Cosmic Expansion Driven by Mormon Transhumanism
8 January 2024
Humanity will soon embark on an unprecedented journey – or at least our technology will soon go where none of it has gone before. As described by Pam Weintraub writing for Aeon, someone will probably launch an automated spacecraft that initiates a recursive process that eventually saturates the universe with intelligent life. The spacecraft would be a von Neumann probe, designed to replicate itself using resources found in the cosmos, expanding exponentially across star systems and ultimately even between galaxies. Yet again, science fiction is poised to become fact.
Religion May Drive Cosmic Expansion
Pam contends that cosmic expansion is most likely to be initiated by a religious group. Here’s a summary of her reasons:
Moral Imperative: Cosmic expansion would probably require a powerful moral justification. Religion commonly provides justification for expansion, and could esteem cosmic expansion as the ultimate fulfillment of its moral imperatives.
Grand Narrative: Cosmic expansion would probably require a grand narrative that spans cosmic time and space. Religion commonly generates such narratives, spanning human origins and epochal change and ultimate potential, which could motivate cosmic expansion.
Strenuous Commitment: Cosmic expansion would probably require strenuous commitment to overcome rivals. Religion commonly provokes fervor, and sometimes even a sense of absolute certainty, that could sustain and expedite competitive efforts at cosmic expansion.
Human Significance: Cosmic expansion would probably require attributing great significance to humanity. Unlike trends among irreligious ideologies that have increasingly marginalized esteem for human significance, religion commonly elevates humanity’s role in the cosmos.
Mormon Transhumanism Can Drive Cosmic Expansion
Among religious movements, Mormon Transhumanism stands out as exceptionally well-positioned to drive cosmic expansion.
Mormon Transhumanism advocates the ethical use of technology to enhance human abilities in a holistic sense, for the betterment of humanity both as individuals and as communities, as well as for the betterment of our environments. A moral imperative of cosmic expansion, qualified by sublime compassion, is implicit in such advocacy. In Mormon theology, the work and glory of God is to bring about human immortality and eternal life. And humanity is called to participate in that work, becoming co-creators with God, becoming God with God, engaging in eternal progression and helping others to do the same, eternally and universally.
The grand narrative essential for cosmic expansion is intrinsic to Mormon theology. This narrative is not just about a particular past or present or future of humanity. It is about eternal progression of countless intelligent agents of diverse kinds and degrees, without beginning, throughout endless worlds and heavens. Mormon Transhumanism amplifies this narrative, envisioning futures where technological advancements and religious aspirations converge, and intelligent potential is realized throughout the universe at divine magnitudes.
Mormon culture is an example of religion’s ability to provoke the confidence and strenuous acton that are crucial for sustained competitive efforts. We have a history of overcoming adversity and a strong pioneering spirit. Mormon Transhumanism remains grounded in this culture of religious conviction, while simultaneously embracing pragmatic and transhumanist visions of work- and tech-enabled futures. This is a powerful practical combination, which could not only facilitate but also greatly accelerate efforts aimed at cosmic expansion.
In contrast to irreligious ideologies that may marginalize human significance, Mormon Transhumanism places human potential at the top of cosmic importance. We view humans not just as passive observers of the cosmos, but as active participants and potentially sublime creators, even Gods, in the cosmic narrative. Importantly, this esteem for humanity is neither indiscriminate nor exclusive, as we aspire to universal compassion and anticipate that nothing less will prove sufficient for our survival and thriving. But we do insist on characterizing worship as emulation of the God that would share Godhood, rather than groveling before any other power.
Ours is a momentous time, on the cusp of cosmic expansion. And Mormon Transhumanism is a momentous religious movement. With moral imperative, grand narrative, strenuous commitment, and esteem for human significance, Mormon Transhumanists are uniquely positioned not only to envision cosmic expansion, but also to drive that potential into sublime fulfillment. By the grace of God, in courage and compassion, may we so do.