The transhumanists contend that humanity is not limited to our place as mere mortals. The goal of humanity must be a more splendid and complete existence, one that involves not just psychological and social fulfillment but also physical transformation.
The idea of a transitional form between human and posthuman is known as transhuman, or trans-human. Stated differently, a transhuman is a creature that has most characteristics with humans yet possesses traits and capabilities not seen in typical humans.
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Transhumanism In The Bible
Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that seeks to use technology to enhance human abilities beyond their natural limits. It is a controversial topic that has been the subject of much debate and discussion among scholars and theologians. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically mention transhumanism, it does contain passages that theologians and scholars have interpreted in various ways.
One interpretation of the Bible is that it condemns transhumanism. This interpretation is based on the idea that transhumanism is a form of rebellion against God’s plan for humanity. The Bible teaches that humans were created in God’s image and that we should not try to change that image. Some scholars argue that transhumanism is an attempt to play God and that it is a form of idolatry.
However, other scholars interpret the Bible differently. They argue that the Bible does not condemn transhumanism but rather affirms it. They point to passages such as Genesis 1:26, which says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, over the livestock, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” Some scholars interpret this passage as a mandate to use technology to enhance human abilities.
Another passage that is often cited in discussions of transhumanism is Revelation 21:5, which says, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Some academics interpret this passage as a promise of a brand-new creation that will result from human ingenuity and technological advancement.
The debate over transhumanism in the Bible is a complex one. While some scholars argue that it is a form of rebellion against God’s plan for humanity, others argue that it is an affirmation of human creativity and ingenuity. Regardless of the interpretation, it is clear that transhumanism is a topic that raises important questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship with technology.
Transhumanism and Christianity
A philosophical and cultural perspective known as transhumanism promotes technological innovation as a means of human progress. To be more precise, transhumanism promotes the employment of artificial improvements in an effort to make humanity “more than” human. It is essentially a kind of utopianism, which is the conviction that people are capable of changing for the better and establishing a paradise on earth. The Bible and the underlying notion of bettering our state are completely consistent. Indeed, according to John 10:10, it is one of the goals of a Christian lifestyle. However, transhumanism defies the Bible because it holds that humankind is fully autonomous and able to transform itself without the assistance of God (Jeremiah 17:9).
Under the transhumanist umbrella, there are subcategories and subgenres of thinking, just as in any other cultural movement. There are some admirable objectives that drive transhumanism. Some want to lessen pain or enhance their quality of life (Luke 12:33). When taken too far, though, it can turn into an obsession with immortality, a means of avoiding moral obligations, or even a standalone religion. Technology will not bring about humanity’s ultimate salvation; rather, God alone (Revelation 21:1) will achieve it.
Since God gives humans authority over the planet, there are technological ways to improve human welfare that are morally just. That does not imply that people may alter who they are in any manner, nor that they are completely free to do so. In the end, God rules over us; we do not rule over ourselves. When someone adopts the belief that they are capable of self-repair, they usurp God’s rights and put themselves in an impractical spiritual position. The Creator’s wisdom, might, and talent simply cannot be compared to ours (Job 38:2-5).
Even if modern man possesses technology that was unthinkable for generations a thousand years ago, we are still fallible human beings in need of a Savior (1 John 1:8). We’ve learned from experience that people are generally just as unethical when using technology as they are when they don’t. “What science has really done is to introduce us to improved means in order to obtain hitherto unimproved or rather deteriorated ends,” according to Aldous Huxley. To put it another way, science only makes human sin more sophisticated—it doesn’t make people more moral or less wicked. The utopian side of transhumanism is just as imaginary as its spiritual side, as human experience shows.
Christian Response To Transhumanism
The transhumanism movement aims to expand human intelligence, perception, and physical prowess, yet this betrays a lack of understanding of what it is to be human.2. Its proponents aim to combine new technologies like molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence4 with established ones like information technology and embryonic gene editing (what is CRISPR?). These technologies alone are not always bad, but how they are applied presents moral questions for society. According to Xiao Liu, “We’re entering the era of the ‘Internet of Bodies,’ where a variety of implantable, ingestible, and wearable devices will collect our physical data.”5. According to transhumanist ideas, the evolutionary concept that mankind is only a work in progress gives birth to this application of new technology.
“Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman, beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have.”
This viewpoint directly challenges our understanding of what it means to be human, made in God’s image. Transhumanism is essentially the concept that evolution requires assistance, even if its definition is somewhat ambiguous. This is paradoxical when you consider that evolution is already receiving intelligent design assistance! Transhumanists claim that by taking humanity to “the next level,” they will be able to overcome their inherent constraints and self-create Humanity 2.07, or Life 3.0 as Max Tegmark refers to it. This is frequently described as the rise of a species that is “post-human.” Indeed, transhumanism’s tight ties to evolution suggest that it is a byproduct of eugenics. In a 1957 article, eugenicist and evolutionary scientist Julian Huxley coined the term “transhumanism” and claimed that:
“ … once there are enough people who can truly say that [they believe in transhumanism], the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Pekin [sic] man.”8
Such wishful, utopian thinking continues today, but instead of it being a fringe idea, Huxley’s successors have the ear of leading politicians and get to freely propagate their views on global forums. Yuval Noah Harari is professor of history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and an advisor to the World Economic Forum. He put the situation as follows in a book entitled Homo Deus (man-god):
“Instead, bioengineers will take the old Sapiens body, and intentionally rewrite its genetic code, rewire its brain circuits, alter its biochemical balance, and even grow entirely new limbs. They will thereby create new godlings, who might be as different from us Sapiens as we are different from Homo erectus.”
Instead of accepting the existence of the God of the Bible, Harari wants to deify humanity. He thinks that transhumanism results in worship of the self because enlightened humanists, with their confidence in evolution, have taken away faith in God and placed it in other people.
The Christian view
Naturally, for hundreds of years, humans have utilized technology advancements to enhance people’s lives; so, what is wrong with transhumanism? Steve Fuller, a professor of sociology and former supporter of the Intelligent Design movement, contends that transhumanism is only the next phase of technological advancement that has been happening for several centuries and that there is nothing to fear from it.
However, when it comes to the ways in which technology may be used by humans to influence the course of human history, there is a fundamental distinction between the ideas of Judeo-Christianity and atheistic evolution. Christians contend that while humans are made in God’s image, we are ill and eventually die because of the consequences of the Fall. Our goal in life is to live as healthily as possible, and we try to help others as well. By doing this, we want to prolong life while preserving quality of life. But in the end, one must confront the harsh truth of death (Hebrews 9:27). There is no device that man could create that could stop death. The good news is that redemption and sin forgiveness are spiritually attainable because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross; believers in Christ anticipate the resurrection and everlasting life.
Since humans were made in God’s image, there is also something sacred about them, which is why changing the definition of what it means to be human raises ethical concerns. Conversely, atheistic philosophers maintain that because humans are only the outcome of natural selection throughout evolution, they are malleable and subject to the whims of affluent technocrats and scientists. These two points of view influence our perception of mankind.
Christians hold that humanity may transcend the repercussions of the Fall by using technology for the good of others. Certain technology that could seem to fall under the purview of transhumanism might really aid in the healing process for some people. To combat human weakness, a person may wear glasses or a hearing aid, or take medication to recuperate from a sickness. A person who loses a limb may use a prosthetic device to aid in their movement. Therefore, technology may be used to promote human flourishing and well-being or to maximize the potential of those who are disabled or afflicted with illness; these applications do not aim to usher in a post-human society. On the other side, transhumanism expands this to claim that humanity has to be enhanced via the use of technologies like genetic engineering and microchips, which is motivated by the belief in godless evolution. The goal is to make mankind “better,” but without actually understanding what it is to be genuinely human.
In conclusion, transhumanism is a philosophical movement that seeks to use technology to enhance human abilities beyond their natural limits. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically mention transhumanism, it does contain passages that theologians and scholars have interpreted in various ways. Some scholars argue that transhumanism is a form of rebellion against God’s plan for humanity, while others argue that it is an affirmation of human creativity and ingenuity. Regardless of the interpretation, it is clear that transhumanism is a topic that raises important questions about the nature of humanity and our relationship with technology.