Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, July 1

“Mormon/ LDS | Battleground Pre-Earth Life and this Earth Life: God’s Plan of Salvation vs. Satan’s Plan of Making Men ‘Be as Gods’ and Transhumanism” by grego

Mormon/ LDS | Battleground Pre-Earth Life and this Earth Life: God’s Plan of Salvation vs. Satan’s Plan of Making Men ‘Be as Gods’

grego
(c)2011

In the beginning, there were two plans.

One was God the Father’s plan: a sifting, and a Savior—Jesus volunteered, and was accepted.

The other was Satan’s plan: no sifting but Godhood for all, and a Savior–him. Of course his plan was impossible (I wrote another article on this), but he still pushed it.

A war was fought, and 1/3 of the spirits in heaven (not having come here to earth yet to receive a body) were compelled to leave.

I’ve thought, so how did Satan convince so many others, even in the presence of God the Father, Jesus, and many more righteous people, that his plan was better?

I think you’ll see many of his same strategies being used now for the same purposes, often morphed just a bit to fit each situation and person better.

I think the biggest and strongest is something like this: “God does not love you, and in fact He is your enemy; He has a hidden evil purpose in not wanting to give you eternal life; I am your true friend that can help you overcome Him”.

Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, *Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil*.

Remember the first great temptation: “ye shall be as Gods”, with the impression that if Eve obeyed him and ate the fruit, it would be such. Well, yes, Eve and Adam would know good and evil—but this would hardly make them Gods!

This has always been Satan’s big lie—“Listen to me, follow me, and I will teach you the real way, and you will be Gods; because God is scared of you, so he oppresses, misleads, and lies to you.”

“I am the way to “get back at” God when He hurts you—by not receiving your sacrifices (Cain), by not answering your prayers like you want, by not giving you the power, the money, the faith, the lack of negativity, the knowledge/ light that you want.

The blessings of obedience to God are not discussed; the ills inherent with mortal experience are not acknowledged; the curses of disobedience to God are not discussed.

Adam and Eve are cursed for partaking of the fruit. Interestingly, they are also blessed! They can now fulfill the commandment to multiply and fill the earth with children, they gain knowledge necessary to become gods, they learn and experience the atonement and gospel of Jesus Christ, and they die—to be later resurrected.

Many myths have the same type of theme as Satan in the Adam and Eve story, the main one being Prometheus, who helps Zeus become god; Prometheus and a tricky false sacrifice that angers Zeus; the witholding of fire (and knowledge) from mankind; Prometheus steals the fire of the gods and gives it to man; etc. Note that in these myths, the “helper” or “champion of mankind” is good and the gods are stingy, distant, cold, unforgiving, not to be topped, and punish the helper and the humans that have been helped.

Some do not equate Satan with Lucifer, but with God; Lucifer is man’s friend: “Gnostics believe that this Serpent Lucifer is the liberator of man and the world. It is wisdom, the liberating Gnosis that wakes man up and saves him. Of course, this Messenger of the Unknowable God, Lucifer, is an opponent and an enemy of the creator of the world” (http://theforbiddenreligion.com/lucifer-the-liberator.htm).

Then, there is this:
Genesis 3:22 ¶And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Ah, see, God is scared! God doesn’t want man to live forever/ be immortal like Him! He is selfish of this gift. As one gnostic believer has put it:

“When we were talking about the creator of the world, we said that for Gnostics, the creator, the demiurge, the creator of matter, the universe and man can be likened to satan, since matter is satanic, all creation is satanic and the creator is a satanic being. This creator oppresses man. Since the creation of man, he has forced him to carry out his orders and obey his precepts and commands. This creator wants to be obeyed by man, admired, feared and adored by him by means of sacrifices and rituals. He wants to impose his oppressive rules on man. He wants man to obey him and renounce his own wishes, which are very often the desires of his Spirit, of this Spiritual Self that, although ignored by man is carried within him. The creator, according to Gnosis, has a plan for his creation, which is why he created the universe and placed man in it. He has a plan he wants to press ahead with and he needs man in order to do this. However he needs man to act in agreement with his orders, those of the creator, and not according to the desires of the Spirit. The demiurge does not allow the Spirit, shackled in the soul of man, to manifest Itself. He wants man to act through his soul and not his Spirit. For this reason it is necessary to oppress man, frighten and worry him. He is a god who oppresses his creatures completely” (http://theforbiddenreligion.com/satan-the-oppressor.htm).

