of Christian Transhumanism...
So-called "Christian transhumanism," or the attempt to blend the transhumanist agenda with the precepts of Christian theology, has been around for some time.
But there has been a recent resurgence of interest in the project.
The book Religious Transhumanism and Its Critics, published in 2019, claims to offer,
The volume includes contributions from a number of Christians.
The "Christian Transhumanist Association" (CTA), formed in 2014, is actively dedicated to promoting transhumanism as a means of,
The problem with these efforts is that,
One cannot be a "Christian transhumanist" - any more than one can be a Christian Buddhist or Christian Muslim.
Transhumanism is a futuristic social movement. Its adherents believe that immortality is attainable in the corporeal world through the wonders of applied technology. The goal is to become "H+," or more than human.
Transhumanist proselytizers include academics like Oxford's Nick Bostrom, Big Tech gurus like Ray Kurzweil, and popularizers like 2016 presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan.
They promise that "the singularity" is coming - the time when a crescendo of scientific advances will make the movement unstoppable and transhumanists will transform themselves into super-beings who can enjoy physical life without end.
Western society is becoming increasingly secular, with an exponential growth of "nones" among the young.
Such a societal shift has consequences.
This is the crucial weakness of modern materialism, one that transhumanism seeks to remedy.
By offering adherents the hope of technological rescue from the ultimate obliteration of death, transhumanism offers nonbelievers a postmodern twist on faith's promise of eternal life.
But any attempt to merge transhumanism and Christianity is misguided, for the two are contradictory belief systems.
To obfuscate that truth, the CTA website assiduously avoids discussing the actual tenets of transhumanism.
It offers jejune statements such as,
In this way, the CTA conflates the pursuit of technological advances - which Christians certainly can support - with transhumanism's fixation on technology as savior.
Nor does the CTA website discuss the "means" that transhumanist advocates plan to use to attain this utopian vision - not to mention their ethical implications.
But transhumanists' greatest passion is to eternally save their minds - as opposed to souls, which is not a transhumanist concept - via uploading into computer programs, a concept known as "digital immortality."
This is hardly what St. Paul meant when he asked,
Transhumanists not only believe that life is too short, but that human capacities are inadequate.
Thus, the second great goal of transhumanism is "morphological freedom," i.e., radical quality improvement - not through self-discipline, embracing the virtues, or focused efforts at character building, but via materialistic means such as,
The ultimate purpose of this quest isn't spiritual - not theosis or sanctification - but to become super-beings in a materialistic sense.
As Istvan wrote in 2016 in the Huffington Post:
It's hard to see how any of that squares with the Christian's call to humility.
Transhumanists don't just want to manipulate their own bodies, but also those of their children. They hope to do this through genetic engineering and unnatural means of family formation.
According to the Transhumanist Bill of Rights,
And I haven't even gotten into how, by granting rights to AI computers and proposing to "upgrade" animals into rational beings, the movement rejects Christianity's view of human uniqueness.
Readers won't find any of this on the CTA website.
Rather, the CTA claims that by embracing transhumanism, Christians can,
First principles matter, and those of transhumanism and Christianity could not be more contradictory.
Its eschatology focuses on God's promises, not upon advanced scientific applications.
The two religions - because that is essentially what transhumanism has become - simply cannot occupy the same space...