Noted Singularity advocate Michael Anissimov sez singularity supporters are unfairly being treated the same as religious rapture fundies:
The comparison between the singularity and religious rapture is an unfair smear. As Steven says,
But that image of a shared psychological flaw is itself so seductive that it has distorted people’s view of what the singularity is about into a kind of geek-bible-wielding strawman — singularitarian ideas are assumed to parallel fundamentalist Christian ideas even where they don’t, just because the comparison is apparently so much fun. “Oh, look at those silly nerds, aping the awful fundies without even knowing it!”
People who compare discussion about the possibly huge impact of emerging technologies to that of religious delusion are themselves falling victim to a seductive and oversimplified view of the reality. The press release pretends to be objective, but it’s completely not. Casually tossing off phrases like “singularity dogma” are just perpetuating this seductive but incorrect interpretation.
The ‘Steven’ Anissimov refers to wrote a blog post last year denouncing the comparison. Now after studying the Singularity and its possible affects for a couple of years (mainly because I have a vested interest in staying alive) I can see what Anissimov and Steven are railing against. So far from what I have read on Anissimov’s blog, he is pretty interested in Aubrey Degrey’s Methuselah Foundation. I am too, because of my previous statement, but Degrey not only studies the technical aspects of life extention, his foundation has occult connections as well. That’s a discussion for another day though.
As Anissimov notes, life extention and increased intelligence/mind uploading are two different things (actually three), so lumping the two/three together into ‘Singularity’ subjects isn’t right, thus the term is irrelevant:
This press release insults all life extension advocates, confusing them with singularity advocates. For instance, the Methuselah Foundation, with over $10 million in funding, practices “death avoidance” — or what some might call “recognition of the horror of physical and mental deterioration prior to an unwanted death”. But the Methuselah Foundation and numerous “death avoiders” have little connection to discussions of the singularity, which focuses on the possibility of greater-than-human intelligence. Having a high IQ and living a long time are two different things. One contributer seems to be going after mind uploading.
Fair enough, but tell that to Ray Kurzweil. He is the main reason why people lump the Singularity in with Rapture Theology. He is the High Priest of the Singularity so to speak. If his book “The Age of Spiritual Machines” isn’t a Bible of technological/theological beliefs, I don’t know what is.
As far as his blog post goes, he doesn’t mention Kurzweil even once. Maybe for the above reasons. If he has in the past, I’m sure I’ll be corrected and that would be fair.
But to complain that certain aspects of a possible technological Singularity is unfairly being compared to religion is also unfair. Especially if one of its main apostles attaches religious connotation to it.
Like it or not, the Singularity has dogma all over it.