Occasionally, I do a WordPress.com tag-search, e.g. Transhumanism. I am curious to learn what knockers and boosters alike are thinking..
I found this paper, The Magus of Silicon Valley: Ray Kurzweil’s Transhumanism as Contemporary Esotericism, by Egil Asprem, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Philosophy and Religious Studies.
A quick reading of this paper revealed to me that Egil Asprem should be counted in the ranks of the knockers / critics of transhumanism, but it was this following paragraph that got me thinking, ’cause where exactly do I find myself among Egil’s list of contributors to the transhumanist “development”..
“The list of contributors to this development includes a broad variety of people, from Silicon Valley technologists to well-known New Age prophets, a Russian billionaire, and a group of technophile Mormons“.
- Silicon Valley technologist ? - Uncheck..
- New Age prophet ? – Uncheck..
- Russian billionaire ? – Uncheck..
- Technophile Mormon ? – Uncheck..
- Irreligious, rational, progressive, existentialist realist and dreamer.. ? – Check !
[ Although this painting is not exactly the best illustration of a progressive existentialist, etc., - I love this painting, and it does emphasize "dreamer"..]
The central notion, according to Egil Asprem, is:
“..a coming apocalyptic event, expected around the year 2045: The Singularity”
Sure, – a central notion to some, perhaps many / most, but deep in our hearts.., – well, we ain’t naive fools, and we are open also to a more controlled, ethical, and gradual progress.. – I know I am, which is not to say I will turn down any offer of an.. elixir of life, should it come my way..
“But will we be transformed to godlike cyborg angels, or swallowed by grey goo?”
Well, – nobody really knows, do they, and that includes Egil Asprem. – Godlike cyborg angels sounds ok to me, and on behalf of all transhumanists I say:
We are optimists, even Utopists, and refuse to be deterred by doomsayers !