Mormonism and Transhumanism: A match made in heaven



I'm in. That was my first thought when I read just a couple of pieces about Mormon Transhumanism. It was a Wednesday evening early this summer. I had read a description of Transhumanism in a Huffington Post article:

“Transhumanists' main goals are to overcome mortality and ... in essence, to become godlike.”

It reminded me that Mormonism centers around this idea, found in a scripture God gave to Joseph Smith:

“This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

So Mormonism is about overcoming death and transcending mortal life. And Transhumanism is about, through technology and science, overcoming death and transcending mortal life. They fit together like a hand in a (medical) glove.

Then I read about the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and I realized that I had come across a good thing -- really, really good. Salvational, even.

Are technology and science not keys to immortality?

Many Mormons believe that God gives us technology for a reason. Some say technological and scientific development figure into God’s plan of salvation. And past progress in those fields signaled that God’s spirit was moving on the Earth as part of the restoration of the gospel. Why would technology and science stop playing a role in God’s plan after the time of restorer, Joseph Smith? If overcoming death and transcending mortal life are necessary and key parts of the gospel, why wouldn't technology and science continue to play a role?

Many Mormons also believe that we are God’s hands, as the scripture says, and called to do God’s work. Why would we not help in the process of immortality? It would be empowering. Many of the geniuses in our world today could play a role in helping us become immortal, as God intended. After all, Mormon prophets have said we'll help others after we overcome death ourselves.

As a Mormon, I am a post-secularist – a believer in religion after secularism. I believe that the gospel, being God’s everlasting word, will endure despite the popularity of new attitudes and activities that may seem to have no basis in religion or spirituality, as we've known them.

Transhumanism is usually regarded as secular, but some have suggested that it's a post-secular “religion.” Finding such a symbiosis between Mormonism and Transhumanism, I see the two converging as one. I nearly expect them to. As the gospel says, “all truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.”

Equating Christianity with Mormonism, consider what Christopher Benek wrote in a piece titled, “Why Christians Should Embrace Transhumanism”:

“... by not embracing transhumanism, Christianity may be ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’ ... followers of Christ have a moral responsibility, as good stewards, to help guide the direction of this exponential technological growth for the betterment of humanity and the world ... the only thing truly delaying the development and utilization of technology for Christ's redemptive purposes is Christians' failure to advocate for such goals.”

Let’s go do God’s work. Technology and science are asking for it.