Re: Is There A Need for Transhuman Spirituality?

Paul Hughes (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 03:25:02 -0800

Timothy Bates wrote:

> >Blashemphy? Who is speaking of blasphemy?
> Every single religion of which i am aware.

Tim, let me try to clarify my position some what. First of all, I am not religious in the slightest. Religion has nothing to do with anything I'm talking about. I am not speaking of belief in itself. I am however speaking of the ability to *change* belief as easily as changing your clothes. When I suggested that you try on beliefs, like clothes, I intended this as a fun and enlightening exercise on how flexible and malleable are minds can be, and how this flexibility can be used to broaden ones horizons and perceptions of the universe at large. Since I am talking of surfing relativistic *meta* beliefs, any particular belief you hold at any moment during this type of exercise is less important - since the goal is changing beliefs, not holding on to them for dear life. In this context, playing with a wide variety of beliefs (religious or otherwise) can be quite illuminating in increasing ones understanding of their intrinsic limits, and how sad it is when someone mistakes such *arbitrary* memes as reality itself. This is why I think its very important not to mistake any map or model for the territory.

> PS: sorry if my choice of words sounds like I am telling you to change. I am
> merely strongly disagreeing with you.

I don't consider anything you've said up to this point as disagreement, since you have to first understand me in order to disagree with me. At this point in our conversation, I'm talking about how interesting the flavor of this orange I'm eating is, while you're telling me how the Orange Trading Organization is using slave labor in Nicaragua.

> And, while I have a desire to live in
> world where fewer people believe that omniscient forces control their lives
> or that there is a life force or a life after death, I have a stronger
> desire for there to be no "thought police".

I differ only in that I would like to see people adopt a more scientific and experimental/experiential framework for self-discovery rather than turn to blind faith and religious dogma. I have no problem with the concept of an afterlife, assuming it's discovered and/or invented scientifically. After all, quantum mechanics still leaves open the *possibility* that consciousness may exist at the quantum level. Since their is no reproducible evidence to support the existence of an afterlife as of yet, I don't believe in its existence.

Paul Hughes