[extropy-chat] Transhumanism as a reality based religion

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 08:08:35 UTC 2007


Wesley J. Smith says: "Hughes believes that humans will one day be
made immortal and that we will all be able to upload our minds into
computers where we will spend eternity enjoying group consciousnesses
with our fellow post humans. Of the two of us, I hardly think I am the
one who is reality challenged… Transhumanism is religion. And it
definitely isn't reality based".

My comment:

Who is reality challenged, one who believes in science or one who
believes in Santa Claus?

I have never been able to see any fundamental difference between
believing in God and believing in Santa Claus. In both cases, one is
believing in something for which there is no evidence. Sure, I am not
able to prove that Santa Claus does not exist. But the existence of
Santa Claus would be so strongly against our scientific knowledge that
I think the safest assumption is that Santa Claus does not exist. Same
for God.

Mind uploading is a future technology that does not exist yet, and
will not be developed next year. My best guess is that developing
operational mind uploading technology will take 30 years. But even if
mind uploading technology does not exist yet, it is perfectly
compatible with our scientific knowledge. The history of science and
technology demonstrates that is something can be done (in the sense of
not being a violation of scientific laws), sooner or later it will be

So Wesley yes, I think you are the one who is reality challenged.

Is transhumanism a religion?

I do not think "religion" is a very appropriate definition of
transhumanism. We do not share the self-righteousness, closed
mindedness, bigotry and intolerance found in most religions. You say
that the religious right opposes the genocide at Darfur, but History
and CNN say that the religious right mentality (in many religions) has
been and continues to be directly responsible of many genocides all
over the planet. And of course, transhumanism is not a religion
because it is not based on revelation without evidence. Transhumanists
only believe in a heaven that we can build, if and when we develop the
necessary capabilities.

But "religion" has also, in my opinion, positive connotations. It is
about transcending our current limits and becoming more, much more,
than what we are. It is about hope and happiness. In this sense I am
willing to accept the label "religion" for the transhumanist
worldview. A transhumanist religion, if such a thing existed, would be
a kinder, tolerant, inclusive and forgiving religion based on science
and humanism.

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