It feels like we’re assuredly accepting to the bewitched stage where technology is communicable up with our acuteness — which of course only means one thing: cyborgs!

This might still sound futuristic, but they’re absolutely already walking among us, and many more of us could become cyborgs in the coming years, if plans by people like Elon Musk pan out. It’s going to take a while to adjust to this coming reality, both about (in terms of legislation) and ideologically (we’re all accustomed with dystopian depictions of half-human, half-machine abominations). There is one area, however, that’ll apparently be decidedly difficult to get to play nice with cyborgs: religion.

Science and technology have from time to time been at odds with adoration throughout human history, so we should get ahead of the botheration and find the smoothest religious path for mass cyborg adoption. Sounds good, so what is it, new age Buddhism? Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Nope. Mormonism.

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Mormonism is so much more than its academic missionaries in cheap suits. Its unique take on the accord amid the actual and the spiritual, in accession to the Mormon mission of acceptable “like God,” plays well with cyborg technology — which is absolutely what the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) aims to prove.

Oh, and there’s a bit about aliens later on, so you’ll want to keep account — but let’s dive into the axiological ideas first.

Welcome to Mormon Transhumanism

The MTA currently has around 800 associates and presents itself as the world’s better advancement arrangement for ethical use of technology and religion. While it’s not technically a religious organization, it supports its associates and their claimed religious affiliations, Mormon or otherwise, and help them to apply transhumanism to their unique situations. To apostle its bulletin and invite discussion, the MTA hosts an annual appointment on the circle of technology and religion, and has its own YouTube channel.

To truly accept the MTA, and what the accord amid cyborgs and adoration is, we need to wrap our heads around two axiological concepts — Mormonism and transhumanism — which coincidentally, is what the MTA is all about. I spoke with Lincoln Cannon, Board member and Founder of MTA, and Carl Youngblood, MTA’s Vice-President, to get their views on the matter.

First up: transhumanism. To Cannon and Youngblood, the transhumanist movement advocates for the ethical use of technology to extend human abilities. Transhumanists are absorbed in all the ways technology is alteration the human condition, and abnormally how those changes are accelerating as the speed of abstruse development picks up.

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Now, Mormonism might be harder to abridge in one simple branch — just like any other religion. The adaptation is that it was founded in the early 1800s in the US by Prophet Joseph Smith after he accustomed a vision from God. The main scripture of the Mormon adoration is the Book of Mormon, which Smith said he’d accounting up from texts on golden plates which were inscribed by age-old prophets that had lived on the American continent.

Despite having their own scripture, Mormons still very much accept in the Bible — as this video can attest to —  and almost all analyze as Christians. They just regard the as the final and absolute piece of Christian scripture, in accession to the antecedent two testaments.

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To Cannon, Mormonism is the “immersive discipleship” of Jesus Christ, acceptation it’s not just a adoration about Jesus, but rather an effort to live the adoration of Jesus. The accord amid humans and the divine within Mormonism is also a tad altered to other Christian sects, as Youngblood puts it:

“One of the axiological attack of Mormonism is the abstraction that humans are of the same breed as God, if you will, and that we are accouchement of God and have the accommodation to become like God.”

So while most religions have a strict divide amid the actual and the spiritual, with the divine being on the airy side, Mormons reject this dualist separation. And this is where associates of MTA accept Mormonism‘s affinity with transhumanism stems from.

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I’m a actual being, in a actual world

“Our canon is materialistic, not in the banal sense, but in the abstruse sense of physicalism,” Cannon explains. “We do talk about both bodies and spirits, but in Mormonism alcohol are actual — they’re addition announcement of achievement or physicality. In our scriptures, we have a access that says: ‘There’s no such thing as immaterial matter, all spirit is matter.’”

According to Mormons, God isn’t some type of abstruse airy force as in most other Christian theologies, but rather an embodied association of persons. And it’s these two apostolic points — the apotheosis of God and the achievement of spirit — which Cannon and Youngblood think makes Mormonism lend itself better to accurate and abstruse approaches on a abstract level than most other theologies.

But if you know annihilation about Mormons in general, it shouldn’t come as a abruptness that MTA’s views aren’t necessarily shared by all their religious brethren. Mormons view their bodies as a temple, or article sacred that should be taken care of, which is why many are opposed to body modifications like piercings and tattoos. For Cannon and Youngblood, this is more a evidence of culture, rather than religion.

“Church leaders often abash people from accepting tattoos and piercings and things like that, and I’d say more abolitionist body changes are viewed with suspicion by the Mormon community,” says Youngblood. “But as procedures become more accustomed and widely accepted, they become less and less of an issue. We’ve already starting to see that with tattoos as they become more common.”

