Why I joined the Mormon Transhumanist Association
Recently, I've become convinced that the singularity is upon us. I don't mean this in the sense of an impending mass human upload, or a cyborg takeover, or some other apocalyptic scenario; I mean that the pace of change has reached a point where we can now feel it, where it has now begun to impact the way we think about ourselves and our future. Every year is faster than the one before, and as change speeds up, our very conception of humanity is shifting underneath us. The faster change happens, the more the future becomes a constant companion, a force that is continually pressuring and altering us. The future becomes present, threatening to redefine us.
We find ourselves living in groundlessness. But how do we navigate groundless existence?
Often, we turn to our favorite spiritual or religious philosophy, and increasingly, we find them coming up short. They offer no answers to the big questions of modern and postmodern life, not because they don't have the answers, but because the guardians and communicators of these traditions have no ability or interest in finding the kind of answers most needed. And when confronting something like the massive oncoming changes, the reaction is usually one of dismissal, or intense reaction, or simple ignorance that anything is happening.
The few people that are actively engaging with future trajectories are usually drawn from the transhumanist frontlines - atheists with little patience for the kind of spiritual sensibility most of humanity considers essential. The very few individuals exploring the intersection of Christianity and transhumanism are usually interfacing with both sets of ideas on a very shallow level.
Not very satisfying, all the way around.
Our spiritual traditions cannot keep ignoring the oncoming changes, nor can they sustain reactionary approaches. Those of us with deep spiritual convictions need to begin processing the future, and helping others to do so. And the only people who seem to be doing that on any kind of sustained level are the Mormons.
So, after some discussion, I joined the Mormon Transhumanist Association. I'm not a Mormon, but the statement of affirmation posed no problem for me, and most importantly, in the MTA I found a community of people beginning to engage with these ideas openly and without fear.
I hope together, we can help provoke discussion in the larger world. And I hope we can help religious and spiritual groups navigate the road ahead in a healthier way than they've often done in the past.