Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 96 August 2019 - Page 18

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Flashmag August 2019 www.flashmag.net

As the historian Charles Webster points out, "Puritans sincerely believed that every step of the conquest of nature represented a movement towards the realization of the millenarian condition".

For the monk Roger Bacon (Frater Rogerus: 1219/20 - 1292), science meant mainly technology and the mechanical arts, and it did not exist for esoteric purposes but for utilitarian purposes. One of his interests was to make sure that the Antichrist, would not be the exclusive possessor of technological tools in the coming apocalyptic battles. Bacon wrote this:

The Antichrist will use these means freely and effectively, in order to crush and confuse the power of this world ... The Church should consider the use of these inventions because of the future perils that the Antichrist would bring to the world. He urged the authorities of the time, the princes and the church to invest in technological knowledge, so that good souls would be able to use the same weapons to defend themselves against the plans of the evil one.

The monk Roger Bacon (Frater Rogerus: 1219/20 - 1292) also believed, like others, that technological know-how was an original birthright of humanity, which had simply been lost in the original sin. In his Opus Majus, he suggested that the current gaps in human understanding stem directly from original sin: "Because of original sin and individual sins, part of the image has been damaged, the reason is blind. , the memory is weak, and will be depraved ".Thus, for Bacon, one of the first lights of scientific rationalism, the search for knowledge and technology had three reasons: first, for the benefits of technology not to be the sole possession of the Antichrist; secondly, in order to regain lost power and knowledge after the fall in Eden; and third, to overcome present individual sins and attain spiritual perfection.

Freemasons are a direct consequence of millenarianism. In Masonic writings, God is very specifically identified as a practitioner of the mechanical arts, most often as the "Great Architect" who "wrote the liberal sciences, especially geometry, over his heart". Members are encouraged to practice the same scientific

arts not only to recover lost adamic knowledge, but also to be more like God. Freemasonry was initially a mean of redemption and perfection through the culture of science and technology.

Freemasonry bequeathed a special heritage to the rest of society, namely the development of engineering as a profession by Freemasons in England. August Comte wrote on the role that engineers would play in the reconquest of Eden by humanity: "the establishment of the class of engineers (...) will undoubtedly constitute the direct and necessary instrument of a coalition between men of science and the industry, through which the new social order can begin. The technological oligarchy that seems to dominate the world economy today is therefore a Masonic project, directly linked to a restructuring of the world according to a new world order very dear to freemasons.

The attempt to separate the thought from the human mind, is another attempt to transcend the human condition. At first, the reasons were more explicitly Christian. Descartes viewed the body as proof of the "bankruptcy" of humanity rather than divinity. The flesh opposed reason and prevented the mind from seeking pure intellect. Under his influence, later attempts to create a "thinking machine" became a mean to separate an immortal and transcendent "spirit" from mortal and fallen flesh.

Edward Fredkin, one of the first apostles and researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, became convinced that its development was the only hope of overriding human limitations and madness. According to him, it was possible to see the world as a "big computer" and he wanted to write a "global algorithm" that, if executed methodically, would lead to peace and harmony.

Marvin Minsky, who led the AI program at MIT, regarded the human brain as a simple "meat machine" and the body as a "bloody clutter of organic matter." His hope was to achieve something bigger and bigger, a way to transcend its humanity. The brain and the body were, in his opinion, easily replaceable by machines. When it comes to life, only the mind is really important and it was something he wanted to achieve through technology.