The Nehorites picked up on man’s desire for immortality and this “God is in opposition of man” theme of Satan’s:
Alma 12:20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state, that the soul can never die?
21 What does the scripture mean, which saith that God placed cherubim and a flaming sword on the east of the garden of Eden, lest our first parents should enter and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and live forever? And thus we see that there was no possible chance that they should live forever.
22 Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did fall by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a lost and fallen people.
23 And now behold, I say unto you that if it had been possible for Adam to have partaken of the fruit of the tree of life at that time, there would have been no death, and the word would have been void, making God a liar, for he said: If thou eat thou shalt surely die.

Alma turns the tables: God is not a liar, and if He had given Adam and Eve immortality, He would have lied. He has a much better plan that includes death, but then something greater than just “living forever”.

Here’s the real truth: the natural man is fearful of death. The natural man wants immortality, NOW—not death, judgment by God, and then something much better than immortality. He wants special knowledge that puts him beyond God, “unto himself”, and gives him the edge in all things in this life—including being able to remain “at the top” forever.

It is interesting to note that Cain, Satan’s first full follower, seems to be in a state of “immortality”, from his normal life to now (almost 6,000 years now), as related by President Kimball (quoting Smoot relating the incident regarding the apostle, Elder David Patten):
“As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me… I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die…”

Also interesting, is that in that human-envied state of immortality, Cain “earnestly seeks death”, but can never find it. (I guess that helps him with “his mission… to destroy the souls of men”.)

So, true Satanists/ Luciferians are in a search for immortality.

In steps Transhumanism.

First, to transhumanists: just being a transhumanist isn’t the same as being a Luciferian using transhumanism for immortality. There, is that enough? I hope so.

Lucifer has great wordly and natural-law knowledge, and he can give this to his followers—for a price.

By stepping up transhumanism, followers of Lucifer can prolong life easier, better, and longer than before. In other words, through power, money/ riches, and knowledge, followers of Lucifer can better attain “immortality”, in addition to power, money/riches, and knowledge.

UPDATE: Judging by the comments, I can see that most flew by this part: “First, to transhumanists: just being a transhumanist isn’t the same as being a Luciferian using transhumanism for immortality. There, is that enough? I hope so.” Either that, or it wasn’t enough. Please, reread that before commenting.

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33 Comments »

  1. So… this would make Alexander Fleming a very evil guy, because he increased the lifespan of the human race…? Do you refuse things that make your life easier, better or longer? would God wish us to refuse those things? “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

    Comment by Matthew J Price — 2011, July 13 @ 3:51 pm

  2. I believe that the central problem here is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of the proper balance between works and grace.

    I have faith that death is part of God’s plan, and that God will eventually grant me immortality as a gift of grace, in fact, He will give this gift to all, and all will be saved (in this sense) but the Sons of Perdition (see D&C 76:43). If I am worthy, and do “all that I can do” to live a life of goodness, then I will also be granted eternal life, and given the power to become like God through the grace of Christ’s infinite atonement.

    On the other hand, this faith doesn’t lead me to go out and step in front of a buss, nor does it lead me to refuse potential medical means for moderate life extension, or even for radical life extension for that matter. Methuselah didn’t violate God’s plan by living for a long time, and neither did the three Nephites. If I too want to live and serve in His kingdom until He comes, that does not mean that I am following Lucifer’s plan. The fact that one group seem to have achieved their long lives from faith while transhumanists want to receive it through works, technology, and science does not mean that one is inherently good while the other is inherently evil. Nor is it fair to equate Lucifer’s plan of exaltation for all without any testing with transhumanists plan for immortality and a better life for all. Indeed, the transhumanist vision looks more like God’s plan for ALL his children (again read D&C 76:43) than it looks like Lucifer’s plan.

