In the New Testament, the apostle Paul prophesies about the end of death, forth-telling (yes, "forth-telling" in contrast to "fore-telling") what he characterizes as a "mystery." The mystery, he says, is that not all humans will die. But rather, some of us will transfigure from mortality to immortality without dying. Then the dead will resurrect to immortality, and death will be conquered. Over the centuries, Christians have interpreted this prophecy in ways that, today, we might consider figurative or supernatural, if not merely superstitious. But emerging technology now suggests the possibility of a more literal and natural interpretation of the prophecy.
This is an edited transcript of my presentation at the 2019 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. At the conference last year, I told you that I didn’t know how to raise the dead. That might not have been entirely true. It’s true that I don’t know how to do all the work. But I do have some ideas about how to get started – and even about how we’ve probably already started.
Imagine our surprise.
Peter has finished preaching. We love him. We follow him despite the risks. After all, he teaches fulfillment of the Law in Messiah. He reveres the Law. He lives it. He still epitomizes all that was most grounding, meaningful, and purposeful in our lives before Messiah. And he has helped us understand how all of it culminates in Messiah.
But we didn't expect what just happened.
Yesterday and today, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest Mormon denomination, met together for our semi-annual General Conference. I participated in the conference via webcast and Twitter, watching and considering the thoughts shared, and expressing some of my thoughts along the way. Below is a list of the thoughts I shared publicly, including both affirmations and criticisms, questions and elaborations. My intent, as always, is to promote real engagement with the messages shared at the conference, beyond the superficial cheerleading or indiscriminate ridicule that is so common among apologists and enemies of the Church. I welcome any feedback or questions you might have in the comments.
This is an edited transcript of my presentation at the 2018 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. I talked about the Return of Christ. I touched on how it relates to Transhumanism. But my focus was on some foundational theology that leads to what I believe is a more robust Christian and Mormon Transhumanism.
A decade ago, Blake Ostler called me insane for believing in the Simulation Hypothesis. Today, a friend brought to my attention that Blake recently doubled-down on that characterization, in an episode of an Exploring Mormon Thought podcast, asserting that people like me "have serious problems in assessing reality." My response? Guilty as charged. I do have serious problems in assessing reality. Reality is, in so many ways, a mystery -- a sometimes wonderful, sometimes horrible, and sometimes tedious mystery. That's the brief version. But of course I have more to say.