Page 11234..1020..»

Category : Transhumanism

Transhumanism – H+Pedia – hpluspedia.org

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values” – Max More, 1990

This page:

Main: Transhumanism definitions

“Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values” – Max More, 1990

“Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase” – Transhumanist FAQ

“Transhumanism is the philosophy that we can and should develop to higher levels, both physically, mentally and socially using rational methods” – Anders Sandberg, 1997

“Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have” – Nick Bostrom, 2003

“Transhumanism promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology; attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence” – Nick Bostrom, 2003

“Transhumanism is the science-based movement that seeks to transcend human biological limitations via technology” – Philippe van Nedervelde, 2015

“Transhumanism anticipates tomorrows humanity: Envisaging the positive qualities and characteristics of future intelligent life; Taking steps towards achieving these qualities and characteristics; Identifying and managing risks of negative characteristics of future intelligent life” – Transpolitica website, 2015

This section highlights reasons for supporting transhumanism.

Extracted from an essay entitled “Transhumanism” on pages 13-17 of the book of essays “New Bottles for New Wine” published in 1957:

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future. This cosmic self-awareness is being realized in one tiny fragment of the universe in a few of us human beings. Perhaps it has been realized elsewhere too, through the evolution of conscious living creatures on the planets of other stars. But on this our planet, it has never happened before…

Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, nasty, brutish and short; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery in one form or anotherpoverty, disease, ill-health, over-work, cruelty, or oppression. They have attempted to lighten their misery by means of their hopes and their ideals. The trouble has been that the hopes have generally been unjustified, the ideals have generally failed to correspond with reality.

The zestful but scientific exploration of possibilities and of the techniques for realizing them will make our hopes rational, and will set our ideals within the framework of reality, by showing how much of them are indeed realizable. Already, we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted. We are already justified in the conviction that human life as we know it in history is a wretched makeshift, rooted in ignorance; and that it could be transcended by a state of existence based on the illumination of knowledge and comprehension, just as our modern control of physical nature based on science transcends the tentative fumblings of our ancestors, that were rooted in superstition and professional secrecy.

To do this, we must study the possibilities of creating a more favourable social environment, as we have already done in large measure with our physical environment…

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.

I believe in transhumanism: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.

Main: Transhumanist Declaration

The first four sections of the Transhumanist Declaration, written in 1998 by an international collection of authors, encapsulate an argument in favour of transhumanism, as follows:

In February 2013, a number of authors created alternative transhumanist declarations. Some excerpts provide additional reasons for supporting transhumanism:

From Dirk Bruere:

We assert the desirability of transcending human limitations by overcoming aging, enhancing cognition, abolishing involuntary suffering, and expanding beyond Earth.

From Samantha Atkins:

1) We advocate the end of aging.

We advocate serious research focus on finding a cure for all the deleterious effects of aging and ultimately the dissemination of the resulting treatment to all who care to avail themselves of it.

2) We believe in and advocate the achievement of actual abundance.

We believe in and seek to bring into the being the technologies and practices, that will ensure such abundance that it is trivial to meet all the needs and many of the wants of all humans. This abundance includes abundant food, water, shelter, education, communication, computation, health care.

This is to be achieved by means of advanced technology and whatever changes are necessary to actually experience abundance in ourselves and our institutions.

3) We hold that all must be voluntary.

None of our goals should be or in our view could successfully be achieved by force. No one should be forced directly or indirectly to support these goals. Force and oppression lead to hopelessness, anger, revenge, revolution. With the multiplication of consequences afforded by accelerating technology these cycles are even less survivable than ever before.

4) We support exploitation of near earth space resources.

The future of humanity brightens considerably if we exploit near earth space resources. The right to do so should be available to any and all entities capable of improving or making productive use of any part of it. Any treaties that say no part of off planet resources can belong to anyone should be nullified and declared void.

5) All humans are free to attempt to improve themselves.

All humans by virtue of the inalienable right to their own life have the right to do whatever they wish that they think may be an beneficial or even as a whim. They only limit is that they cannot abrogate the equivalent rights of others. They can ingest, or embed or modify themselves in any way they wish and think may be an improvement. This includes seeking and achieving improvements beyond the human norm. In short they have full right to pursuit of happiness via such means.

From Jason Xu:

We view our movement as an extension of humanitarianism and the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with exponentially greater benefits. We are first and foremost dedicating to radically improving humankind, ensuring that the great power of morphing technology comes with great responsibility.

From TJL-2080:

The twentieth century was a time of amazing growth and technological advancement. The twenty-first century will see these technologies burst forth in an unprecedented fashion. Humanity must adapt to the coming changes or become obsolete. We seek to fulfill our potential by not giving in to our biological limitations. We will use new technologies to enhance our lives, live longer, be smarter, healthier and more compassionate to all beings.

From Nikola Danaylov:

Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains. It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.

Biology mandates not only very limited durability, death and poor memory retention, but also limited speed of communication, transportation, learning, interaction and evolution.

Biology is not the essence of humanity.

Human is a step in evolution, not the culmination…

Biological evolution is perpetual but slow, inefficient, blind and dangerous. Technological evolution is fast, efficient, accelerating and better by design. To ensure the best chances of survival, take control of our own destiny and to be free, we must master evolution.

From Taylor Grin:

Humanity has made leaping strides of advancement in the last 4000 years. From agriculture to genetics, from the printing press to the Internet. From the first controlled flight in 1903, to landing on the moon in 1969. From fire to the nuclear bomb.

Yet despite these advancements, we still fail to meet our potential in treating disease, solving human suffering and overcoming the lot nature casts us.

While science and technology are the greatest asset we have in the struggle to elevate ourselves above the human condition, we acknowledge that technologies can be misused to harm humanity, and the environment.

It is the goal of Transhumanists across the globe, therefore, to quickly and responsibly usher in a new era of individual freedom, health and longevity, and we seek to bring this about this goal through personal investment in researching and developing technologies.

The following argument is by Eliezer Yudkowsky (2007):[1]

Suppose you find an unconscious six-year-old girl lying on the train tracks of an active railroad. What, morally speaking, ought you to do in this situation? Would it be better to leave her there to get run over, or to try to save her? How about if a 45-year-old man has a debilitating but nonfatal illness that will severely reduce his quality of life is it better to cure him, or not cure him?

Oh, and by the way: This is not a trick question.

I answer that I would save them if I had the power to do so both the six-year-old on the train tracks, and the sick 45-year-old. The obvious answer isnt always the best choice, but sometimes it is.

I wont be lauded as a brilliant ethicist for my judgments in these two ethical dilemmas. My answers are not surprising enough that people would pay me for them. If you go around proclaiming What does two plus two equal? Four! you will not gain a reputation as a deep thinker. But it is still the correct answer.

If a young child falls on the train tracks, it is good to save them, and if a 45-year-old suffers from a debilitating disease, it is good to cure them. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle which says Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad. If so and here we enter into controversial territory we can follow this general principle to a surprising new conclusion: If a 95-year-old is threatened by death from old age, it would be good to drag them from those train tracks, if possible. And if a 120-year-old is starting to feel slightly sickly, it would be good to restore them to full vigor, if possible. With current technology it is not possible. But if the technology became available in some future year given sufficiently advanced medical nanotechnology, or such other contrivances as future minds may devise would you judge it a good thing, to save that life, and stay that debility?

