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Keywords:

  • apocalypticism;
  • body;
  • cyberculture;
  • End Times;
  • Enlightenment;
  • eugenics;
  • extropians;
  • libertarianism;
  • millennialism;
  • Singularity;
  • technoprogressive;
  • transhumanism

Abstract Transhumanism is a modern expression of ancient and transcultural aspirations to radically transform human existence, socially and bodily. Before the Enlightenment these aspirations were only expressed in religious millennialism, magical medicine, and spiritual practices. The Enlightenment channeled these desires into projects to use science and technology to improve health, longevity, and human abilities, and to use reason to revolutionize society. Since the Enlightenment, techno-utopian movements have dynamically interacted with supernaturalist millennialism, sometimes syncretically, and often in violent opposition. Today the transhumanist movement, a modern form of Enlightenment techno-utopianism, has evolved a number of subsects, from the libertarian utopians funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, to religious syncretists like the Mormon Transhumanist Association, to the left-wing technoprogressives and their bioliberal intellectual allies. In reaction to accelerating technological innovation and transhumanist ideas, apocalyptic Christians, and even secular catastrophists, have begun to incorporate human enhancement into their End Times scenarios. With all sides believing that the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, there is a growing likelihood of violent confrontation.