Transhumanism — What is it?
Transhumanism is the idea that humanity can transcend itself, and become something "more" or "beyond" its current state. Specifically, the philosophy of transhumanism embraces technology as the means by which humanity will progress further along our evolutionary timeline. Much of modern science fiction deals with this and similar concepts, including artificial intelligence, the boundaries of sentience and consciousness (i.e. can a human consciousness exist inside a machine), and the spontaneous (or technologically generated) transformation of biological beings into energy beings that represent a higher state of consciousness.
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As a cultural movement, transhumanism has a variety of sub-sets, and a variety of goals. For some, the goal is to use technology to come up with peaceful solutions to conflict, or to solve problems such as poverty and hunger. This also has been imagined in fiction—Star Trek's replicator technology, which can convert energy to matter in whatever form is needed, be it food, water, an engine, a violin—is an imaginative way of envisioning a future where technology has eliminated the need for money. Without the need for money, the human beings in the Star Trek universe are free to dedicate their time and energy to exploration, to gaining knowledge, and to bettering themselves.
This is an enchanting idea. Transhumanism captures the human imagination, because we are all on a quest for the perfection we lost in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). But God has promised that if we depend on Him, and trust Him, we can return to Paradise; we can become more than what we currently are. At the moment of death, those who have faith in Christ will gain a new existence—something that is more than life. It is described as being "further clothed" and mortality "swallowed up by life" (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
Since we are fallen and cannot attain perfection in our current sinful human state, we need God's help (Romans 3:11–12, 21–26). Unfortunately, many people do not want His help. The most basic desire of transhumanist philosophy is that humanity will advance and progress and become more than we currently are, and do it all without help. Human greatness must be a product of unimpeded human evolution. It naturally follows that God's grace is unwelcome.
This is the point at which transhumanism and Christianity are most at odds, because Christians depend fully on grace to become what we desire to be (Ephesians 2:8–10; Hebrews 10:10, 14). It is a sad fact that many people who love the idea of perfection are so offended by the idea that they cannot attain it without help that they will ultimately reject the only One who could give it to them (Romans 8:18; Psalm 18:30).
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