[ExI] A Mormon Transhumanist Atheist walked into a sushi bar.
brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sun Jul 29 19:11:26 UTC 2007
In his blog at
George Dvorsky commented:
"Now don't get me wrong -- I love the diversity and the representation.
But at what point does it become less about transhumanism, progress and
responsible foresight and more about spreading the word of Mormon or
some other leeching meme?"
Others at TV07, and also in the Mormon community, and elsewhere are
wondering if this is some kind of joke that might be published in some
humorous onion article or something. So I figured I should try to
clarify my position and belief on this.
"Or am I somehow wrong about all of this -- that there's a bigger
picture to consider?"
I do believe there is a much bigger picture here.
I was raised in the tight nit Mormon community. All my family and most
of my friends are very strong theistic Mormon. Then I became an
atheist. Despite what all other atheists seemed to be saying to me, I
didn't want to leave this wonderful community and my family. I still
consider myself a "cultural" Mormon, and think that many Mormons are
funer to be with than many atheists. They will certainly do more to
help you than most atheists, even if Mormons do have the quid pro quo
that you might listen to their missionaries and come to church with them
when they help you.
I've been diligently attempting to pull Mormons to see the Transhumanist
POV for well over 15 years with little success other than possibly
"planting seeds". Then 3 years ago we relocated to SLC. I was
surprised to find a group of SLC Transhumanists large and committed
enough to form a local WTA chapter and was excited when many of them
wanted to do precisely this.
There were a few other local "atheists" Transhumanists like me, and I
wanted to call the group the Utah Transhumanist Association" or
something, knowing that some of the other atheists wouldn't be involved
with the word "Mormon" in the name. And these atheist Transhumanists
had no interest in doing any organization work and didn't even
participate in the discussion of what to call the group. So, obviously,
the many willing to do the work, and participate, out voted us in the
decision to call us Mormon Tranhumanists.
George, what would have been your advice to me, after having been
outvoted? Be like the other local atheist Tranhumanists, and use this
as an excuse not to do the work required to help the group and move the
Tranhumanist Mem forward?
What are we anyway? I don't like to consider myself a Republican, I
don't like to consider myself a democrat. If I am only a cultural
Mormon, must I never belong to any group of Mormons? Primitive people,
with their lack of ability to communicate, didn't have much choice other
than just to join some party line, and just ignore any other difference
they may have had. But today this is very different. I want to be a
member of, and take all the good from, all groups -- while helping them
see the problems I believe their beliefs have. My goal with the
canonizer.com is to do precisely this. Precisely document just what it
is everyone believes, in a way that is easily contrastable to everyone
else. Rather than saying someone is an atheist, Transhumanist,
democrat, or whatever, they will soon be able to specify just what it is
they believe on any and all issues. No longer will they need to be in
some party that is merely close to what they believe. The day of the
hierarchy party line is gone. Now is the time for the networked with
everyone, educated, and able to communicate individual.
Most proud Transhumanists demand: My way or the highway! There is no
group that fits, precisely, what they believe. So they refuse to
affiliate with any of them. Splitting up into ever smaller groups until
everyone is individuals that can do nothing. They work on destroying
any other group that doesn't believe as they do for fear that doing
anything else may "dilute" what they want and "spread the word" of
anything they don't want.
At least one speaker at TV07 said something like it is crazy to keep on
doing the same thing, and expecting different results. Now that the MTA
is by far the fastest growing, best organized, and most active
Transhumanist group anywhere (after one year ~15 paying members [10% of
the WTA paying members], ~40 total members, and 40,000+ page hits on
their site last month), I realized I have been crazy to do this the same
old unsuccessful way for over 15 years now. I have fully converted and
repented of the desire to call us "Utah Transhumanists" and believe that
the name Mormon Transhumanist is a critical reason for our success,
along with all the great dedication of so many missionary minded
Mormons. Those two words together just demand that people pay attention
and it ends up sucking them in, even if they disagree at first, in very
Most atheists don't seem to want to do any work to organize or help
there brother. But Mormons, on the other hand, will humbly do anything
required. And as far as that goes, unlike so many other Transhumanists,
I am definitely a Mormon, and love to be affiliated with them! But just
because a few other Transhumanists seem to feel different, doesn't mean
I no longer want to consider myself a Transhumanist.
Alone we are nothing. Together we can do it all.
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