Friday, July 8, 2011

Transhumanism: a “secular spirituality” of life extension and cosmic consciousness finds mainstream hearing

RELIGIOSCOPE has an interesting article on "Transhumanism: a “secular spirituality” of life extension and cosmic consciousness finds mainstream hearing": "A broad-based movement pressing for life extension and radically enhancing human consciousness through technology is gaining mainstream support and adopting a unique kind of “secular spirituality.”"

The article is centered on the field work of Abou Farman (City University of New York) who, at a conference on non-institutional spirituality at Columbia University in New York, presented a paper on a fast-growing network of technological thinkers and groups that he called “informatic futurists” that both borrow concepts from religion and spirituality while seeing themselves in competition with traditional faiths. Farman is also the author of "The Intelligent Universe": "The next stage in evolution -- a machine consciousness able to manipulate time and space -- is just around the corner. The catch: humans will no longer be in charge."

The conclusion of the RELIGIOSCOPE article: "Farman says that the influence of the informatics futurists and their promotion of a convergence between science and human consciousness will “shape more and more of our lives, whether it be through neuroscience research, NSF priorities, Silicon Valley venture capital or popular conferences and ideas.” These challenges will likely change the shape of the relationship between religion and secularism. He concludes that it may be the case that “secular humanism and religion will find each other closer than ever before as the informatic cosmologists try and move away from both gods and humans, as well as from the earth itself.”"