James Hughes has another great post up from his “Problems with Transhumanism” series. This time he’s tackling atheism and natural theology. The results from their survey of transhumanist beliefs didn’t exactly surprise me, but it was startling to see the results all the same:
Self-identified transhumanists today are mostly secular and atheist. In a survey conducted in 2007 of members of the World Transhumanist Association (Humanity+, 2008), 93% answered ‘yes’ to the statement “Do you expect human progress to result from human accomplishment rather than divine intervention, grace, or redemption?” Ninety percent denied “clear divinely-set limits on what humans should do,” and ninety percent affirmed that their “concept of ‘the meaning of life’ derived from human responsibility and opportunity, not than from divine revelation.”
Hughes does a survey of the various strange cosmologies transhumanists have proposed as alternatives to theistic views of the universe. Personally, I think William James had it right when it comes to ideas like these. On the question that matters, “are your actions or beliefs restricted by religious dogma or convictions?” all the cosmologies outlined by Hughes answer, “no.” So what’s the point? Is there a difference that alters the way ethical systems are constructed? Why split hairs?
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
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