MTA 2014 - Giulio Prisco - Religion for the Cosmic Frontier

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MTA 2014 - Giulio Prisco - Religion for the Cosmic Frontier

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MTA 2014 - Giulio Prisco - Religion for the Cosmic Frontier

  1. 1. Religion for The Cosmic Frontier Salt Lake City, April 4, 2014 Giulio Prisco – giulio@gmail.com - @giulioprisco
  2. 2. Religion and The Frontier Our grandfathers lived in a vast universe full of mystery, with benevolent gods, and hoped to continue to live after death and be reunited with loved ones in an afterlife. The frontier is that place full of mystery, beyond the borders of mundane everyday life, where the restless can hope to go. The fundamental importance of the frontier for our mental health cannot be overstated. We seem to have lost both religion and the frontier. But the cosmos is a new frontier, and future science will achieve all the promises of religion, including benevolent gods and resurrection.
  3. 3. The New Cosmic Frontier Future generations will be potentially immortal, and colonize the stars. They will be able to upload their minds to more powerful and durable substrates, leave biology behind, and merge with sentient, super-human artificial intelligences. Among the stars, they will meet super-advanced civilizations with God- like powers, and merge with them in an explosion of intelligence that will drive the future evolution of the universe. This is the new Cosmic Frontier.
  4. 4. We Are Part of the Cosmic Frontier We need to think that we, ourselves, can be part of the new frontier - the wonderful cosmic adventures of intelligent life in the universe. Transhumanism must embrace the promise of resurrection in afterlife - to be achieved by future science and technology. Religion must embrace science and technology, which are not the enemies of transcendence but, on the contrary, the very means through which transcendence will be achieved. We need new positive, solar, action-oriented spiritual movements based on science to keep us enthusiastic, motivated, and energetic, as we take the first steps toward the Cosmic frontier.
  5. 5. Unicorns are sweet and I want to believe in them, because believing in unicorns makes me a happier and better person There may be unicorns on other planets  We can create unicorns with biotechnology, robotics, or VR  There is no evidence of unicorns on this planet 
  6. 6. A Simple  Blueprint For Technological Resurrection + Time Scanning (aka Quantum Archaeology) Mind Uploading (to the future)
  7. 7. Precursors and Scouts on the Cosmic Frontier Knocking on Heaven’s Door, film by George Carey, BBC
  8. 8. A Cosmic Order (William Sims Bainbridge) [W]e need a new definition of spaceflight that will energize investment and innovation. I suggest a return to the traditional view: The heavens are a sacred realm, that we should enter in order to transcend death. We need several really aggressive, attractive space religions, meeting the emotional needs of different segments of our population. Religion will continue to influence the course of progress, and creation of a galactic civilization may depend upon the emergence of a galactic religion capable of motivating society for the centuries required to accomplish that great project. This religion would be a very demanding social movement, and will require extreme discipline from its members, so for purposes of this essay I will call it The Cosmic Order. William Sims Bainbridge, Religion for a Galactic Civilization
  9. 9. New Transhumanist Religious Visions The (late lamented) Order of Cosmic Engineers was founded to implement something similar to Bainbridge's Cosmic Order. Lessons learned: Too many cooks spoil the soup. Prophecy-by-committee doesn't seem to work. Recent examples of new harmonious religious visions developed mainly by one person: Rothblatt’s Truths Of Terasem, Goertzel’s A Cosmist Manifesto, Perry’s Forever For All, Bruere’s The Praxis.
  10. 10. Transhumanist religions – marketing blues So far we are just a handful of enthusiasts who preach to the converted in obscure corners of the Internet. Counter-example: Raelians (See Michel Houellebecq's The Possibility of an Island). The conclusion that the irrational aspects of the Raelian cult are exactly what makes it appealing seems difficult to escape, but we shouldn't give up yet. We have been, so far, unable to "market" our ideas to wide audiences, in a way that is emotionally and aesthetically appealing, but I think we can do much better.
  11. 11. Ted Chu: Transhumanist Deism In Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution, Ted Chu argues that we need a "Cosmic View" - a new, heroic cosmic faith for the post-human era. Chu believes that we should create a new wave of "Cosmic Beings," artificial intelligences and synthetic life forms, and pass the baton of cosmic evolution to them.
  12. 12. Ted Chu: Transhumanist Deism The Cosmic Beings will move to the stars and ignite the universe with hyper-intelligent life. Creating our successors isn’t betraying humanity and nature but, on the contrary, a necessary continuation of our evolutionary journey and an act of deep respect, to the point of "extreme worship," for humanity, evolution, and nature.
  13. 13. Ted Chu: Transhumanist Deism Chu's Deism may result emotionally cold. Similar to Teilhard’s Theism, but without the loving grace of a personal God. "A non-personal God that is cosmic in nature has to be blended with certain human-friendly characteristics in order to be attractive, in the same way that colors are added to the pictures taken through space telescopes to enhance perception and draw popular interest."
  14. 14. Theism From Deism We will leave biology behind and move to the stars, find Gods, build Gods, and become Gods. We will resurrect the dead from the past with advanced science, space-time engineering and “time magic.” This “Theism From Deism” is my core scientific/spiritual/religious vision. Is it also yours? Let’s say it LOUD AND CLEAR
  15. 15. It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him Arthur C. Clarke aaa
  16. 16. Theism From Deism in Mainstream Religions Mormon Transhumanist Association Coming soon: Christian Transhumanist Association + …
  17. 17. Cosmology Is Not Geography
  18. 18. Cosmology Is Not Geography Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by ”inflation” - the idea that the cosmos experienced an exponential growth spurt in its first trillionth, of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. In related news, surveyors have been climbing and re-measuring some of Britain’s highest peaks, to see if they are high enough to be called mountains. Wait a sec, there something odd here.
  19. 19. Mixing Cosmology With Geography In the first part of his second book, The Physics of Christianity, Tipler refines his Omega Point cosmology. Sentient life will engineer the gravitational collapse of the universe, which is a necessary prerequisite for the Omega Point. Then, he “explains” the virgin birth of Jesus, his incarnation, his resurrection, and several miracles in the framework of Omega Point cosmology. In my opinion this is mixing cosmology with geography.
  20. 20. The Mountains Are Not The Stars All religions, at least all the Western religions that I am more familiar with, have both cosmic and provincial aspects, at times difficult to disentangle. I often find religious mythology and metaphors interesting and aesthetically appealing, as a nice local geographical feature, like looking at the stars from a beautiful place in the mountains. But the mountains are not the stars.
  21. 21. My Cosmology I am persuaded that we will go to the stars and find Gods, build Gods, become Gods, and resurrect the dead from the past with advanced science, space-time engineering and “time magic.” I see God emerging from the community of advanced forms of life and civilizations in the universe, and able to influence space-time events anywhere, anytime, perhaps even here and now. I also expect God to elevate love and compassion to the status of fundamental forces, key drivers for the evolution of the universe.
  22. 22. And Then We Have Zoning Norms… What and when one should eat or drink…
  23. 23. And Then We Have Zoning Norms… What sex is allowed and with whom…
  24. 24. In Conclusion The cosmological and mystical aspects of different religions, are similar or at least compatible. It’s only the geography (not to mention the zoning norms) that is different, like the geography of England is different from the geography of Utah. But England and Utah are both under the stars, the same stars. I know that many believers are emotionally attached to geography and even zoning norms. I have no problem with them (as long as they act with love and compassion, of course). But others, who find the geography uninteresting and the zoning norms arbitrary and unpleasant, reject religion altogether, including the stars.
  25. 25. In Conclusion Let’s forget zoning and look at the stars!

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