Re: Islam and extropianism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 17:10:11 MST

Good points about the different creeds. The question is whether the
legalistic systems or evangelical systems are the most resistant
towards extropian ideas. A legalistic religion might prohibit
something transhumanist for a more or less irrelevant reason
(e.g. judaism might be construed as incompatible with at least some
bionic implants since they would constitute self-mutilation, in
analogy to the sometimes claimed prohibition of tattos for the same
reason), but whether this would be a serious issue or not depends very
much how strictly a legalistic system is interpreted and applied by
people. There are always liberals and conservatives in this sense.

An evangelical system might have an easier time disregarding the
legalistic aspects, and would instead ask: "how does these proposed
technologies or changes in human nature fit the lifebelt?". A common
conservative christian argument against anything (be it luxury or life
extension) is that it would distract people from the love of
God. Again, interpretations differ, but these ones are not going to be
based on legal interpretation but on deeply help moral and emotional

That makes it more likely that people from a more evangelical bent who
resist changes will do so more strongly than people from a legalistic
religion. So a prediction based on this theory would be that even
fairly conservative judaism would be able to handle transhumanist
ideas, although they might be contorted a bit to fit the system (like
the wonderful and IMHO silly electric devices intended to be used
during the sabbath that are designed so that pressing the 'on' button
*breaks* a current and starts the system - since stopping things is
allowed on the sabbat, but not starting them). The really interesting
prediction would be that Islam might actually have an easier time
doing it, unless some core issue in transhumanism causes a dissonance
with the foundations of the religion, than Christianity. This is at
least a falsifiable prediction.

Of course, the original question was whether there was any core issues
between transhumanism and Islam, and I think we still have not
answered that.

Charlie Stross <> writes:

> -- Charlie (considering proclaiming himself a Pastor in the First
> Reformed Church of Tipler, Astrophysicist) Stross

Is the reformed church for people living in open universes? As for
myself, I'm probably a liberal Tiplerian, thinking that the Omega
Point might not be possible in our universe or the foundation of all
existence, but it would be a good idea to bring it about in a baby

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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