Saturday, February 12, 2011

Technological Transcendence: An Interview with Giulio Prisco, on H+ Magazine

Technological Transcendence: An Interview with Giulio Prisco, by Ben Goertzel, is on H+ Magazine.

From Ben's introduction: "While transhumanism differs from traditional religions in being based around reason more centrally than faith, it does have some commonality in terms of presenting a broad vision of the universe, with implications on the intellectual level but also for everyday life. And it does present at least some promise of achieving via science some of the more radical promises that religion has traditionally offered -- immortality, dramatic states of bliss, maybe even resurrection. A host of transhumanist thinkers have explored the connections between transhumanism and spirituality, seeking to do so in a manner that pays proper respect to both"

From me: "Our universe is a very big place with lots of undiscovered and unimagined “things in heaven and earth” which science will uncover someday, and perhaps in this mysterious and beautiful complexity there is room for spirituality and even for the old promises of religions, such as immortality and resurrection... I am persuaded that these glimpses into veiled future possibilities are basically compatible with our best understanding of how the universe really works. And they give me beautiful visions of future worlds, and the hope, drive and energy that I need to try living a good and productive life, in this world. And this, I believe, is what really matters." The interview is long, and we discuss many related ideas and the work of spiritually inclined transhumanist groups such as the Turing Church, Terasem, the Society for Universal Immortalism, and the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

At the end Ben gives some very interesting ideas "about how to start a Confederation of Cosmists – i.e. some sort of active organization centered around Cosmism aka “strong transhumanism” as a practical philosophy. Not a religion but something vaguely analogous to a religion, founded on rational radical transhumanism rather than traditional faiths."

I have written a lot on transhumanist spirituality, but I have often been misunderstood, which probably means that I have never been clear enough. I hope in this interview, and with Ben's valuable help, I have managed to be more clear.