[ExI] Muslim and Supermuslim: Toward Islamic transhumanism?

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Wed Feb 26 18:05:31 UTC 2020

On 26/02/2020 13:40, Giuilio wrote:
> Muslim and Supermuslim: Toward Islamic transhumanism?
> In a new book, philosopher of religion Roy Jackson 
> <https://www.glos.ac.uk/academic-schools/education-and-humanities/staff-profiles/pages/s2108104-roy-jackson.aspx> 
> envisions a Muslim Transhumanist Association...
> https://turingchurch.net/muslim-and-supermuslim-toward-islamic-transhumanism-e2583dbdd759

"Jackson explains that the common black-and-white caricatures of 
fundamentalist theocratic Muslims on the one hand, and fundamentalist 
atheist transhumanists on the other hand, are not representative"

Er, what?

I know what a fundamentalist Muslim is ("theocratic" is redundant here), 
but what the hell is a 'fundamentalist atheist'?? Either all atheists 
are 'fundamentalist', or none are, depending on how you define the word 
'fundamentalist'. In either case, the word serves no purpose.

Atheism isn't something you can have 'mild' and 'extreme' versions of, 
which is what the above language implies. You either lack a belief in 
gods or you don't. Anything else is a variety of religious belief, which 
can be weak or strong (fundamentalist).

Believing that there are no gods is not atheism, it's a belief 
(obviously). I know that various religious apologists misrepresent 
atheism as a negative belief, but they don't get to define what it 
means, and anyone with half a brain can see straight through propaganda 
like that.

Imagine someone saying, in response to hearing that another person 
doesn't play chess, "yeah, well I don't play chess EVEN MORE!!". Apart 
from the obvious silliness, it wouldn't qualify them as a 
'fundamentalist non-chess-player', would it?

There are no negative numbers with belief, either your belief is >0 or 
it's 0.

I'm no expert on Islam (I did try reading the manual once, but it was so 
repellent that I couldn't stomach it), but my understanding is that the 
word means 'submission' (I know that it's common to talk about the 
nuances of translation causing a lot of confusion between english and 
arabic, but I've never heard the word 'Islam' translated as anything 
else. Anyone who knows different, please speak up). Submission as in 
submission to divine will (as interpreted by the clergy, of course).

I know a bit more about transhumanism, and one of its core tenets is 
self-determination. I have a hard time reconciling those two concepts, 
and suspect that any attempt to do that would necessarily change the 
meaning of either 'submission' or 'self-determination'. I can't see any 
kind of transhumanism ditching the concept of self-determination, but am 
not so sure if Islam can possibly ditch the concept of submission to 
divine will (and if so, it would be a bit like a vegetarian starting to 
eat meat, but still insist on being called a vegetarian).

I'd be interested to hear of any solution to this conundrum.

Ben Zaiboc

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