For The Sake Of Eternity Christians Need To Better Understand The Future
The church was instituted by God in part to stand as a defensive bulwark to protect against erroneous doctrine and spiritually damaging heresies from contaminating the minds of believers and thus to an extent soften the blow of a continually degrading culture. However, often those in positions of religious leadership are so hopelessly detached that when confronted with warnings as to the spiritual dangers threatening both the individual and society they offer little in the way of a viable response grounded in a Christian worldview and instead prattle on about matters few actually care about at best or at worst condition the average congregant to eventually acquiesce to the expanding technocollectivist agenda. This trend is evidenced in the inordinate emphasis upon COMMUNITY rather than Scripture as the authoritative source of values in an increasing number of ecclesiastical circles.
In my column “Just Because You Don’t Understand Doesn’t Mean Its Not Real: Most Epistemologically Unprepared For Bioenhancement Nightmares”, I went into lengthy detail how the Transhumanist movement presented not only a threat to traditional conceptions of liberty as it simultaneously veered off into either total anarchy or nearly absolute control but also threatened what it means to be a human being itself. As an important message I felt the broader church might be in need of hearing, I decided to post it at a website where pastors, ministers, and Christian researchers of various types could publicize their homiletic endeavors to share with their peers and other interested believers.
Though my essay did not contain a single profanity and was completely nonpartisan as it did not mention a single word about Democrats or Republicans but instead focused on the moral implications of the Transhumanist philosophy, the site administrator responded, “It appears that you have some great points and some powerful truths that perhaps should be considered. However, I am unable to approve it for posting to your contributor page at this time because it is simply not a sermon of a type that would be useful to very many other pastors that use our website.”
Frankly, other than the campaign to remove God and Christ as the basis of our cultural foundation and to forbid the utterance of these holy names so that souls might be damned, what other issue is more relevant to the 21st century pulpit than the efforts to undermine innocent human life and now the very creation as we know it? Furthermore, this simmering contempt for the distinct uniqueness of human life stretches all the way to the highest levels of government, industry, and academia.
Several years ago, I attended a PCA congregation for a while where it seemed week after week, month upon month that the pastor went on and on about the life of David. This series was not from the standpoint of how the strengths and weaknesses of this particular leader might be applied or avoided in the life of the believer as this highly (one might say overly) degreed pastor made it explicitly clear that it was not his place to highlight whatever underlying object lesson might be there in the text but rather to simply to go verse by verse irrespective of whether or not the passage had any actual spiritual significance for the Christian rather than as information provided more as a background setting but nothing the average person would miss out on if somehow glossed over. For this reason coupled with the fact that I was made out to be the bigger reprobate for not ceremonially surrendering to the dictates of the group through formalized membership than those that made it known that booze would be available at Sunday school get togethers I eventually parted ways from that congregation.
Is the serious believer going to tell me that such trivialities devoid of an applied context have more relevance to their Christian walk than whether or not you and your family are going to be permitted to remain what has traditionally been classified as normal human beings? Though this threat sounds so off the wall as if it had been lifted straight from the pages of a comic book or a Star Trek marathon, credentialed scientists and other speculative academics are subtly starting to move the public conscientiousness away from seeing bioenhancement or genetic technologies as a way to correct the ravages of disease but as a way to enhance otherwise sufficient human beings.
As I stated in my previous examinations of this topic, during the 1990’s about the scariest villains in popular science fiction has to be the Borg from Star Trek’s The Next Generation and Voyager as those belonging to this species has a considerable percentage of their biological anatomy replaced with mechanical components in large part to eliminate individuality and to replace this mode of perception with a unified group consciousness. In other words, the Borg were the ultimate Communists. However, now that some time has elapsed, it is now not all that uncommon to find in popular science magazines articles extolling the wonders of the Borg as the next step in human evolution.
One such article is titled "Is There A Borg In Our Future" published in the Fall 2007 issue of "Ad Astra". The authors write, "For years, the most devoted advocates of robotic and human cooperation have envisioned mechanical devices and human beings exploring space together; but even in this vision, the two remain separate entities --- master and servant, owner and slave, flesh and machine. Technological developments now beginning to take place in some settings might permit a true merger --- humans equipped with robotic parts or machines possessing sentient qualities."
Thus, as man is reduced to the level of a biological machine as a result of materialistic evolution, the naturalist naturally begins to wonder why ought man to consider himself superior to the gadgets he employs to better enjoy his existence.
The implications of this are startling and are hinted at in the very next paragraph of the "Ad Astra" article. The article says, "The social metaphor for future space exploration may not be Luke Skywalker and his amusing companions R2-D2 and C-3PO but the Terminator." Does anyone seriously want to live in the world of the Terminator?
