Transhumanism, Immortality, and Prolonging Human Lives

Stefan Lorenz Sorgner makes the following statements about Transhumanist and Immortality:

Transhumanists . . . aspire for a type of immortality, though, in most cases, this is not literal immortality but rather a long life or a prolonging of human lives. . . .  Transhumanists reject the idea of an eternal afterlife in a transcendent world and develop concepts of a prolonged life within this world. . . .  The transhumanist idea of a prolonged life does not necessarily seem to work as an answer to the question of the meaning of life.  It might work in this way, if it meant that one can actually achieve a type of immortality, but I doubt that this is what most transhumanists have in mind. . . .

I wonder whether transhumanists are committed to longevity as a necessary component of the good life, and whether it is valid for all human beings that a good life for posthumans must be a long one.  The Transhumanist Arts Statement seems to imply that transhumanists must uphold longevity as a value, but an alternative would be to claim that it is up to the individual posthuman what he values.  Even from an evolutionary perspective, the longevity of individuals might not be in the interest of the species.

Thus, according to Sorgner, Mormon transhumanist becomes a bit of an oxymoron.

There does seem to be a developing bifurcation between scientists and their ilk, and non-scientists.  The scientific community seems to be gravitating away from structured religion toward agnosticism and atheism.  While many non-scientists want to hold on to the outdated mythologies of the Judeo-Christian tradition.  This bifurcation seems driven, in part, by the inability of religious institutions to keep up with the advances of science.  This inability becomes particularly critical as the advances in science and technology accelerate.

It does seem that many Mormon beliefs concerning the hereafter dovetail well with many of the values held by transhumanists.  So if one is predisposed to believe in God, Mormonism might provide a reasonable bridge between religion and science (and transhumanism).  It does seem that a transhumanist can hold a belief in an afterworld.

This entry was posted in atheism, mormonism, Philosophy, Religion, transhumanism. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Transhumanism, Immortality, and Prolonging Human Lives

  1. Mormonism also lends itself to the idea that immortality is not the impossibility of death. For example, Brigham Young taught that God gave up immortality to become Adam. I don’t believe that in the most literal sense, but I do like the idea that we and all mortal life are an aspect of God that condescended. Some things are worse than death. Whatever they are would at least occasionally justify death.

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