Glenn Beck Fears for Humanity’s Future and He Wants You to be Afraid Too

In this corner: former Fox News personality and non-college graduate, Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck is a neo-Luddite. He is afraid of technology. He is not alone. Many conservatives fear technology. Conservatives are, after all, wedded to the past; to the status quo. Anything new and innovative is dangerous because it disrupts their comfort zone and their sense of privilege.

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Science is a friend and an offshoot of liberalism. Science birthed the democratic revolution and cannot flourish outside of a liberal environment, because, as Timothy Ferris writes, “science is inherently antiauthoritarian” (The Science of Liberty, 2010). Conservatism is, by contrast, inherently authoritarian. This is why we have books like Chris Mooney’s The Republican War on Science (2005) and The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality

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(2012).

In the other corner: The Singularity, what some see as humankind’s destiny.  In Episode 65 of the Big Bang Theory (“The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification“), which aired in 2010, Sheldon becomes obsessed with living long enough to  transfer his consciousness into a machine, and his estimates (numbers don’t lie, he insists) reveal that he will miss “the singularity … when man will be able to transfer his consciousness into machines, and achieve immortality”.

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The idea of the singularity excites some. As the Singularity Institute informs us, the Singularity is,

A future that contains smarter-than-human minds is genuinely different in a way that goes beyond the usual visions of a future filled with bigger and better gadgets. Vernor Vinge originally coined the term “Singularity” in observing that, just as our model of physics breaks down when it tries to model the singularity at the center of a black hole, our model of the world breaks down when it tries to model a future that contains entities smarter than human.

The Singularity and transhumanism horrifies others. Like Glenn Beck: “I didn’t know about it. You didn’t know about it. We have to know about it.”

We won’t know if Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead until we open the box. We won’t know the results of humankind’s march into the future until we have marched into the future. We can fear the unknown, certainly. It’s not an unreasonable emotion, since people always fear what they do not understand. But the future holds promise and hope for better lives, while the past, a well-revealed 2,000 year Church history, holds none at all for the living, and only an unproved and unverifiable paradise for the dead.

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