    Pure religion is to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, serve those in need, heal the sick, and create a better world for all. As James so eloquently teaches us, this is about granting real, literal, physical, earthly, temporal aid. The sort of aid that in the past has best been provided through advances in technology. That last is nothing but a historically undeniable fact. Technology leads to increased prosperity, and thus to a reduction in poverty, and thus to James’ “pure religion.” Of course we must also teach the gospel, but that priority does not absolve us from providing James’ pure religion. Doing this is a priority of our religious conviction. In other words, we are quite literally commanded to TRY to build heaven on earth as best we can, while at the same time waiting for God’s kingdom to come, and his will do be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are commanded to strive to build Zion, through works as well as through faith.

    A Luddite interpretation of our religion essentially denies its most fundamental aspect, charity, love, and compassion for all.

    If the Telestial kingdom is really so much better than this world, and if ALL God’s children will eventually inherit that glory or greater, and we are commanded to seek by works that which we expect to be given by grace and faith, then a desire for the goals of transhumanism (and even those of the singularity) is nothing more than the logical extension of the doctrine of works and grace.

    Comment by James L. Carroll — 2011, July 13 @ 4:20 pm

  3. Isn’t the purpose of God’s existence “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”? (Moses 1:39). You seem to be saying that’s what Satan wanted and God wanted something else.

    Are you saying that if humans find a way to get closer to immortality through technology, that’s bad? Was extending life expectancy from the age of about 40 (1900) to the age of 75-80 (2000) a bad thing to do?

    Mormon theology doesn’t seem to teach that Satan’s plan included “Godhood for all”. Satan’s plan was to remove the element of choice, but without that element Godhood isn’t possible. So people would live mortal lives and return to Heavenly Father in a still-imperfectable state, with all the glory and the only Godhood going to Satan alone.

    Or is that not the case?

    Comment by Anonymous — 2011, July 13 @ 4:28 pm

  4. Is it wrong for Christians to desire and believe in the eventual immortality of humanity? Is there not Latter-day prophecy that the transfiguration and eventual resurrection would be gradual processes attended to by humans on earth under God’s direction? Do Mormons not also believe that all scientific knowledge is arrived at by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Have not latter-day prophets taught that all miracles are accomplished in accordance with natural law (i.e. through technological means)? Are we not also taught that it is our responsibility to participate in the process by which salvation will be brought to the entire human family and that we should not expect God to do our part for us? Does Christ not teach that we are connected to him in an intimate relationship (vine/branches) through which we bring about his purposes on earth, take upon ourselves his divine nature and in the end appear like him? Did Paul not also teach that the Lord’s church resembled the body of Christ itself, again pointing to our intimate relationship as those who are begotten in his image and take his name upon us? (In case you don’t agree, I can hunt down quotes to back all these propositions up–just in a hurry right now.)

    Your attitude all depends on your perspective. To some people, “I am a child of God” is blasphemous. To others it is a simple and beautiful way of describing our ultimate purpose and potential. Much the same can be said of the Mormon/Christian Transhumanist participatory approach to salvation vs. the Calvinist Absolutist God saving his utterly depraved creatures through no merit of their own.

    Check out http://transfigurism.org for more interesting thoughts and quotes on this subject.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 13 @ 4:32 pm

  5. Hi Grego. Radical life extension is compatible with Mormon scripture. For example, please consider this: http://lincoln.metacannon.net/2011/01/look-and-live-meditation-on-3-nephi-28.html

    Comment by Lincoln Cannon — 2011, July 13 @ 4:38 pm

  6. Considering this post, could you share a little about what you think about the Mormon Transhumanist Association? http://transfigurism.org/

    Are these fellow saints Satanic? Ignorantly following Satan? Deceived? Should they be disciplined? If the organization is Satanic, then should those members be allowed temple recommends? Is there a difference between something being similar to Satan’s plan without necessarily being evil?

    I look forward to your response.

    Comment by JBacon — 2011, July 13 @ 11:11 pm

  7. Greco needs to study what TransHumanism actually IS before commenting on it in print. Perhaps then he can explain why the contributions of science and technology to humanity (including the internet used to make his point) should be summarily dismissed as being good for us and why they are not a part of our advancement toward an advanced society of peace such as the Prophets have envisioned.

    Comment by NeoDan — 2011, July 14 @ 1:06 am

  8. Hi Grego,

    I’ve got a question. Are you quoting these Gnostic beliefs in agreement, or are you ridiculing them? It’s hard for me to tell. I don’t really understand what this kind of Gnosticism is.

