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What is Mormon Transhumanism?

Objective(s)

Describe Mormonism, Transhumanism, and Mormon Transhumanism.

Summary

Mormon teachings about humans becoming gods connect with transhumanist ideas about using technology to enhance the human condition. Mormon Transhumanism embraces science and religion to work toward these corresponding aims.

What is Mormonism?

Mormonism A religion with a set of denominations founded by Joseph Smith. The name is derived from the Book of Mormon, a book of scripture translated by Smith. is a religion The repeated acts, rituals, and experiences that excite a community and give order to its life. that was developed by Joseph Smith in the early 1800s centered on claims about who God is and what God wants for us. The name Mormon comes from a new book of scripture, The sacred writings of a religion. The Book of Mormon, that Smith translated "by the gift and power of God." Mormonism teaches a unique idea about how humans relate to God. Mormonism maintains that God wasn't always God, but became God, and that humans should try to become gods too. Over time, we can become like God by taking steps to improve ourselves and our world. This idea of humans — individuals and communities — becoming like God is called theosis. The idea that humans can become Gods.

What is Transhumanism?

Transhumanism An intellectual movement based on the belief that humanity can transcend current physical or cognitive limitations through the use of science and technology. is a growing intellectual movement based on the idea that we should use science and technology in ethical ways to improve ourselves and our world. The term transhumanism is connected to humanism, A philosophy that treats human life and agency as the most important values. a teaching that holds the values of human life and agency as central. Transhumanism makes the further claim that humanity should continue to overcome limitations and evolve until humans are so advanced as to warrant a different category: posthumans Human descendants with capabilities beyond current humans to such a degree as to warrant a different category--in the same way that humans differ from prehumans. — that would differ from us in the same way that we differ from prehumans. Human ancestors headed toward, but not yet developed enough to be categorized as human.

What is Mormon Transhumanism?

Mormon Transhumanism takes the Mormon idea that humans should become gods, and the Transhumanist idea that we should use science and technology in ethical ways to improve our condition until we attain posthumanity, and suggests that these are related, if not identical tasks. That is, we should ethically use our resources including religion, science, and technology to improve ourselves and our world until we become Gods ourselves.

Discussion Questions

  • What are risks and benefits to linking Mormon teachings on theosis and transhumanism?
  • Are you persuaded that Mormonism and Transhumanism can have productive conversations? Why or why not?

Call to Action

Make a list of changes humans — individuals and communities — must make to become gods (whether or not you believe they should).

Resources for further study/engagement: