doctrine of man: a
critique of Christian transhumanism
purpose of this paper is to address a few of the many
theological implications surrounding transhumanism,
especially in regard to its consistency with a Christian
worldview. The topic is so broad that it can be best
addressed paradigmatically by examining its foundational
technologies and philosophies. This presentation will
first give a brief summary of the topic and then a broad
overview of the technologies involved. As the technologies
are discussed a few specific criticisms will be raised and
Christian responses offered. Then it will turn to
theological matters. First it will analyze the
philosophical underpinnings of the movement and then
interact specifically with the more visible proponents who
attempt to reconcile it theologically with Christianity.
The main points offered in defense of the thesis are that
promoters of Christian transhumanism are driven by an
unbiblical anthropology, a Pelegian view of sin, and a
profound misunderstanding of the Christian life
characteristic of theological liberalism. The first point
of analysis will be anthropology which naturally leads to
one’s position on the biblical creation account and
original sin. The denial of scriptural authority on the
issues of origins and sin results in an embrace of the
naturalistic worldview and leads one open to ideas like
Christian transhumanism. This will be revealed as
initially hubris and potentially grave sin. Finally, some
suggestions will be offered as a Christian response. This
paper will demonstrate that while there are some who claim
to be Christian transhumanists, transhumanism is an
anthropocentric worldview based on naturalistic
presuppositions that is incompatible with orthodox
is an aspiring international cultural crusade that
promises to break through human biological limitations and
radically redesign humanity. I contend that it meets the
basic definition of a religion and worldview. Adherents to
this worldview plan to extend lifespans, augment the
senses, boost memory capacity, and generally use
technology to enhance the human condition. It is tempting
to write off transhumanism as the fantastical musings of a
few eccentric gamers and sci-fi fans. However, these are
not just kooks; rather they are professors from
universities like Yale, MIT, and Oxford and they have a
secular vision for the future, an alternative eschatology
if you will. They want to conquer death and create a
utopia by technological means. The Bible promises the same
through Christ. These two visions are not compatible and a
cultural collision is inevitable.
modern philosophy of transhumanism was first authored in
1990 by Max More in the essay “Transhumanism Toward
a Futurist Philosophy.” According
to More, “Transhumanism is a
class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards
More is openly anti-theistic which will be addressed in
critical interaction section. Oxford
philosopher Nick Bostrom has refined and toned down
More’s initial rather virulent position. Still yet, most
transhumanists are atheists or agnostics and the criticism
that they are “playing God” does not trouble them.
Based on the premise that naturalistic evolution is true,
transhumanism looks to shape the human
species through the direct application of
technology. However, this depends on a myriad of
variables. We could end up with the six million dollar man
or the Frankenstein monster. There is a quandary in the
queries. What does it mean to be a post human? What are
the spiritual consequences? What about the soul?
Can a Christian be a transhumanist? While these
questions remain unanswered, there are those who
attempt to merge Christianity with transhumanism.
An answer to last question will be offered near the
end of this paper.
western Christian consensus has passed into history and we
are living in a post Christian era. Secularism is becoming
increasingly aggressive finding its voice in the neo
atheist movement championed by Richard Dawkins, Daniel
Dennet, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. Their
rhetoric of triumphant scientism is the zeitgeist of the
twenty first century. In large part, transhumanists share
this devoted faith in science, yet the transhumanist
worldview is more enigmatic. There can be no doubt that
scientific progress and technical advancements are now
poised to radically transform humanity. It is moving at
such a rapid pace that it is imperative for thoughtful
Christians offer a biblical perspective in the marketplace
of ideas. While this is increasingly unpopular, we should
not shrink back. This issue has enormous implications for
there has been very little written on transhumanism within
conservative evangelical circles. There is a Mormon
Transhumanist association, which is hardly surprising in
light of their polytheism and apotheosis doctrine.
