Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

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CyBuddha News

Pulp Ethics Exponential tech needs exponential ethics

“McMindfulness”: is Buddhism contaminated by capitalism?” - interview with Terry Hyland

Vajrayana Buddhism:  Preparation for the Posthuman?

Epictetus: What Can We Control?

Review of ‘Against Transhumanism’ by Richard Jones

Seneca On the Proper Use of Time

Be Mindful: Your Pot of Gold Could be Your Grave

CyBuddha Events

Stefan Sorgner @ Meditation & Wirklichkeit Conference in Berlin

2016-11-25 - 26

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

  • Zen and the Brain 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.

    Oct 18, 2015

    Did the Evolution of the Brain… Evolve Our Morality?


    Dr. Patricia Churchland is UC President’s Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego. He popular books such as “Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality” grapple with issues at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience. In this interview, Dr. Churchland explains how the evolution of the mammalian brain may have influenced our underlying core moral values, and her belief that society must be strong yet flexible enough to deal with the moral quagmire of new technologies / values / ways of living as we transition into the future.


    Oct 7, 2015

    Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Does it Work? (Summary, Part 3)

    by Gareth John

    Which brings me to my critique of mindfulness as therapy:

    1.  Firstly, mindfulness is not and should not be viewed as the latest cure-all for those with mental health issues. It is not a panacea. By the time the Buddha started employing it within his teachings it had already had a long history of incremental development within a broader spiritual tradition and this continued up until the end of the last century. Within this tradition it is viewed as a powerful tool designed to do to the brain what the brain specifically does not want to do, i.e. remain uninvolved with thought patterns and feelings as they pass before the practitioner.

    Full Story...

    Oct 7, 2015

    Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Examining the Studies (Part 2)

    by Gareth John

    So is there any hard evidence that mindfulness-based therapies work? Well, the clinical evidence for mindfulness as a way to prevent depression, stress and anxiety appears at first glance to be sound. A review of the eight-week course was published in 2011 in Clinical Psychology Review by Jacob Piet and Esben Hougaard of Aarhus University, Denmark.

    Full Story...

    Oct 7, 2015

    What’s on your Mind? - Mindfulness-Based Therapies and Mental Health (Part 1)

    by Gareth John

    Before I begin, full disclosure and some caveats:

    * In my youth I trained for thirteen years as a Buddhist priest, first with the Japanese Zen tradition and then within the Tibetan tantric tradition. As such, mindfulness based meditation formed the basis of my practice, even when, later in my training, other methods began to be employed.

    Full Story...

    Oct 1, 2015

    Anti-love drugs? The ethics of a chemical break up

    Brian Earp

    Lecture by Brian D. Earp delivered at the University of Oxford on November 30, 2012.


    Sep 17, 2015

    Basic Income and Moral Enhancement

    Singularity Bros

    The Singularity Bros talked with IEET’s J. Hughes about basic income guarantee and moral enhancement.



    Sep 10, 2015

    My Interest Shifted from Mathematics to Consciousness after a THC Experience

    by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

    My interest in consciousness is in part the result of a marijuana experience I had when I was 16. To understand why, I need to provide some context.

    I have always felt an uncompromising need to figure out “what all of this is about.” This goes as far back as I remember. The burning need to know has always been there. What “this” means in “what all of this is about”, has evolved over the years. It has evolved as my understanding of what reality could be has gotten bigger. 

    Full Story...

    Sep 9, 2015

    ‘Spiritual/Philosophical’ is the Deepest, Highest, Most Powerful Dimension of Euphoria

    by Andrés Gómez Emilsson

    I have been mapping out the major axis of the states of consciousness accessible by humans via the use of psychotropic drugs.

    My procedure is: I asked people from all sorts of drug forums online, as well as people in the general population, to answer a survey in which they are required to rate the effects of a drug they have taken (rating them on 30+ attributes such as “cheerful”, “calming” and “mystical”). You can read the methodology and the details of the analysis in here.

    Full Story...

    Aug 27, 2015

    Meditation Apps Evaluated - “Headspace” Receives the Highest Score

    by Hank Pellissier
    Research from the School of Psychology and Counseling at Queensland University of Technology in Australia identified 700 apps associated with “mindfulness” on either iTunes and Google Apps Marketplace. Inclusion criteria was stringent; only apps that cost less than $10 were included.

    Full Story...

    Aug 26, 2015

    Moral Enhancement: Do Means Matter Morally?

    Neuroethics Symposium

    From a symposium at the Brains blog on Farah Focquaert and Maartje Schermer’s paper “Moral Enhancement: Do Means Matter Morally?” (Neuroethics, August 2015)



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