Call for papers - Transhumanism?

Online journal Re-public invites contributions for its upcoming special issue entitled "Transhumanism?". Is there a new challenge about to dominate our world? A challenge that appears more pressing than the fight against climate change, as demanding as the one against "terrorism" or poverty, more complex than our current questions around bioethics.

Are we in a position to redefine, to drastically transform our very human nature?

This is a question formed in the last 20 years by an international movement, deriving from a scientific current, advocating that if the human is a result of an evolution process of millions of years time, nothing rationally preempts its conclusion. On the contrary, transhumanism proposes that the convergence of nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, information and cognitive sciences provide us with a new opportunity, as well as, the responsibility to collectively participate and assume this evolution: it is, more than ever, possible to "form a better humanity" meaning better health for individuals, longer life expectancy, a more effective control of themselves, through enhanced skills, capacities and capabilities.

The special issue will attempt to investigate the influence of transhumanism and the new questions that its poses. Possible essay themes include:

Where does H+ stand today in theoretical and political terms?

What kind of humanity do we wish for?

Can we move beyond the dillema between a uniformed or a diverse humanity?

Where are the new limits between prevention and personal freedom (eg. to own or dispose our body)?

Which are the formal or informal political practices that can guide the enhancement of human capacities? What is the relationship between H+ et bio-politics?

Where do we meet these practices, today, how are they being formed? What can we learn from them?

These are some of the questions that touch upon the most sensible aspects of our identity, values, beliefs, questions that can not be abandoned to the decisions of the scientific community, but that they should form the terrain for a public debate on a global scale.

Essays should be approximately 1,500 words long.

Please submit contributions in any electronic format to:

marcroux AT yahoo.com

Guest editor: Marc Roux

Deadline for submission: 15 February 2008

January 2009 Humanity+ (WTA) Board Elections

Humanity+ (WTA) Board members set policy goals and oversee their implementation, contributing with their experience and expertise to the WTA's work. We've got a very full agenda for the coming year, setting up our new website, revising the Transhumanist Declaration, fundraising, building our network of chapters and student groups, and publishing our new H+ magazine.

Please think about contributing your talents and energy for our projects. Five Humanity+ (WTA) Board members' terms expire in January and two others are leaving the Board to pursue exciting new projects. Running for a board post, as well as voting in the election, is open to all dues-paid ("supporting" or "sustaining") members of the association.

All voting members in good standing as of Saturday January 10th, 2009 are eligible to run in and vote in the Board election. Board members must be and remain voting members in good standing in order to run and serve.

The Board meets and votes virtually, so no travel is required, although Internet access is essential.

The term of service is two years, Jan 20, 2009 - Jan 20, 2011, for the five open positions, which will be filled by the five candidates with the most votes. The two candidates with the next most votes will fill the two one year replacement positions (Jan 20, 2009 - Jan 20, 2010).

The period for self-nominations closes Saturday January 10th, 2009 at noon GST.

Candidate statements will be posted on January 11th, 2009.

Voting will be conducted Monday January 12th to Thursday January 15th, 2009.

Please send your candidate statements to H+ (WTA) Secretary J. Hughes at secretary@transhumanism.org.

Previous examples of candidate statements are here:

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2006/

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2007/

http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/more/vote2008/

All voting members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association are voting members of H+ (WTA).

Job Opening: Executive Director, Humanity+

Humanity+ (formerly known as the World Transhumanist Association) is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for managing the affairs of H+ under the Direction of the Board of Directors, including:

- directing the work of the Assistant Director

- maintaining the website

- fundraising

- managing H+ Magazine, mailing lists, a newsletter, and member communications

- maintaining contact with chapters and organizing committees, and facilitating chapter growth

- maintaining contact with affiliates around the programmatic agenda outlined by the Board

- representing H+ and transhumanism in the media and other fora

Experience with organizational management and fundraising, and an understanding of and commitment to transhumanism, are essential.

