Cyborg Buddha Project

The IEET has launched the Cyborg Buddha Project. Here is a description of the project from their site:

"A confluence of factors makes this the perfect time to ask questions about how neurotechnologies that influence behavior, moral cognition and religious experiences should be used in the future. People on the Christian Right are embroiled in a debate about whether to accept scientific evidence for a biological basis for sexual orientation, and if they do, whether parents should “fix” their gay children in utero. Psychologists and economists are researching the genetic, life course and environmental factors that influence well-being, yielding findings such as cosmetic surgery being as strong a contributor to happiness as religious participation. Bioethics have created the subgenre of neuroethics to examine brain fingerprinting, memory modification and other neurotechnologies.

"Devices are being tested to measure empathy and vulnerability to temptation. Resistance is growing internationally to the disastrous policies of “warring" on psychoactive drugs, and in the process on cognitive liberty itself. Neurophilosophers are arguing for a thorough grounding of philosophy in neurology and evolutionary psychology. People of faith are increasingly entering into dialogue with human enhancement advocates about the theological significance of the transhumanist project.

"So the IEET will be launching the Cyborg Buddha Project to combine our efforts and promote discussion of the impact that neuroscience and emerging neurotechnologies will have on happiness, spirituality, cognitive liberty, moral behavior and the exploration of meditational and ecstatic states of mind. This project will be under the direction of IEET Executive Director James Hughes, and IEET Board of Directors members Michael LaTorra and George Dvorsky."

The site also points out that the three directors of the project have various ties to Buddhism. James Hughes was a Buddhist monk, Mike LaTorra is a Zen priest, and George Dvorsky is a practicing Buddhist.

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the first anniversary of the online community of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and a good time to look back on some of the things we've accomplished so far.

1) Authored, Adopted and Amended the Constitution of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

2) Affiliated with the World Transhumanist Association

3) Authored and Presented at the Sunstone Symposium the "Parallels and Complements between Mormonism and Transhumanism"

4) Increased Regular Membership to 43 and Voting Membership to 13

5) Contributed to the Rosetta @ Home Project, Rising to Position 261 of 4711 in the World

6) Authored the Articles of Incorporation of the Mormon Transhumanist Association and Incorporated in the State of Utah of the United States

7) Elected and Organized a Board of Directors and Officers

8) Created Online Tools, such as Mormonism Search and Transhumanism Search, for the Mormon and Transhumanist Communities

9) Designed and Adopted the Logo of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

10) Increased Site Visits to Over 20,000 per Month

11) Established the Transfigurism Shop and Online Donations for Fundraising

12) Engaged in Activities, Discussion about and Promotion of Mormon Transhumanism Here and Elsewhere

The future is looking bright for the Mormon Transhumanist Association. Various promotional opportunities are in the works: for example, Sunstone magazine will soon publish a new version of the "Parallels and Complements between Mormonism and Transhumanism" document as its cover article. Fund raising is accelerating as voting membership increases, substantial donations come in, and we work to complete additional projects such as the Transfigurism Book Store. Opportunities to forward the purpose of the association abound, and we'll be discussing how we can further engage in these over the coming year.

Thank you, Mormon Transhumanists, for your effort and support! Like you, my faith -- my will -- is that we will make a positive difference in the future, expanding both minds and hearts to forward the glorious work of bringing together, in all ways, the human and the divine.

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