Implications of New Ancestor Simulations from the Military

Christian Schumann-Curtis dropped me a note to point out an article on Slate, which reports that the United States Department of Defense is working on software that simulates dead soldiers, so that their children can interact with them for emotional support. This is just one more data point in the trend of rapid advances in simulation technology. Extrapolate that trend into the future and you encounter an interesting implication: either the advance will eventually and permanently halt (due to unforeseen hard technical limits, totalitarian political demands, or the destruction of our civilization) or we almost certainly live in a computed world (kind of like the Matrix, but not necessarily so evil). If you're not sure why these are the implications of advances in simulation technology, check out the New God Argument.
Lincoln Cannon
Mormon Transhumanist Association
Christian Transhumanist Association
The New God Argument
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Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement
Thrivous Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement