21 July 2015

Bruere on transhumanism as religion

The Blog

Transhumanism is more than a philosophy, but an idea dangerous to the current world order and the blueprint of a new, "final", and ultimately true religion.

This is the view advocated by transhumanist and occultist Dirk Bruere in a recent article published via The Wave Chronicle. Bruere is the author of The Praxis, a religious pamphlet advocating a new religion built upon the promises of science and technology to relieve humanity of the burdens of mortality and human intellectual limits.

Transhumanism is not just a set of philosophies as claimed, but a "declaration of intent" that enters the intellectual territory formerly dominated by the church. Namely death, resurrection, and the destiny of the universe itself.

Artificial general intelligence and eventual development of machine intelligence surpassing humans could allow for a "miracle machine" surpassing humans and capable of deeds we cannot explain or duplicate. It would be our last invention, capable of solving our problems for us.

As explained in a poll cited by Bruere, transhumanists favor not our biological children but "the children of our mind who would rise to greater heights than we could ever imagine" (i.e. AI, enhanced humans and other creations arrived at by means other than mere breeding). AI could be merged with brain-machine interfaces to enable "posthumans", super-evolved humans who surpass human current abilities and make direct use of AI to aid themselves and expand their own thinking ability. Such a goal is one way of avoiding inevitable defeat through an apocalyptic war with hostile AI entities as sensationalized in movies such as Terminator (the real thing, as Bruere predicts, would be far worse than the inane shoot-outs depicted in that movie).

From Bruere's article:
The PostHuman dream is of uncorrupted immortal bodies housing the minds of gods, as far beyond us as we are beyond cats and dogs, where all aspects of emotion, suffering and intellect are under conscious control. Our animal heritage finally jettisoned in favor of the new and immaculate conception. A world without suffering or stupidity or violence. There is even one project proposed by philosopher David Pierce to re-engineer the genomes of all life on Earth to eliminate suffering, or at least put a limit on the amount of pain or stress any creature (including ourselves) can experience. Obviously for the longer term, or perhaps on a smaller scale for farm animals…
Referring to Kurzweil's theory from The Singularity is Near, that all energy and matter reachable to future intelligences may be utilized by them, i.e. the universe will "wake up", Bruere makes comparisons to the eschatology of Christianity. The start of this wave of godlike intelligence is known as the Singularity and is much like a Biblical "end of days" both for its elusiveness and the inability for its adherents to predict its date accurately.

In a further comparison, Roko's basilisk, a thought experiment, is compared by Bruere with Pascal's Wager. He notes, however, that Roko's basilisk is more tenable as an argument because it refers to the real technological trajectory of the development of godlike machine intelligences:
The Basilisk, named after a mythological creature whose stare could kill, is one of those future AI gods, but with a rather traditional godlike vindictiveness. Everyone who knew it might exist, but did not help bring it into existence or indeed opposed it existing, gets resurrected into Digital Hell somewhere in the multiverse.
Concluding with a comparison of transhumanist belief to Gnostic Christianity's search for salvation through knowledge and rejection of the current world as miserable and false, Bruere explains a key difference between the emergent transhumanist belief system and Christianity. Namely, whereas other believers are prone to believe without evidence, transhumanists are far more prone to respond that "if it is not true (we) can (make it) so."

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