The article downplays this particular speculative milieu by admitting, “The merger of human features and machine parts has negative consequences in The Terminator.” That’s putting it mildly.
In “The Terminator” series, a nuclear war is commenced by a defense computer called Skynet that becomes sentient. Its robotic constructs proceed to wipeout the surviving humans.
All of the Schwarzenegger versions of Terminators were robots with human skin stretched over their bodies. Is this what the authors of the "Ad Astra" article aspire to?
The authors attempt to calm the reader of the “negative consequences” they quickly gloss over by assuring that the horrors depicted in these films need not end up being reality. Ironically, those with their heads stuck in so-called “make believe” may have a more accurate understanding of human nature than those claiming to be more sensible in their approach.
The article concludes, “...if the Borg really are us, they need not be feared.” However, it is precisely because they could be us that they need to be feared.
A creation can never be morally superior to or better than its creator. Though created perfect, from the Book of Genesis, the Bible student gets the impression that it was not long before Adam and Eve rebelled against God and opened the floodgates to the evil and suffering making up the primary forces of history.
One could debate until blue in the face whether or not a robot was really alive or not.
But imagine how much quicker then if allowed to make their own moral decisions until these independent artificial consciences will turn on their metaphysical progenitors in much the same way we all do on a daily basis into what use to be called “sin”.
If the authors of the "Ad Astra" article are so keen on the amalgamation of man and machine beyond that of perhaps the replacement of a failing organic limb or organ for the purposes of alleviating suffering rather than to alter innate humanness beyond something intended by the design of providence, perhaps they should be the first to volunteer. Nothing to fear from the Borg; perhaps these authors would like to have their innermost thoughts scrutinized by the collective consciousness of that species. That will be, however, a hell these postulators would rather inflict upon those they categorize as the lesser breeds of men (in other words, the rest of us).
Sometimes, the overly pious or those merely afraid of losing their tax exempt status (though you might be surprised how often these two constituencies often overlap) might claim, "Oh, even if all that is true, we only address spiritual and religious matters and don't soil our hands with politics or even scientific matters." However, Transhumanism has permeated theological and religious thought as well.
One religion in particular, though most of its adherents would not necessarily be deceived by Transhumanism's bizarre allure, would seem to have a unique affinity for Transhumanism as one of its foundational doctrines is that God was once a man from the planet Kolob (sounding disturbingly like Battlestar Galactica's Cobol [especially in relation to the 70's version]) and that you too can become your own God if you try hard enough.
At the website of an adherent of this particular faith that was dedicated to the advancement of Transhumanism, my initial commentary on the subject is referred to for daring to point out the movement's communalist dangers as well as acknowledging how others have taken it in a radically individualist direction. This critic snaps, "Which is it? Are Transhumanists all radical individualists or radical communitarians?
The answer is not all that simple. Usually, the leftists that embrace nonsense like Transhumanism like to pat themselves on the back for being so broadminded as to be able to hold two logically contradictory notions all at the same time.
Yet they so easily dismiss the notion that Transhumanism can be both radically individualistic and collectivistic at the same time. For it is not a movement that is either/or but rather of one feeding into another.
In "The Children Of Darkness, Richard Wheeler writes, "Burke's implication is that a society of guiltless unfettered men is one ungovernable or at least governed by a tyrant (22)." Thus Transhumanism can simultaneously for now appeal to two constituencies with seemingly divergent agendas.
For example, in its initial stages, Transhumanism can appeal to freaks like those occasionally featured on the Discovery Channel who surgically alter themselves to look like tigers, lizards, or whatever other barnyard whatnots happy to catch their fancy. Albert Mohler mentioned in his examination of this subject someone who wanted to have a perfectly healthy leg amputated so this person would not have to be a source of “biopower for the state” (in other words, this lazy bum wanted to lay around all day no doubt collecting a check from the state he otherwise despises).
However, these dupes no matter how much they claim to be standing for liberty, since they are desiring to take liberty past a point to which it was never intended, are merely the pawns of the collectivists who quietly manipulate things behind the scenes hoping things will grow so marked by disorder and confusion that the masses will clamor for an iron fist to tighten around their necks.
Either as a result of willful ignorance or because they are just so burdened by the concerns of the present, the average Christian may have little idea of the dangers to both the individual and society barreling down the pike. However, those either deriving hefty salaries or at least job satisfaction from being one of those charged with watching over the Lord's flock need to take this charge seriously from wherever the danger arrives from along the timeline or get out of the pulpit.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.