Saturday, April 15, 2017

Humanity 2.0: Transhumanists Push A New Human Order

Humanity 2.0: Transhumanists Push A New Human Order

News Image By PNW Staff April 11, 2017 Share this article:

According to an official transhumanist website, Transhumanism is "a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values." 

This desire to advance beyond human nature has been powerfully embraced by many among the technology and science elites of the world who welcome a future of genetically enhanced, interconnected cyborgs who fit into their perfect version of the future. 

For others, this desire to play God sends shivers down their spines.

Though transhumanism still sounds very much like science fiction, recent advances in genetic manipulation and tens of billions of dollars now invested in developing artificial intelligence have accelerated the pace at which it is becoming a reality. 

Some future watchers are already predicting the upgrading of humans will become the next billion-dollar industry.

The famous futurist Ray Kurzweil, now employed by Google, believes that by the year 2029 computers will have an intelligence equivalent to humans, able creatively to solve abstract problems and interact in a way indistinguishable from your average person. 
At this point, computers will be used to design superior versions of artificial intelligence and that second generation will build a third generation in less time that is even more advanced. 

As each generation of machine, designed entirely by the previous generation of machines, emerges both more quickly and more intelligent, a sort of explosion in artificial intelligence happens. 

That is the singular point past which all of our current predictions fail. Does humanity fade away or suffer extermination? Are we elevated by the machines to levels we cannot dream of now, or pushed aside as obsolete?

This elevation of humanity through technological singularity is the ultimate goal of transhumanism, and to hear the transhumanist fanatics speak of it, you would think they are fantasizing about becoming gods. 

These modern day Icaruses with their wings of silicon and genetically modified DNA embody the godless essence of science today. Seeing humanity as a broken machine, they tinker with it in an attempt to fix God's creation.

A talk held in September of 2016 at Stanford University's Center for Science and Religion titled "Transhumanism and the Church" addressed the issue of scientific hubris and theological wisdom. 

The 27 presentations opened debate on questions of bioethics and the place of technology in relation to the teachings of the Church.

Steve Donaldson, a fellow at the University's Center for Science and Religion stated that "Transhumanism's potential ramifications for the Church are substantial." 

He went on to ask the key question, "Can a climate be created in which churches and people of religious faith engage a transhumanist future positively or must the Church resist? Is resistance futile?" He believes that transhumanism is the next big scientific issue to face the Church.

Dennis Sullivan, a medical doctor and director of the Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, a Baptist school in Ohio finds fault with the transhumanist notion of improving on God's creation. 

In response to the attempts to improve humanity through genetic engineering and implanting electronics inside the body he stated, "Theologically, I always thought that was a slap in the face to God who said that 'This is very good' in Genesis 1 after creating man. And they're saying 'Not so good, and in fact we can do better.' I find that very, very arrogant."

Fay Voshell, who earned her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, points to the level of control that a "unified consciousness" would give to the corporate technology masters. 

Embedding microchips in our brains to connect everyone into a global intellect would allow a level of control that would make every previous attempt at totalitarianism pale in comparison. 

Kurzweil's vision of man-machine transhumanism equates to "a total erasure of our God-given and unique human identities," in Voshell's opinion.
Just as cell phones and a constant connection to social media quickly became the new normal, it isn't difficult to see how a constant neural connection to a global mind-set could do the same in another couple of decades. 

And when genetically enhanced children begin out-competing unmodified offspring, the pressure there will mount as well.

Transhumanism has at its core an atheistic belief in the imperfection of God's creation and man's arrogant desire to assume the role of God. 

Craig Venter, one of the scientists credited with mapping the human genome, said recently in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, "We're going to have to learn to adapt to the concept that we are a software-driven species and understand how it affects our lives. Change the software, you can change the species, who we are."

Seeing our bodies as hardware and our genetic code and minds as mere software, these men believe they can engineer away from what is essentially human. 

Will we soon see Icaraus and his wings of wax melt or the tower of Babel, swaying unsteadily toward heaven, come crashing down? 

It is difficult to say, but one thing is for certain, with many billions of dollars pouring into artificial intelligence research and genetics with the explicit goal of modifying or replacing humanity as we know it today, this may be one of the most important fights of our time.

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