By taking a religiously and spiritually literature approach, this volume gets the heart of several emerging ethical issues crucial to both human identity and personhood beyond the human as technology advances in the areas of human enhancement and artificial intelligence (AI). Several significant questions are addressed by the contributors, such as: How far should we go in improving our biological selves? How long should we aspire to live? What are fair and just human enhancements? When will AIs become people? What does AI spirituality consist of? Can AIs do more than project humour and emotions? What are the religious undertones of these high technology quests for better AI and improved human existence? Established and emerging voices explore these questions, and more, in Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence.
This volume will be of interest to university students and researchers absorbed by issues surrounding spiritualities, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence; while also providing points for reflection for the wider public as these topics become increasingly important to our common future.
About the Author
Ray Kurzweil is one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists,
with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called 'the restless genius' by The Wall Street Journal and 'the ultimate thinking machine' by
Forbes magazine, he was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc.
Magazine, which described him as 'the rightful heir to Thomas Edison'. PBS
selected him as one of the 'sixteen revolutionaries who made America'.
Ray was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Among Ray's many honors, he received a Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in music technology; he is the recipient of the
National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty-one honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S.
presidents. Ray has written five national best-selling books, including New
York Times best sellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A
Tracy J. Trothen is a professor of ethics at Queen's University, jointly appointed to the School of Religion and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy where she teaches in the graduate Aging and Health Program. She is an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada, a certified Supervisor-Educator in Clinical
Spiritual Health (CASC), and a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO). Trothen's areas of research and teaching specialization include: embodiment, biomedical and social ethics, Christian theology, spiritual health, aging, human enhancement technologies, and sport. Trothen is the author of Spirituality,
Sport, and Doping: More than Just a Game (2018). Her other recent books include Winning the Race? Religion, Hope, and Reshaping the Sport
Enhancement Debate (2015), and the anthology Religion and Human
Enhancement: Death, Values, and Morality co-edited with Calvin Mercer (2017).
She is currently at work, with Calvin Mercer, on a study guide tentatively entitled
Living Healthy for 500 Years and Other Technological Enhancements: Heaven or
Hell? Trothen is a member of the American Academy of Religion's Human
Enhancement and Transhumanism Unit Steering Committee.
Table of Contents
Setting the stage for conversations about human enhancement, artificial intelligence, and spirituality
1. Engaging issues at the intersection of human enhancement, artificial intelligence, and spirituality Christopher Hrynkow
2. Breaking the shackles of our genetic legacy Ray Kurzweil
Ethics of human enhancement and artificial intelligence
3. The ‘new person’ contested: Atheist humanist vs. Catholic worldviews on transhumanism Irene Dabrowski and Anthony Haynor
4. Modeling moral values and spiritual commitments Mark Graves
Human enhancement in contemporary society
5. ‘Siri tell me a joke’: Is there laughter in a transhuman future? Una Stroda
6. Making us better? Spirituality and enhancing athletes Tracy J. Trothen
Technology and the moral body
7. Cyborg clergy and bionic Popes: An analysis of technological human enhancement from a Roman Catholic bioethical perspective Michael Caligiuri
8. The harmony of metal and flesh: Cybernetic futures Jacob Boss
9. Embodiment matters: Integral ecology, science, the promises and challenges of radical life extension, and socio-ecological flourishing Christopher Hrynkow
Worldviews and artificial intelligence
10. Possible consequences of AI and transhumanism: Health concerns surrounding unemployment, second class citizenship, and religious engagement Braden Molhoek
11. Three theologies that influence how we view AI, technology, and the world Christopher Benek
12. Fixed points in a changing world Peter Robinson
Spirituality, the brain, and religious experience
13. Psychedelics, implants, spiritual enhancement, and a computational ethical proposal for harnessing spiritually augmenting BCIs Philip Reed- Butler.
14. Rights and guidelines for protecting cognitive liberty in the age of neuro-engineering Alan Weissenbacher
List of Abbreviated Terms
About the Contributors