Location is irrelevant as the candidate will be expected to telework.

Fluency in English is essential, with other world languages a plus. (S)he is expected to have strong communication skills.

The position is currently voluntary. However, there are prospects that fundraising will enable some level of compensation in the coming year.

Applications will be accepted until December 19, 2008. A final decision will be made by December 30, 2008, and the position will begin January 1, 2009.

Candidates should submit a letter of interest detailing relevant experience and one's personal vision for the position to: secretary@transhumanism.org.

Welcome David Foster as New Director

The Mormon Transhumanist Association is pleased to welcome David Foster to the board of directors. David is finishing his PhD in physics at Arizona State University, specializing in magnetic resonance imaging. He also has research experience in solar physics and superconductivity, and has degrees from Rick's College, Brigham Young University, and the University of Colorado. David grew up in Idaho. He and his two children now live in Arizona. David has a healthy respect for what the scientific method does and does not say, and an appreciation for investigating unpopular ideas.

Thanks to Andy West for Service as Director

Andy West is stepping down from his position as a director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. On behalf of the association, I'd like to thank Andy for his service on the board of directors. Andy is a founding member of the association, was one of the original directors, and organized our monthly roundtable discussions in Salt Lake City. Although we will miss his participation on the board of directors, Andy plans to continue his support for and contributions to the purpose of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. Thank you, Andy!

Eighth Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, October 18, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 18 October 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. October's discussion will be focused on Krista Tippets' "Speaking of Faith" podcast entitled "Quarks and Creation" an interview with John Polkinghorne. The podcast can be downloaded here. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Convergence 08

On November 15-16, 2008, the world's most dangerous ideas will collide in Mountain View, California. Convergence08 examines the world-changing possibilities of nanotech and the life-changing promises of biotech. It is the premier forum for debate and exploration of cogtech ethics, and ground zero of the past and future infotech revolution. Convergence08 is an innovative, lively unconference, the first and only forum dedicated to NBIC (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno) technologies.

Convergence 08 is sponsored by Humanity+ (the World Transhumanist Association), which is an affiliate of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision - Call for Papers

The Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies in the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University is pleased to sponsor a conference on:

Parallels and Convergences: Mormon Thought and Engineering Vision

Location:Claremont Graduate University, 150 E. 10th Street, Claremont, CA 91711

Important Dates:Abstract deadline: 2008 December 1 (extended abstract)Conference: 2009 March 7 (Saturday)

The Howard W Hunter Chair is interested in expanding the discussion of Latter-day Saint (LDS) perspectives on the attributes of God and the potential of man through a variety of innovative directions. One of the directions to be explored is whether there is a possible resonance between Mormon and engineering thought. The assumption is that according to LDS understanding, God is the architect of the Creation and the engineer of our bodies and spirits. Man, on the other hand, is believed to be capable of growing to become like God. The theological question is: where does engineering fit in the convergence of these two realms?

Details and Call for Papers can be found on http://www.mormonism-engineering.org

This conference is being organized under the direction of Howard W. Hunter Chair, Richard Bushman.

"The New God Argument" at Sunstone 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will sponsor a presentation of "The New God Argument" at the Sunstone Symposium on Saturday 9 August 8:45AM at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City.

LINCOLN CANNON, M.B.A., founding member, director, and president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association; information technology specialist, primarily working in systems management

JOSEPH WEST JR., founding member, director, and secretary of the Mormon Transhumanist Association; begins graduate study in sociology this fall at the University of Arizona

In this session, we will present The New God Argument. Most philosophical arguments for God's existence have been aimed at justifying traditional Christian theology. However, Mormon theology, particularly as advocated by Joseph Smith near the end of his life, diverges from tradition to posit emergent gods that organize worlds from existing matter according to existing laws. Aiming at justifying Mormon theology, we have formulated a new argument for God's existence. The argument is based on assumptions widely shared among both secular and religious persons, is consistent with modern science and technological trends, and concludes that we should trust that our world probably is created by advanced life forms more benevolent than we are. We invite philosophers, theologians, scientists, technologists, and anyone interested in such matters to come with your most critical eyes and ears. We are very interested in feedback, and a good portion of this session will be devoted to questions and criticisms.