    Also, would you consider yourself a “person of faith”? If so, then why would you be so quick to give up faith and hope, and apparently take the most pessimistic, hateful, and judgment interpretation of what fellow beings are like, what the world is like, and most everything you are quoting here? To me, this is all evidence of a person very much lacking in faith, and a person that is very hateful and judgmental, that is seeking to frustrate the wills of people they should love rather than hate and frustrate.

    Can we, as good Mormons, not have faith and hope that we might be able to get everyone, much more of, if not eventually everything they want, and never give up, whether in this life or the next, till we achieve this? Hopefully sooner rather than latter? And support and collaborate with all working towards this, whether they are also seeking the help of your particular God, in the particular way you think is right or not?

    Brent Allsop

    Comment by brentallsop — 2011, July 14 @ 1:36 am

  9. I’m not really sure who “Greco” is, but I guess I’ll respond in his behalf…
    Please read the “UPDATE” at the bottom of the post.

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 3:34 am

  10. Hi JBacon,
    Please read the “UPDATE” at the bottom of the post.
    Thanks,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 3:34 am

  11. Grego, thanks for emphasizing your comment that Luciferianism and Transhumanism are not the same thing. Do you agree that some forms of Transhumanism are compatible with Christianity and Mormonism?

    Comment by Lincoln Cannon — 2011, July 14 @ 3:39 am

  12. Hi Anonymous,

    I’d say that’s not the case. We’d get it all, through Satan. And he’d get the glory.
    I’d be interested in understanding your belief that Satan would achieve Godhood by doing this.
    -=

    Satan’s plan was to remove the element of choice, but without that element Godhood isn’t possible.

    I agree. See a similar post here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/satans-greatest-lie-by-grego/

    Best wishes,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 3:40 am

  13. Hi Matthew J Price,

    Please read the bottom of the post.

    Sincerely,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 3:56 am

  14. Hi Brent,

    Please see that link for more about this gnosticism.

    I’m not sure what you mean by all of that…?

    Best wishes,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 4:00 am

  15. Hi Grego,

    I saw the update and the line in the original. Let me rephrase slightly so I can explain why my questions still stand. You say “TO” transhumanists, meaning that transhumanists themselves don’t consider their views Satanic, but that says nothing as to what you are claiming as far as how they should be seen. So if we set aside the possibility that these fellow saints are actively seeking to follow Satan, then we have to figure out how everyone else should view these active members who also see transhumanism as valid. So let me repost my questions and ask once again how you and others do or should look at the Mormon Transhumanist Association.

    “Are these fellow saints Satanic? Ignorantly following Satan? Deceived? Should they be disciplined? If the organization is Satanic, then should those members be allowed temple recommends? Is there a difference between something being similar to Satan’s plan without necessarily being evil?”

    Comment by JBacon — 2011, July 14 @ 4:38 am

  16. Hey Grego,

    I see you’re somewhat overrun with comments, so I won’t press further. I just wanted you to know that I felt your update did not address my questions whatsoever.

    Matthew J

    Comment by Matthew J Price — 2011, July 14 @ 5:21 am

  17. Lincoln,

    Wow, someone who read it! :) Thanks.

    As to your question: Yes, I currently do.
    It does come to a point, though… That I believe has to do both with principle, and implementation.

    Few “things” are intrinsically evil (just like people). As with most things, there are those who will try to use it for good, and those who will try to use it for bad. Yes, I do believe very firmly that evil people are using and will use Transhumanism in their purposes. And sometimes they make it seem like nothing bad to others.

    Some movies that touch on these themes: “The Island”; “The 6th Day”, “A.I.”, “Hardwired”, “Wall-E”, etc.

    Thanks,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 5:32 am

  18. Thanks for clarifying, Grego. I feel that your original post does not sufficiently reflect the breadth of your views. Perhaps it would be more accurate to express the idea that change, in itself, is not necessarily a good thing; Transhumanism in itself is good only to the extent that Transhumanists advocate good change. I would completely agree with that, even identifying as a Transhumanist.

