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Are transhumanists idol worshippers?


Excerpt from latest of Russell Blackford’s crisply composed reviews of the six articles about transhumanism in June’s edition of The Global Spiral. I’m not sure if Blackford is simply being polite in omitting mention of Don Idhe’s transparent religious fundamentalism by use of the encoded christian pejorative “idol.” In that faith tradition, idolatry is the worst of all sins, breaking the first of the fundamentalist commandments: thou shalt have no gods before me. So in using such a word, Idhe is not simply critiquing, he is overtly demonizing. Nevertheless, Blackford is far more than civil, apparently choosing instead to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Class act.<blockquote>Surely there is at least some tempation for transhumanists to imagine perfect, zipless enhancement technologies that are unlikely to come to pass. However, it by no means follows that we should abandon or forbid all attempts to devise enhancement technologies, any more than our inability to emulate the grace and freedom of birds was a reason to abandon or forbid efforts at powered, heavier-than-air flight.</blockquote>

Written on July 26, 2008