The book examines three prominent problems: desire, meaning, and technological singularity. It ties those problems into a unified framework and provides a solution to each of them. By unifying the ideas of philosophers, psychologists, and experts from a range of other fields it establishes a unique perspective on those problems and the ways in which they can be addressed. More
Most non-fiction works start by positing a problem, a solution to which the work aims to provide. This book addresses three such problems. Problems that have been first acknowledged at different times, yet none of which have a universally accepted solution to this date. In addition to providing alternatives to existing solutions of these problems, the aim of this book is to examine how they are interrelated and how solving each subsequent problem is not possible without having an adequate solution to the previous one.
The first problem is as old as civilization itself. Its name is suffering. The problem of suffering is twofold: on one hand, thinkers throughout history have sought a way to cease suffering, on the other, many teachings have focused on finding a justification for it. While pursuing one of these directions does not necessarily exclude developments in the other, the most influential paradigms in human culture have usually focused on one of the two dilemmas. In the West the predominant paradigm had been the explanation used by Abrahamic religions. This explanation deemed suffering on Earth a trial before judgment in the afterlife which, depending on one’s deeds, would either reward one with an eternity of bliss, or doom one to an eternity of suffering.
Meanwhile, in India, both types of inquiry developed in parallel. On one hand, the concept of karma was widespread across many teachings of Hindu philosophy, justifying a person's condition by their past life, and encouraging them to act according to their dharma to have better future lives or even break the cycle of rebirth. On the other hand, many thinkers tried to find ways of alleviating suffering instead of justifying it. Gautama Siddhārtha presented his followers with a teaching that can help in achieving the cessation of suffering. The core of his teachings were formulated into the Four Noble Truths. However, Gautama’s teachings are not the only way to achieve cessation of suffering. I will contrive to formulate my Four Noble Truths of the Demonology of Desire just as Gautama Siddhārtha did.
The second problem this book addresses first arose at the beginning of the XIX century, with the upsurge of science and the industrial revolution. It was first outlined by Friedrich Nietzsche, who was also the first to propose a solution to it. The essence of this problem is directly related to the first one, or rather, to its solution in Western culture. A solution that gave justification to suffering and directed the course of development of Western civilization no longer worked. Scientific rigor had decidedly replaced belief in divine judgment, afterlife, and the will of god. This hole left in the place once occupied by Christianity became a cause for fear and confusion, often resulting in nihilism. Finding a way out of this predicament is the focus of the second problem.
The third problem is only beginning to surface now; the problem of technological singularity and emergence of a global brain. Many contemporary philosophers and scientists have speculated as to the exact nature of this issue, but a strong paradigm of the subject is yet to arise. The mission that lies ahead involves examining the question of technological singularity on its own, as well as a part of the bigger problematique that unites all three problems. We are going to look at what the issues surrounding technological singularity are composed of, how they are related to the problems of suffering and purpose, and how the solutions for the latter can also serve as a basis for approaching the former. In the following chapters the new kind of man I propose as a solution to the second problem is going to play a vital part in solving the issues involved in the creation and organization of the superhuman consciousness that will become the central focus of this problematique.