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​Even Materialists Crave Religion

Even materialists crave religion. The need to believe—to locate ultimate meaning in the universe—is deeply embedded in our natures. Atheists seek to deflect attention from this deeply human yearning. Thus, Richard Dawkins famously wrote that Darwin made it possible “to be an intellectually . . . . Continue Reading »

AI Machines: Things Not Persons

Transhumanists insist that we are quickly approaching [R1] the moment at which technology will become an unstoppable and self-directing power that will usher in the “post-human” era. To get us from here to there requires the invention of “artificial intelligence” (AI), computers and/or robots that become “conscious” and self-programming, independent of human control. Actually, these advocates would say “who” become conscious: Transhumanists believe that AI contraptions would become self-aware and thus deserve human rights. Continue Reading »

Toward Dystopia

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by nick bostrom oxford, 352 pages, $29.95 Since cofounding the World Transhumanist Association in 1998, the Swedish-born Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has attempted to give a serious academic mien to the movement known as transhumanism. Transhumanists . . . . Continue Reading »

Transhumanism: The Early Years

A reader sent a funny old story to me from Modern Mechanix (“Yesterday’s Tomorrow, Today”), circa 1956. The article is about transhumanism, long before the term was coined, and it ponders some of the ways that science might “redesign” the human body. Here’s an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Archetypes in the Machine

TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information by erik davis. harmony. 368 pp. $25.Early on in this fascinating survey of the spiritual dimension of cyberculture, Erik Davis observes that “the spiritual imagination seizes information technology for its own purposes.” The . . . . Continue Reading »

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