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President Barack Obama, Technophile-in-Chief

20 January 2009 (updated 11 December 2016)

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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.

First, as I mentioned when congratulating him for his nomination and election, Obama’s station illustrates increasing global respect for diverse morphology. Although humans come in many forms, our leaders tend to come in one form: that of a historically-empowered narrow segment in our various communities. Supposing for ourselves a future of diversely enhanced minds and bodies, we can take encouragement from the fact that Obama’s divergence from traditional form only made him a stronger candidate, on the whole, at this time.

Second, Obama continues to advocate the value and wise use of science and technology. As his latest expression of support, during the inaugural address, he said, “We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders …” Underscoring this advocacy, he has already released a new web site, complete with a blog and an outline of his policy objectives related to science and technology.

Third, Obama champions inclusion of and constructive interaction between persons of differing ideological perspectives, particularly differing religious and non-religious persuasions. This is evident in his attempt to emulate Abraham Lincoln’s team of rivals, and in speeches such as his “Call to Renewal” keynote in 2006. He repeated this perspective in the inaugural address, stating, “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers.” Of all persons, Mormon Transhumanists, whose perspectives many deem the most unlikely and strange of combinations, should appreciate the will and work to bridge differences of ideology.

I applaud President Obama, and look forward with hope that he will prove to be the kind of leader we need in our rapidly changing world.

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