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Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Compassionate Creator

A couple of days ago I watched a Church of Perpetual Life presentation by Lincoln Cannon on the subject of Mormon Transhumanism.  Twenty-plus years ago I read a book about Mormonism because I was interested in their views on physical immortality which I had heard goes beyond other Christian religions.  I also knew that Mormons seek to to raise their ancestors from the dead and to populate new worlds with their descendants.

Toward the end, I asked the speaker Lincoln questions about these topics because I knew that there were parallels here with Religious Transhumanism.  I have always admired Mormonism as a religion and certainly it has had an influence on my interpretation of Optihumanism.  I have previously joked that if I believed in God, I would become a Mormon because it is a religion that was invented right here in America.

Another joke, not my own, is the riddle "What is the difference between a cult and a religion?"  The answer is "Oh, about a hundred years."  In the Southern Baptist church that I was raised in, I was taught that Mormonism is a cult.

The Baptists also taught me that eternal life is a gift which must be accepted.  Possibly based on this, I have some qualms when I hear some Religious Transhumanists speak of bringing back to life those who knew of cryonics but never signed up for it.  It seems like they made a choice not to accept the gift.
Lincoln seemed to suggest that his idea of a Creator was not an entity that created life at the beginning of the world but rather something that was continuously creating throughout time.  This resonated with me as I think of Evolution as a Creator.  It reminded me of the links between Religious Transhumanism and Religious Naturalism.

I think a major difference between Mormon Transhumanism and Optihumanism is the idea of a compassionate Creator.  When considering Nature as the Creator, you could easily come up with arguments that it is either compassionate, cruel, or simply uncaring.  Like the God of Deism, Nature does not intervene in response to prayers.
I think it is prudent for us to both assume and act as though we are part of Nature's Experiment and that there is no entity overseeing and ensuring our eventual success according to a divine plan.  I do think that Nature tends to drive Life toward increasing Complexity through Evolution but that this is no guarantee.  If there is to be a compassionate Creator, it must come about through us.