After flying half way around the world to give a 20 minute talk about my paper on transhuman philosophy in Berlin yesterday, I would like to respond in depth to some of the feedback. I did not get the names of most of the respondents so I will keep it anonymous. In addition I did not take any notes so I will paraphrase the feedback in the hopes of being contacted with clarifications if required. Further I take the liberty to simply ignore some of the more out there objections such as “What about other universes in which your analysis does not apply?” and “Your theory does not apply to AIs because evolution is a matter or thermodynamics and does not apply on the level that AIs will operate in”. I am quite happy if my theories apply to our universe and I am certain that the laws of thermodynamics apply to all levels of reality. That being said there is a limit to what I can take seriously. Especially if people did not read my paper and spent a grand total of 10 minutes throwing up objections. But moving on to two serious objections:

“Religion gave us the Westboro Baptist Church, ISIS and the Inquisition and we have to move past such superstitions to advance as a species.”

This is the position that anything that is done in the name of religion is in fact religion and that there is no way to tell the good from the bad and therefore it should be discarded. Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, the overwhelming majority of religious individuals decidedly distance themselves from the radical few. Secondly, if the individual making this statement would have inconvenienced himself reading my paper it would have been clear that given the evolutionary perspective we can very clearly and easily distinguish the wheat from the chaff in all matters spiritual. Just as we can discard phrenology and astrology as pseudoscience, so too can we safely discard the Westboro Baptist Church and ISIS as pseudoreligious.

“Hitler used evolutionary arguments in justifying the extermination of the Jews. Evolution should not be a guiding principle in determining our transhuman future.”

This is a serious claim and will deserve an explicit and extensive rebuffal in a future version of my paper. Let it just be said that my theory takes the existence of others, even enemies as so serious that it advocates the striking of an evolutionarily enlightened compromise with objectors to the point of contributing to ones own self annihilation while in no way shape or form advocates anticipating evolutionary dynamics by eradicating say another group or race. Again, reading the paper would have made that abundantly clear.

I realize of course that the particular combination of topics that I am working on unifying, namely transhuman philosophy, evolutionary theory and scripture is in its essence so controversial that barely anybody would even bother to seriously engage with my work. Conventional academia balks at the transhuman philosophy, transhumanists at scripture and the religious at evolution. This of course testifies to the enormous open mindedness of AGI 2015 conference organizer Ben Goertzel to whom I owe a great gratitude for giving me an opportunity to present my thoughts.

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