The important thing to remember, which I think all too many people forget, is that it is not a trick question.

Transhumanism is simpler requires fewer bits to specify because it has no special cases. If you believe professional bioethicists (people who get paid to explain ethical judgments) then the rule Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad holds only until some critical age, and then flips polarity. Why should it flip? Why not just keep on with life-is-good? It would seem that it is good to save a six-year-old girl, but bad to extend the life and health of a 150-year-old. Then at what exact age does the term in the utility function go from positive to negative? Why?

As far as a transhumanist is concerned, if you see someone in danger of dying, you should save them; if you can improve someones health, you should. There, youre done. No special cases. You dont have to ask anyones age.

You also dont ask whether the remedy will involve only primitive technologies (like a stretcher to lift the six-year-old off the railroad tracks); or technologies invented less than a hundred years ago (like penicillin) which nonetheless seem ordinary because they were around when you were a kid; or technologies that seem scary and sexy and futuristic (like gene therapy) because they were invented after you turned 18; or technologies that seem absurd and implausible and sacrilegious (like nanotech) because they havent been invented yet. Your ethical dilemma report form doesnt have a line where you write down the invention year of the technology. Can you save lives? Yes? Okay, go ahead. There, youre done…

So that is transhumanism loving life without special exceptions and without upper bound.

Can transhumanism really be that simple? Doesnt that make the philosophy trivial, if it has no extra ingredients, just common sense? Yes, in the same way that the scientific method is nothing but common sense.

Then why have a complicated special name like transhumanism? For the same reason that scientific method or secular humanism have complicated special names. If you take common sense and rigorously apply it, through multiple inferential steps, to areas outside everyday experience, successfully avoiding many possible distractions and tempting mistakes along the way, then it often ends up as a minority position and people give it a special name.

A techno-utopia, as hypothesized by Marshall Brain in a futuristic science-fiction novel titled “Manna”, can be seen as a strong arguments for transhumanism. In the utopia, with the aid of science and technology, humans are capable of doing the following:

A techno-dystopia, which is the current, non-transhumanist paradigm, holds the following in store for humans:

Writers in previous generations have often expressed arguments in favour of transhumanist ideas, without using that precise terminology. This includes Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Condorcet, Francis Bacon, and many others. See the Prehistory of Transhumanism.

Main: Criticism of transhumanism

This section lists some common criticisms of transhumanism. See Criticism of transhumanism for more discussion of:

Read this article:
Transhumanism – H+Pedia – hpluspedia.org

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Transhuman | Future | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Transhumanity

A transhuman is a life form with an intelligence comparable or superior to that of humans.

It thus has the following characteristics:

A posthuman or post-human is a hypothetical future being whose capabilities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer human by current standards. A posthuman can also be described as the creature that results from radical human enhancement. In these ways, the difference between the posthuman and other hypothetical sophisticated non-humans is that a posthuman was once a human, either in its life time or in the life times of some or all of its direct ancestors. As such, a prerequisite for a posthuman is a transhuman, the point at which the human being begins surpassing his own limitations, but is still recognisable as a human person.

Posthumans could be a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.

The term can also refer to the possibility of a technological singularity or that humanity or a segment of humanity will create or evolve into a “posthuman God”.

Homo excelsior (Latin for “higher man”) is an alternate term used in the literature of transhumanism for the posthuman.[citation needed] The use of the Latin binomial implies the transhumanist idea of participant evolution as a hypothetical human progression through an intermediary form of the transhuman to a new species distinct from Homo sapiens.

As used here, “posthuman” does not refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who diverge from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist.

“Posthuman” should not be confused with “posthumanism,” which is a European philosophical extension of humanism.

Visit link:
Transhuman | Future | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The Responsibility of Immortality: Welcome to the New …

In the summer of 1990, I was running a pretty weird nightclub in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. I was deeply immersed in the global cyberpunk scene and working to bring the Tokyo node of this fast-expanding, posthuman, science-fiction-and-psychedelic-drug-fueled movement online. The Japanese scene was more centered around videogames and multimedia than around acid and other psychedelics, and Timothy Leary, a dean of 60s counterculture and proponent of psychedelia who was always fascinated with anything mind-expanding, was interested in learning more about it. Tim anointed the Japanese youth, including the 24-year-old me, The New Breed. He adopted me as a godson, and we started writing a book about The New Breed together, starting with tune in, turn on, take over, as a riff off Tims original and very famous turn on, tune in, drop out. We never finished the book, but we did end up spending a lot of time together. (I should dig out my old notes and finish the book.)

Tim introduced me to his friends in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They were a living menagerie of the counterculture in the United States since the 60s. There were the traditional New Age types: hippies, cyberpunks, and transhumanists, too. In my early twenties, I was an eager and budding techno-utopian, dreaming of the day when I would become immortal and ascend to the stars into cryogenic slumber to awake on a distant planet. Or perhaps I would have my brain uploaded into a computer network, to become part of some intergalactic superbrain.

Good times. Those were the days and, for some, still are.

Weve been yearning for immortality at least since the Epic of Gilgamesh. In Greek mythology, Zeus grants Eoss mortal lover Tithonus immortalitybut the goddess forgets to ask for eternal youth as well. Tithonus grows old and decrepit, begging for death. When I hear about life extension today, I am often perplexed, even frustrated. Are we are talking about eternal youth, eternal old age, or having our cryogenically frozen brains thawed out 2,000 years from now to perform tricks in a future alien zoo?

The latest enthusiasm for eternal life largely stems not from any acid-soaked, tie-dyed counterculture but from the belief that technology will enhance humans and make them immortal. Todays transhumanist movement, sometimes called H+, encompasses a broad range of issues and diversity of belief, but the notion of immortalityor, more correctly, amortalityis the central tenet. Transhumanists believe that technology will inevitably eliminate aging or disease as causes of death and instead turn death into the result of an accidental or voluntary physical intervention.

As science marches forward, and age reversal and the elimination of diseases becomes a real possibility, what once seemed like a science fiction dream is becoming more real, transforming the transhumanist movement and its role in society from a crazy subculture to a Silicon Valley money- and technology-fueled shot on goal and more of a practical hedge than the sci-fi dream of its progenitors.

Transhumanism can be traced back to futurists in the 60s, most notably FM-2030. As the development of new, computer-based technologies began to turn into a revolution to rival the Industrial Revolution, Max More defined transhumanism as the effort to become posthuman through scientific advances like mind uploading. He developed his own variant of Transhumanism and named it Extropy, and together with Tom Morrow, founded the Extropy Institute, whose email list created a community of Extopians in the internets cyberpunk era. Its members discussed AI, cryonics, nanotech and crypotoanarchy, among other things, and some reverted to transhumanism, creating an organization now known as Humanity+. As the Tech Revolution continued, Extropians and transhumanists began actively experimenting with technologys ability to deliver amortality.

