Nauvoo Sunstone, source: lds.orgThis is the fourth in a five-part series on Mormon Transhumanism. The first part was an introduction to transhumanism written by James Carroll. Carl Youngblood wrote the second and third parts.

If you’re a Mormon, you should be a Transhumanist. To identify as a “Mormon Transhumanist” is not at all redundant, but to identify as a “Transhumanist Mormon” is redundant, because Mormonism mandates Transhumanism. In other words, you can be a Transhumanist without being a Mormon, but you can’t be a Mormon without being a Transhumanist, at least implicitly. Of course this is a controversial claim, but we can make an argument from Mormon scripture. Let’s begin with the premises.

First, God wants us to use ordained means to participate in God’s work. This premise is based on scriptures like First Nephi 3, which says God prepares ways for us to accomplish his commands; Alma 60, which says God won’t save us unless we use the means he’s provided; and D&C 58, which says we shouldn’t wait for God to command us to engage in a good cause.

The second premise is that science and technology are among the means ordained of God. This premise is based on scriptures like First Nephi 17, where God commands Nephi to construct a ship to save his family; Alma 37, which says God gave Nephi a compass to guide his family to the promised land; D&C 88, where God commands us to study and teach everything from astronomy and geology to history and politics; and D&C 121, which says we will learn all the laws of the natural world before attaining heaven.

The third premise is that God’s work is to help each other attain Godhood. This premise is based on scriptures like Third Nephi 12, where Jesus commands us to be perfect like God; D&C 76, which says God would make us Gods of equal power with him; and Moses 1, which says God’s work is to make us immortal in eternal life.

The fourth and final premise is that an essential attribute of Godhood is a glorified immortal body. This premise is based on scriptures like Ether 3, where the Brother of Jared sees that God is embodied; D&C 76, which says God has a body glorified like the sun; D&C 93, which says full joy requires a body, elements are the body of God, and intelligence is the glory of God; and D&C 130, which says God’s body is as tangible as that of a human.

From these four premises, we can reason.

Since God wants us to use ordained means to participate in God’s work, and since science and technology are among those means, God must want us to use science and technology to participate in God’s work.

Next, since God wants us to use science and technology to participate in God’s work, and since God’s work is to help each other attain Godhood, God must want us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood.

Finally, since God wants us to use science and technology to help each other attain Godhood, and since an essential attribute of Godhood is a glorified immortal body, we can conclude that God wants us to use science and technology to help each other attain a glorified immortal body.

This conclusion is both a religious mandate, in that it purports to express the will of God, and a description of the Transhumanist project, advocating the ethical use of technology to expand human abilities. If we arrived at this conclusion by valid reasoning, which we did, and if we began with premises that accurately reflect Mormonism, as I believe we have, then Mormonism mandates Transhumanism.

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Lincoln Cannon serves as President of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting greater understanding between secular and religious people, as well as radical human flourishing in creativity and compassion through the charitable use of science and technology. He has over fifteen years of professional experience as a software engineer, Internet marketer, information technologist, and leader of technical teams in development and integration of web, mobile and management information systems. Lincoln holds a masters degree in business and a bachelors degree in philosophy. He is married with Dorothée Vankrieckenge, a French national, and is father to three bilingual children.

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