Re: Religion & Health

Anders Sandberg (
17 Jun 1998 17:23:30 +0200

"Felix Ungman" <> writes:

> den Otter (on Transhumanism):
> >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.
> And there's plenty of "rituals": taking anti-oxidants, doing CR,
> strengthening the body and mind thru exercise and study, creative
> visualization, reviewing your mission statement on sundays, etc.

:-) Actually, making them "rituals" is a good way of turning them into
stable habits. But maybe we should give them a more proper symbolic
form too, without loosing any of the function. Right now transhumanist
techniques seem to be very functionalistic, but they might be even
more enjoyable if turned into art.

> 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 already is a "religion" in this sense. By studying the
> transhuman "bibles" you can get a deep understanding of the universe
> and the (trans)human nature in it. This understanding and the commitment
> is gives you can't be fundamentaly different from that of the "real"
> religions.

Except that practically all religions are based on taking them on
faith, anecdotal evidence or personal subjective experiences that may
or may not be true. The aim of transhumanism is to be based on real,
reproducible and reliable evidence. Remember PCR; we shouldn't believe
in anything just because Max More has written it, we should believe in
it because it fits known facts and there is no contradictions. Our
understanding is evolving and improving, acknowledging its limitations
but also actively trying to expand.

The day we can show that transhumans live longer, are happier and more
mentally balanced than the average human, then transhumanism will
become truly accepted.

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