[ExI] "general repudiation of Transhumanism"

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Apr 26 18:43:42 UTC 2008

At 09:00 AM 4/26/2008 -0700, John Grigg wrote:

> >Did he declare his own religious affiliations, if any?
>Actually, yes.  He said he is a secular humanist/atheist.

Interesting, thanks.

>Damien, you seem to have the wrong idea about this lecture/symposium 
>series.  The Templeton Foundation is avowedly religious, but their 
>funds went toward secular academics gathering together and having a 
>largely secular discussion about Transhumanism.

Why would they do that, do you suppose? Does the Randi Foundation 
spend millions of dollars funding Episcopalian prelates to debate the 
virtues of FLDS polygamy, or of Scientology processing?

>And so your diatribe against religion was not necessary. : )

A "diatribe" is defined as either "a bitter and abusive speech or 
writing" or "ironic or satirical criticism." What I wrote about the 
way so-called "people of faith" often ridicule science or secular 
humanist ideas as "religious" was neither; it was just an 
observation. If simply listing the kinds of claims made by 
"believers" is held to constitute bitter abuse, something interesting 
about such claims is being revealed. If it's said to be ironic or 
satirical, then sure, I'll cop to that, if pressed--but note that 
"satire" requires some element of preposterous exaggeration, which is 
exactly what I *didn't* need. If people cling solemnly to laughable 
nonsense as their deepest truth, they can't angrily complain that 
they're being mocked just because this nonsense is reported in public 
(which is just what Scientologists do when Xenu is mentioned).

Serafino: many pagan religious (and even political) figures were 
either virgin births or fathered by a god, including (after a quick 
dip into the web) Mithras, Danae, Melanippe, Auge, Antiope, Herakles, 
Pythagoras, Apollonius of Tyana, Plato, Augustus Caesar, Alexander 
the Great, Theagenes the Olympic Champion. Mithras also rose from the dead.

Damien Broderick

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