Roland Benedikter on transhumanist politics.
Will a similar dialogue take place also between transhumanists and the religious? There seem to be certain transcendent, if not even religious implications in the merging between computer, human consciousness and machines, allegedly making “mind over matter” a reality?
Indeed that is what some interested in such an interpretation assert. For example, some expect that broader use of brain implants, including certain forms of Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI’s), such as those yoked to prostethic limbs, will lead to breakthroughs in overcoming disablement, physical handicaps, and by extension the general limits of the human body (including particular functions of the brain).. In this case, “mind over matter” means that the inventiveness of the human mind transcends the limits of the human body – and that the self is taking control of its material restraints. Personally, I would see this not as a religious issue in the strict sense, but rather as something like “metaphysics put into action” in ambiguous ways.. Such a general motive had been forecast by Post-Humanists such as philosopher Martin Heidegger in the 1960s to necessarily rise out of the trend toward further technological advancements. Heidegger saw technology, in anticipation of its merging with the human body and human consciousness, as the embodiment and reality of metaphysics in a new form, which would lure humans to superstition and thus threaten traditional human ethics with extinction. He was certainly right in poiting out the deep ambiguity and the dangers in the current stylization of technology as the new metaphysics. On the other hand, Heidegger was hoping for “a god” to save us from the unparalleled metaphysical power of technology, which seems to be a very traditionalist answer of a similar ambiguity, considering that Heidegger didn’t speak of “god”, but “a god”, probably appealing to the “god” of the self in everybody’s own mind.