In fact, Timothy Leary planned to have his head frozen by Alcor, preserving his brain and, presumably, his sense of humor and unique intelligence. But as he approached his deathI happened to visit him the night before he died in 1996the vibe of the Alcor team moving weird cryo-gear into his house creeped Tim out, and he ended up opting for the shoot my ashes into space path, which seemed more appropriate to me as well. All of his friends got a bit of his ashes, too, and having Timothy Leary ashes became a thing for a while. It left me wondering, every time I spoke to groups of transhumanists shaking their fists in the air and rattling their Alcor freeze me when I die bracelets: How many would actually go through with the freezing?

That was 20 years ago. The transhumanist and Extropian movements (and even the Media Lab) have gotten more sober since those techno-utopian days, when even I was giddy with optimism. Nonetheless, as science fiction gives way to real science, many of the ZOMG if only conversations are becoming arguments about when and how, and the shift from Haight-Ashbury to Silicon Valley has stripped the movement of its tie-dye and beads and replaced them with Pied Piper shirts. Just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road that brought us Cambridge Analytica and the Pizzagate conspiracy was paved with optimism and oaths to not be evil.

Renowned Harvard geneticist George Church once told me that breakthroughs in biological engineering are coming so fast we cant predict how they will develop going forward. Crispr, a low-cost gene editing technology that is transforming our ability to design and edit the genome, was completely unanticipated; experts thought it was impossible … until it wasnt. Next-generation gene sequencing is decreasing in price, far faster than Moores Law for processors. In many ways, bioengineering is moving faster than computing. Church believes that amortality and age reversal will seem difficult and fraught with issues … until they arent. He is currently experimenting with age reversal in dogs using gene therapy that has been successful in mice, a technique he believes is the most promising of nine broad approaches to mortality and aginggenome stability, telomere extension, epigenetics, proteostasis, caloric restriction, mitochondrial research, cell senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and intercellular communication.

Churchs research is but one of the key discoveries giving us hope that we may someday understand aging and possibly reverse it. My bet is that we will significantly lengthen, if not eliminate, the notion of natural lifespan, although its impossible to predict exactly when.

But what does this mean? Making things technically possible doesnt always make them societally possible or even desirable, and just because we can do something doesnt mean we should (as were increasingly realizing, watching the technologies we have developed transform into dark zombies instead of the wonderful utopian tools their designers imagined).

Human beings are tremendously adaptable and resilient, and we seem to quickly adjust to almost any technological change. Unfortunately, not all of our problems are technical and we are really bad at fixing social problems. Even the ones that we like to think weve fixed, like racism, keep morphing and getting stronger, like drug-resistant pathogens.

Dont get me wrongI think its important to be optimistic and passionate and push the boundaries of understanding to improve the human condition. But there is a religious tone in some of the arguments, and even a Way of the Future Church, which believes that the creation of super intelligence is inevitable. As Yuval Harari writes in Homo Deus, new technologies kill old gods and give birth to new gods. When he was still just Sir Martin Rees, now Lord Martin Rees once told a group of us a story (which has been retold in various forms in various places) about how he was interviewed by what he called the society for the abolition of involuntary death in California. The members offered to put him in cryonic storage when he died, and when he politely told them hed rather be dead than in a deep freeze, they called him a deathist.

Transhumanists correctly argue that every time you take a baby aspirin (or have open heart surgery), youre intervening to make your life better and longer. They contend that there is no categorical difference between many modern medical procedures and the quest to beat death; its just a matter of degree. I tend to agree.

Yet we can clearly imagine the perils of amortality. Would dictators hold onto power endlessly? How would universities work if faculty never retired? Would the population explode? Would endless life be only for the wealthy, or would the poor be forced to toil forever? Clearly many of our social and philosophical systems would break. Back in 2003, Francis Fukuyama, in Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, warned us of the perils of life extension and explained how biotech was taking us into a posthuman future with catastrophic consequences to civilization even with the best intentions.

I think its unlikely that well be uploading our minds to computers any time soon, but I do believe changes that challenge what it means to be human” are coming. Philosopher Nikola Danaylov in his Transhumanist Manifesto says, We must all respect autonomy and individual rights of all sentience throughout the universe, including humans, non-human animals, and any future AI, modified life forms, or other intelligences. That sounds progressive and good.

Still, in his manifesto Nikola also writes, Transhumanists of the world unitewe have immortality to gain and only biology to lose. That sounds a little scary to me. I poked Nikola about this, and he pointed out that he wrote this manifesto a while ago and his position has become more subtle. But many of his peers are as radical as ever. I think transhumanism, especially its strong, passionate base in exuberant Silicon Valley, could use an overhaul that makes it more attentive to and integrated with our complex societal systems. At the same time, we need to help the left-behind parts of society catch up and participate in, rather than just become subjected to, the technological transformations that are looming. Now that the dog has caught the car, tranhumanism has to transform our fantasy into a responsible reality.

I, for one, still dream of flourishing in the future through advances in science and technology, but hopefully one that addresses societal inequities, retains the richness and diversity of our natural systems and indigenous cultures, rather than the somewhat simple and sterile futures depicted by many science fiction writers and futurists. Timothy Leary liked to remind us to remember our hippie roots, with their celebration of diversity and nature, and I hear him calling us again.

Read more here:
The Responsibility of Immortality: Welcome to the New …

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Transhumanism & Posthumanism | BioethicsBytes

In this, the first of three episodes, the BBC4 mini-series Visions of The Future examines how some of the scientific advances of the 20th and early-21st century may shape our future. Specifically, presenter Michio Kaku Professor of physics and co-creator of string field theory posits that we are on the brink of an historic transition from the the age of scientific discovery to the age of scientific mastery (00:01:20). He suggests that having created artificial intelligence, unravelled the molecule of life and unlocked the secrets of matter (all 00:01:03), science of the future will be concerned with more than mere observation of nature. It will be concerned with its mastery.

Thus, while the individual programmes each explore human mastery of one of three key areas (intelligence, DNA and matter), the series as a whole maintains a consistent theme: that though this mastery offers us unparalleled freedom and opportunities (00:57:47) it also presents us with profound challenges and choices (00:01:46). Kaku refers to key social issues that will be raised by future science and technology as topics we must start to address today (00:57:59). In the first episode Kaku introduces a number of developments stemming from ubiquitous computing (00:06:19), many of which intersect with relatively new areas of debate in bioethics. Ubiquitous computing or ubiquitous technology is the view that powerful computer microchips will soon be everywhere. They will be such a taken-for-granted feature of every product we use or buy, that they will become largely unnoticed and invisible. While obvious applications of this include intelligent cars and roads, health care monitoring technologies might also become commonplace. For example, Kaku suggests that wearable computers (00:07:40) in our clothes will monitor our health from the outside, and that by swallowing an aspirin-sized pill with the power of a PC and a video camera (00:08:45) the health of our internal organs might also be continuously assessed.

However, as interviewee Susan Greenfield notes, the biggest changes may come when ubiquitous technology converges with the internet (00:09:11); changes which raise some rather disturbing questions (00:18:00). These focus on issues of identity (loss of identity, multiple identities), the preference of virtual social networks over real social networks, and the impact upon family life. As Greenfield further comments, current experience with virtual reality worlds like Second Life and online gaming, suggests changes are already taking place in these areas.

