The teenage Joseph Smith had an epiphany as he wrestled with scripture and the competing religious factions around him: answers to his questions were not to be found in an appeal to argumentation or to religious text; they were to be found in direct encounter with God. Thus began a prophetic career that attempted to facilitate and democratize communion with God.
In a previous post, I suggested that the cyborg was a useful myth for post-patriarchal Mormonism. The cyborg is an inseparable union of body and mind, mechanism and person. The cyborg is, in a sense, a refutation of Cartesian dualism. Mormonism can be a uniquely cyborg-affirming religion, because in Mormon theology, pure humanity is already compromised. Personhood is inescapably merged with matter, as even the Mormon “spirit” is material, and the religion’s mythical gods are imagined to be people who learned over eons to control natural forces in advanced ways. In the prior post, I discussed how the cyborg was a feminist myth which seems ready-made for incorporation into ways that Mormons can think about themselves.
If you created ants, would you let them dream?
Why or why not?
What do you know or believe about your own dreams?
Has that always been the case?
When, if at all, did how you feel about your dreams change?
What triggered the change?
What was the best dream you ever had?
Why is that?
When do you dream?
How is your dream life different than your waking life?
Why do you think that is?
Technology plays a central role in transhumanist narratives -- even to certain degrees of religiosity found in Singularitarianism. Indeed, there are good reasons to view narratives about the emergence of a super-intelligence from a technological singularity to be as transformative as narratives of eternal life or millennialism found in religion. However, what is sometimes missing or seen as a footnote in transhumanist narratives is an equally strenuous focus on compassion, not merely as a byproduct or guide of transhuman technology, but as an author of it.
Kate Kelly, Mormon feminist and co-founder of the Ordain Women movement, was recently denied her excommunication appeal by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her actions toward gender equality were deemed as apostasy and caused her excommunication. I am hurt by this decision and I feel a personal loss as a fellow Mormon.
We are mistaken, sometimes dangerously so, when we confuse our current understanding with God's absolute and eternal truth. As marvelous as Mormonism is -- and it is marvelous -- it is surely a weak reflection of what God has in store. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)