I am concluding my commentary on the Transhumanism and Religion seminar by focusing on the last speaker of the afternoon, Ahman Hax (Lincoln Cannon) of the Mormon Transhumanist Association.
In both Real Life (RL) and Second Life (SL), the MTA are classic Transfigurists and their website is http://www.transfigurism.org
Although I was unable to attend long enough to listen to Elder Hax's presentation in its entirety, he has been very generous with his time and effort to help me understand better the complex nature of Mormon Transhumanism.
The RL media has this lingering stereotype about the typical Mormon as a subservient member of a technologically retrogressive (similar to the Amish stereotype) polygamist cult who goes door to door spreading the word of the Book of Mormon (often confused with Jehovah's Witnesses). This stereotype embedded deep within our secular consciousness may turn to be increasingly problematic once we learn more about their little known (possibly even intentionally obscured) progressive tendencies towards Transhumanism.
So, what do all Mormons believe whether living in SL or RL?
One thing Mormons of all stripes have in common are their 13 articles of faith which are:
1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
So in my next posting, I will be featuring an exclusive interview with Elder Hax which includes his personal interpretation of The Book of Mormon as it relates to Transhumanism.
For the record, Hax wanted to be clear from the start that his interpretation of Mormonism is identical to the authentic/classical version of the faith's doctrine... Here is a quote from him on the subject:
“Regarding authenticity, please be assured that the views I have shared with you are authentically Mormon. For example, Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders have given entire discourses focused on the plurality of gods and deification of humanity, and these continue to be important aspects of contemporary Mormon thought. Not all Mormons will agree with all of the details of the view I have presented to you, but most will agree with the overall vision and most of the details. As in all religions, and all non-religious ideologies, there is a diversity of perspective among Mormons -- we even have our luddites. Recently, a relatively objective look at Mormonism was broadcast on PBS. It does not give enough attention to some matters such as theology, but the information it does provide is generally accurate. You can watch it online here: http://www.pbs.org/mormons/view/” – Ahman Hax/Lincoln Cannon – Mormon Transhumanist Association, 2007
So, with this in mind, please allow me to compose one more blog posting where I articulate my personal meditations about Mormon Transhumanism as well as correspond with Ahman Hax directly about the deeper levels behind Transfigurism...