    Comment by Lincoln Cannon — 2011, July 14 @ 5:46 am

  19. JBacon wrote:

    Hi Grego,
    I saw the update and the line in the original. Let me rephrase slightly so I can explain why my questions still stand. You say “TO” transhumanists, meaning that transhumanists themselves don’t consider their views Satanic, but that says nothing as to what you are claiming as far as how they should be seen. So if we set aside the possibility that these fellow saints are actively seeking to follow Satan, then we have to figure out how everyone else should view these active members who also see transhumanism as valid. So let me repost my questions and ask once again how you and others do or should look at the Mormon Transhumanist Association.
    “Are these fellow saints Satanic? Ignorantly following Satan? Deceived? Should they be disciplined? If the organization is Satanic, then should those members be allowed temple recommends? Is there a difference between something being similar to Satan’s plan without necessarily being evil?”

    Hi JBacon,

    “fellow saints”? What do you mean by “fellow”? ;)
    -=
    To me, asking how transhumanists should be seen is a subset of asking, “How should *anyone* be seen?”
    Feminists? RLDS? abortionists? criminals? communists? anarchists? etc.
    I don’t really see “anyone”.
    I do see things/ beliefs/ etc., though.
    -=
    JBacon wrote: “Are these fellow saints Satanic? Ignorantly following Satan? Deceived? Should they be disciplined? If the organization is Satanic, then should those members be allowed temple recommends?
    I imagine some are Satanic and some are ignorantly following Satan, that some are deceived, some should probably be disciplined, etc. Of course, that comment also applies to those in the LDS church. IF I got to know the organization, and especially the people in it, then I would likely be able to judge better.
    -=
    JBacon wrote: “Is there a difference between something being similar to Satan’s plan without necessarily being evil?”
    Sure. Satan’s plan is something similar to God’s plan. Which means:
    1. God’s plan is similar to Satan’s plan.
    2. There might be a lot of truth in Satan’s plan.
    3. Three spirits: bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/book-of-mormon-three-spirits-god-devil-and-man-by-grego/ .
    4. Personally, I would go for all, but I know not all people will; more is better than none.

    Best wishes,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 5:52 am

  20. Grego,

    I’ve been instructed, with careful reading, that you are merely pointing out that evil people may also gain better, easier and longer lives, as well as saints. This is certainly true, people may do what they will with the tools that technology gives, but I suppose my concern is, you seem to be saying that I ought not be a transhumanist. I just don’t see how that would do anything about luciferians (spelling?) or improve my life. Do I understand correctly?

    Matthew J

    Comment by Matthew J Price — 2011, July 14 @ 6:03 am

  21. James L. Carroll wrote: “Nor is it fair to equate Lucifer’s plan of exaltation for all without any testing with transhumanists plan for immortality and a better life for all.”

    No, it wouldn’t be fair. However, immortality would be. The Book of Mormon makes that very clear, especially Alma and Amulek to the Ammonihahites and the Zoramites.
    -=
    Technology leads to increased prosperity, and thus to a reduction in poverty, and thus to James’ “pure religion.”
    I disagree. It *can* be a wonderful tool, and often is.
    Technology *also* leads to poverty, a reduction in prosperity, and thus fits in to Satan’s plan to bring us into bondage and away from freedom.
    -=
    “We are commanded to strive to build Zion, through works as well as through faith.”
    I agree.
    -=
    “…then a desire for the goals of transhumanism (and even those of the singularity) is nothing more than the logical extension of the doctrine of works and grace.”
    Ummm…

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 6:08 am

  22. Grego, your update doesn’t address most of the comments here. Also, the movies you list point out potential challenges resulting from increased technological capacity, but none of them definitively represent transhumanism. Transhumanists are usually MORE aware of the potential challenges of technological progress than their peers. Part of the movement is seeking to be aware of these challenges and how to avoid or overcome them. Hopefully you can see the futility of taking an arbitrary point in human history and saying “thus far and no further canst thou go.” If it were not for the astounding advances in technology that took place in the last few decades, you would not be blogging. So apparently you have at least some appreciation for these gifts.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 14 @ 6:32 am

  23. #4 Carl (and some others),

    If you want to comment on the particular post, that’s fine. I think if you want to plug your own ideas and organization, you can do that in other ways. Does that make sense? I have more to do than sit here all day; I’m sure we all do, right? I’m not into transhumanism as my thing, nor as my pet peeve. Here are a few good threads to read; you’ll find that my POV is similar to that of VC, IIRC: http://www.vigilantcitizen.com, search “transhumanism”. Especially this one: vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/transhumanism-psychological-warfare-and-b-e-p-s-imma-be/ .

