Merry Christmas, Fellow Transhumanists!
26 December 2007 (updated 25 April 2009)
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Today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, recognized among Christians as Christ, as messiah and savior. I join in the celebration and recognition not because I consider Jesus to be the only savior, but rather because I consider him to be the best example of characteristics that, as we work to incorporate them into ourselves, will lead us beyond sin and death. This is a perspective I have inherited from early Mormons:
“We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude as to the answer of this question there will be no dispute among those who believe the bible, that it is Christ: all will agree in this that he is the prototype or standard of salvation, or in other words, that he is a saved being.” (Lectures on Faith, Lecture Seventh 7: 9)
Jesus showed us the way beyond sin, summarizing morality as love rather than dogmatic adherence to law. He asked us to show our love for him by doing his will, but only after repeatedly inviting us to express our will to him so that he might do it. He sought the one lost sheep, welcomed home the rebellious son, and protected the promiscuous woman. His anger was reserved for those who would use law to oppress. He persuaded me that we can overcome sin through forgiveness. No magic required. Simple forgiveness, persistently applied, produces eternal atonement.
While his bloody cross illustrates the way beyond sin, Jesus’ empty tomb inspires us with anticipation of overcoming death. Ideas of immortality were not introduced by early Christians, but Christians reinforced such ideas in the hearts and minds of countless persons across two millennia. Today, primed by these ideas, we have come within reach of radical biological life extension, and are beginning to imagine mechanisms for yet greater fulfillment of the hope aroused in us by Jesus’ empty tomb.
I celebrate the birth of Jesus as the birth of Christ, in whom we as one may overcome sin and death. Merry Christmas, Transhumanists!