For Kaku, however, it is in AI (artificial intelligence) that an evolutionary leap that will profoundly challenge the human condition (00:22:08) is now taking place. While he does describe the types of monitoring technologies noted above as machine intelligences, it is in the move towards intelligent machines that the future lies. It is these machines that raise a number of important questions with respect to the relatively new bioethical area of robot ethics, including:

These questions also intersect with long-standing debates in philosophy and other areas of ethics, and have also been explored in popular science books and TV fiction (see the BioethicsBytes posts on Kevin Warwicks I, Cyborg and the Cybermen episodes of BBCs Doctor Who). For example, phenomenologists, epistemologists and AI experts have long debated whether machines will ever display human level intelligence (00:29:18) including such social skills as getting the joke (00:37:52) or whether they will be limited to merely mimicking some aspects of it. Kaku explores this question with commentators and AI researchers like Ray Kurzweil and Rosalind Picard, and focuses on emotion, which he suggests is critical for higher intelligence (00:36:58). Current work in affective computing is directed towards developing robots with some such capacities, though as technology forecaster Paul Saffo notes, youll know its not really intelligent (00:35:51).

Similarly, questions around how we might relate to intelligent machines resonate with debates in animal ethics. Kaku notes the tendency to anthropomorphise robots that appear intelligent. He refers to his own Roomba robot, and says of the Japanese robot Asimo I know Asimo is a machine, but I find myself relating to it as if it were a real person (00:32:33). This introduces one of the key issues in the new area of robot ethics: at what point might machines come to be seen as persons rather than mere things, and if this does occur should they be granted robot rights? (see for example Sawyer. 2007. Robot Ethics. Science Magazine, Vol. 318, pp. 1037). Extending this further, Visions of the Future considers what relationship we humans might have with machines whose intelligence greatly exceeded our own. This discussion is predicated on the possibility that intelligent machines might outgrow human control (00:40:15), and examines whether this would be based on harmony or conflict. Here the focus is not on how we will treat the machines of the future, but on how they might treat us.

However, as the final sections of this episode of Visions of the Future highlight, the distinction and opposition of the categories human and machine implied above may have limited relevance in the future. Alongside the drive to create intelligent machines, Kaku notes growing interest in the mechanical enhancement of human intelligence: as machines become more like humans, humans may become more like machines (00:43:36). Further, we are asked precisely how many of our natural body parts could we replace with artificial ones before we begin to loose our sense of being human? (00:55:27).

These concerns echo several of the dominant themes in posthumanism: the philosophical trend and cultural movement that both observes and advocates moving beyond a traditional or classical modern conception of the nature of humanity. In the form of transhumanism, this approach embraces the notion of upgraded human, the cyborg, as the next inevitable evolutionary step. In may ways, Visions of the Future functions to outline, both the steps in the posthumanist argument, and it ultimate endpoint. It highlights how technologies currently used for therapeutic purposes could be used to enhance various human capacities (the examples used here are mood, memory and intelligence), however, that those who choose not to take part in this revolution will find themselves severely disadvantaged. Paul Saffo notes all revolutions have winners and losers, this revolution is no exception the big losers are the people who say they dont want to get involved. They are the ones who are going to discover that being a little bit out of touch will have some unpleasant consequences (00:56:39).

Overall this futuristic first episode of the Visions of the Future series sets a tone of expectation both of the future and the next two episodes. It is engaging and useful, both in its presentation of the science, and the questions it raises regarding the social and ethical implications of the intelligence revolution.

The first of three episodes of Visions of the Future was first broadcast on BBC4 on November 5th 2007 at 21:00 (TRILT identifier: 00741D95).

Read the rest here:
Transhumanism & Posthumanism | BioethicsBytes

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Libertarian Transhumanism and the Over-man

Ive always been a fan of H+ (though I often disregard a lot of the humanist ethics proposed by some of its adherents). Ultimately, its more of an interest than a worldview for me but to see a world where humanity sheds the meat of its limitations or sheds it all together would be interesting if nothing else. An ushering in of a generation overmen (either through gene/body mods or other enhancements though it is sort of a chicken or the egg scenario as to which event will serve as the catalyst to the other) who radically reject the institutionalized morality in both politics and science would obviously be the best way to go about this. I also think that a fully decentralized and more egalitarian market economy (lending itself to agorism which we are seeing more of today in everything from crypto-currency to start up societies https://ieet.org/index.php/IEET2/more/martin20160225) will help reach this goal faster. The following are some older writings of mine detailing the potential implications of transhumanism on culture;

The Hegelian Dialectical Process Applied to Evolutionary BiologyHegels philosophy however, left little creativity to humans, making them instruments of a cosmic agency (Time-Spirit or Zeitgeist) which worked out is experiments leading towards the emergence of Philosophic Man (http://www.uprs.edu/upr-blog/transhumanism-posthumanism-superhumanism/#sthash.uUyw5obK.dpuf -2016)

The progression of history and by extension culture is largely founded on conflicts ensuing between opposing ideological stances (left vs right, centralization vs decentralization). Whether through Marxs Dialectical Materialism or opposition to establishment via social movements (ranging from reformist measures such as the post-Civil Rights social justice causes of neo-liberalism to a Maoist style insurrectionary movement). Hegel (first) recognized this, transferring it into what he is best known for, the Dialectical Process (the formation of a thesis, antithesis and a synthesis of the two opposing forces). Hegel predicted that we would one day reach the end of history as this cycle was repeated ad infinitum. A new world in which the mind of God is glimpsed by all would be ours along with a superior culture reflecting the new paradigm shift.

Nietzsche (who was as most German philosophers of his age were, influenced by Hegel) also had much to say about culture, especially in regard to the forceful removing its limitations (i.e slave morality). His work posits that a culture which fosters the cultivation of genius and celebrates the greatness of the individual, is achieved through the exertion of our will on a world devoid of inherent meaning. The end result of the violent rejection of the status quo in pursuit of art and war and vigor, is the over-man. A being no longer shackled by the constraints of human morality and institutions.

Both the over-man and the end of history could be brought about much more rapidly through the development of the post-human. This can (in many cases justifiably) be a slippery slope and in my opinion will first require the radical decentralization of the means of production, the liberation of the workforce and the fostering of a culture of greater minds, ends which can all be met through various means of secession to weaken the global hegemony.

Like Loading…

Related

Read this article:
Libertarian Transhumanism and the Over-man

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Transhumanism | Conspiracy School

Transhumanism is a recent movement that extols mans right to shape his own evolution, by maximizing the use of scientific technologies, to enhance human physical and intellectual potential. While the name is new, the idea has long been a popular theme of science fiction, featured in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bade Runner, the Terminator series, and more recently, The Matrix, Limitless, Her and Transcendence.

However, as its adherents hint at in their own publications, transhumanism is an occult project, rooted in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and derived from the Kabbalah, which asserts that humanity is evolving intellectually, towards a point in time when man will become God. Modeled on the medieval legend of the Golem and Frankenstein, they believe man will be able to create life itself, in the form of living machines, or artificial intelligence.

Spearheaded by the Cybernetics Group, the project resulted in both the development of the modern computer and MK-Ultra, the CIAs mind-control program. MK-Ultra promoted the mind-expanding potential of psychedelic drugs, to shape the counterculture of the 1960s, based on the notion that the shamans of ancient times used psychoactive substances, equated with the apple of the Tree of Knowledge.

