Will the Singularity be a Techno-Rapture?

The Rapture – Wikipedia definition: “In conservative Christian eschatology, the Rapture is the name given to an event in which Jesus Christ descends from Heaven, accompanied by the spirits of all the saints of God, both from the pre-incarnation period these saints are transported from the Earth to meet the Lord and be rejoined with their corresponding spirits in the air. Immediately after this, all Christians alive on the earth are simultaneously transported to meet the Lord and those who have preceded them in the air. All are transformed into immortal bodies like Jesus’ body, often referred to as the “resurrection body“.

Techno-Rapture – Singularity, The. The Techno-Rapture. A black hole in the Extropian worldview whose gravity is so intense that no light can be shed on what lies beyond it.

Singularity – The postulated point or short period in our future when our self-guided evolutionary development accelerates enormously (powered by nanotechnology, neuroscience, AI, and perhaps uploading) so that nothing beyond that time can reliably be conceived.

The concept of a technological Singularity hasn’t yet reached mainstream thought, but it is gaining momentum every time a new break-through comes about in computer science, usually in the form of faster computing speeds via optical or quantum chips. The robotic sciences, especially in Japan contributes when a discovery is made on how a robotic brain “learns” like a little child makes the vision of a Singularity that much closer. Any gain in orthopedics on how artificial appendages are made to “mimic” the real thing contributes and projects in virtual reality such as Second Life and Google Earth (and Space) add their share too.

But will any advancement in these studies produce an artificial intelligence capable of passing a Turing Test, have “consciousness” or “soul” for lack of a better word?

If there is to be a Singularity or Techno-Rapture, I believe it will have to be through a fusion of humanity and machine, cyborg in other words. Only with a human “consciousness” that can be used as a base have a chance to be enhanced by artificial means to achieve hyper-awareness. Already our collective memories are being enhanced by means such as Internet search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask, Lycos and what have you. Networked computers along with their larger hard-drives store more information than ever before. Imagine what you could do if you wore an input device like a pair of glasses (Charles Stross’s Manfred Mancx in Accelerando), a hearing aid, or a chip implanted into a stroke patient or a parapelegic? I know there’s times I wish I could readily access the InnerTubes quickly through a neural link or store something important like a business, doctor’s or any other kind of appointment in a medium other than my old unreliable grey matter.

A techno-rapture could occur if millions of users neural linked on the Web enhanced their intelligence to the point where a “hive-mind” would be formed and the resulting intelligence would evolve itself, create it’s own “Universe”, leave Earth en masse and entered said new “reality”.

Would that be a “Rapture” and the created Universe “Heaven”?

Of course there are many detracters and naysayers to this scenario. And the protests would not be without merit. Many can picture abuses by governments, corporations, individuals with fortunes and any combination thereof when dealing with this technology, especially the brain chip technologies. What government wouldn’t want brain chip controlled armies, corporations staffed by willing slaves working for nothing and a CEO controlling a senior VP working for a competitor? Not to mention the very idea of forming a “hive-mind” is an abomination to people who strongly believe in individual personal “sovereignty”. It is the classical battle of the old Industrial Revolution, “free enterprise”(individualism) vs. “communism”(hive-mind). Some would argue in fact the latter is already happening. I myself have argued that issue.

In the final analysis, a rapture in any sense or interpretation of the term boils down to a belief system of some sort. Either you believe in the classical literal spiritual uplifting to a higher plain of existence, or the Information Age Singularity way of enlightenment.

Maybe both are needed.

11 responses

  1. This is my first post devoted exclusively to a technological Singularity, even though I’m a fan.(surprised I haven’t written one sooner)

    Now many would consider that not a good thing, but I’m kind of biased by that fact that without advanced medical technology, I wouldn’t be here to write this.

    And alot of Singularity tech involves medical science.

  2. Uber Highwayman | Reply

    I’m not a “rapture” proponent. It defies any biblical interpretation of the second advent of Christ.

    There’s no way I can go on with this and not have it turn into a long dissertation, something I’ve promised others I won’t do on any blog but my own. Suffice to say that this theory is the culmination of many attempts over the years to try and misrepresent and undervalue the second advent. They try one thing, and are refuted, then they try something else. Hopefully, if nothing else, they are able to get things so bollixed up that there is no way to differentiate truth from error, anymore, and that’s about where things stand in Christendom at the moment.

    I’ll give you a link that deals with the subject, and leave it at that. I’m into preserving my own ass, these days.

    http://triadelphiachurch.org/article.php?id=35

    Basically, the whole idea of the “rapture” is to forestall judgement, and give everyone a second chance to repent. The ONE chance to repent, aside from all of the other seemingly unnoticed mercies of God throughout our lives, is NOW, according to scripture.

    As for any “singularities”, Marine, those would be my views on practically everything discussed in Bloggerville! 😆

  3. UH: You gotta admit, those guys made alot of jack pushing the “left Behind” and “Secret Rapture Meme”. And I do remember some of old Sunday School and recent exposures to Christianity about the Lord’s Return “as a Lion” and “at the sound of the Trump”, (the link brought back memories) Not very secret at all.

    There are quite a few opinions against the Singularity, the http://www.accelerationwatch.com/backlash.html website lists possible backlashes against it for various reasons.

    Jack: I’m checking it out. Coincidence?

  4. Uber Highwayman | Reply

    “UH: You gotta admit, those guys made alot of jack pushing the “left Behind” and “Secret Rapture Meme”.”

    Sometimes I think I should have became a fundamentalist shill and made big bucks off of bullshit books about “self-awareness” or “temperament analysis”… or became an evangelical preacher going around doing fake “healings” by pushing people down after I’ve mesmerized them or drugged them. New-Agers like LaHaye et al had it pegged right from the start. Nah… I had to be a bullshit freedom fighter/blogger and work for nothing!

    Some guys don’t really give a fuck what people think or believe, and as long as there is a buck in it, they’ll tell you whatever you want to hear – no sense of responsibility or accountability, at all!

    Welcome to the New World DIS-Order!

  5. I think God’s got some repentin’ to do.

  6. That’s why all NeoCon evildoers need to be millionaires before the Rapture.. so they can buy their way into heaven!

    LOL

  7. If there is a God (I don’t believe it) and it returns to terra, it has some major splain’ to do.

    Like why did it allow for all the wars, why did it allow children to get cancer and be raped by their fathers, and why did it allow dogs to be tortured.

    I plan to be first in-line to kick it up along side its head with my boot for allowing these things to happen. Then, I will tell it to leave.

  8. […] Not long from now, we won’t achieve all of this through linking — it will be thinking. You feel something or have an idea. You want someone else to understand your thought. So you press the node on the side of your head, and there the thought is in someone else’s mental inbox — which has the feeling of being private, but is in fact monitored by an overarching force (Google?). But maybe we’ll be in some other universe then. […]

  9. […] “The Singularity“. This event has also been called by such fanciful terms as “The Technorapture” and “The Terminator.” It is at this point that  our foundations of reality […]

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