Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence

Christopher Hrynkow (Ed.)

by Ray Kurzweil (Inventor, Author, Futurist), Tracy J. Trothen (Queen’s University), Christopher Benek (The CoCreators Network), Jacob Boss (Indiana University Bloomington), Philip Reed-Butler (Loyola Marymount University), Michael Caligiuri (University of Manitoba), Irene J. Dabrowski (St. John’s University), Mark Graves (University of Notre Dame), Anthony L. Haynor (Seton Hall University), Christopher Hrynkow (University of Saskatchewan), Braden Molhoek (Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union), Peter Robinson (University of Cambridge), Una Stroda , Alan Weissenbacher (Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union)

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Transhumanism and the role of artificial intelligence is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time. This superb collection of essays brings an informed and engaged approach to these questions from multiple perspectives. Academics, practitioners, and others come together for a fruitful dialogue exploring the intersection of the central issues confronting the increased role of technology in our lives. The essays found here are sure to move the discussion forward and deserve the widest possible reading.

Timothy Harvie,
Professor, St. Mary’s University, Calgary, AB

This book delivers a richly diverse range of well-informed and often contrasting perspectives about the ways artificial intelligence and human enhancements dramatically challenge perceptions of human ethics and spirituality. It explores the disputed benefits, challenges, threats and concerns raised by the rapid emergence and application of cybernetics, transhumanism and artificial intelligence. The reader is left with many probing and unexpected questions yet plenty of insights to formulate possible responses. A captivating read.

Dennis Patrick O'Hara, DC, ND, MDiv, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Former Director, Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology
Faculty of Theology, University of St. Michael's College;
School of the Environment, University of Toronto

By taking a religiously and spiritually literature approach, this volume gets the heart of several emerging ethical issues crucial to both human identity and personhood beyond the human as technology advances in the areas of human enhancement and artificial intelligence (AI). Several significant questions are addressed by the contributors, such as: How far should we go in improving our biological selves? How long should we aspire to live? What are fair and just human enhancements? When will AIs become people? What does AI spirituality consist of? Can AIs do more than project humour and emotions? What are the religious undertones of these high technology quests for better AI and improved human existence? Established and emerging voices explore these questions, and more, in Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence.

This volume will be of interest to university students and researchers absorbed by issues surrounding spiritualities, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence; while also providing points for reflection for the wider public as these topics become increasingly important to our common future.

Setting the stage for conversations about human enhancement, artificial intelligence, and spirituality

1. Engaging issues at the intersection of human enhancement, artificial intelligence, and spirituality Christopher Hrynkow

2. Breaking the shackles of our genetic legacy Ray Kurzweil

Ethics of human enhancement and artificial intelligence

3. The ‘new person’ contested: Atheist humanist vs. Catholic worldviews on transhumanism Irene Dabrowski and Anthony Haynor

4. Modeling moral values and spiritual commitments Mark Graves

Human enhancement in contemporary society

5. ‘Siri tell me a joke’: Is there laughter in a transhuman future? Una Stroda

6. Making us better? Spirituality and enhancing athletes Tracy J. Trothen

Technology and the moral body

7. Cyborg clergy and bionic Popes: An analysis of technological human enhancement from a Roman Catholic bioethical perspective Michael Caligiuri

8. The harmony of metal and flesh: Cybernetic futures Jacob Boss

9. Embodiment matters: Integral ecology, science, the promises and challenges of radical life extension, and socio-ecological flourishing Christopher Hrynkow

Worldviews and artificial intelligence

10. Possible consequences of AI and transhumanism: Health concerns surrounding unemployment, second class citizenship, and religious engagement Braden Molhoek

11. Three theologies that influence how we view AI, technology, and the world Christopher Benek

12. Fixed points in a changing world Peter Robinson

Spirituality, the brain, and religious experience

13. Psychedelics, implants, spiritual enhancement, and a computational ethical proposal for harnessing spiritually augmenting BCIs Philip Reed- Butler.

14. Rights and guidelines for protecting cognitive liberty in the age of neuro-engineering Alan Weissenbacher

Christopher Hrynkow received his PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Manitoba, and a ThD in Christian Ecological Ethics from the University of Toronto. He is an associate professor in Religion and Culture at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, where he teaches courses in Religious Studies, Catholic Studies, Peace Studies, and Critical Perspective on Social Justice and the Common Good. He also serves as the founding director of the Centre for Faith, Justice, and Reason at the college, and is Department Head and Undergraduate Chair of Religion and Culture for the University of Saskatchewan.

singularity; Ray Kurzweil; Methuselarity; theological ethics; transhumanism; cyborg; Donna Haraway; theology; computers; brain; embodiment; human nature

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


6 B&W

Publication date

March 2020