Purpose of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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CyBuddha News

IEET Audience Divided on Left-Right Political Cognitive Biases

Integrating Video Game Mechanics and Meditation Principles to Improve Brain Health

Enhancing Virtues: Fairness (Pt 3)

Enhancing Virtues: Fairness (Pt 2)

Enhancing Virtues: Fairness (pt 1)

1950s “Housewife” Tries LSD

Time to Start Looking At ‘Cyborg’ As a Gender Identity

CyBuddha Events

Buddhist Geeks Mind Hacking Retreat

2015-03-29 - 04
Flat Rock, NC USA

Psymposia - Beyond the War on Drugs
2015-04-17 - 19
Amherst, MA USA

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.
  • Wisebrain.org 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.

    Dec 17, 2013

    But which one is ME? Letting go of our mono-being identity orientation: Poly-beings, here we come!

    by Chris T. Armstrong

    Audience for this essay: You can save yourself from wasting some of your finite and far too short lifespan by totally ignoring this essay if you fall into any of the following three categories…

    Nov 6, 2013

    Radical mindfulness


    James Hughes, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies talks about mindfulness and moral enhancement at TEDxTransmedia, published on Nov 2, 2013

    He’s a bioethicist and sociologist who teaches health policy and serves as Director of Institutional Research and Planning at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. He’s the author of “Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future” and is working on a second book tentatively titled “Cyborg Buddha.”



    Nov 4, 2013

    Understanding consciousness: our future may depend on it

    by Dick Pelletier

    In his latest book, “Self Comes to Mind,” Dr. Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC, defines consciousness as, “the ability that we have to look out on the world and grasp it. It is a way evolution found to increase our effectiveness in dealing with life and its struggles.”

    Oct 11, 2013

    Being & Consciousness

    Adam Ford

    Colin Hales talks about consciousness and being at Future Salon Melbourne which was published on October 11, 2013.

    Colin gets mixed reactions from the audience about dualism, physicalism, neural correlates of consciousness, and talk of linguistics and the all controversial philosophical term, qualia.


    Sep 18, 2013

    A Buddhist Approach to AI

    by Daniel J. Neumann

    Humanity is on the threshold of technologies so great; we may not be mature enough to handle them. The converging technologies predicted by Kurzweil’s Singularity offer technological paradigm-shifts. More interestingly to me, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may become more self-aware than humans. The imperatives for creating smarter-than-human AI sheds light on a possible solution to our blind drive for more technology without consideration.

    Sep 1, 2013

    Does machine consciousness matter?

    by Dylan Chandler

    Named for its creator Alan Turing, the Turing test is meant to test a machine’s intelligence by assessing its conversational abilities (Bieri, 1988, 163). Turing adapted the test to suit machines from an existing test, the Imitation Game, wherein a man and a woman would converse via teletype (Bieri, 1988, 163).

    Sep 1, 2013

    Andy Clark on Extended Mind and the Future of Intelligence


    In contrast to contemporary arguments that using the web is making people and culture dumber and shallower, Andy Clark advocates the idea that knowledgeable use of digital media might, as Doug Engelbart put it, raise the collective IQ of cultures and extend the minds of individuals.

    Andy Clark (BA, DPhil, Stirling) was appointed to the Chair in Logic and Metaphysics in 2004. He teaches at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on Philosophy of Mind, Artificial Intelligence, including robotics, artificial life, embodied cognition, and mind, technology and culture. Prior to that he had taught at the Universities of Glasgow, Sussex, Washington (St Louis), where he was Director of the Philosophy/Neuroscience/Psychology Program, and Indiana.

    From Robocop to the Terminator to Eve 8, no image better captures our deepest fears about technology than the cyborg, the person who is both flesh and metal, brain and electronics. But philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark sees it differently. Cyborgs, he writes, are not something to be feared—we already are cyborgs.

    In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Clark argues that what makes humans so different from other species is our capacity to fully incorporate tools and supporting cultural practices into our existence. Technology as simple as writing on a sketchpad, as familiar as Google or a cellular phone, and as potentially revolutionary as mind-extending neural implants—all exploit our brains' astonishingly plastic nature. Our minds are primed to seek out and incorporate non-biological resources, so that we actually think and feel through our best technologies.

    Drawing on his expertise in cognitive science, Clark demonstrates that our sense of self and of physical presence can be expanded to a remarkable extent, placing the long-existing telephone and the emerging technology of telepresence on the same continuum. He explores ways in which we have adapted our lives to make use of technology (the measurement of time, for example, has wrought enormous changes in human existence), as well as ways in which increasingly fluid technologies can adapt to individual users during normal use. Bio-technological unions, Clark argues, are evolving with a speed never seen before in history.

    As we enter an age of wearable computers, sensory augmentation, wireless devices, intelligent environments, thought-controlled prosthetics, and rapid-fire information search and retrieval, the line between the user and her tools grows thinner day by day. "This double whammy of plastic brains and increasingly responsive and well-fitted tools creates an unprecedented opportunity for ever-closer kinds of human-machine merger," he writes, arguing that such a merger is entirely natural.

    A stunning new look at the human brain and the human self, Natural Born Cyborgs reveals how our technology is indeed inseparable from who we are and how we think.



    Andy Clark - Natural-born Cyborgs? Reflections on Bodies, Minds and Human Enhancement from Center for Values in Sci & Tech on Vimeo.


    Aug 18, 2013

    “We have a moral imperative to research moral enhancement”


    At a TEDx conference in Barcelona last month, Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu shared his views on using medicine and technology for “moral enhancement”. According to Savulescu, humans urgently need to develop their moral capacities if we are to solve the range of “problems we have created for ourselves” (such as high rates of murder and sexual assault). Savulescu discusses the moral enhancement brought about by drugs like Oxytocin and Ritalin—we need more of these moral medicines, he claims, if we are to survive the coming decades.


    Aug 8, 2013

    Will the Posthuman Age be Postmoral?

    by Daryl Wennemann

    A great part of the anxiety associated with the prospect of a posthuman age arises from the possibility that a posthuman age will also be a postmoral age. Francis Fukuyama’s work Our Posthuman Future focused on the possibility that genetically altered human beings might be incapable of recognizing traditional moral boundaries. The traditional Western ideal of the equality of all human persons seems to vanish with the development of superhuman beings.

    Aug 8, 2013

    Dirty Liberals! Cleanliness Priming of Moral Cognition

    Changesurfer Radio

    Dr. J. chats with Erik Helzer (Dept of Psychology, Cornell University) co-author of the paper “Dirty Liberals!: Reminders of physical cleanliness influence moral and political attitudes” in Psychological Science. They discuss the growing literature on the ways that political attitudes are driven by disgust sensitivity, and by disgust priming such as bad smells and sticky hands.  Listen also to the 2004 Changesurfer interview with Martha Nussbaum about her book Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame and the Law. (First broadcast April 5, 2011)


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    Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376