About the Society
Officers and Assembly
The Beliefs of the
Society for Universal Immortalism
We have a soul and it is informational in nature. The soul, by definition, is the center of our being, the essence of who we are. In most religious systems the soul is seen as a metaphysical entity not of this world. We do not accept the supernatural definition of the soul, and instead provide a rational, scientific definition of what constitutes our soul. To us the soul does exist, but it is not supernatural. The memories we have, the thoughts we consider, the emotions we feel - these form the essence of who we are. For without these qualities we would cease to be ourselves. There need be no supernatural explanation for these qualities. These memories and processes are represented in the brain biologically as information. No metaphysical or 'otherworldly' essence is involved. It is simply akin to software running on a vastly complex computer. And like software, it is the pattern of information that is important, not the medium in which it resides or is expressed. Our soul may arise from the structure of our brain, but need not strongly depend on it.
The aim of life is to grow and improve ourselves and our 'Community'. This is a continual process with no end. We embrace the ideals of Humanism. We must all strive to live meaningful and ethical lives while supporting the rights of others to do so as well. Self-improvement should be the center of our lives. We must strive to maximize and enhance the good qualities in our human nature: compassion, love, understanding, tolerance - while minimizing or eliminating the bad ones: hatred, jealousy, envy, closed-mindedness. We understand that no person lives in isolation and that we all belong to a greater 'Community'. This community consists not only of other human beings, but life as a whole. We have a responsibility to improve both our own lives, and the overall welfare of the entire community of life. The process of growth and self-improvement, for both the individual and our community, is one that has no limit. There will always be new challenges to conquer, new ideas to explore, and new ways to improve our nature. The thought that we will never reach a pinnacle or perfect state should not sadden us, but instead fill us with happiness and joy. For it is the path we follow, and not only the destination, that gives our life its meaning and purpose. And this path will extend to the very limits of time itself.
We are our own saviors. We cannot rely on supernatural or external forces to guide us on our journey. Responsibility is on our shoulders to create the world in which we wish to live. Ethics, morality, and other philosophical issues must have answers that we provide for ourselves through rational exploration. No 'higher' power or supernatural entity need be turned to for these answers. All must take part in this process, to the best of their abilities. It is our future and we all must lend a hand in its realization. To that end we believe in the free flow of information and ideas, and a direct participatory democracy in which all have an equal voice. By coming together as one, in an informed and rational manner, we can arrive at the solutions to the problems that face us.
Reason, rational thought, and the scientific method are our tools in reaching our goals. We reject divine inspiration and other metaphysical approaches to arriving at truth. Instead we rely on reason, rational thought, and the scientific method as our tools to guide us along our path. The past century has shown us some of the wonders we can achieve when we properly direct our efforts. But these tools can also lead to destruction and chaos if put to the wrong use. We must be ever vigilant and hold to the tenets of our faith.
We must transcend our current biological limits to ensure the continued growth and existence of our soul. While our beliefs imply that there is no limit to the progress the individual can achieve, we do find that there are practical limits. The human body, while wondrous in its current form and function, is not designed to carry our growing souls forever. Age, disease, death, and the limited capacities of our body put an absolute limit on how much an individual can achieve. But we believe that these limitations can, should, and will be overcome. To continue our growth and self-improvement, we must transcend our current biological limitations. Age, disease, and even death itself should be eliminated. Our biological form should be modified and enhanced to surpass these limits. Our mental capabilities should be enhanced by integrating new and more powerful subsystems. Our growing capacities will enable us to evolve into beings with many of the attributes of the Gods of past religions. It may become desirable to supersede our biological form entirely and express our nature through other forms of existence. But no matter what form our transcendence takes, we will always maintain our soul, the essence of who we are. None of this is to be achieved through prayer or divine intervention. Instead we will be the architects of our new and greater nature. Science and reason will lead us on the path to creating a better existence. Already we see the beginnings of this with organ transplants, artificial limbs, cloning, and tissue engineering. With time on our side there should be no limit to what we can achieve. Our physical form will continue to evolve, through our own efforts, to keep pace with our ever-growing soul.
Preservation of our soul is paramount. Today this means cryonics. Everything we are, everything we will ever be, is contained, or will be contained, within our developing soul. Deep within the confines of our amazing brains our soul sits, encoded in the biological structure of neurons and neurochemicals. But this biological machine, wondrous though it may be, is fragile. In the blink of an eye our entire existence can come to an end, the information melting away as the brain is destroyed. When the Transhuman era arrives, we will be better able to protect and preserve the soul of our being. But that time has not yet arrived, and we must turn to other ways to preserve our existence. At this time the most viable option is cryonics. We believe that after death the body can be kept in a form of biostasis through the process of cryonics. There our soul will sit, safe in the cryopreserved structure of the brain, awaiting the Transhuman era when we can be revived. So strong is our belief in cryonics that it is a major prerequisite for joining our faith. It shows that one is sincerely committed to our ideals. We must also look for other ways to complement or even replace cryonics as a method of preservation. For it is not the how that concerns us, but the why. Revival of those placed in cryonic suspension or otherwise adequately preserved must also be a solemn commitment. We therefore dedicate our efforts to (1) encouraging preservation at clinical death with the goal of eventual revival, (2) seeing that those preserved remain so as long as is necessary, and (3) seeing that revival is accomplished when ways to bring it about have been perfected.
Universal Immortalism is one of the ultimate goals of existence. All souls, past, present, and future, have a right to exist and grow and improve eternally. We regard an 'evil nature' as not permanent and think that, with proper enlightenment, any soul will become a seeker of what is good and right. And we regard it as a supreme tragedy that past souls have been lost and not preserved. To that end, we dedicate ourselves to finding a way one day to bring back all persons who have ever lived, so they can join in our eternal adventure. This is the idea known as Universal Immortalism (R. Michael Perry - Forever for All). Our concern for 'persons' also extends to other life forms besides human, which may also have souls capable of unlimited growth and betterment. We hope to achieve our goal of universal revival and betterment, once again, through scientific, rational means. Based on the informational concept of the soul, it may be possible to accurately recreate souls where all information about them has been lost. At this point we do not know if it can be done. But that does not mean we should not try, and it is our 'leap of faith' that one day we will succeed.
Copyright 2005 Society for Universal Immortalism.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.