What is the Purpose of Mormon Transhumanism?

The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) approaches the pursuit of the goals of both transhumanism and theosis/exaltation as active, engaged, ongoing, rather than passive work. This is the path towards posthumanity. The Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation expresses this approach.

Purposes of the MTA

For Mormon Transhumanists the pursuit of theosis and exaltation entails deliberate, active work. This work emphasizes another key doctrinal feature of Latter-day Saint teachings: human agency. Agency is central to both Mormonism and Transhumanism.

That everyone may act ... according to the moral agency which I have given unto them, that everyone may be accountable...
Doctrine and Covenants 101:78

Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation

The constitution of the MTA states that the purpose of the Association is to promote the active work outlined in the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation. All members agree to support the Affirmation, which outlines:

  1. The Christian discipleship of Mormon Transhumanists and our commitment to being compassionate creators, both in fostering new life and also in other forms of creativity. We profess our commitment to “the gospel,” a set of principles taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. This paragraph also alludes to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel identified in the Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: faith (“trust in”), repentance (“change towards”), baptism (“fully immerse our bodies”), and the gift of the Holy Ghost (“...and minds in the role of Christ”). The term “Christ” (Messiah in Hebrew) in this paragraph refers not only to Jesus, but to all individuals who have committed to follow these principles.
  2. Our commitment to seeking and acknowledging truth from any and all sources, and to avoiding exclusionary practices. This paragraph affirms that the gospel as outlined here is compatible with many religions and philosophies, and implies that adherents of different religions and even those who profess no religion can join the Association if they agree to support these principles.
  3. Our pursuit of the exaltation of all people in a manner that honors their agency. This objective is both spiritual and physical, as well as individual and collective: “individual” (mind) and “anatomy” (body) at the personal level correspond with “community” and “environment” at the collective level.
  4. Our embrace of scientific knowledge and technological power as essential tools for the pursuit of these goals. Note the wording carefully. These tools are “among the means ordained of God,” but they are not the only means. Other essential ingredients could include Christlike compassion and service.
  5. Our obligation to use science and technology with care, caution, and wisdom. Part of our responsibility is to warn others about risks and dangers resulting from irresponsible use of technology and not just the potential benefits of ethical use.
  6. Our commitment to what Joseph Smith described as the “grand fundamental principles of Mormonism”: Truth, Friendship, and Relief.
portrait of Joseph Smith
A person filled with the love of God is not content with blessing their family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.
Joseph Smith

We invite you to read the full text of the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation.

Questions for Discussion

  • What are the purposes and goals of the MTA?
  • What do the goals of transhumanism/posthumanity and theosis/exaltation have in common?
  • Why is individual agency so important in the pursuit of these goals? Why is it central to both Mormonism and Transhumanism?
  • Why is it important to understand human exaltation in social, ecological, and collaborative terms—as a pursuit that involves not just individuals but families, communities, environments, nations, and even planets?
  • What are risks and benefits of pursuing theosis as a deliberate, active endeavor?
  • Why is it important to recognize and receive truth in and from any and all sources?
  • Which parts of the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation resonate with you?

Advance to Primer 3