Romney: “My views are progressive”

This old video from 2002 Governor’s race has been getting a lot of play lately:

Here’s the transcript, and the full video is here:

The old standby definitions of who votes for which party have been blown away in this campaign. I think people recognize that I’m not a partisan Republican, that I’m someone who is moderate and that my views are progressive.

OK, kiddies, what do you think he was referring to? What are his Progressive views? It wasn’t taxes. He sure seems like he knows something about his secret views that he thinks are progressive and progressives would agree with…I’m wracking my brain here…let me think…Oh! Wait a minute, maybe it has something to do with his beliefs about Transhumanism, with harnessing technology and science to achieve immortality and overcome human limitations, to achieve a posthuman future.

Consider this interview with Lincoln Cannon, the director of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, in H+ Magazine:

LC: Mormon scripture asserts the work of God to be that of bringing about immortality and eternal life, and invites us all to participate in that work. Mormon scripture also situates us in the “Dispensation of the Fullness of Times”, when God is accelerating the work, inspiring us with greater knowledge and endowing us with greater power in preparation for the prophesied millennium, a time of transfiguration, immortality, resurrection, renewal of this world, and ultimately the discovery and creation of worlds without end.  Early Mormon prophets, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, suggested that we would begin performing the ordinance of transfiguration before the millennium, and that immortals would begin performing the ordinance of resurrection during the millennium.

H+: Do Mormon Transhumanists have different ethics than other transhumanists?  What is your position on stem cell research? Gay marriage? Smart Drugs? In-vitro babies? Euthanasia?

LC: The ethic of Mormon Transhumanism is best described in the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation which may be compatible with the ethics of many forms of secular transhumanism.  The MTA has no position on stem cell research.  The LDS Church likewise explicitly has no position on stem cell research.  Mormon politicians tend to support legislation on behalf of stem cell research.  The MTA has no position on gay marriage.  While most Mormons are antagonistic to gay marriage, Mormon Transhumanists tend to have more favorable perspectives toward homosexuals.  For example, 50% of the members of the MTA strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement that “marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”  56% of MTA members strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement that “Mormon doctrine cannot accommodate homosexuality”.  The MTA has no position on smart drugs.  Mormons tend to embrace the ethical use of traditional non-recreational drugs – and medical science generally.  Because of Mormon interest in education and personal improvement, I imagine smart drugs will be used by many Mormons if and when they become commonplace.

The MTA has no position on in-vitro babies.  98% of Mormon Transhumanists somewhat or strongly agree that “people should have a right to use technology to extend their . . . reproductive . . . capacities . . .” I personally know many Mormons that have benefitted from in vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies. Mormons like to make babies, and most of us seem to have nothing against using technology to help out.  The MTA has no position on euthanasia.  Personally, I agree with the notion that life is sacred, and that we should be doing all we can ethically to extend and enhance life; however, I acknowledge there are horrible situations that may justify assisted suicide.

That split with most Mormons over same-sex marriage is instructive, it explains why Mitt was so ineffectual on it, allowing it to happen without putting up any kind of fight.

The comments in that H+ article are interesting, lots of people are not thrilled about accepting a religious affiliate into the Transhumanist association.

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