And, as revealed in the movie Lucy, through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the Internet, which is envisioned as the end-point of Kabbalistic evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google, refers to as The Singularly. By accumulating the total of human knowledge, and providing access to every aspect of human activity, the Internet will supposedly achieve omniscience, becoming the God of occultism, or the Masonic All-Seeing Eye of the reverse side of the American dollar bill.

Here is the original post:
Transhumanism | Conspiracy School

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Transhumanism: A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Transhumanism is knocking at the door. Dubbed as Humanity+ or H+, the idea to radically revolutionize humanity has emerged in the last decades as a global intellectual movement. With a slogan of melding humans with the machine, it aims to radically alter human nature by means of technological advancement.

Transhumanists ask, ‘If humans can interfere with the process of evolution, is it possible for us to create a human being with greater capacities than what we are now?’

Proponents of transhumanism envision a human that goes beyond its current biology and cognition. They are trying to move society into the next stage of human development where man achieves super-intelligence and emotional well-being. Transhumanists ask, If humans can interfere with the process of evolution, is it possible for us to create a human being with greater capacities than what we are now? Can we make a human species without weakness of disease and illness, anger and sadness, and ultimately overcome death itself?

Some see such technologically driven future as not just desirable, but a necessity. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX indicated an inevitability of humans to symbiotically bond with artificial intelligence, if the human species were to remain relevant. This call for humanitys radical makeover comes right at the midst of the digital age, where Homo sapiens, with the progress of science and technology is crossing the Rubicon, challenging physical boundaries and organic biological limitations.

The rapid expansion of technology in this new millennium radically transformed our social landscape. The modern life filled with information has placed everyone behind computer screens and cell phones. As society has become more abstract, it became virtual, fabricated with images that are dissociated from the facts and events of the world.

The beast of neoliberalism that has been devouring victims abroad is now finally coming home to roost. Now, ordinary Americans are suffering from unemployment, homelessness and lack of access to medical care.

In many ways, the recent hype of fake news reflects this counterfeit reality that we are all surrounded by. Waves of whistleblowers in recent years revealed that we live in a kind of simulation intervened by government and corporate media propaganda. The 2008 financial meltdown exposed the global economy, overdriven by the bubble of toxic assets and stocks that were propped up by central banks with their money made out of thin air. This Ponzi scam of financial engineering was further covered up by bank bailouts, creating a fake recovery.

Meanwhile, our democracy has been one big consumer fraud. We have been duped by psychopaths in power who pull the strings of puppet politicians. Civic power has been fragmented by a corporate duopoly, keeping the populace in false hope for change in the electoral arena. With tactics of divide and conquer, monetary elites behind the scenes trigger emotions, stirring conflicts among voters in a national tournament of identity politics. Once people are trapped by fear and hatred that are carefully manufactured, they easily lose sight of reality. Rather than finding commonality and building a coalition to solve problems, many engage in mutually assured self-destruction.

While the American working class is distracted by this political charade, the economy continues to stagnate, making the divide between the rich and poor ever wider. The beast of neoliberalism that has been devouring victims abroad is now finally coming home to roost. Now, ordinary Americans are suffering from unemployment, homelessness and lack of access to medical care. Young people are burdened with predatory student debt, where despite the promise of college recruiters, there are few viable jobs for them. Social services are defunded, throwing away elders, while a military budget gets fatter and fatter, with increased defense contracts for the never ending wars.

While political corruption is deepening the crisis of institutions and governments, Silicon Valley tech companies through lobbying have steadily gained influence in Washington. Now, technological innovation is pushed forward as a solution to the breakdown of social systems. From Apple and Google to Facebook, giant tech companies put a monopoly on AI, trying to control its development, so to dictate the course of our future. With the initiative of universal basic income (UBI), wealthy and elite technologists advocate for the creation of a robot economy where labor is replaced by automation.

This techno-utopia does not come for free. One has to pay a heavy price for the ticket to this supposed heaven on earth.

Here the radical vision of humanity 2.0 arises. The coming of a post-human era promises to alleviate suffering, make us stronger, more intelligent and godlike. Transhumanists try to bring eternal life through insemination of machine intelligence into the human body. By combining big data with AI software, the idea is already there for humanity to attain digital immortality, where one can develop mind clones of oneself that has its own life on the web. Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and futurist shares his aspiration of uploading a digital memory, creating a new pill that slows down peoples perception of time and drugs that can eliminate painful memories.

The idea of fusion with technology as a next stage in human evolution can speak to our own narcissism induced by social media attention culture. The H+ agenda can be marketed by appealing to ones desire for recognition, to be boundless and to attain mastery of oneself. Through social engineering, it will corral the herd and achieve mass adoption. Yet this techno-utopia does not come for free. One has to pay a heavy price for the ticket to this supposed heaven on earth. In the exchange to transcend human limitations, we are asked to give up the essence of being human. What are we expected to sacrifice on this altar of transcendence.

Humans are endowed with subjectivity that places them in relationship with the world. With this self-awareness, we are given freedom to determine the course of our own actions. While machines can only do what they are programmed to do, humans with intention can choose their actions and alter the situation through insight and creativity. This freedom releases spontaneity and variation, making the environment not fixed and unpredictable. At the same time, out of this comes the potential for errors. Choices expose men to the propensity for mistakes and make them fallible.

The AI trend of technological intervention of humanity now threatens this ability to make choices.

The AI trend of technological intervention of humanity now threatens this ability to make choices. Automation narrows and eliminates the space for humans to make their own decisions, locking society into a deterministic future. Through scientific and mathematical precision, the force of mechanization tries to remove possibilities for errors and by doing so, it deprives something essential about human beings.

What make us different from these artificial beings is our free will and unique learning processes that are associated with it. Our connection to the world binds us deeply to the consequences of our own choices. In a moment we make a mistake, reality blows up in our face and we are forced to see the results of what we have created. The feeling of shame and guilt that overwhelm us can break the heart wide open. The unbearable pain awakens ones moral sensibility. With these burning sensations, we directly experience our own actions and the effect they have on others lives.

When we confront our own mistakes with honesty, we can transform this sense of humiliation into humility. We learn to become humble. This connects us to other human beings, allowing us to see reality from their perspectives. This empathy makes us strive to mend our actions. It is the foundation of conscience that makes humans acknowledge their errors and inspire one another to repent, undo wrongdoing and learn.

It is this morality rooted in our relationship to the environment that corporate culture has been trying hard to eradicate. Agendas behind transhumanist movements can be seen as the ultimate goal of transnational corporations. The rise of corporate power turned civilization against nature. Multinational agricultural biotechnology corporations like Monsanto have assaulted life by monopolizing seeds and poisoning food with GMOs.

Corporations as artificial entities bring the force that hardens the heart. They assert themselves in society through the legal fiction of corporate personhood. The theater of the American Dream managed by big business has turned citizens into consumers, who are directed to find happiness in consumption and material acquisition. Unbridled greed of capitalism bombards all with ads and commercials, 24 hours 7 days a week, making us chase after products that we dont need and to be always cheerful, while suppressing sadness and deep dissatisfaction of life with antidepressant drugs. Ensnared by glamorous Hollywood life and a culture that worships youth, many engage in a pathological pursuit for perfection, to be beautiful, thin, and ageless.

