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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 24, Issue 2, Autumn 2019

Humanity Enhanced, Transformed, Abolished

Ted Peters
Pages 259-278

Artificial Intelligence versus Agape Love
Spirituality in a Posthuman Age

As Artificial Intelligence researchers attempt to emulate human intelligence and transhumanists work toward superintelligence, philosophers and theologians confront a dilemma: we must either, on the one horn, (1) abandon the view that the defining feature of humanity is rationality and propose an account of spirituality that dissociates it from reason; or, on the other horn, (2) find a way to invalidate the growing faith in a posthuman future shaped by the enhancements of Intelligence Amplification (IA) or the progress of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I grasp both horns of the dilemma and offer three recommendations. First, it is love understood as agape, not rational intelligence, which tells us how to live a godly life. Love tells us how to be truly human. Second, the transhumanist vision of a posthuman superintelligence is not only unrealistic, it portends the kind of tragedy we expect from a false messiah. Third, if as a byproduct of AI and IA research combined with H+ zeal the wellbeing of the human species and our planet is enhanced, we should be grateful.

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