Session Sponsor -- Mormon Transhumanist Association

2008 LDS Tech Awards

The technology division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced a program whose purpose is to publicly and formally celebrate the technical achievements of those who are sharing their skills with the Church. They want to ensure that those individuals who use their technical talents as a tremendous expression of their faith are acknowledged and encouraged. Learn more and nominate someone who you think has made a significant contribution to the LDS technical community by visiting http://tech.lds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=308&Itemid=5.

Seventh Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, August 16, 2008

The July edition of the Mormon Transhumanist Association's monthly roundtable discussion has been cancelled.

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 16 August 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. August's discussion will be focused on The WNYC Radiolab podcast entitled "Morality." The podcast can be downloaded here. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Awaken The Universe - Presentation of the Order of Cosmic Engineers in Second Life, GN4 workshop

On July 20 Philippe Van Nedervelde, Executive Director of the European Foresight Institute and a Founding Member and Architect of the Order of Cosmic Engineers, will give a talk in Second Life on “Awaken The Universe—Introducing the Order of Cosmic Engineers” at the Terasem 4th Annual Workshop on Geoethical Nanotechnology.

The workshop will explore what geoethical management, if any, is appropriate for the nanotechnology necessary for cryonic revival and embodiment of downloaded cyber-consciousness.

Reconstitution of human consciousness through cryonic revival or downloading cyber-consciousness into bio-nano bodies and similar vessels comes with its technological issues and problems. In addition to these technological issues, there are legal and oversight concerns related to the use of these yet-to-be defined technologies. The level of management and oversight required for these technologies are the focus of these sessions.

This virtual workshop will be held July 20th on Terasem Island in Second Life, an on-line virtual community, beginning at 1:00 PM and concluding at 4:00 PM EST. All workshop proceedings are open to the public via real-time webcasting and are subsequently archived online for free public access. The public is invited to attend. Click here for the Second Life teleport location. In the picture above, the 4 statues representing the 4 NBIC convergence pillars and the golden infinity sign on the Terasem island.

Speakers: Doug Mulhall - What Happened to the Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of the Application to Next Generation Bioterrorism and Biowarfare Threats?; Philippe Van Nedervelde - Awaken The Universe—Introducing the Order of Cosmic Engineers; Catherine Baldwin - Lawyers, Guns and Money: Lessons for Cryonics from the Military and Pharmaceutical Industrial Complexes in Technology Development and Distribution; Martine Rothblatt - Geoethics for Cryonic Revival Nanotech & BioNano Sleeves. Each workshop presentation will last 15-20 minutes followed by a 20 minute formal question and answer period during which questions from the worldwide audience will be addressed.

Sixth Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, June 21, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 21 June 2008.

This month's discussion will be focused on "Ensoulment: Stem Cells, Human Cloning, and the Beginning of Life", an article by Rick Jepson featured in a recent addition of Sunstone Magazine. The article can be downloaded for free here. Optionally, you may also purchase an mp3 of a Sunstone presentation of the same topic given by Rick Jepson here.

Joseph West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Giulio Prisco To Present in Second Life Conference on the Future of Religion

The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future is a two-day conference (4-5 June) examining how two of the 21st Century's driving forces, religion and technology, will continue to re-shape each other and, in the process, re-cast our understanding of "humanity" in the Third Millennium. Centered on, but not limited to, virtual worlds and social networking technologies, speakers and panelists will also examine changes precipitated by the biotechnology revolution, cognitive science, information technologies and robotics.

