If you're a parent, like me, one of the challenges of accelerating technological change is that of encouraging children to explore and learn from our increasingly interconnected world while mitigating risks inherent in all exploratory endeavors. Friends often ask me how I do this with my children, and another just asked again today, so it's probably time to write some of this down. Before I share with you a list of some of the tools we use in our family, I have a few comments about some behaviors that are probably more important than the tools.
Ray Kurzweil is evidence for the postsecularization hypothesis: religion is not at all dying, but is merely continuing to evolve. He is probably by far the most influential Singularitarian in the world (perhaps even the most influential living futurist), and he got there by directly engaging in postsecular rhetoric. The most obvious can be found in the titles of the two books, "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "The Singularity Is Near," that made him a thought leader and no longer only an inventor or entrepreneur. Furthermore, although an atheist or agnostic, he yet chooses explicitly to leverage references to "God" inside his books as at least a literary device, if not a vision for the future of humanity. His success in doing these things speaks to the persisting power of religion, and to the strength of the postsecularization hypothesis. Check out these excerpts from his books:
I'm sometimes criticized for using "religion" and "God" in unusual ways. Generally, this criticism comes from persons with fundamentalist inclinations of either the religious or antireligious sort, whose relatively rigid views of religion and God inform their opinion that I'm diverging from what these words really or generally mean. Of course some of these persons probably would not like to be categorized as fundamentalists, or as having fundamentalist inclinations, but I think the categorization is accurate. I'll explain why, in light of dictionary definitions "fundamentalism", "religion", and "God".
Some Transhumanists have a hard time distinguishing between Transhumanism and atheism, and some Transhumanists have a hard time recognizing the religious behavior in which they are engaged. I mention these observations, today, not because they are new, but because my friend Zoltan Istvan might be equivocating and misrecognizing on his blog at Huffington Post, where he's suggesting that "Some Atheists and Transhumanists are Asking: Should it be Illegal to Indoctrinate Kids With Religion?" So it seems like it's worth repeating and elaborating on the observations.