In this fictional world, we are not humans. Workers are exploited, being treated as disposable with no benefits, while mega corporations look for the next cheap labor to exploit and new markets to make a killing. The merciless cyborg with its callous skin controls world finance, turning all living beings into caricatures in their tyrannical fantasy. In this artificial natural selection pushed forward by the invisible hands of the market, the cold algorithm enacts financial terrorism, dictating who should survive and who should die.

Now, in Trumps America, the fiction of corporate personhood finds a new iteration to make its dream great again. As the nation consolidates power with the new administration, we all become contestants in The Apprentice. In this grandiose Reality Show, we are told to mimic corporate personhood, to be cunning and self-serving or we will be fired. The world of Wall Street entices all to a path of personal power, filled with ambition, vanity and pride. Plundering through exploitative business practices and addictive gambling of high frequency trading becomes a way of life. Corruption is rife with rampant greed and sexual conquest.

Inside 9-5 office hours of white collar jobs, relationships became impersonal and transactional, where people are forced to hide real emotions behind professional masks. In this supposed free market competition that bars entry to immigrants, people of color and transgenders, workers are trained to mind their own business by climbing up the ladder of success in a rat race of profit at any cost. Deep inside the labyrinth of organizational hierarchies, we are cut off from our own authentic feelings and lose the ground of consensual reality. We no longer are held accountable by feedback of others.

The goal is no longer just total control of the world to create an ever more perfect world, but to control human nature itself by reprogramming our biology to create a perfect self.

Now, with depletion of resources and environmental destruction, the life of the American dream is becoming unsustainable. As the fantasy of corporate personhood is losing its fuel, it seems to be carried into a vision of techno-utopianism. Through mass surveillance and authoritarian use of police force, the corporate state has been attacking privacy and autonomy of individuals. From face recognition technology and biometrics used at borders to AI augmented cyber-security and auto flying drones, it further mechanizes this world. The goal is no longer just total control of the world to create an ever more perfect world, but to control human nature itself by reprogramming our biology to create a perfect self.

As the disfranchised middle class is slowly waking up from their insulated reality and starting to face their broken life, transhumanism offers all a short cut to nirvana. From the magic of genetic modification to the creation of the mind file, through making humans directly interface with the net, technology is presented to rescue us, trying to numb throbbing aches in the arteries that carry the ebb and flow of our human experience.

Transhumanist thinkers with technological enlightenment ideas declare the liberation of humanity from a cog in the wheel of the corporate machine, only to once again ensnare all in their Sci Fi illusory future. From self-driving cars to androids, robots that are designed to look and act like a human, artificial intelligence is here in everyday life, promising to make our life more convenient, efficient and safe. With a gospel of machine supremacy preaching perfection, increased dominance of technology can annihilate our free will that is a prerequisite for developing conscience.

With artificial nerves that cant carry the warmth of blood, robots mimic life in their synthetic existence. They are the phantoms that claim immortality, when they never even had a chance to truly live. These ghosts in the machine make us sever our ties to the world, by turning the heart into a pump that pushes out the pain of our mother in her giving birth to a child.

Our remembering of her pain that brought all of life makes us remain connected to her world. We are living in a fake world; we are watching fake evening news. We are fighting a fake war. Our government is fake, said renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. He continued:

But we find reality in this fake world. So our stories are the same; we are walking through the fake scenes, but ourselves, as we walk through these scenes, are real. The situation is real, in the sense that its a commitment, its a true relationship.

Our ability to feel is a testimony of being human, allowing us to be a real person in this fake world. To be human is to live among flesh, being audaciously flawed. Our striving to bear our own pain awakens compassion. We are able to forgive ourselves and others. We find strength to love one another in our authenticity found in each others imperfection. This total acceptance of human errors connects us to potent creative power within that resists rigidity, mechanization and all stagnation, keeping the world alive through our relationship with her.

Humanity is now at a crossroads. With the exponential growth of technology, we have the capability to bring a great turning or destroy the world.

Humanity is now at a crossroads. With the exponential growth of technology, we have the capability to bring a great turning or destroy the world. Branches of science; technology, engineering, chemistry and medicine helped mankind overcome natural disaster and disease and live more comfortably in this harsh physical environment. Renewable energy technologies can help us create a sustainable future. These are tools that can be used for the good. They can reduce poverty and enhance the quality of our lives. But they can be also used against us and our ability to make choices needs to be preserved to determine which path we will take.

Transhumanism is marching on into our society, showing its footsteps everywhere. With iPad and Android, talking gadgets are entering into the crib, hijacking childhood imagination. Day and night technology snatches youngsters attention, plugging them into Instagram and Snapchat. As the expansion of this machine world accelerates, our life gets faster and faster, making it harder for us to be present in our own bodies.

We need to stay awake and not sleepwalk through this time of decision. Reality may be painful, but if we lose our own sense of reality by giving up what feels at the center of our hearts, it will be the death of our own selves. Such is a tragic loss of what it means to be human and the life of all on this planet that we are meant to steward.

Originally posted here:
Transhumanism: A Final Corporate Takeover of Humanity

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

What is Transhumanism? – GenSix.com

The title of this years True Legends Conference is Transhumanism and the Hybrid Age. For the followers of Steve Quayle, Timothy Alberino and Tom Horn, these might be familiar terms, but the importance of the topic deserves a clear understanding by all. So what exactly is transhumanism? And for that matter, what is a hybrid?

Transhumanism is defined as the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. Of course, this sounds admirable. Who among us does not want to move toward the goal of eliminating human pain with ever increasing intelligence? But transhumanism is much more than that. With the unending surge in biological know-how, we now have the ability to redefine what it means to be human. Through tools like artificial intelligence, robotics and especially genetics, science is playing a very high-stakes game in the homo sapien sandbox. The end result of this game will have massive implications for future generations.

A quick internet search of the term transhumanism reveals a host of good intentions. Phrases such as broadening human potential, overcoming aging and cognitive shortcomings, and eliminating suffering decorate articles highlighting the possibilities at our fingertips. Breakthroughs like thought-controlled robotic limbsor even regrowing natural limbsseem to make the decision to proceed a no-brainer. If we can do it, we must, as long as were careful, they say. An obligatory word of warning is usually inserted somewhere among the celebratory jargon about how we must never misuse these technologiesas if mankind would ever do such a thing? The question is; Are those who rule over us responsible enough to wield such power?

The power of our technology is being concentrated into the hands of the technocratic elite, and there is more at stake than the Terminator scenarios portrayed in Hollywood. There are deeper spiritual consequences underlying the transhumanist agenda, consequences that can have eternal ramifications. And this is why Steve Quayle and Timothy Alberino have decided to address the topic of Transhumanism and the Hybrid Age in this years True Legends Conference.

This raises another question: What exactly is a hybrid? The official definition reads as follows: a thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture. In our current context, would having a robotic arm make you a hybrid? Would this be a bad thing? I would not want to tell people needing a limb that they cannot have it for either their own good or the good of mankind. Nor deny the blind sight, or the diseased a cure via some amazing biotechnological breakthrough. Thats what makes this such a sticky issue. The cryptic phraseology in Genesis concerning Noah being perfect in his generations also gives me great pause. How is it that all flesh became corrupt in the pre-flood world? Was the rest of the worlds population a hybrid mix of some kind, an unholy amalgamation of beast, man and tech?

