What is it about?

Spirituality in a Transhuman and Posthuman Age.

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Why is it important?

As Artificial Intelligence researchers attempt to emulate human intelligence and transhumanists work toward superintelligence, philosophers and theologians confront a dilemma: we must either, on the one horn, (1) abandon the view that the defining feature of humanity is rationality and propose an account of spirituality that dissociates it from reason; or, on the other horn, (2) find a way to invalidate the growing faith in a posthuman future shaped by the enhancements of Intelligence Amplification (IA) or the progress of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I grasp both horns of the dilemma and offer three recommendations. First, it is love understood as agape, not rational intelligence, which tells us how to live a godly life. Love tells us how to be truly human. Second, the transhumanist vision of a posthuman superintelligence is not only unrealistic, it portends the kind of tragedy we expect from a false messiah. Third, if as a byproduct of AI and IA research combined with H+ zeal the wellbeing of the human species and our planet is enhanced, we should be grateful.

Perspectives

Transhumanists and other rationalists life up intelligence--the capacity to reason--as the summum bonum, the highest good toward which evolution is driving the human species. I object. As a Christian theologian, it is love to which we should aspire. We love young children or our grandparents when their intelligence is either underdeveloped or diminishing. Intelligence is a good thing, to be sure; but agape love is superior in value.

Prof Ted F Peters
Graduate Theological Union

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This page is a summary of: Artificial Intelligence versus Agape Love: Spirituality in a Posthuman Age, Forum Philosophicum, December 2019, Jesuit University Ignatianum - Ignatianum University Press, DOI: 10.35765/forphil.2019.2402.12.
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