[ExI] How many current members of ExI?
spike at rainier66.com
spike at rainier66.com
Sat Apr 18 20:17:05 UTC 2020
From: Brent Allsop <brent.allsop at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] How many current members of ExI?
Just information for atheist trans humanists who can't organize, The membership of the Mormon Transumanists <https://transfigurism.org/> Association continues to grow exponentially. I believe they are now approaching 1000 members, and they are now actively involved in their bi annual elections.
You should definitely keep them in the loop for any transhumanist activities, if you want to expand participation.
Brent’s comments should be considered carefully in the context of our focus here.
Plenty of us are atheists here, but he is right: atheism doesn’t do for people what the mainstream religions do so well: provide a social context upon which people organize and work together. Even if a religion is based on dubious or known-false infrastructure, they do meet the emotional needs of people.
This works, even if the believer doesn’t actually believe the theory. I know LDS people who will openly admit they don’t accept the basic theory at all: they are Latter Day Atheists. But they keep it to themselves, and recognize the benefits of going along. Note that Stephen Jay Gould sang in the church choir and Niels Bohr kept a horseshoe over his door for good luck. When asked if he believed it would do so, he answered of course not, it was a silly superstition. But he was told it brings good luck even if one does not believe in it.
Note that I am not making any commentary or inquiry on Brent’s religious views, (and encourage others to not ask (for that is poor form)) but I do recognize that religion in general, and LDS specifically is a religion that has its socially-redeeming qualities, such as promotion of family life (note that I am definitely not promoting over-breeding (keep it to two or less.)) I will unapologetically observe that Brent Alsop is a most pleasant person with which to hang.
Seventh Day Adventism is a religion I embraced up until about age 20, when I discovered Darwin. I realized Darwin was right. Therefore… my religion was wrong, dead wrong, pi radians wrong. However… it too has its culturally and socially redeeming qualities. For instance: a strict, very strict rule in that ideology is noooo druuuuugs, no dope of any kind, no alcohol, no tobacco, none of that junk. Well, OK then.
When I realized SDA was pi wrong, I examined carefully which concepts were redeemable, and decided that one definitely is. I hold to this day: lives are generally better without that stuff. I am a Seventh Day Atheist. But I am a quiet one, and I recognize there are social benefits to going along. (Inquiry or commentary on that last part is welcome.) I don’t try to promote my atheism, even though I know there are others. They do not try to draw it out of me, and I do not volunteer it.
Second thing in SDA: that religion holds that when a person perishes, they are on hold, no conscious existence in any form. They exist as stored data until they are re-assembled at a later time. This notion turns out to be perfectly compatible with cryonics. The SDA people I talk to are very open-minded to the idea of cryonics, generally more so than other religions. The SDA people recognize that a cryonaut is not going to be re-created in the flesh, but rather are candidates for a future software existence, such as Startrek Next Generation holodeck. The SDA people can see definite advantages to that: their holodeck avatar can teach their great^5 grandchildren about their religion. Shrugs, OK then. Whatever works for you.
LDS: the theory has humans becoming gods. I don’t claim to be an authority on LDS, but that looks to me to be very compatible with the notion of transhumanism. Imagine… we find that most transhumanists come from an LDS background and most cryonicists come from SDA.
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