We are fast approaching an irreversible tipping point that will radically change society as we know it, and fundamentally redefine what it means to be a human being.

Darrin GeisingerTrue Legends 2018 Conference Coordinator

See more here:
What is Transhumanism? – GenSix.com

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

‘The Red Strings Club’ explores the morality of transhumanism

Gods Will Be Watching was de Paco’s first attempt at infusing a video game with ethical and moral dilemmas, and it was a resounding success when it landed in 2014. Deconstructeam was thrust into a broader conversation about the power and creativity of indie games, and there was enough money in the bank to start working on the next thing. This time around, de Paco wanted to be more deliberate — Gods Will Be Watching was unfiltered, and in the end, its message got away from him.

“With Gods Will Be Watching, I wasn’t really aware of the power of video games as a storytelling medium or maybe as communicating a message, so I kind of just made the game and put a lot of my instinctive philosophy in there,” de Paco said. “I realized that I accidentally made an anti-system game, in which you have to go against any form of authority, so this time I tried to actually be aware of what I am telling and what I’m doing with the game.”

The result is a concise yet branching cyberpunk story about the awful power massive technology companies can assert over people’s daily lives (and bodies and minds). Through this lens, de Paco asks players how far they would go to obtain or sustain happiness, and what it truly means to be human. When we lose our emotions, do we lose our humanity?

Although the game offers a range of answers in its dialogue trees, it doesn’t actually wrap all of these questions up in a nice ethical bow. They’re not meant to be answered; they’re de Paco’s grand social experiment, designed to provoke thought and conversation. And here, it seems The Red Strings Club has succeeded.

De Paco said the game itself takes about three or four hours to complete on a standard playthrough. However, many Twitch streamers end up playing for something like 10 hours because they spend most of the time talking through the game’s direct questions with the live chat.

“It comes in really lengthy conversations about what if it’s good or not to get rid of emotions, or how it might benefit society,” de Paco said. “It’s really great.”

Some of the game’s questions are far-fetched scenarios specific to this particular future, but others feel relevant to life today. Scientists may not have developed implants that can alter our character yet, but we enjoy a common stimulus in caffeine and a depressant in alcohol. We have pills that promise to calm, excite and otherwise change our moods. We play with our emotional states every day.

This is a harsh reality for de Paco: Two years ago, some close friends and family members started taking antidepressants, and the experience made him question the essence of humanity on a grand scale, sparking the theme of The Red Strings Club.

“It makes you wonder if they’re still the same person or if they’re happier or not,” de Paco said. “For me, writing this kind of magic technology that is able to remove depression and everything was a way for myself to explore, to cope with the idea of people close to me being changed.”

De Paco isn’t on a mission to end the antidepressant industry. In fact, he wishes the effects of these drugs could be streamlined like in The Red Strings Club, allowing people to alter their moods like code. “I wouldn’t mind to change that for an implant or maybe just changing a variable instead of having to go through the process of taking pills or being medicated,” he said.

If he were given the option, de Paco wouldn’t choose to remove any of his own negative emotions, arguing that would also eliminate a core part of his humanity. He’s more into to the idea of digitizing his consciousness and ditching his body altogether.

“I would totally love to digitize myself,” de Paco said. “I wouldn’t mind not having this body, if I can feel pleasure, and, I don’t know, take digital drugs or something like that. I would like to be digitized, but I wouldn’t like to lose any of the aspects of my mind. I don’t like being depressed, but usually being depressed is a way to know something is wrong and you have to do something about it. If I take those things from me, it’s like I would lose my ability to discern what’s good and bad.”

Not that de Paco knows what’s good and bad now — he’s still asking questions about the essence of humanity and observing his social experiments across Twitch, Steam and social media. He’s still figuring it out. So is everyone else.

View post:
‘The Red Strings Club’ explores the morality of transhumanism

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

transhumanism Biblical Life Assembly

The Shinar DirectivePart 2

Posted on December 7, 2014

Published: December 07, 2014

by Dr. Michael Lake

In chapter two of The Shinar Directive, we uncover a gold mine of information encoded into the stories presented in the Torah (especially in the book of Genesis). The sages of Israel understood these hidden mysteries and taught that it would take a faithful student of the Word a lifetime just to discover some of the secrets God presented to us in Genesis 13.

Over the years, several of my students have attempted to develop an exhaustive study of the book of Genesis for their doctoral dissertations. As they examined the original language of the Hebrew text and discovered such a treasure trove of information, they concluded that their dissertations could only cover a fraction of what is available in just the first chapter. Even then, many of their papers far surpassed the required standard length of a doctoral dissertation. What God can say in one sentence can become a lifetime of study for any serious student of the Word.

The perfect example of the power of one sentence from God is when Jesus made a seemingly simple statement in Matthew 24:37:

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37)

Jesus was speaking of the last days. In the verse that preceded this statement, we find:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

Since we have been so deprived of our Hebraic heritage, most students of the Bible miss the fact that Jesus had just used a Hebraic idiom that connected what He was sharing with the Feast of Trumpets. The language He continued to use in verses 4042 confirms this fact for those who use the tools of hermeneutical[i] research to understand the cultural setting in which Jesus taught. Although the purpose of this chapter is not to teach on the importance of cultural idioms[ii] and their proper use within our exegetical[iii] exercises to glean truth from the Word of God, I hope I have sparked your interest enough to promote expansion of your hermeneutical toolbox. We need to realize that Jesus did not minister in the streets of Detroit or the country hills of Kentucky. He spoke to a culture that had a deep and enriched heritage cultivated by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and nourished by a study of Torah. Biblical scholar Dr. John Garr makes this observation regarding our habitual dismissal of the cultural setting in our interpretative processes:

The problem is that practically all societies and people groups have read their own concepts and cultures into the Bible rather than drawing out of the Holy Scriptures the truths that have always been there. The churchs approach to Holy Writ has been ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst. When interpreting the Bible, Christians have engaged in eisegesis rather than exegesis by injecting their preconceived notions into Scripture rather than extracting from the text what it clearly says.

Texts without context have become pretexts for proof texts! The grammar of the Scriptures (the Hebrew language of the first testament and the Hebrew thought underlying the Greek language of the second testament) has been largely minimized if not downright ignored. Likewise, the history and culture of the people through whom and to whom the sacred texts were committed have been virtually ignored. Entire theologies have been based upon a criterion of dissimilarity in which texts in the Apostolic Scriptures that have clear connections with the Hebrew Scriptures have been dismissed by some scholars as not being the authentic words of Jesus and the apostles but the work of subsequent redactors. It is as though Jesus had to have been born and lived in a vacuum and never influenced by his native language and culture. The very idea has given rise to a Christianity that has been wretched from its theological and historical moorings and set adrift in a maelstrom of nonbiblicalin far too many cases, anti-Biblicaltraditions, including postmodernism, consequentialism, secular humanism, and even demonic perversion.[iv]

If the cultural context within Scripture is so essential to the formation of the practics of our faith, is it not equally paramount in our understanding of Bible prophecy? Such casual dismissals caused prophecy teachers in the past century to declare anyone teaching that Israel would once again become a nation as a promoter of heresy. When Israel became a nation overnight in 1948, it shook the very foundations of many evangelical prophecy ministries worldwide. We need to learn from these mistakes and incorporate a Hebraic understanding into our hermeneutical process.

