Mormons Are Thinking About Enhancement Technologies
29 September 2007 (updated 12 March 2011)
Sam MB at By Common Consent has taken up the subject of enhancement technologies, asking whether Mormonism offers any peculiar insights on these topics. He notes that he has never discussed this issue with Mormons before, and is curious to know what other Mormons think.
I’m glad to see more Mormons bringing up this important subject. I hope we’ll recognize both the wondrous opportunities and frightening risks that are quickly approaching – more quickly than most of us realize. I hope, too, that we’ll seek to embrace the opportunities, and not merely attempt to avoid both opportunities and risks. The latter strategy almost certainly will not work.
Mormonism certainly has insights to offer on this topic. It is an ideology that has long posited the value of humans transcending their current nature, attaining immortality, and godly knowledge and power. Our early leaders taught that transfiguration and resurrection were ordinances that we would perform for each other, and that such efforts for the living and dead are an essential aspect of the work of God, in which we should participate. The whole Mormon system of ethics has developed in a context of faith in theosis, and so represents 200 years (or more, depending on whether you count earlier influences) of consideration on the subject of how enhanced, and eternally enhancing, persons should associate with each other.