On the popular level, there are two websites authored by a
Nuclear Operations Instructor, James Ledford, called
Technical-Jesus.com and HyperEvolution.com as well as a
self-published book all of which promote “Christian
Paul Tillich is frequently cited in support. Lately,
transhumanism has found theological justification in the
work of ELCA Lutheran theologians like Phillip Hefner, Ted
Peters and others. In fact, the Lutheran journal Dialog
offered an entire issue on the subject in their winter
The mission of the Lutheran’s seems to be a
well-intended one of building a bridge between science and
faith. They are welcomed in largely secular arenas and
their work is being taken quite seriously. Unfortunately,
with the exception of Thomas Horn, conservative Christian
voices are not being heard albeit they are likely not
Bostrom, Hefner and Ledford argue that there is nothing
wrong with a Christian adopting a transhumanist worldview.
I disagree for reasons to be discussed in the critical
interaction section of this paper. First, to understand
that worldview, we must briefly survey the science and
technology behind it.
driven by the ambitious juggernaut of the modern
scientific and technological revolution. The
technologies undergirding transhumanism are all part of
the biotech explosion and include genetics,
neuropharmacology, robotics, cybernetics, artificial
intelligence and nanotechnology. They are all interrelated
and fueled by the ever increasing speed of data processing
as per Moore’s law. For the purpose of this discussion,
we will examine them in a very limited way in two broad
categories: the biological/genetic and the
electro-mechanical computer technologies. Of these two,
the first has received the most attention by Christian
thinkers due to issues like stem cell research, cloning
and the world wide infant holocaust. As a result,
Christians do have a coherent position on the intrinsic
value of all human life from conception to the aged.
The basic position expressed by Francis Beckwith in
the abortion debate is a good platform to start from.
Still yet, one of the major new challenges facing thinking
Christians is our newly acquired ability to alter nature
for our own ends through genetic engineering and
discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson
and Francis Crick in 1954 opened up the architecture of
life to human intervention in a manner that was
inconceivable prior. In
2003, the Human Genome Project produced a map of the
complete human genome. Consequently, we are now fully
capable of using genetic engineering to alter ourselves. The
least controversial procedure is somatic cell gene
therapy. It entails the injecting of healthy gene material
into patients with diseases like Hunington’s.
The second is called germline therapy and involves
rearranging defective genetic material in a way that it
produces healthy genes. This technique increases the
stakes in that it will pass the alterations down to
It follows that we could permanently alter the
species with this technology and that the new one could
even split off. Current gene therapy is experimental and
the FDA is moving with caution.
These techniques are now being developed for healing.
However, it is not difficult to imagine their use by the
military, social engineers and utopian transhumanists.
enhancement therapy is something Christians should oppose.
It entails introducing novel genetic material simply to
improve one’s abilities. Transhumanists envision
altering or even adding DNA from other species into the
human code to create “Human Plus” a human GMO
(Genetically Modified Organism).
An instructive analogy is to consider the difference
between diabetics using insulin and an athlete using
anabolic steroids. There is a clear and normative moral
distinction. It is one that should form the Christian
consensus. Even on a secular basis, enhancement also poses
higher risk. To correct a faulty gene with what already
should be there presents low risk to the patient but to
add something new could adversely affect numerous related
Thus, it is vitally important to distinguish therapeutic
procedures from enhancement.
Finally, a biblical ethic discourages enhancement
because Christians are called to model Christ in
self-denial and humility (Lk 9:23; Mat 23:12; Rom 12:1,
most controversial category is eugenic engineering which
involves directing traits to improve a specific gene pool.
This brings to mind Aldous Huxley’s Brave
New World (published in 1932)
and C.S. Lewis’ The
Abolition of Man (published in 1947) both prescient
yet disturbing forecasts of our current moral dilemmas.
While eugenic engineering may seem prohibitively unsavory,
the idea is currently being discussed amongst the
intelligentsia. In a recent book discussing dangerous
ideas, evolutionary biologist and out spoken atheist,
Richard Dawkins, laments that prior to Hitler, scientists
in the 1920s and 1930s had no qualms with the idea of
designer babies. He then pondered:
wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death, we
might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is
between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child
to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train
fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them.
from the image of God in all people (Gen 1:26-27), there
are no grounds to resist the momentum toward social
engineering. After all, the current widespread use of
prenatal genetic screening is a private form of it.
