[ExI] [mta] My 80 year old Mother In Law asked about Transhumanism.

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 30 05:22:01 UTC 2010

On 9/29/10, Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at canonizer.com> wrote:
> Transhumanists,
> As most of you know, all of my family is mostly truly believing Mormons
> - Especially my mother in law.  Before 5 years ago and before we started
> the Mormon Transhumanist Association - I was mostly taking the same tact
> some of you hating transhumanists were taking:  lets excommunicate
> religion and destroy it with the rational truth, or Transhumanism /
> atheism.

If transhumanism becomes a truly powerful force in society and then
develops a mutually adversarial relationship with religion, we could
set the stage for an extremely nasty conflict that could make WW2 look
mild by comparison.  The science fiction short story "Monster" comes
to mind.

I was actively working on this for much more than 10 years
> with absolutely nothing to show for my efforts, except everyone hating
> me.  It was probably mostly just my perception, but there were strong
> feelings that during that time, likely largely because of my lets
> convert everyone from and destroy religion attitude, my mother in law
> wanted my wife and LDS family to divorce me.  Our family did come very
> close to this during those times.  Even my parents seemed to want this.

On Facebook I've seen militant atheists who talk about nothing but
atheism and how much they hate religion.  I wonder about people who
never talk about family, friends, work, politics, etc., because their
one obsession is atheism/as defined as a hatred for religion in almost
all forms.  But I do realize there is also the fundamentalist
equivalent out there...

> However, as we got started with the MTA, I finally realized, that all
> this fracturing hate was precisely the only problem with me and the
> transhumanist movement.  And of course, if you think there are lots of
> transhumanists that want to excommunicate religion from transhumanism,
> how many Mormons do you think there are that want to excommunicate the
> Mormon Transhumanists Association from Mormonism?  You haven't seen
> anything.  (The LDS church recently got a copyright on the word "Mormon"
> - I wonder why).  I know many of you still think hating and
> excommunicating anyone or anything to do with organized religion (and
> visa versa), is the best or only route to take.  But I challenge you to
> point out one shred of real evidence that such hateful, excommunicating
> attitudes have done anything for the transhumanist movement, other than
> keeping it completely dead, fractured, unable to co-operate, and
> worthless - the sorry state we are all in today - most people in the
> world not even knowing of the word Transhumanist.

I think this negative attitude is a holdover from some of the
atheistic ranks.  And of course many transhumanists are first atheists
and so they take old attitudes with them as they join our circles.
People on both sides of the fence need to be reminded about the
teachings of Jesus that implored everyone to love their neighbor.  But
it's of course much easier said than done.  I have seen Max More and
Natasha Vita-More speak at some very emotionally and intellectually
heated conferences, and I can attest to the fact that they are bridge
builders (and not bridge burners) for transhumanism.

> This weekend is the semi-annual Mormon LDS General Conference in Salt
> Lake City, Utah.  For Mormons, this is it.  There will be gazillions of
> well organized volunteers filling downtown SLC.  The lavish LDS
> conference center seats more than 23 thousand people, and it will be
> standing room only during the entire weekend.  Many LDS only wishing
> they could get some tickets to just one session, as thousands of them
> stand outside listening to it on the radio.  It's near impossible for
> locals to get tickets, especially for Sunday Morning, since they reserve
> these tickets mostly for people from out of town.  In conjunction with
> this, we are having our Transhumanist and Spirituality conference.
> (see: http://www.transhumanism-spirituality.org/ )  Max More, James
> Hughes, and a famous Mormon Intellectual, Terryl Givens are the key note
> speakers.

Both conferences should be great!!!  : )

> Despite the difficulty of getting tickets for such, we've finally
> networked with enough Mormons, that we've collected a bunch of tickets,
> so a bunch of the attendees, including the keynote speakers, will all be
> attending the main General Conference Session, Sunday Morning together.

Damn!  I am impressed.  We need to get Damien Broderick to be a guest
speaker next year! heehee!

> My in laws know about all of this, our efforts to solicit so far and
> wide trying to get these tickets, and I was also telling them the story
> of the brilliant LDS Historian, Don Bradley, today.  Basically, in large
> part due to what Don found in LDS history, like many other smart
> historians, he had resigned (or had his name formally removed from the
> LDS church records).  Yet, after he started getting active in the MTA,
> he got re-baptized into the LDS church.  My mother in law also knew how
> many impossible to get conference tickets we had mustered from our world
> wide MTA membership, and that we were taking people like Max More (I had
> explained who he was to all of them) to conference with us.

I just hope the conference center does not catch on fire when Max
walks inside!  ; )

> Today as I was over at the inlaws' house, after I told this story, my
> mother in law asked: "Now what do you guys call yourself again?"  And as
> I slowly answered: "Mormon Transhumanist Association" she was, with much
> glowing interest, writing the word Transhumanist down.

What a great success story!  Brent, it's obvious the MTA has done some
great things in your life.  After all, it won over your mother in law!
 : )


> Brent Allsop
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