Mormon Transhumanist Association

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Mormon Transhumanist Association
Mormon Transhumanist Logo.png
Motto Radical Flourishing in Creativity and Compassion through Technology and Religion
Founded 2006
Type Public Charity
205826770
Focus Interfaith Issues
Origins Mormonism and Transhumanism
Services Conferences and Networking
Members
549
Website transfigurism.org

The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) is a nonprofit organization that syncretizes Mormonism and transhumanism.[1] MTA sees parallels between transhumanist ideas, such as the technological singularity, and Mormon teachings.[2][3] The majority of members are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), but the LDS Church is not directly affiliated with the MTA. MTA is affiliated with the world wide Humanity+ transhumanist organization.[3]

History and beliefs[edit]

MTA was founded by 14 members in 2006.[4] It received IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit status that same year.[5] MTA and Humanity+ affiliated in 2006,[6][7][8] and they renewed the affiliation in 2010.[9]

As a transhumanist group within a traditional religion, MTA is unusual.[2] However, MTA illustrates similarities between the functions and goals of transhumanism and traditional religions, such as a hope in the face of death for perpetual happiness and permanent youthfulness.[10][11] MTA’s teachings, in relevant part, reflect Mormonism’s tenets regarding bodily and spiritual progress toward theosis.[12][13] Because of such ideas, at least one scholar has argued that Mormon theology may lend itself better to reconciliation with transhumanism than does mainstream Christian theology.[14]

Demographics[edit]

During 2014, the MTA grew to include 480 members, an increase of 30% over the previous year. Of the members, 65% were in the United States, with other members located in Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.[15] The annual MTA survey completed in 2014 indicates that 62% of MTA members are also members of the LDS Church; that 59% identified as theist and 14% as atheist; that 53% identified as culturally progressive and 20% as culturally conservative; that 32% identified as economically progressive and 29% as economically conservative.[16]

Activities[edit]

MTA organizes conferences on the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. MTA co-sponsored the “Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision” conference at Claremont Graduate University in 2009,[17] and the “Transhumanism and Spirituality” conference at the University of Utah in 2010.[18] MTA also holds annual member conferences in Salt Lake City.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hughes, J. J. (2012), THE POLITICS OF TRANSHUMANISM AND THE TECHNO-MILLENNIAL IMAGINATION, 1626–2030. Zygon, 47: 757–776. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2012.01289.x
  2. ^ a b Wessinger, Catherine. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 59. Print.
  3. ^ a b "About the Mormon Transhumanist Association." Mormon Transhumanist Association, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/>.
  4. ^ "Constitution of the Mormon Transhumanist Association." Mormon Transhumanist Association, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/constitution/>.
  5. ^ "Tax Exemption." Mormon Transhumanist Association, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/tax-exemption/>.
  6. ^ "The Mormon Transhumanist Association Affiliates with the WTA." World Transhumanist Association, 15 Nov. 2006. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/1223/>.
  7. ^ Hansell, Gregory R., and William Grassie. H±: Transhumanism and Its Critics. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus Institute, 2011. 26. Print.
  8. ^ Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava. "Facing the challenges of transhumanism: Philosophical, religious, and ethical considerations." Global Spiral, October 5 (2007): 2007.
  9. ^ "New Humanity+ Affiliate Program." Humanity+, 25 Oct. 2010. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://humanityplus.org/2010/10/new-humanity-affiliate-program/>.
  10. ^ Mehlman, Maxwell J. Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares: The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2012. Print.
  11. ^ Geraci, Robert M. Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. New York: Oxford UP, 2010. 137. Print.
  12. ^ Brown, Samuel. "Enhancing Evolution." BYU Smith Institute, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <https://smithinstitute.byu.edu/PDFLibrary/48.2BrownEnhancing0cf0e8a5-a1cf-4b63-9d59-489725b59b00.pdf>.
  13. ^ Tirosh-Samuelson, H. (2012), TRANSHUMANISM AS A SECULARIST FAITH. Zygon, 47: 710–734. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2012.01288.x
  14. ^ Zimmerman, Michael. "The Singularity: A Crucial Phase in Divine Self-Actualization?." Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 4.1-2 (2008): 347-370.
  15. ^ "Members." Mormon Transhumanist Association, n.d. Web. 27 Sep. 2015. <http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/members/>.
  16. ^ "Member Survey Results." Mormon Transhumanist Association, n.d. Web. 27 Sep. 2015. <http://transfigurism.org/pages/about/member-survey-results/>.
  17. ^ "Mormonism and Engineering Conference (2009)." YouTube, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD28C25910E1CAFC3>.
  18. ^ "Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference (2010)." YouTube, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLED8C09028C2CE378>.
  19. ^ "2012 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association." YouTube, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3893B119820E9DC1>.

External links[edit]