Perhaps Huxley’s world of compulsory test tube breeding
is in our not too distant future? The uncomfortable truth
is that today we can really do it.
philosopher, political economist, and author, Francis
Fukuyama, agrees contending that “the most significant
threat posed by contemporary biotechnology is the
possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby
move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.”
Unfortunately, today there are competing pathways to that
end. Other disturbing trends include human cloning, the
production of human/animal chimeras and psychoactive drug
use. Now that human cloning is possible, it has been
purposed to employ fetal tissue harvested from cloned or
genetically engineered fetuses in gene therapy or even for
In 2007, scientists at the University Of Nevada School Of
Medicine created a sheep that has 15% human cells and 85%
In addition, neuropharmacology is already being widely
used to control behavior and emotions. While
there are legitimate uses, psychotropic drugs like
ritilan are being handed out to school children as a
matter of routine. Prozac and its relatives are being
taken by 28 million Americans or ten percent of the
This seems to be heading toward what transhumanists
optimistically envision as a biochemically induced utopia:
such as brain-computer interfaces and neuropharmacology
could amplify human intelligence, increase emotional
well-being, improve our capacity for steady commitment to
life projects or a loved one, and even multiply the range
and richness of possible emotions.
light of twentieth century history, this seems naïve at
best. The secular world view, rooted in material
reductionism and genetic determinism, leaves little room
for the inherent dignity of all human life. Ready or not,
we have already entered the brave new world.
1965, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore wrote a paper
describing a trend of increasing circuit speed that has
come to be called Moore’s law. It describes the
persistent propensity for computing power to double every
two years. This pattern has held true and is, in fact,
still considered a conservative predictor of future
growth. Based on this, MIT computer scientist, futurist,
and author Ray Kurzweil predicts what has come to be
termed the “singularity”. This represents a point in
time when artificial intelligence surpasses human
abilities and begins to design new technology on its own.
At this time, he predicts technological growth will go
vertical on the exponential curve. Kurzweil also envisions
the next step in the human evolution as the union of human
and machine. It really is not as fantastic as it seems.
Already, cochlear implants are hard wired to the brain to
restore hearing. Brain-machine interfaces are being used
to “assist paralyzed patients by enabling them to
operate machines with recordings of their own neural
Today, similar technology is available for gaming
as consumer electronics.
It is real, burgeoning and not going away.
Kurzweil’s optimistic enthusiasm for progress is
exciting and it is easy to understand the attraction it
holds for technologists.
undeniably one of the leading inventors of our time and
has been called the "rightful heir to Thomas
If one were to posit transhumanism a religion,
Kurzweil’s books The
Age of Spiritual Machines and
The Singularity is Near would be likely be considered
its sacred texts. Kurzweil builds his case on the
naturalistic evolutionary paradigm devoting a large
section of The Age
of Spiritual Machines to framing transhumanism as an
inevitable evolutionary consequence. The Darwinian
paradigm is a foundational presupposition as he purposes
computer algorithms that explicitly model natural
He argues that these and other heuristics derived by
reverse engineering the human brain combined with neural
net technology promise the rapid development of sentient
He predicts that computers will achieve the memory
capacity and computing speed of the human brain by 2020.
By 2029, he predicts the $1,000 computer
will be one thousand times more powerful than the human
brain and computer implants designed for direct connection
to the brain will be widely available.
As far as artificial intelligence he predicts by 2029,
“Machines claim to be conscious and to have as wide an
array of emotional and spiritual experiences as their
human progenitors, and these claims are largely
Furthermore, he predicts that, eventually, human
consciousness will be uploaded to computers introducing
immortality. By 2099, machines and humans will merge to
the point that there will be no distinction between human
and machine, or between real and virtual, thus eliminating
all war, hunger, poverty, death and disease.
