Skip to comments.The Next Big Science vs. Church Battle: Can Transhumanism and Christianity Co-Exist?
Posted on 10/05/2015 3:29:05 AM PDT by Enlightened1
Can churches engage transhumanism, which may very well be the next big science vs. religion battle, positively or should they absolutely resist this movement, an academic institution in Alabama asked during a multi-day event focused on whether Christianity and Transhumanism could co-exist.
Samford University's Center for Science and Religion held the event, titled "Transhumanism and the Church," which took place from Sept. 24-26 and featured 27 presentations with approximately 120 attendees for the opening lecture alone.
Transhumanism is the theory that science and technology can be used to advance the evolution of human beings beyond current physical and mental limitations.
A spokesperson for Samford directed The Christian Post to statements made by Professor Steve Donaldson, program director in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and a senior fellow in Samford's Center for Science and Religion.
"[Transhumanism's] potential ramifications for the church are substantial. Can a climate be created in which churches and people of religious faith engage a transhumanist future positively or must the church resist? Is resistance futile?" stated Donaldson.
"Recognizing that differences of opinion on the merits of technological enhancement do not necessarily depend upon religious orientation, can the church actually lead the way toward common and beneficial perspectives?"
Donaldson also stated that he and the Center believed that "this is quite possibly the next big science and religion issue to face the church."
this conference was meant to constitute an early step in developing a coherent and forward-looking Christian approach to the relationship between transhumanist endeavors and the church," continued Donaldson
(Excerpt) Read more at christianpost.com ...
The article uses the world "evolution" but there is no evolution here.
The common term is "transhuman" but there is no reason to think anyone will stop being human.
The Church cares about your soul and there is no reason to think people are not going to have souls.
The writer seems to be looking for a fight for some reason.
Tower of Babel all over again.
“Space Seed” and “The Wrath of Khan”. That is a night well spent in front of the Television. And I do not like the television.
I would think that as we push these boundaries we’d do well to keep faith in our hearts lest we completely lose ourselves and our humanity. Especially on the author is speaking towards “transgender” over than “transhuman”, given that the mental state of transgendered individuals cries out as a tormented soul moreso than anything else. The technology is just a means to augment said torment and make it irreversible.
Goodness, even a simple pair of eye glasses is augmentation.
All that is happening with 'transhumanism' is simply making it more 'high technology.'
I just don't see what the problem would be. As some other FReeper said, it's about the soul.
>>Strictly speaking, and concentrating solely on body augmentation, I do not see what the issue would be. After all, there are many advances in medicine that already augment the human body. For example, a life saving blood transfusion is not just giving the body more oxygen carrying capacity, but it is also augmenting the body’s own mechanism of RBC/hemoglobin production. A skin graft after a bad burn is helping the body’s healing capability. A heart transplant. A cornea transplant. A hip replacement. An cochlear implant to help you hear.
>>Goodness, even a simple pair of eye glasses is augmentation.
The only one of those that is an augmentation is the cochlear implant. The rest are repairs and replacements that are inferior to the original equipment.
The high priest of the transhuman movement, Ray Kurzweil, leads his disciples to believe in improvements over what God created. This involves implanted technology, gene splicing, and even nanobots in your bloodstream, vat-grown organs with your own DNA, or robot bodies to extend our life for 200 years or beyond . Of course, most of the technology is only science fiction at this point. But some of it exists now and people want to use it.
The issue is sin and how does a Christian relate to it. Sin is defined in 1 John 3:4 as “transgression of the Law”, meaning God’s Law as expressed mainly in the Ten Commandments. People who continue to commit sin, such as those who advocate socialism or homosexuality cannot be granted the free (but conditional) gift of eternal life that Jesus offers in John 3:16. It doesn’t matter if you have a chip implanted in your brain or not.
(and when God resurrects a person to immortal life, the chip gets left behind anyway)
The left has no right to claim they have any ability to understand science when they can’t even tell the difference between boys and girls.
Some of the proponents of transhumanism are vehemently anti-Christian and try to paint an image of Christianity as being completely against scientific advancement.
As some have already pointed out, there are many instances of transhumanism that the church actively supports. Prosthetic limbs, glasses, modern healthcare, etc.
Where the battle occurs and should occur is with respect to the sanctity of human life. Most Christians don't oppose stem cell research, but they do oppose creating human embryos only to kill them in research.
Genetic engineering is an area where we need to tread carefully. I suspect most Christians would fully support genetic modification treatments to overcome genetic diseases.
But if you start doing things like mixing human and animal DNA, is that not bestiality?
If we get to the point where we understand genetics that we can safely modify the creator's design, should we? There is no scriptural prohibition that I see. How do you get to a safe understanding without having horror stories and mistakes along the way?
We've modified wheat.
We've modified livestock.
We've done amazing things with modern medicine.
As to where we should stop that train, I think we're on our own.
Danny in post #11 is right. There are some aspects of “Transhumanism” that are not morally objectionable or anti-Christian. The problems arise when in the hands grossly unmoral society or government this science is used for perverted reasons and with horrific and morally dangerous results.
(1)Transplanting an eye from a deceased baby to help a living baby see is a good thing. But when greed leads people to encourage painful murder (abortions) (with no regard for the human life they are extinguishing) in order to harvest the eyes to sell them for profit.... it all then becomes morally wrong.
(2)To some scientists the goal of Transhumanism is Transcendence or to become something other than human. To what are they trying to transcend to? The answer is as old as the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, they seek to become “gods”. We already know what our God thinks of this, and what His inevitable punishment for it is. The truth is that no one will become a “god”, that is merely the same lie that Satan told to Adam and Eve. But it is a big enough temptation that when a world government becomes able to convince people that if they, for instance, take the offered nanobot injection they will be invincible and live forever, few people will reject it, and they will become totally controlled.
If you do not think that Transhumanism is dangerous watch this video of a talk given by Chuck Missler, evangelical Christian, Bible teacher, engineer, and former businessman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkJe9re-8AI
Yeah, There are advances that I’m not comfortable with too, but most I have no religious objection to, like gmo food.
I’ve got mixed feelings about gmo food. It may help alleviate hunger, a very positive thing. But do we really understand all the ramifications? Did it cause Morgellon’s disease? We are introducing new things into the human diet. But then who can argue against bacon flavored kale?
At what point does the soul leave the body or body leave the soul when the skin has been replaced by radiation-proof cladding and the brain is a silicon-based CPU running neural net algorithms?
What happens to the person's soul when his consciousness is uploaded into the cloud and then copied thousands of times later to be downloaded into a slew of various bodies?
What happens when a person can be a man on Mondays, a woman on Tuesdays, neutered on Wednesdays, and hermaphroditic on the weekends?
Will these highly altered "humans" have souls?
A lot of comedy really surfs on top of deep philosophy.
I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I’d settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice.
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