Transhumanist religion 2.0

July 13, 2012 by Giulio Prisco
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Cosmic infinity (credit: ESO/Wikimedia Commons)

Cosmism, an emerging “religion 2.0” that is part of a radical futurist conception of the future development of humanity, can give us the positive optimism and “strenuous mood” to overcome our current problems and embark on our cosmic journey.

So say contemporary cosmists, who believe that the “manifest destiny” of our species is colonizing the universe and developing spacetime engineering and scientific “future magic” much beyond our current understanding and imagination.

These ideas were first developed in the late 19th century by Russian Cosmism, the scientific philosophy of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Nikolai Fedorov, who considered science as a tool given to us by God to enable us to resurrect the dead and, as promised, enjoy immortal life.

Some cosmists — including me — expect that God-like beings will exist in the future, and they may be able to affect their past — our present — by means of spacetime engineering. Probably other civilizations out there have already attained God-like powers.

“It’s at least conceivable that remarkably advanced technology of the future may allow positive answers — that our descendants will have the god-like ability to recreate us in the future, giving us an unexpected prospect for immortality,” says David Wood in Super-technology and a possible renaissance of religion.

Future magic will permit achieving, by scientific means, most of the promises of religions — and many amazing things that no human religion ever dreamed of. Future God-like beings could resurrect the dead by “copying them to the future.” Perhaps we will be resurrected in virtual reality — and perhaps we are already there.

I have written a lot about these convictions, without calling them “beliefs.” But, following William James, since I am persuaded that these convictions are scientifically plausible, and they give me happiness and drive, I choose to hold them as beliefs.


On Saturday, July 14, 2012, in London, Prisco will give a talk on Turing Church unlimited – Transhumanist Religions 2.0, organized by David Wood and the London Futurists Meetup group. The talk is free to attend. You can sign up on the London Futurists Meetup website or on Facebook.

UPDATE 8/15/2012: Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon welcome Giulio Prisco to FastForward Radio to discuss the convergence of science, technology, religion, and spirituality.

Giulio Prisco is transhumanism editor for KurzweilAI. He is a science writer, technology expert, futurist, and transhumanist.