Does this promise sound somewhat familiar (Rev 21:4)?
eschatology of consciousness uploading is littered with
unfounded assumptions. They simply deny the soul a
priori viewing consciousness as purely an
epiphenomenon. Our bodies are considered simple hardware,
a biological prosthesis, which we can re-engineer and
improve. They see the essential nature of our being as
information patterns and data stored in the brain.
envision immortality via uploading themselves onto
computers in the form of their brain patterns. Kurzweil
calls it “patternism.”
ELCA Lutheran theologian, Ted Peters has addressed
this observing that, “It assumes that human intelligence
and human personhood can become disembodied.”
This creates an interesting dissonance with the
typical naturalist mind-body identity paradigm.
In typical liberal theological language, Peters
argues that the term soul is a “symbolic place holder to
identify the dimension of who we are that connects with
This is problematic in light of scripture (Rev 6:9,20:4).
However to his credit, he concludes that the Christian
conception of the soul is nothing like the
transhumanist’s disembodied patterns of brain activity.
Kurzweil, human immortality can be obtained by uploading.
As a defeater to patternism, philosopher Derek Parfit has
composed a clever thought experiment.
The idea is that you are an astronaut going on a mission
to a distant planet via a new form of teleportation. To
accomplish this, your brain pattern and body type will be
uploaded and sent to the planet to be reconstructed from
matter precisely engineered from your scan. In the
process, your body on earth will be destroyed, but this is
not concerning because you will soon be in your new body.
Should you go? In Kurzweil’s paradigm it should work but
in reality it does not. It is not so much a matter of
metaphysics as logic. The law of non-contradiction will
not allow it. Consider a scenario where you are not
destroyed on earth yet the upload is successful.
Obviously, the person on the other planet is not you.
Since this person is clearly not you in this case, it
follows that it is also not you if you were destroyed.
Hence, no matter how hard transhumanists might wish it
were so, uploading will not defeat death (Heb 9:27).
That belongs to Christ alone (Rev 20:14
immortality aside, one marvels wondering exactly what
Kurzweil means by a machine having a “spiritual
experience.” It gets weirder and this is where it
intersects with theological liberalism. In The
Singularity is Near,
he expresses his belief in the need for a new religion. He
offers, “A principal role of religion has been to
rationalize death, since up until just now there was
little else constructive we could do about it.”
He states that this new religion will “keep two
principles: one from traditional religion and one from
secular arts and sciences—from traditional religion, the
respect for human consciousness” and from the secular
world “the importance of knowledge.”
This is not any different than traditional secular
humanism. So we must ask, “where
does God fit into this new religion?” Kurzweil
ambitiously resolves, “Once we saturate the matter and
energy in the universe with intelligence, it will ‘wake
up,’ be conscious, and sublimely intelligent. That's
about as close to God as I can imagine.”
In fact, it sounds strangely similar to liberal
theologian Paul Tillich’s pantheistic conception of God
as the “power of all being.”
Yet in Kurzweil’s mind, man is engaged in building God
which is effectively the antithesis of Genesis 1:26.
Indeed, it is exactly backwards: God created in man’s
its early articulation, Max More
made no bones about wanting to displace conventional
religion. Like Dawkins, he views religion as an obscurant
fiction and believes science has discredited the biblical
worldview. Accordingly, he argues that transhumanism will
supplant traditional religion. He boasts, “The
growth of humanism over the decades has begun this job,
but now it is time to utilize the more inclusive and
memetically attractive option of transhumanism.”
Conventional secular humanism qualifies as a worldview in
the sense that it provides a full set of ideas through
which its adherents view reality. Following this line of
thought, it is also a religion on the basis that it
attempts to answer the same set of fundamental questions
about theology, metaphysics, identity, origins, destiny
and morality as other religions.
In fact, the high courts have ruled in James
J. Kaufman vs. Gary R. MacCaughtry that secular
humanism is a religion.