To Youngblood and Cannon, this is acutely an archetype of cultural biases as most Mormons don’t have any qualms with acceptable augmentations, such as artificial anaplasty or accepting a pacemaker. The adoration itself and the scripture is fine with worshipers being cyborgs, the only accessible obstacle is abrogating cultural connotations.

So all of this seems great in terms of tolerating technology, but is there annihilation about Mormonism that might absolutely drive worshipers to embrace assiduity themselves with technology?

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Becoming like God through technology

Now we get to the really juicy stuff. As technology advances, we’re provided with more and more options to augment our bodies with tech, but why does the MTA think that pleases God?

For Youngblood, it’s part of the Christian acute of agreeable in accommodating acts, to accommodate abetment to people who are in need; whether it’s spiritual, emotional, or physical.

“The technologies that allow us to do that are the things we should be pursuing. And by doing that, we’re not just adorable God, but we’re also hopefully starting to resemble God,” Youngblood explains. “True adoration is not merely cogent God how alarming he or she is all the time, but trying to absolutely be like God. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Cannon elaborates being like God isn’t just to help people who have problems, it’s also about allowance them to be more than they’ve ever been before:

“In Mormon theology, the aim of God is to bring about the aeon and abiding life of humanity. So even though it’s highly important, it’s not enough to just help people that have problems. We all have problems compared to God, we’re all dying, we’re all suffering, we’re all less intelligent, we’re all less compassionate. So if we really aim to become like God, it’s not just a matter of mitigating the risk of deficiencies. It’s also a matter of acceptable ourselves in every way — physically, spiritually, and in all of the virtues — and technology can help in that effort to enhance humanity.”

To sum up: we’re made in God’s image, but we’re not as absolute as him. So if we ‘increase’ our altruism and capabilities, we’re on a path to become more like God, which should be our goal according to Mormonism. And because of Mormonism’s unique view on alcohol being matter, it’s analytic — and almost a requisite —  to make use of abstruse and actual augmentations to push us added into Godhood. That sounds… pretty cool.

However, it’s not like Mormons necessarily see God as some kind of abstruse mesh, instead the MTA questions whether our pop-culture view of cyborgs will absolutely become reality.

“I think that the added enhancements to the body that we’ll see in the coming years, will apparently abide to be focused on accretion or acceptable our humanness, rather than abusive from it,” Youngblood explains. “So instead of acceptable like Captain Picard with the Borg eyeball, I think that what we’ll see our technologies that absolutely make us seem even more along the lines of whatever we see as the ideal human.”

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So if Cannon and Youngblood don’t look like Borged-up Picard, how are they putting their behavior into action? “I haven’t felt like any more invasive technologies are abundantly avant-garde to absolve at the moment, but that will apparently change at some future date,” Youngblood explains. But in the meantime, Youngblood and Cannon seek out the enhancements accessible to us — which is quite a lot, making most of us a form of cyborgs — and they apostle for added development of augmentation.

Both of them are really health acquainted and take specialized supplements — which is an enhancement, not acknowledgment of absence — to help them be convalescent and live longer. They also make use of apps to optimize their exercise regimens and use biometric tracking to check up on their blood pressure, oxygen and glucose levels, and so on. They’re also big fans of home automation, extending their claimed abstruse accessory to their environment. Youngblood has afresh built a certified Passive House — which produces more energy than it spends — and Cannon is big into automating his home, being a huge fan of Nest products.

God is out there

The MTA is unique in the sense that it wants to make sure this trend of accessory is kept up, introducing better and better options for us to become more than we are — and to become more human. This is article the MTA believes everyone, not just Mormons, but also atheists and people of other faiths, can accept. The MTA thinks we as humans can attack to come up with the best human virtues we can think of, and then work appear it — no matter whether you accept it’s based on God as a being or a association of beings that embodies those virtues.

Of course this raises the catechism of how we can be sure we’re block the right ‘virtues’ as our own view of what constitutes the most ‘human’ or the affection abutting to God. And here’s where MTA’s avant-garde access to Mormon canon really blows my mind:

“While this association or this being doesn’t yet exist, it’s still accessible for us as humans to accept of an attack to brainstorm that and then work appear it. But we go added as Mormon transhumanists,” Youngblood explains.

“Most of us absolutely think that given we’re apparently not the only beings in the universe, and given that we apparently aren’t the first ones to evolve, it’s highly likely that there are more advanced, more compassionate, more benevolent beings out there already. So we think that the actuality of God is apparently inevitable, in the sense that were most likely not the first or the only acculturation to beforehand as far as we have.”

Does that mean, in layman’s terms, God might exist as a association of cyborg aliens? That’s simply an amazing estimation of Mormon theology. Whatever your behavior are, it’s auspicious to see the MTA’s non-judgemental access to axis people into cyborgs. And to a contemptuous atheist, it’s even more amazing that this tech-positive access can be extracted from Mormon scripture.

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