Cyborgs, Robots, and Eternal Avatars

Transhumanist Salvation at the Interface of Brains and Machines

Authored by: Robert M. Geraci

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415492447
eBook ISBN: 9780203803516
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634178

10.4324/9780203803516.ch53

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Abstract

In a rapidly spreading cultural shift, the human species is becoming a species of cyborgs. The religious implications of this depend upon what we mean by a cyborg, of course, and to what extent the transformation of humankind progresses. But while it remains an open question as to whether we will be only minimally cyborg (and hence remain fundamentally still human) or find ways to fully and thoroughly integrate our selves with machines, many technology advocates have found an eager audience for claims that we will soon transcend the limitations of bodily life. Indeed, the belief that we will merge our minds with machines, perhaps even “uploading” our consciousness into robotic bodies and living forever, now echoes loudly off the walls of popular culture and political advocacy. Although the champions of such ideas tend toward atheism or agnosticism, and generally reject traditional religious communities (asserting that their approach is “scientific” rather than “based upon faith”), they nevertheless offer a new religion for modernity, one that merges concepts and practices from science, technology, and religion.

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