In light of that status, it seems fair to argue that
transhumanism simply defines its eschatology. Thus, it is
vitally important to note the abject failure of secular
humanism so far. Unparalleled scientific progress has not
delivered a secular utopia. It has led to a human
nightmare. The twentieth century world total is
262,000,000 murdered by government and largely outside
of war in the pursuit of the secular humanist’s
political ideal of Marxism.
the initial vehemently secular expression by More,
transhumanist philosophy has been polished by Oxford
philosopher Nick Bostrom. While Bostrom denies that it is
a religion, he concedes that, “transhumanism might serve
a few of the same functions that people have traditionally
sought in religion.”
He states succinctly that transhumanism is a naturalistic
outlook and in a decidedly superior tone offers that,
“transhumanists prefer to derive their understanding of
the world from rational modes of inquiry, especially the
If one is a Christian in any meaningful sense, this is not
truth, we have what the secular world does not have:
infallible and timeless principles revealed from the very
author of life (2 Tim 3:16). However, it is more than a
matter of simple proof texting curt responses. Humans are
God’s highest creation on earth and are commanded to be
good stewards of the earth and its resources.
Thus, we have a mandate to engage in some of the
technologies discussed but with the explicit caveat of when
it is exclusively directed toward the healing aspect of
transhumanism is finding some theological support in the
“created co-creator” paradigm of ELCA theologian
Philip Hefner. Hefner
has become quite popular in transhumanist circles
authoring articles like “The Created Co-Creator Meets
Cyborg” and “The Animal that Aspires to Be an Angel:
The Challenge of Transhumanism.” Epistemic of the
overemphasis of God’s immanence in theological
liberalism, his idea
assumes that human beings emerged as purposeful free
agents from a natural evolutionary process and that human
nature is shaped by both a genetic and cultural heritage.
Finally, man is God’s instrument for fulfilling his
purposes in creation.
This theological construct has been articulated by him in
beings are God’s created co-creators whose purpose is to
be the agency, acting in
freedom, to birth the future that is most wholesome for
the nature that has birthed us—the
nature that is not only our own genetic heritage, but also
the entire human community
and the evolutionary and ecological reality in which and
to which we belong.
Exercising this agency is said to be God’s will for
humans. (Hefner 1993, 26)
view has been criticized for diminishing human
exceptionalism with its embrace of naturalistic evolution,
while simultaneously presuming to elevate humans to the
same level as God.
Hefner’s liberal theology is derived from his low
view of special revelation.
interprets the Genesis creation account as primordial
mythology using symbol and metaphor for man’s
He quotes Tillich frequently in his treatise on the fall.
For example, "Before sin is an act, it is a
This is in reference to the idea that there was no actual
space time fall of man, rather “the fall” symbolically
represents the inevitable tension between cultural ideal
and primordial instinct that ensued as man evolved from
his lowly origin. In fact, Hefner dismisses the
traditional biblical understanding as obsolete:
certain traditional understandings are seriously
challenged, including the necessity for simply rejecting
some historically popular insights. Notions of (1) the
"first pair," (2) concepts of the Fall that
insist upon some primordial act by early humans that
altered subsequent human nature, and (3) certain forms of
aetiological interpretation are among the elements that
must be looked upon with great skepticism. (Hefner 1993,
is highly problematic because it is clear from scripture
that Jesus believed in a first pair (Mat 19:4).
Furthermore, this view does not qualify as theistic
evolution in a meaningful Christian sense. As Millard
Erickson expresses it, “With respect to the biblical
data, theistic evolution often holds to an actual primal
pair, Adam and Eve.”
In respect to his complete rejection of Genesis’
historicity, his view seems more in line with deistic
evolution. For an alleged evangelical theologian, his near
scientism is disturbing.
The major flaw
in this line of thinking is that it completely undermines
the basis for the Gospel message. The Apostle Paul
as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one
act of righteousness leads to justification and life for
all men" (Ro 5:18). Thus in Paul’s
reckoning, the denial of an original sin effectively
denies the atonement of the cross. Furthermore, if sin is
merely a vestigial memory then the cure cannot be a
restoration via sanctification in Christ (Rom 6:22). The
cure for sin necessarily becomes the elimination of the
left over animal instincts. Erickson argues, “This
conception of the cure for sin embraces the optimistic
belief that the evolutionary process is carrying the human
race in the right direction.”
While this idea coheres nicely with transhumanist thought,
Jesus taught that “many will fall away”,
“lawlessness will be increased” and that “the love
of many will grow cold” at the time world evangelization
is completed (Matt 24:10-14) and scripture supports increasing
apostasy and wickedness (2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim
4:3; 2 Pet. 3:3).
Finally, consider that Jesus "needed
no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what
was in man" (Jn 2:25).
The fact that
their theology is antithetical to scripture does not seem
to bother liberal theologians like Paul Tillich and Philip
Hefner. The embrace of Darwinism and higher criticism over
creation and inerrancy renders one more vulnerable to the
latest postmodern trends. In his article “The Animal
that Aspires to be an Angel: The Challenge of
Transhumanism”, Hefner intentionally blurs the
distinction between healing and enhancement, often
equivocating transhumanism with medicine. To his credit,
Hefner does warn that while we are created to push the
envelope, “we are not God; we are finite and sinful.”
However, one must keep in mind his view of sin is
not the orthodox Christian one. While he urges caution, it
effectively amounts to hedging his bets. The
prohibition of murder in Genesis 9:6 is based on the fact
that the human was created in God’s image. It seems
reasonable to extend that to include posthuman alteration.
But Hefner contends that to object to transhumanism
on the grounds of the imago
Dei imposes an unwarranted normative anthropology by
thinkers argue that there are inviolable qualities,
chiefly, human inviolable qualities, chiefly, human dignity,
which are also threatened by biotechnology. The
difficulty with such thinking is that it imposes a static
quality to nature that does not in fact conform to what we
know about nature’s dynamic character. (Hefner 2009,
reads like he is arguing that the evolutionary mandate
trumps the idea that human dignity is fixed. It seems that
he views transhumanism as the inevitable next step in
human evolution. That transhumanism is a natural
consequence of man’s status as a co-creator with God. In
other words, it is deistic evolution via human agency. In
his theological conclusions he writes, “TH is not first
of all a matter of morality. Our existence as created
co-creators who face the possibilities of TH is profoundly
an expression of our human nature.”
He also contends that, “to discredit our God-given
nature is itself a rebellion against God.”
In other words, we have a God given mandate to
transhumanism. It is not difficult to see why Hefner’s
created co-creator is a pillar in the thought of so called
not nearly as sophisticated as Hefner, Ledford’s popular
websites also use the work of Tillich to justify Christian
transhumanism. Specifically an idea Tillich called the
“profound doctrine of transcendent humanism” which is
Tillich’s idea that “Adam is fulfilled in Christ.”
Tillich explains that “this means that Christ is the
essential man, the man Adam was to become but did not
This is not in line with the orthodox Christology which
places Christ as the eternal second person of the trinity.
It is also logically incoherent because Adam was created
through Christ (Jn 1:3). Ledford’s reliance on Tillich
is not surprising. Tillich’s over emphasis of God’s
immanence has been criticized as amounting to
panentheism and seems disturbingly similar to Kurzweil’s
Ledford’s webpages read like a syncretism of New Age
mysticism, Christianity, and transhumanist ideology.
Notable examples include, “Heaven allows
Hyper-Evolution” and clichés like “You can do no
wrong when the spirit of love, the Holy Spirit, is with
He really makes no effort at scriptural coherence
offering platitudes like “The
path to God is wide as we are different. And, the path to
God converges on his calling.”
Of course this stands in direct contradiction to Jesus who
said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide
and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those
who enter by it are many” (Mat 7:13). Ledford is no
theologian and his work offers no real challenge to anyone
with a basic understanding of Christian doctrine.
Unfortunately, less sophisticated seekers are bound to be
deceived by it.
As far as the
question, “Can a Christian be a transhumanist”, that
one need ask reveals a wayward heart condition.
Transhumanism is less a sin as it is hubris. The
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology makes the distinction
hubris signifies the attempt to transcend the limitations
appointed by fate, sin refers to an unwillingness to break
out of our narrow limitations in obedience to the vision
of faith. While hubris connotes immoderation, sin consists
in misplaced allegiance. Hubris is trying to be
superhuman; sin is becoming inhuman. Hubris means rising
to the level of the gods; sin means trying to displace God
or living as if there were no God. (Bloesch
on this, transhumanism is hubris of the highest order
while becoming post human is a sin. The “obedience to
the vision of faith” spoken of above is not Tillich’s
or Hefner’s but Paul’s. The
Apostle exhorted the Colossians to "Put
on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and
patience," (Col 3:12). Tillich,
Hefner and Ledford all demonstrate a gross
misunderstanding of the human condition. Humans are both
finite and sinful. We lack the wisdom and moral purity
necessary to decide matters of human
"perfection." Therefore, it is immoral and
sinful to use such technologies to enhance or evolve
humanity. Christians must take an informed stand on
transhumanism understanding both the appropriate use of
technology and the potential dangers it presents. Thus
a theology of healing as opposed to enhancement must be
developed in accordance with sound biblical guidelines.
a new anti-Christian religion in the making. Globalism is
leading to a “technocracy” or rule by the elite.
When transhuman enhancement becomes widely available and
it likely will soon, only the elite will be able to afford
it. This will create new a caste system. Furthermore, the
potential within these technologies for mind manipulation
opens the door for an Orwellian totalitarianism. Francis
Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis issued prescient warnings to the
Christian community that this was coming. Schaeffer wrote
back in 1976,
we consider the coming of an
elite, an authoritarian state, to fill the vacuum left by
the loss of Christian principles, we must not think
naively of the models of Stalin and Hitler. We must think
rather of a manipulative authoritarian government.
Modern governments have forms of manipulation at their
disposal which the world has never known before.
(Schaeffer 1976, 228)
they do. A major funder of transhumanist research is the
National Science Foundation.
The military applications are fearsome. Already we see
this trend of manipulation in our corporate controlled
media and increasingly globalist politics.
Considering Kurzweil’s prediction that there will
be cerebrally interfaced network
by 2029, the potential for centralized control gets more
disturbing. Quite astonishingly, Ledford predicts that “The
Antichrist will likely emerge but so will Christ. This
becomes a sign that Christian Transhumanism is the way.”
disagree with the latter, there may be some truth to the
In the public
arena, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a fair
hearing for Christian values while remaining true to
scripture. We are not convincing the public on abortion
and the President recently issued an executive order that
expanded embryonic stem cell research. While that is being
battled in court, as this research has demonstrated, there
are a myriad of even more disturbing technologies that are
largely unheard. The history of science is not silent on
one point: transhumanism will not wait for Christians to
catch up. While we have a duty to educate ourselves to
address highly technical issues with scriptural
principles, it is doubtful much can be done other than
serious prayer. Historically, the military industrial
complex has never been transparent about their projects.
Furthermore, there is nothing to stop ambitious scientists
from simply moving to countries like China to work on
their more controversial ideas. It is going to happen.
While many will want to participate, Christians should
take a firm stand against enhancement. Transhumanism is
going to be an issue that divides.
offered a brief summary of the topic and a broad survey of
the technologies involved. This
was followed by critical analysis of transhumanist thought
and its implications for theology. It was demonstrated
that the philosophical
underpinnings are atheistic and opposed to
Christianity. Furthermore, the transhumanist
hope for immortality via uploading was revealed to be
Particular attention was given to those who attempt
to reconcile Christianity with transhumanist ideas.
Criticism was offered that their theology is based on a naturalistic
anthropology, denial of original sin, denial of biblical
creation and an overemphasis on God’s immanence. In
the end, we must trust in the Lord to handle man’s
extreme hubris and sin. We have nothing to fear. After
all, we have already read the ending (Rev 21-22).
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