I'm often asked about the logo of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the winged wheel above the name of the association. So I'd like to share part of the story behind the origin of the logo, and some of the symbolism I and others have seen in it.
This is a transcript of a talk I gave in my local Mormon congregation today. The leadership asked three of us to speak on the subject of the Sabbath, how we might cultivate positive feelings toward it, and how we severally try to do so in our own homes.
Mormonism is relatively unique among world religions in its regard for bodies. Where most major religions consider bodies to be temporary or inhibitive, Mormonism considers bodies to be eternal and empowering, and potentially divine. This provides strong common ground with physicalist philosophies generally, and particularly with Transhumanism. Even the radical Transhumanist aspiration of mind uploading is compatible with Mormonism, although the idea is easy to misinterpret in ways that would be neither consistent with physicalism nor compatible with Mormonism.
As I think about the future of humanity and the forces that shape our ongoing evolution, I'm often drawn to reflect on the origins of Judaism, and particularly the origins of the Bible. A couple thousand years ago, they gave birth to Christianity, which became the most influential cultural force in human history. And I often wonder whether something analogous might happen again in the future: a small group of strenuously motivated thinkers produces an information artifact that goes on to serve as the launching point from which a new super-cultural force rises. Of course I don't know, but when trying to anticipate the future, it's always good to start by taking a harder look at the past.