Why Christianity & Transhumanism Are Not Enemies 2
We should restate that these articles are addressed to those who believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God and who interpret it literally, unless it is obvious that a certain passage is metaphorical.
If the hopes and dreams of the transhumanists come true, eventually our consciousness or our minds will be implanted in a machine. The nature of this artificial body is still debated. Some view this machine as being a combination of our biological body with mechanical/electronic enhancements. Others, view this body as completely manufactured or shall we say, made up of non-biological materials. But no matter what may be meant by it, it still a material body, made of the elements of the universe. That is to say it is not a disembodied spirit. Since this is the case, the biblical principle that Jesus stated in the book of John still stands…
“Flesh Gives Birth To Flesh, But The Spirit Gives Birth To Spirit“
This principle was around long before Jesus spoke it. Transhumanism does not violate it, rather enforces it and enhances it. Some will say that even if it were possible for our consciousness to dwell inside an artificial machine, this would be a rejection of the body that God gave us. But this interpretation cannot be correct. If this were true, then it would mean that ANY enhancement of the human body would also be an aberration. Indeed, it is interesting to note that if the account given in the book of Genesis is accurate, then man was created naked and he clothed himself not because nakedness was a bad thing, but because he felt shame. God did not tell him to clothe himself. He did that on his own. Yet nowhere in the Bible is clothing (which is an enhancement of the body) condemned by God. Even further, Christians are encouraged to put on the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6:11. This of course is understood to be metaphorical, but, it has no meaning unless the physical armor to which it refers is also a valid human activity.
Garden of Eden
Once it has been granted that the putting of clothing or armor is a not a rejection of the body God has given, then neither can any further enhancements which technology and science might produce. Is a pacemaker a rejection of the body God has given? Are vaccines such a rejection? Are cars, which enhance the human ability to ambulate also evil? No, of course not. So then, neither should an external machine exoskeleton that enhances human muscles, an aberration.
From this conceptual position, it is only logical that science should continue to enhance a human’s physical abilities until until all fleshly parts are replaced. This would not be any kind of a rejection of any Biblical principle. Because all these machines, all these enhancements, would still be what the Bible considers “flesh.” Flesh in the John passage heading this section, does not JUST refer to skin and bones, it also refers to the temporal, while the Spirit refers to the eternal. Flesh refers to earthly physical materials. This would include any machine that is manufactured, whether it incorporates nanotechnology or anything else. And to make a machine, and to live in it like the transhumanists propose is not say that this machines are eternal. Ultimately, nothing manufactured or material can be eternal to any atheistic transhumanist. This is because in the present view of science, the Big Bang that began this expanding universe, will at some point, begin to bring it back together, which will result in the destruction of any manufactured machine. So, as far as anyone knows, there is theoretically no such thing as an eternal machine.
the Generations of the Flood
These man created machines are not even immortal depending on how this term is defined. Certainly, we know that Adam lived for a total of 930 years according to the Bible (Gen. 5:3). His son Seth lived 912 years, Enosh his son, lived 905 years. In case, one sees this as descending scale of years for each successive generation, Methuselah a descendant of Adam lived longer than Adam to the ripe age of 962 years (Gen. 5:18). He had his first child at age 65 and for the next 300 years was able to have additional children. I think for now, transhumanists would be very happy to extend their life for this period of time. These man in the Bible were not immortal, neither does it seem that they were immune to some sort of very slow aging. But we feel fairly sure that is a huge stone had fallen on them, they would have died. Just like no machine created by any man (or even another machine), can withstand the forces of the universe forever.
Even the original Star Trek series in the 1960s dealt with the issues of man and machines interacting together as well as ageless men who were “Methuselah” experience. If you cannot see this embedded video here is the link: http://bit.ly/ifQiCs.
Guillermo Santamaria is founder of the website Plus Ultra Tech.