Ghosts and Gods in the Machine: Human-Machine Interfaces in Transhuman Philosophy

Levi Checketts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The transhumanist vision of advancing human evolution through science and technology has sometimes been critiqued as a secularized religion. While most focus on the impact of the Singularity as a replacement for the eschaton and futurists as prophets, a more interesting problem lies in the (typical) dismissal of normal religious concepts of the supernatural. Transhumanism is left with a vacuum for ultimate questions, including the anxiety of finitude and the possibility of a higher power. Like broader issues of human enhancement, however, these problems are answered by transhumanists with science and technology, especially artificial intelligence. Thus, transhumanists propose an interesting encounter of the supernatural through highly technologized means—the afterlife may be secured by uploading the consciousness of the dying, or even the well-preserved dead, into computer substrates, and the new machine God will come into being through advanced general artificial intelligence (assuming we are not already in a simulation).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased
Subtitle of host publicationPsychological, Scientific, and Theological Perspectives
EditorsThomas G. Plante, Gary E. Schwartz
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter12
Pages178-193
Number of pages16
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781003105749
ISBN (Print)9780367616212, 9780367616205
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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