<p>I had the honor to be quoted by Wesley J. Smith in a blog post titled "<a href="http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/2007/01/give-me-that-new-transhumanist.html" title="Give Me That New Transhumanist Religion">Give Me That New Transhumanist Religion
</a>", where he comments my "<a href="http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/prisco20061231/" title="Considerations on the development of the transhumanist movement">Considerations on the development of the transhumanist movement
This is only fair, as I quoted him. However, he tries using my post in
support of his view of transhumanism as "a branch of scientism, that
is, a quasi religion that seeks to use science in ways for which the
great method is not meant". So I left the comment below on his blog.
<p>I wish to thank you for quoting me, but also wish to reply to your
comments which may give, I fear, a distorted view of what I try to say.
I have the highest respect for religion as search for meaning and wish to live a "good" life.
<p>At the same time, and based not only on my scientific training but
also on my common sense, I am just unable to *believe* in any religion.
I think, as you quote, that the succes of religions is due to the fact that they offer an answer to the nightmare of death.
<p>For previous generations, death was just something you cannot
escape, so it is not surprising that so many persons have accepted
supernatural answers in absence of scientific ones.
<p>But today we are beginning to see how science and technology may be
able, someday and perhaps soon, to defeat death. I prefer this
practical engineering approach to blind belief in something that cannot
<p>Of course, for most people, the scientific possibility of
engineering immortality for future generation is not enough. I am one
of these people. Many of my loved ones are dead and I wish to think
that, perhaps, I will see them again.
<p>This is just human. But I cannot blind my eyes to the fact that,
according to the scientific worldview to which I subscribe, they are
<p>Gone forever? Perhaps. And perhaps future science and technology may
find a way to bring them back. I do not *believe* this: I do not
believe in anything that I cannot prove. But I allow myself to
contemplate this possibility because it is not, in my opinion,
incompatible with the scientific worldview.
This is what I mean by offering hope to those who, like me, are unable to find hope in religion.
<p>It is, I think, unfair to quote "[The] Raelian message is very
similar to the transhumanist one" without the rest of my sentence:
"with an extra layer of UFO nonsense". Indeed, I think the Raelian
message has the same weakness of religion: it requires blind faith in
things that cannot be proven.
<p>I prefer, on the contrary, to believe in ourselves and in our
capability to improve our own condition. On the basis of our current
understanding of reality, I am confident that someday we will achieve
immortality through engineering. And later, perhaps, we will be able to
do things even more amazing.<br></p>