By their eschatology you shall know them

What you believe eschatologically affects how you live in the world today, and particularly how you treat the world around you. There’s a tendency that if you believe the return of Christ is imminent, or that the world will be ultimately be destroyed (rather than remade) by God at the end of time, for environmental issues to slip down the agenda (or even off it all together).

However, eschatology isn’t limited to Christianity, and here’s a short transhumanist blog entry that exposes a similar “Second Coming” tendency seen in the idea of the singularity.

Margaret Wertheim, in her book “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet”, and in her essay Cybersociology #7: Is Cyberspace a Spiritual Space? expresses concern about this. I’m with her, when she says in the essay,

Behind the desire for cyber-immortality and cyber-gnosis, there is a not insignificant component of cyber-selfishness. Unlike “real religions that make ethical demands on their believers, cyber-religiosity has no moral precepts. Here, as I have said, one gets the payoffs of a religion without getting bogged down in reciprocal responsibilities. It is this desire for the personal pay-off of a religious system without any of the social demands that I find so troubling. In its quest for bodily transcendence, for immortality, and for union with some posited mystical cyberspatial All, the emerging “religion” of cyberspace rehashes many of the most problematic aspects of Gnostic-Manichean-Platonist dualism. What is left out here is the element of community and one’s obligations to the wider social whole.

Figure the individualized, “ticket to heaven”,” the earth is just a transit lounge”, Christianity might fit in here too.