Re: Religion & Health

den Otter (
Tue, 16 Jun 1998 20:11:41 +0200

Hara Ra wrote:
> Well, in many ways the cryonics community has these attributes. Cryonics
> of course provides an alternative approach to death, and has the full
> spectrum of experiences, solidarity and squabbles of any community,
> with a nice stories about possible futures. And sacred ground in the form
> of storage sites....

Yes, but the sense of community is rather weak, imo, certainly not
comparable to that of a religious or political group. A shame, from a
practical poit of view.

> In another direction, most religions split into two components. One builds
> churches, institutions, rules and dogma. The other stays close to creating
> altered states for all of the members. Examples are Native American Church
> and Santa Diamo - with peyote and ayhuasca being the respective agents
> used for ASCs.
> It seems that positive ASCs are an integral aspect of the healing dimensions
> of religion, shamanism, and possible worth serious consideration for the
> transhuman and extropian communities.
> Shall I say, "Best be High when you Do It So...."

It would certainly be a good idea to have more transhuman parties with
lots of good food, music and drugs. It's great fun, and effectively
increases the sense of community (which is rather important for a
developing movement).

Anders Sandberg:
> >Which of course suggests that we should seriously think about how to
> >get the benefits from religion without the drawbacks. Most likely any
> >form of comittment that provides a sense of belonging, a positive
> >livable universe where temporary setbacks are just temproary (despite
> >their severity) would have the same benefits. Can transhumanism become
> >a "religion" in this sense, providing the health benefits?

It certainly has all the elements to become the first truly rational
religion: life after death(cryonics), transcension(uploading), eternal
bliss(paradise engineering), sin & evil (entropy, deathism, statism
etc), armageddon (singularity), ethics (rational ethics of enlightened
self-interst), art (extropic/transhuman art) and so on. Add to this
certain socio-political views (like pro-choice, pro legalization of
drugs and other victimless crimes, tough on real crime, firm atheism
etc.) and you have a "perfect package", a complete marketable worldview
that can challenge the existing philosophies at every point. Vacuum
control, so to speak.