Thursday, August 19, 2010

Christian Transhumanism A View That Unites Common Ambitions

Christian Transhumanism A View That Unites Common Ambitions


We Would Be Creators

Christianity is the religion of the Logos. It is faith in the in the Creator Spirit, from which comes everything that exists, according to Pope Benedict the XVI. Church Fathers see humanity becoming full participators in this through Christ. In the process of theosis, the messiah leads us up to heavenly participation in the creation. Now, secular Transhumanist think of becoming "Posthuman" creators. According to leading Transhumanists like Oxford Philosopher Nick Bostrom, we are most likely living in a world created by super-intelligent Posthumans who will use advanced super-computers to run ancestor-simulations. Posthumans eventually learn to create their own virtual space-time like we would set up an aquarium today. Science supports this possibility. Many physicists believe our universe and the matter in which we are made is at its deepest level, information. Logos is at the heart of physics, just as information is at the heart of a computer. Some go so far as to conclude intelligence controls the information-processing system we call the universe.

For the evangelist, this puts a foot in the secular door. If I am living in a simulation then Jesus is a posthuman programmer capable of all sorts of miracles. You could further argue that Adams fall was a glitch in the beta test of the software, corrected by a Jesus tweak in the program. The New Testament Gospel becomes revised computer code.

If the thought of living in a "simulation" wrecks your notion of freedom, Christianity offers hope. With the Grace of God and by doing the will of God, living not by bread alone, but by every word of God, we will step out of the "simulation" and into new degrees of freedom. (Transhumanists call this a biological uplift.) Learn the code that is used to create. The Christian message is to overcome the world through love and understanding. It is interesting to note that in Genesis, the first thing God said to us was “Bless you. Now go subdue the world!” Later Jesus Christ as the fully developed human aspect of God, said to his disciples; “I have overcome the world.” Then in the book of Revelations close to the end of times it is the same “overcomer” who says he will guide us into our next form in the continuum of life. The gospel teaches Christians to be like Christ; "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother".

Redeemed We Would Be Transformed Into Perfect Lovers

Love is important to Christianity, just as connectivity is important to Transhumanism. Aldous Huxley makes the connection beautifully in his book the Perennial Philosophy. Huxley says; "We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we do not love. Love is a mode of knowledge, and when the love is sufficiently disinterested and sufficiently intense, the knowledge becomes unitive knowledge and so takes on the quality of infallibility." A techie would say. For this I need a fast processor with a noiseless fast connection. I need large bandwidth, and many gigabytes of stable memory. This is the geeks holy grail. God bless them. In a spiritual sense the pure attention of selfless love provides this flow-of-word-to-understanding. Worship leads to the Holy Grail.

In the way of the Holy Spirit, I want to understand you and to share your experience. I want to fully apprehend the world. And, I want to be all that I can be. No one on earth today has the capacity to do this perfectly, but we have the potential. What hope do we have of ever understanding each other with the limited time we have? Or what hope do we have of ever understanding the infinite, extra dimensions, or timelessness if our minds are just not able to grasp these concepts? We are living in a time when it is becoming more and more apparent that technologies are converging on the wish of the Holy Spirit. Christian Transhumanists would use transformative technologies in the way of the Holy Spirit. They look at love this way: Technically, love can be seen as the process of connecting. The product of the love process is understanding. If the process is efficient and sustained, understanding increases exponentially. Peace allows unwavering attention so that the love process can establish a clear connection. At the heart of the process; symbols, words, and feelings are ordered into meaning. Forgiveness is important to spiritual growth because it establishes an exhaust for misunderstanding and disorder. Put this all together and you have The Perfect State of Mind.

A broader understanding of love can unite secular and religious social capital upon the same ambition. When these great efforts converge you can expect accelerating returns. The Lifeboat Foundation explains; "An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense "intuitive linear" view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). The "returns", such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There's even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity; technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Paul Tillich; "Early in the Christian movement Irenaeus of Lyons called salvation recapitulation. He was pointing to Ephesians 1.10 which speaks of all things in heaven and earth being gathered up in Christ." "It means that the development which was broken in Adam is resumed by Christ and fulfilled in him. In Christ the new mankind has started. That which mankind was to become... However, not only mankind but the whole cosmos finds its fulfillment in Christ." Paul Tillich calls this idea "The profound doctrine of a transcendent humanism, a humanism which says that Christ is the fulfillment of essential man, of the Adamic nature." "And we can become fully human through participation in this full humanity which has appeared in Christ. This includes eternal life, and similitude with God with respect to participation in infinity." Then Tillich says, "I am always surprised how much better the theology of the ancient church was than the popular theology which developed in the nineteenth century, how much profounder and more adequate to the paradox of Christianity, without becoming irrationalistic, nonsensical, or absurd." Rather than a pointless existence, we are inspired to consciously continue the path of evolution that transhumanists aspire to. We overcome the world with "technos" to the point of Christ. Christ becomes a Critical Point of Understanding in communion with the infinite continuum of life. This is where life creates and sustains itself through communion with God The Father. Life becomes "I Am" like our own mind is an I Am. This is the all encompassing Douglass Hofstadter strange loop which arises by moving up or down through a universal hierarchical system of (creation, evolution, and rapture) and finding our self back where we started. Stepping out of this aquarium of living water space-time we can see that faith and works necessarily coexist...The end is the means.

3 comments:

  1. All you seem to be doing is redefining terms. Bandwidth = the Grail. Jesus = Simulation Programmer. And none of your redefinitions seems to proceed from a convincing argument.

    And what "infinite continuum of life" are you talking about?

    Please, try to make your case without throwing out a cascade of ill-defined terms.

    Start with a defense of the reality of contemporary Christianity. Because if you're trying to convince that majority of Transhumanists who are Atheists or Agnostics, that's the first hurdle you'll need to overcome. And thusfar, I see no reason to put any more credence in your Christianity than I do in classical Roman paganism.

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  2. Check my next blog post Joseph. I had to include a graphic file. Thanks for the challenge!

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  3. Greetings from New Jersey. Very interesting material and I plan to explore more in depth. Hope to somehow make contact as I do not think enough positive theological thought is being given to Singularity.

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