I said all of that to make a point: When Jesus spoke of the days of Noah, it served as a memory trigger to all of the hearers who could tap into over one thousand years of teaching regarding every aspect of the Noah narrative. In the times of Jesus, there were not chapters and verses to Scripture; these would not be added until the twelfth century by Stephen Langton with the introduction of the Latin Vulgate Bible. The sages of Israel would use a word or phrase to take the hearers to the portion of Scripture they were referring to. This is especially true with the Torah. Thus, as diligent students of Gods Word, we must labor to hear with Hebraic ears and dig deep into Noahs story to properly ascertain all that Jesus was referring to. Which was

1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:18)

So many things seem to jump off the page as I approach these verses. Before I fully dive into the story of Noah, I want to touch on a biblical conundrum for the Transhumanist Movement contained within these passages of Holy Writ. In verse 3, God declares that He is going to limit the lifespan of man to 120 years. As we examine the text, we find as a mission of grace to mankind, Noah spent 120 years preaching repentance and building the ark. It was only after the canopy over the earth was broken up by God that the Flood came, and with it the dynamic changing of earths environment, which reduced mans lifespan. Prior to the Flood, according to biblical record, men would not even begin to have children until they approached their eighties or older! Now God sets the time limit to a mans life based on the number of years that Noah preached of the coming destruction and the need for repentance. (This also serves as a prophetic warning that there is a limit to how long God will extend His grace toward men.) The more time sinful man had to live and learn, the deeper he would become entrenched with the knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil. If given enough time, mans insatiable appetite for dark knowledge would transform earth into a literal hell that God could not tolerate. Today, transhumanists[v] are endeavoring to circumvent Gods restraints on our lifespan. From what I have read in their literature, this is one of their primary goals. Seventy, eighty, or even one hundred and twenty years are not enough for them. While they lament over global warming and the perils of overpopulation, they seek to provide only a chosen few the opportunity to live hundreds of years, if not obtain near immortality. With the exponential acceleration of knowledge in the last days and the possibility of extending the life span of the Luciferian Elite, they may well have the time needed to thwart Gods intervention in Genesis 6! You see, God shortening mans lifespan to 120 years (and then later to seventy to eighty) was not a judgment against humanity; it was an expression of His grace toward all mankind.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

I want to examine verses 4 and 5 in a manner that is similar to a physicians diagnostic procedure: He would examine the presenting symptoms. Symptomology can be used in medicine and nutrition, and even in examining the health of a civilization. If certain symptoms are present in a patient, it will point toward the underlying disease that caused it. There is an intertwining aspect within the text of the corrupt Sons of God (Bene Elohim), the development of hybrid offspring, and the explosive evil within mens hearts. This wickedness that manifested within mankind was declared as great by God. In Hebrew, the word for great is rab (rab). This word means abounding, strong, exceedingly, and more numerous than.[vi] When evil has become so strong that it abounds throughout humanity and its perpetrators are more numerous than the righteous, it is a presenting sociological symptom of interference by the fallen Bene Elohim. (More on this later in both the new book The Shinar Directive as well as an upcoming online entry dedicated to the Communion with Darkness.)

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. (Genesis 6:2)

There is great speculation regarding the identity of the Sons of God in Genesis 6:2. I prefer the traditional Hebraic view that these were angels and not men. Some would argue today that the sons of God represented the descendants of Seth. Dr. Chuck Missler explains the origin of the Sethite theory:

The strange events recorded in Genesis 6 were understood by the ancient rabbinical sources, as well as the Septuagint translators, as referring to fallen angels procreating weird hybrid offspring with human women-known as the Nephilim. So it was also understood by the early church fathers. These bizarre events are also echoed in the legends and myths of every ancient culture upon the earth: the ancient Greeks, the Egyptians, the Hindus, the South Sea Islanders, the American Indians, and virtually all the others.

However, many students of the Bible have been taught that this passage in Genesis 6 actually refers to a failure to keep the faithful lines of Seth separate from the worldly line of Cain. The idea has been advanced that after Cain killed Abel, the line of Seth remained separate and faithful, but the line of Cain turned ungodly and rebellious. The Sons of God are deemed to refer to leadership in the line of Seth; the daughters of men is deemed restricted to the line of Cain. The resulting marriages ostensibly blurred an inferred separation between them. (Why the resulting offspring are called the Nephilim remains without any clear explanation.)

Since Jesus prophesied, As the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be, it becomes essential to understand what these days included.

Origin of the Sethite View

It was in the 5th Century A.D. that the angel interpretation of Genesis 6 was increasingly viewed as an embarrassment when attacked by critics. (Furthermore, the worship of angels had begun within the church. Also, celibacy had also become an institution of the church. The angel view of Genesis 6 was feared as impacting these views.)

Celsus and Julian the Apostate used the traditional angel belief to attack Christianity. Julius Africanus resorted to the Sethite interpretation as a more comfortable ground. Cyril of Alexandria also repudiated the orthodox angel position with the line of Seth interpretation. Augustine also embraced the Sethite theory and thus it prevailed into the Middle Ages. It is still widely taught today among many churches who find the literal angel view a bit disturbing. There are many outstanding Bible teachers who still defend this view.[vii]

In my own personal research, I have concluded that Dr. Missler is correct. All of the sages of Israel and the early Church fathers concluded that the sons of God referred to some category of angel and not righteous men. It should also be noted that, in the rabbinical literature of today, these sons of God are still interpreted as fallen angels as well. The only deviation from this interpretation is within Catholic theology and the Protestant theology that was influenced by Rome.

George H. Pember, in his classic work written in late 1800s, Earths Earliest Ages, came to the same conclusion:

These words are often explained to signify nothing more than the intermarriage of the descendants of Cain and Seth: but a careful examination of the passage will elicit a far deeper meaning.

When men, we are told, began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of God saw the daughters of men. Now by men in each case the whole human race is evidently signified, the descendants of Cain and Seth alike. Hence the sons of God are plainly distinguished from the generation of Adam.

Again; the expression sons of God (Elohim) occurs four times in other parts of the Old Testament, and is in each of these cases indisputably used of angelic beings.[viii]

To me, the concept of producing giants by the marriage of godly men with corrupt women is far-fetched. If that were the case, we would have giants living among us today. It is obvious that something more was going onsomething supernatural.

What this has to do with The Shinar Directive is centrally important, and not just for ancient days but the near future as well, regardless how incredible that may seem.

CONTINUED IN NEXT ENTRY

[i] Hermeneutical or hermeneutics: the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible).

[ii] Idiom: a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations.

[iii] Exegetical or exegesis: an explanation or critical interpretation of a text.

[iv] John D. Garr, Family Worship: Making Your Home a House of God (Atlanta: Golden Key Press, 2013) 1213.

[v] Transhumanist (abbreviated as H+ or h+): an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

[vi] Strongs, # H07227.

[vii] Chuck Missler, Mischievous Angels or Sethites? http://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/110/.

[viii] George H. Pember, Earths Earliest Ages (Crane, MO: Defender, 2012)175176.

Original post:
transhumanism Biblical Life Assembly

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson