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Why Christians Should Embrace Transhumanism

Transhumanism, by definition, is a worldwide cultural and intellectual endeavor that has the end objective of transforming humanity by developing and extensively providing technologies that significantly enhance the intellectual, physical and psychological capacities of human beings. During much of the transhumanist movement, advocates of Christianity have rightly opposed supporters of transhumanism because of ideological differences. But the time has come for Christians to embrace transhumanism.

Much of the distress about transhumanism by Christians in the past surrounds its proponent’s vocal Atheistic attempts to define the prefix “trans” in ways that advocate individual enhancement through technological means to become “post” human. Many of these perspectives tend to lend themselves to the narcissistic hubris associated with Nietzschean self-actualization that forsakes the needs of the whole of humanity in exchange for self-glorification and exclusive personal gain.

Anyone, with even the slightest sensitivity to past events in world history, can appreciate why those who advocate peace and justice would not want to support such behavior. It is understandable then why Christians have appropriately reacted with caution and concern.

And while certainly such trepidations are not without legitimacy, there is larger concern that should be considered. Mainly that, by not embracing transhumanism, Christianity may be “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” That is because the aforementioned interpretation of transhumanism is not the only or legitimate understanding of what the movement is or could be in the future.

For instance, a more nuanced meaning of the prefix “trans” is one that implies traversing “across” the scope of what it might mean to be human. Such an understanding does not signify a forfeiture of our humanity but a collective bettering of it. This view of transhumanism thus empowers Christians to advocate for the development and utilization of technology for the intentional goal of participating in Christ’s redemptive purposes for humanity and all of creation. In doing so, we may then be able to continue to technologically enhance humanity in ways that honor God, helping us to more fully flourish as human beings made in God’s Image.

Moreover, as we are living in the highest point of technological development in human history, followers of Christ have a moral responsibility, as good stewards, to help guide the direction of this exponential technological growth for the betterment of humanity and the world. It has always been the goal of Christians to care for and heal the sick, give sight to the blind, help deaf to hear, the lame to walk, give voice to the mute and guide persons toward holistic betterment in community. Disease (Cancer, AIDS, Ebola, Alzheimer’s, Malaria etc.) and death are humanity’s enemies and, in and through Christ, using the technological gifts that we have been given, Christians should continue to work diligently to better humanity by overcoming them. Transhumanism shares all of these technological goals, and as such, Christians should embrace it.

But Christians should also not be naïve in this pursuit either, because for most post-human transhumanists the ideological battle for intellectual ownership of transhumanism is presently occurring. And those who want it for their exclusive gain are seeking to discredit Christian theology’s practical value to humanity hoping that, by doing so, they can actualize their personal goals by minimizing Christian concern for the corpus of humanity in need.

Fortunately, Christians have a numerical advantage against such adversarial factions in most places in the world. Which means that the only thing truly delaying the development and utilization of technology for Christ’s redemptive purposes is Christians’ failure to advocate for such goals. As such, it is time for Christians to embrace a proper understanding of transhumanism, and in so doing, to actively help to bring to fruition, though Jesus, the redemption and betterment of humanity and the world.

Rev. Dr. Christopher J. Benek is a pastor in South Florida. He is also internationally recognized as an expert social and religious analyst and commentator, techno-theologian, futurist, ethicist, Christian Transhumanist, public speaker and writer.



COMMENTS

I think all faiths can be informed by Transhumanist philosophy. I know there is a Mormon Transhumanist group, led by Lincoln Cannon. Aside from this, Pastor, I have often pondered why Christians don’t refer to Jesus as the First Transhumanist? The concept could be sold, by pointing out His resurrection, highlighted the need for human technology and culture to advance to transcend death, etc,.

Other similarities I have found. The soul, for instance, resembles Dr. Martine Rothblatt’s Mind Clone, concept. It’s an interesting concept. Certainly, physicist, Frank Tipler. has gone this path, some years back. It’s just my observation here, and since I am not a Christian, I surely, do not know, what’s best, for Christianity, but I am just comparing and contrasting two systems, religion and philosophy. Transhumanism is the ultimate, materialist, philosophy, so we tend to frame our visions through what science teaches.

Best Regards,

Mitch

Hi, Mitch. Regarding Christianity vis-à-vis transhumanism, see my following article on physicist and mathematician Prof. Frank J. Tipler’s Omega Point cosmology and the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE). The Omega Point cosmology demonstrates that the known laws of physics (viz., the Second Law of Thermodynamics, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics) require that the universe end in the Omega Point: the final cosmological singularity and state of infinite informational capacity having all the unique properties traditionally claimed for God, and of which is a different aspect of the Big Bang initial singularity, i.e., the first cause. The Omega Point cosmology has been published and extensively peer-reviewed in leading physics journals.

James Redford, “The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything”, Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Sept. 10, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708 , https://archive.org/details/ThePhysicsOfGodAndTheQuantumGravityTheoryOfEverything

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