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Old 02-16-2018, 02:18 PM   #81
whswhs
 
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
It's the same underlying impulse, or core concept, yes. Transhumanism is its latest incarnation, but the underlying desire/fear is exactly the same.
If you want to draw a connection from Christianity to transhumanism, I think a relevant figure is Nikolai Fyodorov, one of the founders of cosmism. Fyodorov explicitly makes human agency and technology expressions of God's will.

But I think Nietzsche is another relevant figure, maybe a more relevant one, with his image of humanity as walking a tightrope from the animal to the superman. He seems to want humanity to create the superman, that is, to transcend itself, "self-overcoming." And that seems to be more a core idea of transhumanism as a distinctive system of thought. Yes, you can say it's an offshoot of Christian and Muslim eschatology (more Muslim than Christian, in that Muhammad explicitly asks, "Has not God power to create your like?" and accepts "like" as a promise of resurrection, whereas Christianity requires numerical identity and thus has the double judgment, particular and universal, so that the soul can carry identify forward to the resurrection); but it would be anachronistic to say that Christ was a transhumanist, and equally so to say that of Nietzsche, or Fyodorov, or Stapledon, or John W. Campbell. All of those figures existed not as anticipators or prefigurations of transhumanism but as thinkers with their own concerns (that is, I'm rejecting a transhumanist "Whig interpretation of history"). Genealogy is of interest, but philosophies evolve just as organisms do.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:33 PM   #82
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Muhammad explicitly asks, "Has not God power to create your like?" and accepts "like" as a promise of resurrection,
I've encountered this fascinating statement from you before, and at one point tried to track the source, but failed. Could you please point me to where did you read it? (I'm also curious about whether it may be an artifact of ambiguous translation.)
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:00 PM   #83
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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I've encountered this fascinating statement from you before, and at one point tried to track the source, but failed. Could you please point me to where did you read it? (I'm also curious about whether it may be an artifact of ambiguous translation.)
Anthony Flew's An Introduction to Western Philosophy, on pp. 162-163, quotes Chapter XVII of the Quran, "The Night Journey," as translated by N.J. Dawood (Penguin, 1956):

Do they not see that Allah, who has created the heavens and the earth, has power to create their like? Their fate is preordained beyond all doubt. Yet the wrongdoers persist in unbelief.

I think I may also have encountered it in Frank Tipler's The Physics of Immortality, which definitely asserted that being simulated with perfect accuracy at the end of time is equivalent to resurrection; but I don't have that book on my shelves, so I can't readily check it.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:11 PM   #84
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Anthony Flew's An Introduction to Western Philosophy, on pp. 162-163, quotes Chapter XVII of the Quran, "The Night Journey," as translated by N.J. Dawood (Penguin, 1956):

Do they not see that Allah, who has created the heavens and the earth, has power to create their like? Their fate is preordained beyond all doubt. Yet the wrongdoers persist in unbelief.

I think I may also have encountered it in Frank Tipler's The Physics of Immortality, which definitely asserted that being simulated with perfect accuracy at the end of time is equivalent to resurrection; but I don't have that book on my shelves, so I can't readily check it.
Thanks. I do find it a bit vague. I should check the surrounding context and scholar comments to see how much that is the commonly-held interpretation (it seems a bit of a stretch).
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:21 PM   #85
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Thanks. I do find it a bit vague. I should check the surrounding context and scholar comments to see how much that is the commonly-held interpretation (it seems a bit of a stretch).
Flew says, Certainly there need be no doubt but that Omnipotence 'has power to create their like'. But for the punishments to be just, and for it to be 'their fate', what is to be created must not just be 'their like', not replicas however perfect, but them. He goes on to quote Aquinas, at considerable length, setting forth a different view.
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