[ExI] I'm not sure I understand..please enlighten me.

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Jan 17 13:37:12 UTC 2009

Anna wrote:

"Why exactly is Transhumanism becoming the new "humanity" link? I thought that religion had no play within the realm of Transhumanism.  

Just looking for valid opinion

To answer your second sentence, just because religion is not required by transhumanism doesn't mean there is no room for it. Transhumanism isn't one philosophy, but the stream of thoughts and philosophies that make up transhumanist thought can broadly be called physicalist or materialist, and do not require anything supernatural. Many people who have posted to this list are atheists, and many are agnostics. I don't carefully check the religious beliefs of every author whose work I read, but I'm sure a good proportion of transhumanist writers are not religiously inclined. 

That said, Transhumanism does not require belief in the non-existence of a god, or that the supernatural does not exist. Transhumanism is more of a philosophy that we can improve and change the human condition whether or not a god exists. To be religious and a transhumanist means that you are aware that humanity can change itself, and you see this as a hopeful opportunity, and would like to see this happen along lines that are compatible with your faith.

On the other side, to be religious and anti-transhumanist is to be aware that humanity can change itself, and to be scared of this. For Christian & Islamic fundamentalists who treat writings over a thousand year old as the sole source of moral authority, modern bio- and neuro- technologies offer uncharted territory which their source of guidance offers little help with. For those who see altering humanity as "playing god" and a hubristic act, there is a fear that some awful future awaits if we experiment too far.

I may have misread Anna's point, but I thought she was enquiring as to why the WTA/H+ are changing their public image and looking at revising their declaration in order to encourage discourse with the general public and with religious people. I believe it is because the H+ leadership would like to encourage people to see emerging technology that affects humans in a positive way and to encourage the development of these in a way that will benefit humanity in the near-term.



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