[extropy-chat] My reply to WJ Smith’s “Give Me That New Transhumanist Religion”
bret at bonfireproductions.com
Thu Jan 4 16:16:12 UTC 2007
This is wonderfully written. Thank you for "stepping up to the plate"
on this. It's hard when you have to go out of your way, when you've
taken the time to be concise, only to have someone turn around and
mangle what you've said. I did try to leave a positive remark on the
blog, but he's got auth turned on, of course.
Why people continue to need to glom religion onto everything is very
disturbing. They can't accept that things can exist without it, so
they apply it with a wide brush.
Again, many thanks!
On Jan 3, 2007, at 4:28 AM, Giu1i0 Pri5c0 wrote:
> I had the honor to be quoted by Wesley J. Smith in a blog post
> titled "Give Me That New Transhumanist Religion ", where he
> comments my "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.
> Dear Wesley,
> 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
> I have the highest respect for religion as search for meaning and
> wish to live a "good" life.
> 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
> 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.
> 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.
> 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 be proven.
> 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.
> 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 just gone.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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