Much of the study in the book was originally prepared for the inaugural conference of the Saskatchewan Center for Science and Religion in Canada, which launched a broad-based, interdisciplinary social dialogue about human perfection, artificial intelligence, and spirituality. The keynote address was given by Ray Kurzweil, one of the world’s leading inventors and futurists, who made accurate predictions of the effects of technology on humans over a period of thirty years. The Wall Street Journal called her “a restless genius,” and Forbes called her “the ultimate thinking machine.”
Kurzweil’s thesis also addresses religious and spiritual issues that may be of great interest to both those interested in religions and those interested in the natural sciences, and the writing provides valuable insights into the limits of religion, science, and spirituality.
To what extent can AI enhance spirituality or become obsolete? What is the challenge of transhumanism for the world’s religions? What are the religious and ethical implications of artificial intelligence? How do religious traditions respond to efforts to achieve human perfection? What are the recent tensions in AI research in the field of religious traditions? The answers may help the reader to reflect on the ethical considerations among proponents of transhumanism. The authors also offer an alternative intertwined with their Catholic worldview.
The book also addresses the question of the impact of artificial change in human capabilities on today’s societies. Size classifies this human perfection into two categories. The first includes techniques that remain “within” human physiology. This includes biotechnologies that treat disease and re-infection. The second includes theoretically emerging and existing biotechnologies that have the potential to transform the genetic makeup of current generations to prevent diseases to which they are susceptible, i.e. those that pose an observable risk. In addition, they have the ability to transform the genetic structure of future generations.
Interestingly, the volume devotes a separate chapter to the role of humor in the posthuman future. He compares how different religious and cultural traditions are related to laughter. It also provides insights into how the different aspirations of transhumanists will alter today’s sense of humor.
And in the section on Technology and Human Ethics, there is research that examines the philosophical and ethical implications of cyborg technology from a Roman Catholic perspective. It also identifies the six principles of human perfection that align with the moral teachings of Roman Catholicism.
At the same time, the volume also takes into account the risks, additional risks, and unintended consequences that may arise from interfering with people’s mental abilities as part of the rapidly developing science of neuroscience.
Ray KurzweilHe is one of the world’s leading inventors and futurists and is the author of the book Christopher BenikPastor and CEO of The CoCreators Network; Jacob Boss, Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington; Philip Reed ButlerAssistant Professor, Department of Theology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; Michael Caligoria research fellow at St. Paul’s College and a lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Manitoba; Erin J. DabrowskiAssociate Professor of Sociology, Staten Island Campus, New York; Mark GravesAssistant Professor at the Center for Theological, Scientific, and Humanistic Attainment at the University of Notre Dame. Anthony L. HainorAssociate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey; Christopher HrinkoAssociate Professor of Religious and Cultural Studies at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan; Braden MulhawkLecturer at Santa Clara University School of Engineering; Peter RobinsonProfessor of Computer Science at the University of Cambridge; Una Struda Musical and theologian. Tracy c. TrothenProfessor of Ethics, Queen’s University; Alan Weissenbachereditor of Theology and Science.
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