    In essence: there are many “good desires”; do you agree? Yet, some of them oppose God’s plans (look at Jesus telling Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan”). Are all means good if the end is good? No. As Jesus said, his betrayal was part of God’s plan, but woe to that man! Are all ends good if the means are good? Not necessarily, either. I think you will have a hard time connecting all those answers to those those gospel questions to transhumanism.

    Singularity? Nope, I don’t see that as part of God’s plan.

    It’s God’s plan that Immortality won’t come through machines and transhumanism–though that doesn’t make it inherently or necessarily bad. As I said, though, there are problems with principles and practices, and lots of potential (that I have no doubt will become fulfilled) for incredible leaps in Satan’s plan.

    If all technological inspiration comes through the Holy Spirit, does the Holy Spirit put it into man’s heart to make weapons of war, then show him how?

    Do all miracles happen through technology? No–though they do happen according to law. (Of course, that also depends on what one means by “technology”, but generally, I’ll say no.)

    All in all: God is not a machine/ robot. Robots aren’t children of God. God created man, and saw that it was good. We don’t become gods by becoming robots. We don’t help others become robots, thereby making them more like God. We don’t give others immortality through giving them robotic body parts. Etc. Does all that POV make sense?

    I think it’s more a question of what one means by “transhumanism”, what are the means, what are the ends, and what are the limits; but the way I see it presented here, there are problems.

    If you have something related to my post, feel free to comment!
    (www.vigilantcitizen.com has much more people who are interested in debating transhumanism, and someone who has much more time to answer your questions indepth.)

    Best wishes,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 6:34 am

  24. Grego, I think that, on balance, technology has done much more to lift people from poverty than to increase it. Please cite some examples to the contrary, if you can.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 14 @ 6:37 am

  25. #24 Carl,

    WMD?
    Technology is nothing more than a tool, not an inherently good thing or things. I believe that overall, most people use or would like to us it in good ways.

    Best wishes,
    grego

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 6:40 am

  26. #22, Carl Youngblood:

    (I’ll start using numbers or quotes, this has gotten out of context from the posting viewing, sorry)

    Carl wrote: “Transhumanists are usually MORE aware of the potential challenges of technological progress than their peers.”
    I agree.
    -=
    Carl wrote: “Hopefully you can see the futility of taking an arbitrary point in human history and saying “thus far and no further canst thou go.””
    Yet that is what God often does, correct? Look at the Tree of Life, the Flood, the tower of Babel, etc.
    -=
    “So apparently you have at least some appreciation for these gifts.”
    Absolutely! And it’s clear the LDS Church does, too.

    Comment by grego — 2011, July 14 @ 6:48 am

  27. Grego, if all miracles occur in accordance with natural law then they are all accomplished technologically, whether or not you realize it. If you accept that physical laws aren’t being violated, then God is using some technological means to accomplish these changes, even if these means do not seem machine-like to you. Our bodies are also machines, even if they don’t look like “robots.” They follow natural laws. It seems to me that you are too focused on the off-putting aesthetics of primitive representations of technology.

    I completely agree that technology is only a tool. God uses it to do great things. Others may use it for evil. It is also not the only tool. Other tools would include benevolence, faith, hope charity etc.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 14 @ 7:32 am

  28. One more thing. I don’t think the scriptural examples you gave are prohibitions on technological progress. Setting aside symbolic interpretations of this passage, the people of Babel were not mature enough for their pursuit. Even if their language hadn’t been confounded, they would have been unable to complete their task for lack of architectural capability, or barring that they would have run out of oxygen at a certain altitude. Regardless, their quest was doomed to failure. I suggest you will get a lot more out of your reading of this event if you interpret it symbolically. As far as the tree of life is concerned, it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with tech. progress either. I think you will also fail to get the full value of this passage if you can’t also understand it symbolically, in addition to the literal interpretation.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 14 @ 7:41 am

  29. I guess I would revise my last statement to say that the tree of life allegory can have much to do with technological progress if interpreted symbolically, but I don’t see the passage as a prohibition on progress, rather I see immortality/eternal life as the ultimate goal of humanity and the barriers to this goal being various physical and spiritual obstacles. Physical, for example in the aging process and other causes of death. Spiritual in the sense of our unwillingness to overcome various forms of enmity and cooperate in a Christlike way. Mormons believe that is the whole point of the restoration, to overcome these obstacles through God’s help, lest the entire earth be smitten with a curse.

