"A fanatical technological suppression of the self"

Seventh in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Six

Transhumanism Enters Popular Culture by Frederick Meekins describes how societal goals for adopting technologies are influenced by the Arts — in the form of comics, movies and TV shows. I recall the time when our culture was shaped by the Arts such as beautiful oil paintings, classical music, literary gems, and by the Bible as it was upheld and interpreted in all of these. Alas.

Meekins points out that if you are a Star Trek fan then you can understand the complexities of Transhumanism, even with its jargon packed with words like cybernetics, panspermia, nanotechnology and etc. He goes into some detail about "the Borg," aliens who "represent the totalitarian strain of Transhumanism… (p 217)

"Borg" is derived from the word "cyborg," which has come to categorize an entity whose physical components are as much robotic and mechanical as they are biological and organic. However, the greatest atrocity committed by the Borg is not so much that they impose these cybernetic enhancements against the will of those forced to undergo these procedures, it is that the Borg obliterate, or at least sublimate, the sense of individuality altogether. Through the systems of censors and processors placed within the bodies of those taken in by or assimilated by the Borg, the individual is incorporated into the Borg group consciousness known as the "collective."…

This communal solidarity is achieved through a fanatic technological suppression of the self… By minimizing the distinctiveness of each individual within the context of the larger group, even if one claims to be elevating the status of everyone by ensuring that each voice plays a part in determining the overall consensus, this notion of the ultimate communal entity having the only real value minimizes the worth of any of its singular components to the point of fostering a mentality of easy bio-disposability.

When a Borg falls in battle, the body is not respectfully retrieved, even when comrades are nearby. Rather, data components are extracted from the corpse with the remains at best reclaimed for what it can "give back to the community."...

As with other faiths and creeds, transhumanism can be viewed as having a number of denominations. Those bending their knees to the Borg as the patron saint of the Church of Our Beloved Central Processor believe that merging man and metal …ought to be the path pursued to take the species to the level beyond the merely human. The second path… [would be] by directly tinkering with the genetic blueprint already there to advance the capabilities of individuals to levels beyond baseline humans. This would be accomplished in part by adding genes from other species into the code for human beings. (p 219)

Will there come a point where the church will "have to grapple with just how much of the genetic code can be tampered with before it is no longer human?" (p 225) These and other not unlikely scenarios are considered in Meekins' PE essay.

This chapter was so insightful that I went on to read and enjoy one of his ebooks on Smashwords.com, and I enjoy receiving his e-news, sent nearly daily from epistolizer.blogspot.com.

To summarize and end his article, he quoted Genesis 11:6, And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Beware: popular culture is the wave.

Christian Transhumanism?

Sixth in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Five

Respect for life shines in many deeds and the lack of it is in plain view as well. An example of the latter: Brains Of 40 Dead Children Removed, Kept In Jars In UK Hospitals. Needless to say, their parents were not aware of this.

If you have not recently lost a loved one, you may not be prepared for the interviews and calls you will receive when that time comes. Start thinking now if you are willing to have the body dissected for bone, skin, organs; and get ready to sign on the dotted line. "Desecration" will pass from the dictionary. What could it mean in the context of doing good by sharing body parts?

Those reflections came to mind as I thought of how to present a review of Chapter Five of Pandemonium's Engine, "Christian Transhumanism: Pandemonium's Latest Ploy," by Cris D. Putnam. He gives direct advice to Christians to oppose the Transhumanist movement. As Christians, "we believe all humans have intrinsic worth separate from abilities…" (p 193)

The "Christian" Transhumanists berate those who impede scientific progress. The Genesis story is myth to them, and humans are viewed as "God's co-creators." (p 200) Desecreation is archaic. Not to desecrate is inhumane.

Putnam wrote, "In truth, we have what the secular world does not have: infallible and timeless principles revealed from the very author of life… 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 …" (p 199). BUT, study and discernment are needed. Christian, are you prepared to draw lines and determine what technologies you will approve and why?

I enjoyed viewing a video created by Putnam on YouTube, ‪The Attributes of God & the Borderlines of Reality‬ . The video post offered a website link, needgod.com. Great site!

I also visited Putnam's blog, http://www.logosapologia.org/ which is still online though he passed away at age 51 on March 1, 2017.

On his blog he has a post on his chapter in Pandemonium's Engine. I have included below some of his comments.

The term “pandemonium” has an interesting origin. It is the capital city of Hell in Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. I run a little theme throughout my chapter using quotes from the 17th century Christian classic throughout my critique of transhumanism and the theology and philosophies which under gird it.

In Paradise Lost, Satan and the fallen angels have been relegated to Hell and seek to mount a new offensive. In Pandæmonium, the capital city, Satan employs his beguiling oratorical skills to incite his forces. Aided by his lieutenants Mammon, Beëlzebub, Belial and Moloch they plot to overthrow God’s forces. The final strategy is decided when Satan volunteers to poison the newly created Earth and God’s new and most favored creation, Mankind. This is where an intriguing parallel with transhumanism comes into play as it has the potential to do just that. Not only could we create a posthuman species, germline genetic therapies could pass it down to the next generation permanently altering the human genome. The potential for a horrific outcome is real.

The American 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.” The potential threat is real and the decisions made over the next decade will have a deciding influence on the outcome. The theological and ethical issues are critically important for Christian thinkers to consider. This book is just one ripple in the pond of our culture. I pray it inspires many of you to think critically about the spiritual implications of the bio-technology revolution.

Angel fish
Public Domain, Link

...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1


A SistersSite eBook

Flesh and Bone and The Protestant Conscience is an e-book on Amazon.com. It is 99¢ and in the Amazon lending library as well. It is also available here in PDF format. The book description follows.

Would you let your conscience be your guide?

Does God care if the skin and bone of the dead are passed along to the living for medical uses? Is organ donation OK with God? Should you sign a Living Will?

Did you know that dead organ donors are often anesthetized before their organs are removed? Do you know the current definition of death? The conscience cannot function without facts.

As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

How should a Christian think about euthanasia by starvation when doctors and the state attorney general all agree it is time to withhold feeding from a brain injured patient? Some things are family matters, but someday it may be our family.

Here is a small book to help you think about whether you want to sign your driver's license, donate a kidney, cremate your loved one, and many other practical questions that may arise in the course of your healthcare decisions or watch over others.

It offers a special focus on the doctrine of the Resurrection that is related to such decisions. Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups could use this book to facilitate discussion about the issues covered.