At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia. When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister. “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said. “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers.
Mar 22, 2013
James Hughes - SecularismAdam Ford
Secularism, State Power & Buddhism - (apologies for the echo)
The interview drifts into democratic and libertarian values, state control, humanism & enlightenment values, transhumanism, atheism and buddhism
James Hughes Ph.D., the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, is a bioethicist and sociologist at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut where he teaches health policy and serves as Director of Institutional Research and Planning. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago, where he also taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Dr. Hughes is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future , and is working on a second book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha. Since 1999 he has produced a syndicated weekly radio program, Changesurfer Radio.
Mar 8, 2013
How will religious institutions cope with technological immortality?by Jønathan Lyons
“What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.” – Alice Walker Walker’s words ring profoundly true for me, at the moment. In my sci-fi course (which is actually all about science fiction becoming real-world, bleeding-edge science; personhood; and the technological Singularity; but sci-fi is better shorthand) we’ve just covered a number of approaches to concepts such as mind uploading and immortality.
Feb 19, 2013
Toward a Science of Moralityby Massimo Pigliucci
An annotated response to Michael Shermer: Michael Shermer and I have been engaged in what I hope has been a productive discussion on the relationship between science and philosophy as it concerns the field of ethics. Roughly speaking, Michael contends that science has a lot to say about ethical questions (though he is not quite as reductive as Sam Harris, who contends that science is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to ethics). I respond that science provides informative background but grossly underdetermines ethical issues, which therefore require philosophical reflection. Michael’s opening salvo was followed by my response, with Shermer recently adding some thoughts, further articulating his position. The notes below are my point-by-point commentary on that third round. (Throughout, italics indicates Michael’s writing, with my comments immediately following.)
Jan 23, 2013
Interview with James HughesAdam Ford
Australian transhumanist Adam Ford interviewed IEET Executive Director James J. Hughes at the December 1-2, 2012 Humanity+ meetings in San Francisco, at which Dr. Hughes and many other IEET fellows spoke.
Nov 29, 2012
Preserving the Self for Later Emulation: What Brain Features Do We Need?by John M. Smart
Let me propose to you four interesting statements about the future…
Oct 18, 2012
Buddhism and Cognitive Enhancement: Self-Control, Renunciation, Honesty, and Wisdom (Part 3)by J. Hughes
Neurotechnology can be used to enhance Buddhist virtues such as patience and equanimity; it provides help to those who are genetically disadvantaged.
Oct 17, 2012
Buddhism and Cognitive Enhancement - Chemical Happiness, Generosity and Loving-Kindness (Part 2)by J. Hughes
If the soteriological goal of Buddhism is to alleviate one’s own suffering, and the perfection of virtue is merely a tool to that end, is it possible to skip the enhancement of virtue and just use neurotechnology to eliminate suffering?
Oct 16, 2012
Using Neurotechnologies to Develop Virtues - A Buddhist Approach to Cognitive Enhancement (Part 1)by J. Hughes
Will new tech in genetics and neurology be successfully used to suppress vices and enhance happiness and virtue? Will this accelerate spiritual progress and liberation in the Buddhist traditions? Is it dangerous to manipulate moods?
Oct 9, 2012
Morality in a Pill?by J. Hughes
The tragedy in Colorado (“Batman” mass murder) makes many of us wonder how we could better identify and treat people who are heading into psychopathic rage. [from a sermon delivered at the Unitarian-Universalist Society: East, July 22, 2012 and Unitarian Fellowship of Storrs, September 16, 2012]