A Humanist Interrogation of Religious and Compute-Technological Anthropomorphism

Authors

  • Fatai Asodun, PhD Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos

Abstract

This paper identifies religious and compute-technological anthropomorphism
as two optional paradigms of instantiating human anthropomorphic tendencies.
Founded on Ludwig Feuerbach's theory of religion, the first option suggests
that humans simply project their self-perceived qualities, including
intelligence, outwardly into an imaginary supernatural being conceptualised
as God. The second option, grounded on Alan Turing's theory of machine
intelligence, adds that these qualities, in different forms, are projected into
human fabricated machines. Research reveals that religious
anthropomorphism ignites human religious belief systems in different shades
while compute-technological anthropomorphism is catalytic to the digital
technological approach to carrying out human activities. Research further
indicates that the two paradigms have been playing critical roles in fostering
human development. However, after subjecting them to a humanist-oriented
analysis that promotes human peaceful and continuous existence, this paper
uncovers the reality that an unguided human anthropomorphic tendency can
lead to religious fanaticism and technological singularity. There is ample
evidence suggesting that fanaticism is contributing to societal disorder while
technological singularity is paving way for the emergence of super-intelligent
machines that will autonomously control human affairs or even forcefully end
human existence. To avert the latter and equally manage the occurrence of the
former, the paper suggests that the human ontological tendency for
anthropomorphism should be driven by the doctrines of humanism. These
doctrines are considered to have the potency of appropriately guiding human
anthropomorphic inclinations towards human benefit.

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Published

2022-06-30

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