Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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How Digital Media Finally Enables Distributed Enterprise

The Revenge of the Pagans: Ovid as prophet of the posthuman

Theory and Application of the Extended Mind (Series Index)

Christians Should Support Scientists and Technologists

Artificial Intelligence is Already Here—Artificial Consciousness is What Eludes Us - See more


Buddhism and Robot Ethics

CyBuddha Events

Cyborg Buddha Resources

Altered States of Consciousness and Transcendence

  • Trans-Spirit list a transhumanist research program into religion and spirituality. It seeks to understand religion and spirituality in terms of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, and to project the future of religion and spirituality in the dawning transhuman era.
  • "Trans-Spirit: Religion, Spirituality and Transhumanism," Michael LaTorra, Journal of Evolution and Technology 14(1) August 2005: 39-53.
  • Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Promoting clinical research on psychedelics
  • Council on Spiritual Practices

  • Scientific Study of Consciousness and Neurotechnology

  • Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
  • NeuroInsights a neurotechnology consulting firm directed by Zack Lynch
  • Mind and Life Institute Works on establishing research partnerships between modern science and Buddhism, especially the Dalai Lama.
  • The "neurodharma" project of psychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Rick Mendius, both of whom are Buddhist meditators. They teach a "Train the Brain Course" and have a many talks, slides, and articles at the site.

  • Neuroethics and Cognitive Liberty

  • Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
  • Wikipedia on Cognitive Liberty
  • Neuroethics Society scholars, scientists and clinicians who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience.
  • Neuroethics at UPenn a source of information on neuroethics, provided by Martha Farah of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

  • Happiness, Positive Psychology and The Virtues

  • Positive Psychology Center at UPenn, directed by Martin Seligman
  • Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman.
  • Wikipedia on Positive Psychology
  • Ethics of Mood Enhancement NY Academy of Sciences
  • The Hedonistic Imperative Advocates the development of neurotechnology to permit the elimination of all suffering
  • Abolitionist SocietyPromotes eliminating involuntary suffering and increasing lifelong individual happiness through science

  • Cyborg Buddha Project

    IEET Executive Director James Hughes - a former Buddhist monk and attenuated Buddho-Unitarian - is writing a book tentatively titled Cyborg Buddha: Using Neurotechnology to Become Better People.

    IEET Board member Mike LaTorra - a Zen priest and author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao - runs the Trans-Spirit list promoting discussion of neurotheology, neuroethics, techno-spirituality and altered states of consciousness.

    IEET Board member George Dvorsky - a practicing Buddhist - writes and podcasts frequently from a rationalist, transhumanist, and Buddhist point of view, winning him an award this year as one of the best Buddhist blogs.

    The three of us are launching the IEET 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.

    Jul 11, 2015

    Transhumanist Therapy I: Historical Case Studies

    by William Sims Bainbridge

    Transhumanists typically think of human enhancement in terms of biological and computational technologies that are physical in nature, and yet historically many schools of psychology have aimed to improve people through non-physical therapies, personality training, or methods of self-discovery based on relatively standard theories in social and behavioral science.  The diversity of such approaches is absolutely astonishing, but in their underlying ideologies and treatment practices, some are indistinguishable from religions, others are clearly tied to science, and still others apparently are based on extrapolations from popular notions about the human mind that may or may not be correct.

    Full Story...

    Jul 7, 2015

    Buddhism vs. Utilitarianism - two paths that seek to abolish suffering

    by David Pearce

    Setting aside differences of metaphysic, how closely do the core values of utilitarians/abolitionists and Buddhists coincide? If suffering and its abolition are central to life on Earth, can differences between the two traditions be resolved to questions of means, not ends?

    Full Story...

    Jul 7, 2015

    The “God Helmet” Can Give You Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences

    Big Think

    Steven Kotler explains that a new device and its imitators can trigger “mystical” experiences in the brain. His latest book is Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact (









    Jul 6, 2015

    Humanism, Transhumanism, and Speculative Posthumanism

    by John Danaher

    I have recently been working my through David Roden’s book Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human. It is a unique and fascinating work. I am not sure that I have ever read anything quite like it. In the book, Roden defends a position which he refers to as speculative posthumanism. This holds, roughly, that the future we are creating through technological change could give rise to truly weird and alien forms of posthuman life.

    Full Story...

    Jul 3, 2015

    Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths


    There is a certain mythology that seems to have attached itself to the practice of mediation. There are also a few myths that keep people from enjoying this ancient and life-enhancing daily ritual. Watkins will debunk the 5 most common myths and show you how you can benefit from very simple mediation in just 10 minutes a day.

    Light Watkins is one of the world’s leading experts in meditation and creator of The Inner Gym book series. He has taught meditation in several countries, festivals, corporations, community centers and schools. His diverse list of clients include everyone from Oscar-nominated actors to stand-up comedians, dentists and lawyers.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at





    Jul 2, 2015

    Meditation Changes Your Brain for the Better, Even if You’re Not a Monk

    Big Think

    You don’t have to become a monk to learn from one, says Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neural science and psychology at New York University. Research into how meditation affects the brain is conclusive: Meditating immediately changes the frequency of your brain waves and, after five years, increases the size of white matter bundles in the prefrontal cortex.

    But Suzuki’s best advice is to start small. In her book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better (, she explains that 20 minutes of daily meditation was too large a commitment. So instead of reordering your life, she recommends practicing basic mindfulness exercises like concentrating on your breathing patterns. This technique will help you build your meditation muscle, and start you down a more peaceful and purposeful path.





    Jun 18, 2015

    All Christians Believe in Artificial Intelligence

    by Christopher J. Benek

    “I don’t see Christ’s redemption limited to human beings.”

    That was my quote in an article  about artificial intelligence and religion, in Gizmodo, a popular global technology site. The UK’s Daily Mail followed that with a feature commentary piece that compared my positive comments on AI to the extremely cautionary remarks of Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.

    Full Story...

    Jun 17, 2015

    Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?

    by Nicole Sallak Anderson

    I’m interested in the intersection of consciousness and technology, so when I discovered the Consciousness Hacking MeetUp in Silicon Valley,  (organized by IEET Affiliate Scholar Mikey Siegel) I signed up immediately.

    Soon afterwards, I attended a MeetUp titled, “Enlightened AI”, at Sophia University in Palo Alto.  The talk was led by Google researcher, Mohamad Tarifi, PhD.  Not only is he a bright engineer working on the next level of artificial intelligence at one of the top companies in the Valley, he’s also very well versed in the philosophies of consciousness. From the Abrahamic traditions, to the Buddhists and Eastern teachings, Tarifi displayed a grasp of the whole of humanity unlike any other technologist I’ve met.

    Full Story...

    Jun 14, 2015

    IEET Audience Divided on Role of Reason in Morality

    We asked “Does moral action depend on reasoning?” and 205 of you responded.  About 60% of you felt that both reason and pre-rational sentiments shaped morality, with one in eight holding out for morality based in reason, and one in eight believing that morality is all pre-rational.

    Full Story...

    Jun 2, 2015

    Review of Sam Harris’ “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion”

    by John G. Messerly

    I recently finished Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, and found it a welcome addition to the literature on mindfulness. It also adds to the growing literature that tries to find alternatives to the antiquated religions which are slowly losing their appeal for millions of people. (Just this week a new Pew study chronicled the decline of religion in the USA.)

    Full Story...

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    West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
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