Show Notes: Anton Lavey, Bertrand Russell and Transhumanism

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Transhumanism has many philosophical fathers in it’s lineage.  From Ubermensch to Do What Thou Wilt, the progression towards fusing with machines is anything but humanizing.

Transhumanism – An Ugly Cousin to Artificial Intelligence

Because everything is merely material, the elite think they can copy your mind digitally.  In other words, digital recordings are the equivalent of your conscience.  But they will also tell you that your soul doesn’t exist, that you are just a random assemblage of matter, and by chance, we have evolved to speak.  There is no real consciousnesses, but they can copy your conscience and therefore you will live forever.

transhumanism, philosophical and scientific movement that advocates the use of current and emerging technologies—such as genetic engineering, cryonics, artificial intelligence (AI), and nanotechnology—to augment human capabilities and improve the human condition. Transhumanists envision a future in which the responsible application of such technologies enables humans to slow, reverse, or eliminate the aging process, to achieve corresponding increases in human life spans, and to enhance human cognitive and sensory capacities. The movement proposes that humans with augmented capabilities will evolve into an enhanced species that transcends humanity—the “posthuman.”

Transhumanism also means that new societies should be evolved scientifically.  David Reach, a Harvard biologist who claims to have genetic evidence of the science based cultures select for IQ.  As we will see, the sentiment expressed here is directly from Bertrand Russell’s view of social truth and the need for oligarchy.

Humans are bad at intentionally designing effective institutions and organizations … though I’m hoping that as we get deeper insights into human nature and cultural evolution this can improve.  Until then, we should take a page from cultural evolution’s playbook and design “variation and selection systems” that will allow alternative institutions or organizational forms to compete.  We can dump the losers, keep the winners, and hopefully gain some general insights during the process.


The Scientific Method and the Enlightenment

John Locke and David Hume, inspired by Francis Bacon, formulated a philosophy called Empiricism.  Empiricism is a theory of knowledge which asserts that knowledge can only (primarily) come from sensory experience.  This meant that all knowledge and wisdom came from observation first.  For Locke, the individual was of the utmost importance, as the Creator granted him the ability to use his reason to derive knowledge and wisdom from what he observed.  We are born as a clean slate.  For Hume, there was a very different outcome.  Hume maintained there was no proof for God, that only what you could observe and verify is valid source of knowledge, all is unknowable because it is cannot be proved. 

That school of thought was discussed on a previous episode of Summer Nights Radio.

Anton Lavey

Lavey is know for founding the Church of Satan in the 1960s, and controversy surrounded him with his various version of a Uebermensch philosophy.  It is conjectured that he was in circles of famous Hollywood stars, including Jayne Mansfield and Marylin Monroe.  Lavey had a very strange obsession of building out life sized dioramas with mannequins in various basement lounges.

Simularcrum, Golem and Voodoo Dolls

Lavey has a series of essays in The Devil’s Notebook.  Interestingly he has an essay on the emergence of robotics.

Plastics, which are highly toxic if worked by a hobbyist with limited facilities for ventilation, may be employed under industrial conditions. However, open or closed cell flexible polyurethane foam is easily available in sheet or block form, and can be realistically employed as “flesh.” Either wrap your armature or skeleton with it or laminate entire blocks and carve with an electric knife. The finished body can be given a “skin” of PVC applied with double-sided tape or covered with a suitable body stocking.

Electronics can easily be incorporated. Voice mechanisms are no challenge whatsoever. I have concealed small recorders into heads with the speaker opening under the wig. Pre-recorded cassettes inserted into a slot under the hairline provide a convincing audible effect.

Odors associated with humans are simple to provide, using perfumes, colognes or worse.  And entire congress of penises, vulvas, vaginas, scrotal sacs, breasts, nipples, etc., may be found in any sex goods store or catalogue. With few exceptions, they are all disembodied. Let us rejoin them to the human forms where they belong.

I have great respect for those who pioneer their own artificial human companions, crude as they might initially be. They
will have come a small step closer to playing God and creating man or woman according to their desired image. With a creative outlet as cloaked in age-old taboo as this, innovation may now run rampant — more so than any artform man has yet known.

Bertrand Russell

So far, it has been physical science that has had most effect upon our lives, but in the future physiology and psychology are likely to be far more potent. When we have discovered how character depends upon physiological conditions, we shall be able, if we choose, to produce far more of the type of human being that we admire. Intelligence, artistic capacity, benevolence – all these things no doubt could be increased by science. There seems scarcely any limit to what could be done in the way of producing a good world, if only men would use science wisely.


He was one of the early 20th century’s prominent logicians[8] and a founder of analytic philosophy, along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, his friend and colleague G. E. Moore, and his student and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Russell began his published work in 1896 with German Social Democracy, a study in politics that was an early indication of a lifelong interest in political and social theory. In 1896 he taught German social democracy at the London School of Economics

Scientific Outlook

Betrand Russell advanced many theories that we will easily recognize.  While claiming to us logic as a foundation, Russell declares that there were no scientific facts, only approximations. 

When a change occurs in science, as, for example, from Newton’s law of gravitation to Einstein’s, what had been done is not overthrown, but is replaced by something slightly more accurate.

This is a contradiction, because some scientific theories, once proven, are scientific laws, they are verified.  There is no approximate truth to the Law of Gravity.  There are other statements that are nonsensical:

I conclude that, while it is true that science cannot decide questions of value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, and lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.

Reasoning, according to Piaget, develops as a method of arriving at a social truth upon which all men can agree. This condition is, I think, largely valid, and emphasizes one great merit of the scientific method, namely, that it tends to avoid those intractable disputes which arise when private emotion is regarded as the test of truth.

Russell sounds like his contemporary Aldus Huxley regarding his thinking on freedom, free will and the need for expertise:

The scientific society will be just as oligarchic under socialism or communism as under capitalism, for even where the forms of democracy exist they cannot supply the ordinary voter  with the requisite knowledge, nor enable him to be on the spot at the crucial moment.

We need oligarchy.  And in fact, the scientific method must supplant many forms of liberty:

The scientific society will be just as oligarchic under socialism or communism as under capitalism, for even where the forms of democracy exist they cannot supply the ordinary voter with the requisite knowledge, nor enable him to be on the spot at the crucial moment.

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