Is Transhumanism the Way to Go in the Future?
This post was inspired by a YouTube video I just watched about Ahriman. OK, you may be asking yourself, what does an ancient Zoroastrian entity have to do with modern man and his evolution?
Here’s the video:
I’ve written about this issue, previously, here. What I hadn’t tackled almost four years ago was how AI would gain traction in peoples’ use of computer technology, and how we are becoming more and more dependent on ‘smart’ electronic equipment to help us run our complex lives. I’d never exactly put my concerns into a spiritual context. That changes here and now.
Transhumanism, social and philosophical movement devoted to promoting the research and development of robust human-enhancement technologies. Such technologies would augment or increase human sensory reception, emotive ability, or cognitive capacity as well as radically improve human health and extend human life spans. Such modifications resulting from the addition of biological or physical technologies would be more or less permanent and integrated into the human body.Britannica
In other words, humanity would become the basis for a robotic life force. Unfortunately, this is not very far away in the future. Dan Brown in his book “Origin” suggested that 2050 might be the timing of the start of this singularity.
It’s a sobering thought, is it not? I know everyone wants to live forever, but do you really want to become a robot in order to do that? There is nothing spiritual in this idea. There is no ‘other’ side.
What exactly is Transhumanism?
The movement’s adherents tend to be libertarian and employed in high technology or in academia. Its principal proponents have been prominent technologists like American computer scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil and scientists like Austrian-born Canadian computer scientist and roboticist Hans Moravec and American nanotechnology researcher Eric Drexler, with the addition of a small but influential contingent of thinkers such as American philosopher James Hughes and Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. The movement has evolved since its beginnings as a loose association of groups dedicated to “extropianism” (a philosophy devoted to the transcendence of human limits). Transhumanism is principally divided between adherents of two visions of post-humanity—one in which technological and genetic improvements have created a distinct species of radically enhanced humans and the other in which greater-than-human machine intelligence emerges.
The membership of the transhumanist movement tends to split in an additional way. One prominent strain of transhumanism argues that social and cultural institutions—including national and international governmental organizations—will be largely irrelevant to the trajectory of technological development. Market forces and the nature of technological progress will drive humanity to approximately the same end point regardless of social and cultural influences. That end point is often referred to as the “singularity,” a metaphor drawn from astrophysics and referring to the point of hyperdense material at the centre of a black hole which generates its intense gravitational pull. Among transhumanists, the singularity is understood as the point at which artificial intelligence surpasses that of humanity, which will allow the convergence of human and machine consciousness. That convergence will herald the increase in human consciousness, physical strength, emotional well-being, and overall health and greatly extend the length of human lifetimes.
The second strain of transhumanism holds a contrasting view, that social institutions (such as religion, traditional notions of marriage and child rearing, and Western perspectives of freedom) not only can influence the trajectory of technological development but could ultimately retard or halt it. Bostrom and British philosopher David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association in 1998 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with those social institutions to promote and guide the development of human-enhancement technologies and to combat those social forces seemingly dedicated to halting such technological progress.Britannica
So, Who’s with Me?
If your vision of the future of humanity is one where we become more spiritual and therefore less under the control of technology and ‘market’ forces, how can we achieve that? Meditation is one way. Being positive is another. My mother used to quote this saying all the time: