Ethics of Apotheosis

The notion of apotheosis—of becoming divine—originated in the human mind as early as Ancient Egypt, where pharaohs received honor as gods, sometimes only after death but sometimes in life. Ancient Greek autocrats beginning with Philip II of Macedon later continued the practice, assuming divine honors for themselves. Throughout the history of the world, too, religions have appealed to the Everyman’s dream of becoming divine.

To date, apotheosis has consisted alternately of pretension and superstition. But transhumanity—at the ultimate limit of transcending the human body, mind, and spirit—implies true apotheosis.

  • Superability. Technology will enable us to do that which ages past reserved for gods—unimaginable feats will become commonplace.
  • Immortality. Death will lose its sting as we preserve our bodies, minds, and spirits, whether biologically, cybernetically, or wholly artificially.

In a future in which apotheosis becomes the rule rather than a mere figment of the imagination, how we conceive of our ethical obligations to ourselves, others, and the world will have to change. As we come into divinity, we will have to take on the mantle of divine lawgiver.

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