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Reject culture and history that restricts or inhibits progress towards omnipotence. Egocentric - because it is based on each of our selfish individual desires, which are of the foremost importance. Functional - because it will only be rational and consequential. And not fair, nor humanitarian, nor altruistic, nor muddled with unreachable mammalian niceties. Here then is Mr. As presented, TEF leaves certain traditional philosophical concerns unaddressed; rather, because the atheism of the author has been well-established by this point, certain assumptions can be made.
First, that the human soul is mortal; with the death of the body comes the death of the soul. Second, obviously, there is no god or higher power. Next, the nature of the physical world is both constant and fully knowable given enough time. Finally, individual pleasure and satisfaction is central to happiness. Over the balance of the novel, Mr.
Istvan deserves credit for applying this philosophy consistently, presenting it as advancing in the face of adversity until it achieves universal! But is it really a new philosophy? Starting with the Classic Philosophical schools of the Ancient Greeks provides a solid foundation to start from.
In order to have common criteria, the basis of comparison will be: a. Nature of the soul - mortal or immortal? Existence of a higher power - god or no god? Physical world - constant and knowable by men?
Nature of virtue and happiness - determined by what? Plato , 13 Logically derived from universal postulates based upon mathematical relationships, the physical world is rational and logical, but other than understanding the grand design of the physical world, it was beyond human capacity to see, measure or fully understand the nature of matter fire, water, earth, air composed of perfect geometric prismatic shapes Plato, , Finally, Plato teaches that virtue is found in developing the character of the demiurge, seeking good, free of jealousy and desirous of perfection in the created.
Plato , 15! Therefore, the soul must be mortal, as it cannot exist absent the body. Aristotle , 66 Furthermore, he considers and dismisses the idea of Olympian gods engaged in activities akin to the day-to-day experiences of humans. Aristotle , As to the nature the physical world, he believes that the physical world can be observed, measured and understood. Matter proceeds from lower form to higher in organization as recognized by its physical characteristics driven by the transfer of energy motion.
Hadzsits , 11 The general tenets of Epicureanism also included belief in the physical doctrine of atomism, meaning that the universe composed of atoms and behaved in regular predictable ways. Hadzsits , 13! It is worth noting that the Epicurean school of philosophy had an exceptionally talented advocate in the Roman Lucretius. His poetic work in Latin, De rerun natura, extolling the merits of the Epicurus remains one of the great works of Western poetry, influencing philosophers as diverse as Niccolo Machiavelli and Bertrand Russell. Referring to Epicurus His mind and spirit probed the universe whence he has returned triumphant with this knowledge: what can and what cannot be created - how each thing has finite powers and a deep-fixed boundary mark.
Lucretius , 5! Happiness consists of living virtuously, i. Cooper , Stoicism was seen as a rival to the Epicureanism, and the Lucretius in particular was scornful of the Stoics. How does Mr. Recall that TEF holds that the soul is mortal, and that the death of the body results in the death of the soul, hence its keen interest is the extension of human life with the ultimate goal of achieving physical immortality. There is no belief in a god or higher authority in TEF, rather each individual is sovereign and has the inherent authority to determine value within their world.
Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. Whatever scorn it received before publication, this self-published novel has evidently achieved some commercial success and earned its author a mix of plaudits and notoriety. Unfortunately, that narrative is almost totally false in the case of The Transhumanist Wager.
The bad news, alas, is that those hundreds of publishers and agents had a point. The Transhumanist Wager does not succeed as a novel, and its flaws could not be repaired easily. At his best, Istvan produces workmanlike journalistic prose, as when he evokes the terror and fascination of modern warfare:.
As a participant, it remains perpetually novel.
The smoke, fires, and explosions never seem to stop or burn out. The slumbering alligator in our brain awakes and tries to take over. Tragedy mixes with the summoning of a better life. Istvan often seems to strain too hard for too vague an emotional effect, while writing prose that would be more compelling if it were more precise.
Still, Istvan seems competent enough at the level of journalistic reportage. Much of his verbal looseness could easily have been fixed by an additional layer of copyediting. More worryingly, he shows none of the distinctive skills of a novelist. Zoltan speaks at Raddfest Zoltan on Italian Public TV. Zoltan at Eureka Comedy Show.
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Book Review: The Transhumanist Wager, by Zoltan Istvan
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Essays on Selected Topics from The Transhumanist Wager - www.transhumanistwagerguide.com
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