Thursday, September 10, 2009

J. Hughes: Radical Life Extension, Transhumanism and Catholicism

IEET director James Hughes has written an epistle on transhumanism to Italian Catholics. Hughes offers four suggestions to the Italians as they assemble to discuss radical life extension and human enhancement:
  1. Although transhumanism is part of the family of secular Enlightenment philosophies, many of its elements are compatible with Christianity.
  2. Although some aspects of the transhumanist movement may resemble classical heresies, these are marginal similarities. Transhumanism is not trying to be a life philosophy or religion.
  3. Transhumanists are not really interested in “immortality,” but only in reducing unnecessary death.
  4. Human enhancement technologies, especially neurotechnologies, can support moral behavior and spiritual self-understanding.
Go here for expanded clarification.

These issues are explored more fully in Hughes's essay “The Compatibility of Religious and Transhumanist Views of Metaphysics, Suffering, Virtue and Transcendence in an Enhanced Future”

Also see Max More’s contribution to the Italian conference, “Why Catholics Should Support the Transhumanist Goal of Extended Life.”

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