    Comment by Carl Youngblood — 2011, July 14 @ 7:50 am

  30. I wrote: “Nor is it fair to equate Lucifer’s plan of exaltation for all without any testing with transhumanists plan for immortality and a better life for all.”

    You responded: “No, it wouldn’t be fair. However, immortality would be. The Book of Mormon makes that very clear, especially Alma and Amulek to the Ammonihahites and the Zoramites.”

    I believe that you misunderstand those verses. Because Judgment comes at the time one “eats of the fruit of the tree of life” if they had eaten it at that point, they would have lived FOREVER in their sins.

    On the other hand…

    If I achieve immortality through transhumanism, then I live here, striving to overcome my sins and serving God’s children and His Church, until the Millennium, at which point I am resurrected (God, being a better transhumanist than me, perfects my body), Redeems and perfects my soul, and makes me like Him… thus, immortality through transhumanism ISN’T the same thing that Alma and Amulek are trying to teach to the Ammonihahites and the Zoramites (and to Coriantomur who seems to have the same doctrinal problems).

    I wrote:

    Technology leads to increased prosperity, and thus to a reduction in poverty, and thus to James’ “pure religion.”

    You responded:

    I disagree. It *can* be a wonderful tool, and often is.
    Technology *also* leads to poverty, a reduction in prosperity, and thus fits in to Satan’s plan to bring us into bondage and away from freedom.

    Response: Read Matt Ridley, “The Rational Optimist” for a better idea of how this works… or my several blog posts on the subject here: http://jlcarroll.blogspot.com/2011/05/welcome-to-future-why-i-am-optimist.html, and here: http://jlcarroll.blogspot.com/2011/06/gdp-going-further-back-optimism-again.html. Although I agree that technology is just a tool, and can have good or bad consequences depending on how it is used, the vast evidence of history is that it produces FAR more good than bad. Even your “WMD” argument misses the point that since the development of WMD’s, deaths from war have dropped substantially as men have been forced to find other ways of dealing with their differences.

    You wrote: “All in all: God is not a machine/ robot. Robots aren’t children of God. God created man, and saw that it was good. We don’t become gods by becoming robots. We don’t help others become robots, thereby making them more like God. We don’t give others immortality through giving them robotic body parts. Etc. Does all that POV make sense?”

    No, it doesn’t make sense. You seem to misunderstand what a “Robot” and a “Body” are. Perhaps this is purely definitional, but as someone who works with Robots, and who has spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out the difference between a Robot and a body, I think that your differentiation makes no sense. Our current robots are quite different from biological bodies, but that is because our current robots still remarkably primitive. But the fundamental nature of actuators, perceptors, and signalling pathways doesn’t change just because you build them out of cells instead of wires. The distinction between biology and technology is fast shrinking as we learn to technologically manipulate biology.

    Let me take this one part at a time:

    “All in all: God is not a machine/ robot” The scriptures claim that God has a body, I agree with the scriptures. A body IS just a biologically constructed robot… therefore no… this isn’t true, God is indeed a Robot, as are you, as am I. The only question is, “what KIND of a robot do we want to be? A better one, or a worse one?”

    “Robots aren’t children of God.” I am a Robot, and so are you… But I AM a child of God. So this doesn’t make any sense.

    “God created man, and saw that it was good.” And then God promised to make man even “more good” in the resurrection. God IS a transhumanist, of that there can be no doubt, because God promises to help man transcend his biology, and perfect his body, making it into something better than it is now. That is the definition of a transhumanist.

    “We don’t become gods by becoming robots.” Of course not, we already are robots, we don’t need to “become” robots. We become Gods when God changes our bodies and our souls, and make them perfect. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work to change our imperfect bodies to make them better in the meantime. Once you drop this artificial robot/biology differentiation, then the only difference is whether we become gods through works or through faith. THAT is the only real distinction here. And we can answer that question, we become like God “by grace, after all we can do.”

