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Technology The 21st Century Religion

Human beings are hard-wired to believe in a greater power than themselves. When the believe in God isn't present in someone, regardless of reason, they tend to view the concept of blind faith as childish at best, dangerous at worst. Some deniers of a higher power also believe that the higher your IQ, the greater your independence of mind and the greater the confidence in your own innate abilities to deal with life's difficulties without some Devine Being "watching" over you. I guess they never heard of Albert Einstein.

However, that vacuum has to be filled by something nonetheless. Many Atheists, depending on their psychology, seek a replacement for that void in their life in a variety of ways from joining the environmental movement, or other seemingly worthy humanist cause, to the promotion of their own hubris. Enter Trans-humanism.

Trans-humanists exalts technology as the highest power. The movement’s goal is to merge man with machine. Their wildest prophecies seem ridiculous at first, until you consider the vast advances in technology, bionics, robotics, neuroprosthetics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and genetic engineering.

Just recently, prominent figures gathered at the TransVision 2021 conference in Madrid, Spain. Naturally, the dominant tone at TransVision was set by hardcore Trans-humanists, such as Ray Kurzweil, a top R&D director at Google and founder of Singularity University. Allowing for variation, Trans-humanists confess there is no God but the future Computer God, or "Deus ex Machina" —God from Machine.

They believe neuroprosthetics will allow communion with this artificial deity. They believe life extending technology will confer approximate immortality, which they rather refer to as "extended living."

Above all, they believe the "Singularity" is very near—when artificial intelligence becomes self-aware. By the way, this is the premise behind the movie series, the terminator, when Skynet, a military supercomputer, becomes self-aware and sees humans as a threat to its existence. When this singularity occurs, purely organic humans will be left in it's smart dust.

Our only chance for long-term survival is to fuse our minds and bodies with the All-Powerful Machine — to become a new posthuman species. Trans-humanists hold that the human condition of ignorance, loneliness, sadness, disease, old age, and death can be transcended through improved technologies. Many also believe tribalism—another natural human condition of grouping into identity clans—will also be eliminated, perhaps through brain implants. Enter the Borg.

The Borg of the Star Trek series, were a pseudo-race of cybernetic beings or cyborgs, where no truly single individual or independent thought existed within their "Borg Collective," with the possible sole exception of the Borg Queen. The Borg were linked into a hive mind or central computer connected to the Queen whose thoughts and actions were singular in every aspect. Their ultimate goal was perfection through the forcible assimilation of other sentient species, their technologies and knowledge.

Trans-humanists see that our 24/7 reliance on smartphones and other gadgets as an early phase of our symbiosis with machines. However, for all the convenience gained, many psychologists worry that the dependency on digital platforms is making kids antisocial and functionally illiterate. An entire generation is being lost to instant self-gratification while their person to person contact and social skills are atrophying.

Trans-humanists' radical ideas are hardly marginal. Transhuman values have been implicitly embraced by the world’s wealthiest technologists. Consider Bill Gates pushing universal jabs, universal jabs, Jeff Bezos’s quest for “life extension,” Elon Musk’s proposed brain implants, Mark Zuckerberg’s forays into the Metaverse, and Eric Schmidt’s plans for an American technocracy. If Big Tech is the established church, transhumanists are the Prophets in the wilderness.

The futurists who gathered in Madrid—along with those preaching technocracy at the World Economic Forum—are laying the intellectual groundwork for a fully digitized social order. Today, it’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution—a global paradigm of total transformation— embraced by Microsoft, Alibaba, Sony, General Motors, Boeing, Mozilla, and Salesforce, among so many many others. All connected to the infamous "Great Reset."

Tomorrow, the faithful proclaim, there will be artificial intelligence brain implants linking us together to you guessed it... The Borg Collective.

— Inspired by the writing of Joe Allen

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