From: Giu1i0 Pri5c0 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Oct 23 2004 - 10:19:57 MDT
Eliezer asks to those who donated to speak up. I just donated 50
bucks, I am sorry I was not able to donate more at this time. What
Eliezer is doing is good, and we should support it.
I am replying to the message with the question, why the Raelians are
so much more successful than us. In another message in another thread
(only on sl4), Ben Goertzel writes:
"Religion is the one major case of people taking things distant from
their everyday life seriously ... but this is arguably because
religion gives people a lot of psychological comfort, and helps build
comforting social structures."
and I reply:
"I think Ben is making a very, very good point here.
Is there a way we could edit our message, without compromising it of
course, in such a way as to provide *also* psychological comfort?
I will risk heresy and confess that I am beginning to think current
projects to "engineer a transhumanist religion" (see e.g.
universalimmortalism.org) are actually good ideas."
Now I wish to reply to the inevitable accusations of heresy before
they are formulated, and elaborate some more.
Imagine a Tiplerian omega-point scenario. Or if you think Tipler's
physical assumptions are wrong, imagine some other scenario with the
omega-point property: at some point in the future, a human
civilization may develop the capability to acquire detailed high
resolution information from the past (not against casuality), and use
it to retrieve the information content of human minds in their past,
perhaps including ourselves here and now. It seems plausible that a
civilization with that kind of technology will also be able to easily
upload such information to another body or a virtual environment.
So we can build a worldview that includes a concept of resurrection
while at the same time staying compatible with our rational scientific
worldview. We can derive standard moral principles: for this to happen
it is necessary that our specie survives, and, assuming resources will
be large but limited, it seems reasonable to think that Mother Theresa
will be revived before Hitler. Also, we can derive transhumanist moral
principles: for this to happen it is necessary that our species
evolves fast and acquires more and more control on mind and matter.
All that and more in Tipler's book.
Perhaps if this universal immortalism were a part of our message, or
maybe even its front-end for those who need a religious worldview, it
would be much easier to win minds and hearts.
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