    “We don’t help others become robots, thereby making them more like God. We don’t give others immortality through giving them robotic body parts”

    Umm. Why not? It is clear that God will eventually make me immortal by fixing my broken biological robotic body parts. Why shouldn’t I help people by taking them part of the way there now?

    Comment by James L. Carroll — 2011, July 15 @ 8:24 pm

  31. As I understand it, the LDS church believes that God’s plan consists of freedom of choice and agency. God gives us commandments and ultimately we have the agency, freedom, and choice to choose for ourselves whether or not we want to follow His commandments. Satan’s plan on the other hand “was to remove the element of choice”. Satan’s plan takes away our freedom and our agency and we don’t have a say in the matter anymore. Well anyways, back during the last political election the LDS church legislated against gay marriage. In other words, the LDS church fought to eliminate people’s freedom and agency to choose for themselves who they want to marry. The church fought to make gay marriage illegal, hence taking away people’s freedom and agency to choose who they want to marry. Isn’t that Satan’s plan? Isn’t that taking away freedom of choice and agency and replacing it with an authoritarian stance, one of dictating what people can and can’t do in their own lives? As I understand it, we are born into this world with unalienable rights and with agency and freedom to choose what we want to do with our personal lives. But I just don’t see how the LDS church can justify legislating to take away people’s freedom and agency to choose for themselves who they want to marry? That’s Satan’s plan in my eyes. I don’t see how God’s one and only true church on the face of this planet is fighting to take away people’s God-given unalienable rights, freedom, and agency. That’s satan’s plan. God’s plan would be to let people choose for themselves who they want to marry. How can the LDS church promote making gay marriage illegal, which is the same thing as taking away people’s unalienable rights and agency? That’s clearly leaning more towards satan’s plan in my opinion

    Comment by Nate — 2011, December 3 @ 5:19 am

  32. Hi Nate,

    Let’s review a few things that might help you understand why the LDS Church might do that:

    First, remember that when Satan tried to corrupt God’s plan and enforce his own plan, he and those that followed him were kicked out of heaven and denied further blessings. (A lesson to remember.)

    Second, every right *cannot* be a right if it infringes on others’ rights. (As an example, in the extreme, this would mean that if you try to limit my killing of someone, you are taking away my right to freedom. Nonsense, right?)

    Third, certain rights are inalienable, and others are granted and restricted by social contract. Marriage is a definition and traditional societal thing; the LDS Church was supportive of rights as rights, but to keep the definition of “marriage” as it was. (And in fact, I wonder if that was too little…)

    Fourth, history says (following Will Durant) that every civilization that has embraced homosexuality has *fallen*, along with its children (taking *their* inalienable rights away from them). (If others want that for their rights, ok; but I don’t want that for me, for my children, for their children on down, nor for America.)

    Fifth, the homosexual movement is for *enforced* equality in not just action, but even word and thought; it is a very hypocritical movement, by its own admission, in that it wants its own rights at the cost of everyone else’s rights, including (or maybe even better said, especially) children’s rights. (They’re not the first, of course; but of course I will go for legislation against it.)

    I hope that’s enough to see why the LDS Church supported the keeping of marriage to its original definition.

    Comment by grego — 2011, December 5 @ 5:32 am

  33. Nate, I think that your view of the gay marriage issue misunderstands the LDS Church’s position. The LDS Church has NEVER sought to make homosexuality illegal. That would indeed represent an issue of free choice. To the contrary, on several occasions the Church has spoken out against “gay bullying” and has even suggested that we need to give homosexual couples equal rights with regard to housing etc. The issue isn’t about whether gay relationships are illegal. The issue is about whether they should be recognized by the state. The arguments about state recognition for gay marriages is a very different argument than is the argument about whether homosexual relationships should be illegal. You mis-apply the Church’s position about the former (state recognition) to the latter (illegalization of homosexuality).

    The issue of agency only applies to the latter debate, not to the former (although other arguments can be made about the former with regard to equal protection under the law etc. but those are not agency based arguments).

    Does that make sense?

    Comment by James L. Carroll — 2012, May 29 @ 3:30 pm


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