By Judie Brown
A “perfect” person with no flaws, no illnesses, super strength, and a long life. Sound great in theory, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to eradicate suffering and loss? But think of the cost and the different kind of loss that would result. With these “superhuman” characteristics come the loss of free will, the loss of our uniqueness, and the loss of what makes us human. God has created us in His image and likeness. If we strip ourselves of that and become essentially robots, where will that leave us? More importantly, where will that leave our souls? Today’s commentary addresses what could happen if we allow technology to eat away at our humanity.
Anyone who has seen the latest DROID DNA smart phone ads realizes that such devices have become nearly inseparable from man’s person. As a matter of fact, the ads suggest that the phone is so much a part of the person that even his intelligence will be improved by merely using the phone.
These are superb sales techniques for the marketing of futuristic devices and, in fact, I own several different types. But the subliminal message of the human who is a machine-plus-human combo is what caught my eye.
The more I have learned about transhumanism and the philosophy behind it, the more curious I have become about exactly where these ideologues promoting techno-humans are planning to take mankind. By definition, “transhumanism (or . . . posthumanism) claims that technology can allow humans to transcend biology.” The advocates “believe that by merging man and machine via biotechnology, molecular nanotechnologies, and artificial intelligence, one day science will yield humans that have increased cognitive abilities, are physically stronger, emotionally more stable and live forever. This path, they say, will eventually lead to ‘posthuman’ intelligent (augmented) beings far superior to man—a near embodiment of god.”
Transhumanists, futurists, and posthumanists are currently hard at work in organizations such as the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Evolution 2045, and in NanoBioInfoCogno centers for “converging technologies” worldwide in order to manufacture an “ethics” or a “religion” that attempts to “justify” their various agendas aimed at fast-forwarding the evolution of the human species into a new all-knowing god-like “posthuman” species. Their “PR” plans are subtle, yet span across almost all social and cultural sectors.
This is not science fiction.
In the old days, many of us argued that once the door to engineering human fertility in order to render the womb baby-free was opened by the advent of contraception, anything would be possible. But nobody in the old days imagined the type of human manipulation we are now witnessing as human beings come to terms with current scientific advancement. From the first salvo against God and His procreative power there has come a rush to further dehumanize man to the point where one day he will be—in the opinion of some—a machine.
If this sounds a bit too far-fetched, consider these facts. Scientists now speak publicly about their use of “left over” human embryos as material that is providing them with ways to ensure the eradication of disease. Such scientists are literally genetically engineering human beings by manipulating them at their earliest stages of life.
These practices are the logical second phase of eugenic practices that result in the elimination of Down syndrome, for example, by eliminating prior to birth the babies who might have the condition. And from there it is not a far leap to the agenda already being taught as the next phase in human development. Singularity University’s website makes that very clear.
Transhumanists are hard at work legitimizing new ideas about the human being and his potential, including the concept of the androgynous entity or android—“a mobile robot usually with a human form.”
These things are no longer futuristic movie themes; they are quite real. In fact, as we see how human dignity continues to be attacked and denied, I am reminded of Malcolm Muggeridge’s profound insight:
In our post-Christian era death has recovered its old terrors, becoming unmentionable, as sex has become ever more mentionable. Private parts are public, but death is the twentieth century’s dirty little secret. What is more, the fantasy is sustained that as science has facilitated fornication without procreation, in due course it will facilitate life without death, and enable the process of extending our life span to go on and on forever, so that it never does come to an end.
It’s time for a reality check.
Download a prayer app to your new phone and start using it; our world desperately needs God, His grace, and His intervention.
Judie Brown is president and cofounder of American Life League and a three-time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life.