Support the IEET




The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.



Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Are We Ready for Designer Babies?

The End of Religion: Technology and the Future

Multifunctional fibers communicate with the brain

The Power of Pull

Yes, Obama “Won Twice” – as a Progressive. Deal With It, Everybody.

Exploring the Learning Experience Through Cognitive Science


ieet books

How “God” Works: A Logical Inquiry on Faith
Author
Marshall Brain


comments

Rick Searle on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

jasoncstone on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

SharZ on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 24, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The End of Religion: Technology and the Future' (Jan 24, 2015)

philosophytorres on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 23, 2015)

Knotanumber on 'Religion’s Dirty Dozen—12 Really Bad Religious Ideas That Have Made the World Worse' (Jan 23, 2015)

Knotanumber on 'Problems with Defining an Existential Risk' (Jan 23, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Bad luck and cancer – did the media get it wrong?
Jan 3, 2015
(18191) Hits
(4) Comments

#8: Future of love and sex: monogamy no longer the default, say experts
Dec 28, 2014
(11546) Hits
(0) Comments

#9: Creating sentient machines with ‘deep learning’ AI technology
Dec 28, 2014
(8896) Hits
(0) Comments

#6: Living for 1,000 years: an ‘out of this world’ future awaits us
Dec 30, 2014
(8482) Hits
(1) Comments



IEET > Vision > Directors > Giulio Prisco

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3816) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Religions for a Galactic Civilization


Giulio Prisco
By Giulio Prisco
Transumanar

Posted: Dec 4, 2007

Religions for a Galactic Civilization is an old (1981) article by William Sims Bainbridge See also Bill’s bio on the IEET site and my article on the Spanish magazine “Muy Interesante”, adapted from an interview with Bill recorded at Transvision 2006, where he talks about NBIC, life extension and mind uploading.

image

One of my first impressions after reading “Religions for a Galactic Civilization” today for the first time is that it is dated (well, it was written 26 years ago). If Bill were to write the same article today, he would probably mention NBIC technologies (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences) besides space travel and colonization. I hope he would give less space to Scientology, and I am sure he would discuss the works of transhumanist thinkers in great detail. I think the first sentence quoted below could be written, today, as “We need a new transhumanist social movement capable of giving a sense of transcendent purpose to dominant sectors of the society”.

Actually I am very curious to know how Bill would write this paper today. I will ask him and I hope he will comment.

Some quotes from “Religions for a Galactic Civilization”:

To become fully interplanetary, let alone interstellar, our society would need another leap—and it needs that leap very soon before world culture ossifies into secure uniformity. We need a new spaceflight social movement capable of giving a sense of transcendent purpose to dominant sectors of the society. It also should be capable of holding the society in an expansionist phase for the longest possible time, without permitting divergence from its great plan. In short, we need a galactic religion, a Church of God Galactic…

The human condition is one of extreme absurdity unless fixed in a cosmic context to provide meaning. Human societies need faith, and if they lose traditional faiths they will struggle to discover new faiths, lest they collapse. Many intelligent species probably end progress in a stew of mysticism, drugs, and decadent social institutions which finally petrifies into a form of living extinction. Most of the rest destroy themselves more violently. A precious few, and we may be the first of this rare breed in our neighborhood, progress so rapidly, stimulated and guided by transcendent social movements, that they achieve interstellar communication and colonization before entering a static cultural phase.

Once colonization is under way, a relatively static culture is quite consistent with further expansion, as James Blish noted in his classic tetralogy of novels, Cities in Flight.[26] Indeed, isolated colonies may re-ignite rapid progress as they cope with the challenges of alien environments. A species which does conquer the stars will have developed a culture including a cosmic religious faith well-adapted to continue expansion indefinitely. Spread across thousands of worlds, it greatly increases the chance that still greater cultural mutations will emerge which lead to higher levels of development currently beyond our capacity to imagine.

Thus it is wrong to feel that irrational religion must always be a hindrance to progress. I have suggested that only a transcendent, impractical, radical religion can take us to the stars. The alternative is one or another form of ugly death. A successful outcome depends on a kind of lucky insanity, and it is quite unlikely. But for our species, at least it is still possible.


Giulio Prisco is a physicist and computer scientist, and former senior manager in the European space administration. Giulio works as a consultant and contributes to several science and technology magazines. In 2002-2008 he served on the Board of Directors of Humanity Plus, of which he was Executive Director, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Italian Transhumanist Association. He is often in Hungary, Italy and Spain. You can find more about Giulio at his Turing Church, RSS feed and skefi'a science/fiction, RSS feed.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (3817) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Sad news: IEET Advisor Peter Houghton has died

Previous entry: Old People Are People Too

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376