As part of the conference, Giulio Prisco, member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will present on "Transhumanist Religions" at 9:45AM Second Life time (Pacific Time) on Thursday, 5 June. Here is an abstract for Giulio's presentation:

"Description and analysis of new spiritual and 'religious' (brackets required) movements that can be broadly described as outlines of 'transhumanist religions' compatible with, and based on, the scientific worldview. Key issues: May sentient life evolve toward Godhead? May future technologies resurrect the dead? May we someday create VR universes that contain sentient life? May we _be_ sentient life in such a VR universe? Can complements or alternatives to traditional religions be based on these wild scientific speculations? What can be the impact of 'transhumanist religions' on traditional religions, culture, society and politics? And the most important question: Why should this matter to you?"

The conference will be held in the central nexus of the Transhumanist island, Extropia:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Extropia%20Core/128/128/25/?title=Extropia%20Core

For more information, see the announcement on the Extropia Core web site:

http://zones.extropiacore.net/religion/index.html

Lincoln Cannon To Present in Second Life Conference on the Future of Religion

The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future is a two-day conference (4-5 June) examining how two of the 21st Century's driving forces, religion and technology, will continue to re-shape each other and, in the process, re-cast our understanding of "humanity" in the Third Millennium. Centered on, but not limited to, virtual worlds and social networking technologies, speakers and panelists will also examine changes precipitated by the biotechnology revolution, cognitive science, information technologies and robotics.

As part of the conference, Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will present on "Mormonism: A Religion of the Future" at 10:30AM Second Life time (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, 4 June. Here is an abstract for Lincoln's presentation:

"We should expect Mormonism to thrive amidst accelerating technological change in coming decades. Its relatively young and reproductive demographics, high cultural retention, emphasis on education, theological compatibility with science, moderate stances in bioethics, and persistent adoption of new technologies will be drivers. The views of Mormon Transhumanists may provide insight into the future of Mormonism."

The conference will be held in the central nexus of the Transhumanist island, Extropia:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Extropia%20Core/128/128/25/?title=Extropia%20Core

For more information, see the announcement on the Extropia Core web site:

http://zones.extropiacore.net/religion/index.html

Mormon Transhumanist Association Presence in Second Life

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has established a presence in the virtual world of Second Life to facilitate interaction among its worldwide membership. The association's conference center is located in the dome of a space station orbiting above the Inspired Technologies office tower on the Mormon island of Adam ondi Ahman [Jan 2008: Our Second Life conference center location has since changed.]. Please visit any time, and look forward to announcements about association events in Second Life!

Fifth Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, May 17, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 17 May 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. This month's discussion will be focused on "Beyond the Atheism-Religion Divide", Krista Tippets' "Speaking of Faith" inteview with Author, Harvey Cox. The podcast can be downloaded here. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Fourth Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, April 19, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 19 April 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. This month's discussion will be focused on the film Lorenzo's Oil, which we will be screening as a part of the event. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The film will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time with discussion immediately following. Light refreshments will be served.

Lincoln Cannon to Present in Second Life on Sunday, 30 March

Lincoln Cannon, president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will give a presentation and a Q/A session in Second Life on 30 March at 10:00 AM PST (11 AM Mountain Time), at the virtual headquarters of SL-Transhumanists.

Abstract: Transhumanism is compatible with at least some religious forms, as illustrated by parallels between basic Transhumanist ideas and an authentic interpretation of Mormon metaphysics, theodicy, eschatology and soteriology. These parallels also provide a basis from which to judge the relative compatibility of other religious forms, such as Christianity, with Transhumanism.

SUNDAY - 30 MARCH

1000 AM - 1200 PM SLT

SL-Transhumanists @ extropia core

SLURL

This presentation has been organized by the Second Life chapter of the World Transhumanist Association, and the original announcement is available here.

Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon: Religion, Spirituality and the Avatar - 15 March

On Saturday, March 15, from 1-3pm (Second Life time) at the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, the Salon Spotlight Guest will be Soren Ferlinghetti (Robert M Geraci). Robert M. Geraci is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College in New York City. He studies the interactions of religion, science and technology with particular emphasis upon robotics, artificial intelligence and (more recently) online gaming. he has conducted fieldwork at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and in Second Life through discussions and interviews. In addition to publishing a number of essays on religion and robotics, he has just finished a book on the subject (tentatively titled _Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality_) and is planning a new book about religion and online games. More information is available on the Finding Sophrosyne blog.

Third Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, March 15, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 15 March 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. This month's discussion will be focused on WNYC: Radiolab Podcast "Mortality" which features discussions of mortality by anatomy professor Leonard Hayflick and geneticist Cynthia Kenyon, among others. The podcast can be downloaded here. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Second Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, February 23, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the next in their series of monthly round table discussions on 23 February 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month. This month's discussion will be focused on The Sunstone Classic Podcast "Mormonism and Science: Issues for the Coming Century" which features Duane Jeffery, professor of zoology at Brigham Young University. The podcast can be downloaded here. Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion. The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time. Light refreshments will be served.

Update Your RSS Feeds . . . or Subscribe for the First Time Using Google Reader

The Mormon Transhumanist Association has updated its RSS feeds to use the FeedBurner service. If you are subscribed to our RSS feeds, please update the links in your RSS aggregator to use the new links, specified below. If you are not already subscribed to our RSS feeds, try subscribing to these links in Google Reader -- you'll wonder how you ever got along without it!

Mormon Transhumanist Association Blogs -- this feed includes announcements from the association, as well as posts from individual members:

http://feeds.transfigurism.org/MormonTranshumanistAssociationBlogs

Mormon Transhumanist Association External Blogs -- this feed includes posts from other Mormon blogs with themes of science and technology:

http://feeds.transfigurism.org/MormonTranshumanistAssociationExternalBlogs

Transfigurism News -- this feed includes the latest news on both Mormonism and Transhumanism from all around the Internet:

http://feeds.transfigurism.org/TransfigurismNews

Mormonism News -- this feed includes the latest news on Mormonism:

http://feeds.transfigurism.org/MormonismNews

Transhumanism News -- this feed includes the latest news on Transhumanism:

http://feeds.transfigurism.org/TranshumanismNews

By the way, you can also subscribe to these feeds via email by clicking on any of the following links:

Mormon Transhumanist Association Blogs

Mormon Transhumanist Association External Blogs

Transfigurism News

Mormonism News

Transhumanism News

First Monthly Transfigurism Roundtable, January 19, 2008

The Mormon Transhumanist Association will be hosting the first of a series of monthly round table discussions on 19 January 2008. Subsequent discussions will be held on the third Saturday of each month.

This month's discussion will be focused on Nick Bostrum's Fable of the Dragon Tyrant which is available on Dr. Bostrum's homepage.

Andrew West, Director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, will moderate the discussion.

The event will be held in the conference hall of the Arnell-West building located at 3441 S 2200 W, Salt Lake City, Utah, just southeast of the E-Center.The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM Mountain Time.

Light refreshments will be served.

2008 World Transhumanist Association Board Elections

Five World Transhumanist Association Board members’ terms expire this month, and eight candidates are standing for election to replace them. WTA Board members set policy goals and oversee their implementation, contributing with their experience and expertise to the WTA’s work. The term of service for these seats is two years, which for these five open positions means Jan 20, 2008 - Jan 19, 2010.

Voting in this election is open to all voting members of the association in good standing as of 7pm EST/midnight GMT of Saturday January 5th, 2008. Voting will take place from Monday January 7th, 2008 to 7pm EST/midnight GMT of Sunday January 13th, 2008.

If you are a voting member and do not receive a link to the balloting on Monday please contact the Assistant Director. Note that all voting members of the Mormon Transhumanist Association are voting members of the World Transhumanist Association.

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