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Keywords:

  • artificial intelligence;
  • cybernetics;
  • cybernetic totalism;
  • cyborgs;
  • futurology;
  • imagination;
  • information technology;
  • Ray Kurzweil;
  • life extension;
  • Hans Moravec;
  • myth;
  • posthumanism;
  • robotics;
  • science fiction;
  • speculative science;
  • symbols;
  • technology;
  • techno-theology;
  • Frank Tipler;
  • Norbert Wiener

Abstract. The depiction of human identity in the pop-science futurology of engineer/inventor Ray Kurzweil, the speculative robotics of Carnegie Mellon roboticist Hans Moravec, and the physics of Tulane University mathematics professor Frank Tipler elevate technology, especially information technology, to a point of ultimate significance. For these three figures, information technology offers the potential means by which the problem of human and cosmic finitude can be rectified. Although Moravec's vision of intelligent robots, Kurzweil's hope for immanent human immorality, and Tipler's description of humanlike von Neumann machines colonizing the very material fabric of the universe all may appear to be nothing more than science fictional musings, they raise genuine questions as to the relationship between science, technology, and religion as regards issues of personal and cosmic eschatology. In an attempt to correct what I see as the cybernetic totalism inherent in these techno-theologies, I argue for a theology of technology that seeks to interpret technology hermeneutically and grounds human creativity in the broader context of divine creative activity.