Transhumanism's promise of heaven

There are certain parallels between the promise of old religions and transhumanism (h+) particularly in respect of the concept of heaven.

Transhumanism much like religions promises:

  1. eternal life through brain uploading, virtual reality or avatars;
  2. nearly infinite wisdom with huge processing power and immediate access to all knowledge through brain upgrades;
  3. freedom from human suffering like aging and sickness through advances in medical technology that will allows us not only fix broken tissue but actively prevent any damage too;
  4. and being able to continue interact with a loved one after physical death by transferring the person's last brain state into a virtual body.

One major difference between religions and transhumanism is that religions are designed to regulate the behaviour of individuals through a moral code for the benefit of the group, thus there are various tests one must pass in this life in order to qualify for the next. In h+ there are no such requirements.

The other more important difference is that while we don't have any reasonable physical evidence for the existence of heaven the way most religions understand it (buddhism is an exception because nirvana is not a supernatural phenomena, but a state of awareness one can achieve here on earth), we do have a pretty good understanding of how transhumanism will achieve the state of technological advancement where various heaven becomes possible and feasible for most people.

According to Ray Kurzweil, one of the main proponents of transhumanism and the related singularity theory, we will have the ability to upload our brains realistically latest by 2030. The change of humans to transhumans will not be a sudden event in the future. It is already happening to an extent and will continue to be a gradual and almost unnoticeable transformation.

I'm not suggesting h+ is a religion as it doesn't have any of the major characteristics of a religion, but I do feel it's fair to say that there are important common motivators between them. Perhaps this explains why the h+ movement is catching on so fast in the world.

If you want to learn more on the subject read my earlier blog post titled introduction to transhumanism which contains several videos on the subject.

Ray Kurzweil

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