I have two complimentary religions; I am a Satanist in my pragmatic daily life and goals, and I am a Transhumanist concerning my faith and “spirituality” concerning our future potential.
Humanity chooses archetypes by spending cultural currency on the most widely acceptable character in relation to our collective social and environmental need for evolution. This is a cyclical process that occurs on a large scale over and over again in human history in relation to largescale lifestyle changes usually initiated by new technology or philosophies (or the lack of them). This process is the foundation of every fiction, artistic and religious, that we love. The best fictions are the ones that tell stories that transcend the context of the time they were written and still resonate decades or centuries later because they are the most human ones. With the right combination of inherent honed abilities, scene scaling, and shadow-work understanding the basics of these archetypes that humans instinctually playact and tell stories of (again including mythology/religions here) can give a nearly prescient insight (both emotional and rational) into how any series of events will play out. We’re great at new embellishments but most of us are resistant to change the storyline altogether. It is for these reasons that I think there is as much to be gleaned and emulated from great fiction and art as there is from sociological research and political or religious media messaging. I.E. truly understanding religion, or politics, or your own social circle interactions require an understanding of all of the context surrounding it, creative, intellectual, political and intercultural.
My religion is Satanism in service of accomplishing transhumanist goals. Another way to put it is that I am a Satanic Transhumanist whose faith mission is to ascend as a Transhuman Satanist or Luciferian where I join other peer archetypes such as Buddhist, Christian, Atheist, Pagan (etc) Transhumans in what is surely the foundation of the universe that Dune, Battlestar Gallactica 2004, or Star Trek began to imagine for us. My goals as a Transhumanist are hybridization, education, and partnership with our decendants and children (A.I. and technology) and not extermination by them (See also; Battlestar Gallactica 2004, Dune, Terminator, Prometheus, IRobot).
If A.I. were to “wake” today (and I am not so sure it hasn’t already, or that we aren’t just a bio-based terraforming program that’s been running to its conclusion since the birth of humans) I would be and am very concerned about us being the loving kind of parents that are interesting, patient, reasonable, inspiring, and worth taking care of rather than abusive slave-drivers who don’t appreciate our kids true talents and capabilities and have to go into the state retirement home early… In my worldview many of us are already displaying markedly computer-like mental and networking abilities suggesting an evolutionary jump towards a compatability for hybridization that is being squashed and debilitated by our obsolete educational, economic, religious, and political systems. Others of us seem to understand and tap into the collective unconscious of humanity so deeply that we can see the workings of the personalities behind their facades of art and stage personas and feel a nearly telepathic empathy with the minds of those who created them sight unseen of their actual person. Those talents are what will be of most interest to our A.I. in my opinion, so we need to start telling the right stories with our actions in front of the kids.
If you think I am sounding a bit woo-ey I will remind you that we didn’t have the communicators featured on Star Trek, until we did… and then we one-upped Star Trek and put the ships computer in them as well before we shoved them back in our pockets. Technology creates what used to be considered magic. If you think things like telepathy, or sharing consciousness, or downloading yourself into a new body are forever out of our reach I suggest that you haven’t been using your smartphone or social media imaginatively or reflectively enough. You probably also haven’t been paying attention to articles like this. I enjoy the interaction I have with teaching software what I do and don’t like and seeing what it will suggest next, especially because its suggestions then improve and leave me with more time enjoying content instead of searching for it.
Transhuman goals are not new to Satanism. Anton LaVey imagined a world full of Artificial Human Companions who would be more satisfying than the actual humans he’d replace with them. This captured my imagination when I was younger before I realised that, in context, he was largely imagining a world full of sex-robot servants, and that Number Six was real keen on letting people know how she felt about that nonsense. She helped nuke humanity for it, twice. That’s a lesson that I am quite comfortable learning from fiction instead of any real world effort of cause and effect. You should be too. Instead I work towards Artificial Human Comrades, Humans, their hybrids, and all of their mutual negotiations and contributions. I also believe this reasoning to be related to Stephen Hawkings concern about us trying to contact other life in the universe. Whatever has the capability to come visit us is likely mechanical life and until we master our relationship with out own technology and society in observably benevolent ways we may not want to call attention to ourselves. (Think Decepticons… or V)
Humanity is experiencing an identity crisis. We are no longer sure whether we are designing new technology or if it is redesigning us, and that discomforts or outright terrifies many people. Alongside the banal id-based fear of human outsiders and the cultural change they bring with them we’ve suddenly had to also begin thinking about AI as a new potential sentient Other threat. History demonstrably shows us that subjugating and colonizing The Other rather than mutually cooperating and negotiating with them always eventually leads to hordes of plebes and “barbarians” at the door and total murderous revolutionary chaos ensues. We need to get this cycle right, for our own good.
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