commentary: You Will Become Like God!
Martin G. Collins
Given 01-Mar-14; Sermon #1200c; 13 minutes
Many in the scientific community are driven to artificially augment mankind's physical and psychological performance through technology and genetic engineering—sometimes referred to as transhumanism or posthumanism. While some of the goals of this movement may be laudable, the motivations behind them may not be. To repair limbs or sharpen the focus of the mind are good objectives, but to steer 'evolution' on its way, making man better, faster, and stronger, harkens back to following after foreign gods, or following after Satan's desire to be above God. We have been promised a dazzling future as indestructible Spirit beings. Nothing we could fashion with our hands or minds could compare with that.
For many years there have been, and continue to be, movies and TV shows that follow the theme of “transhumanism,” also known as “posthumanism.” Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international, intellectual, and fast-growing cultural movement that intends the use of genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, and our offspring.
The world is now obsessed with it. You’re well aware of movies that present this subject, such as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (from the '30s), The Matrix, Bladerunner, Gattaca, I Am Legend, X-Men, Avatar, Elysium, Transcendence, and the list goes on. Also, there are TV series that portray this theme, such as Star Trek, Six Million Dollar Man, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Sanctuary, Alphas, Fringe, Intelligence, and Almost Human. All have familiarized us with transhumanism. And, as if that isn’t enough with which to re-engineer society, there are many computer games and books depicting transhumanism. It is a major part of our culture, even if we didn't know what it is called.
In recent years, there have been astonishing technological developments which, in the very near future, will try to define redefine what it means to be human—that is, if God allows it. The intention of scientists is to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capabilities. Transhumanist thinkers predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label "posthuman," meaning, "after human."
Transhumanism was founded in the 1950s by top eugenicist Julian Huxley and the Rockefeller Foundation as a new brand name for the pseudoscience of eugenics. Its obsession for culling off the ‘genetically inferior’ humans, while at the same time striving to promote dominance for the ‘superior’ humans, had justly given eugenics a bad name, particularly after the Nazi brand of eugenics created during the Holocaust of WWII.
Sadly, what most people didn’t know at that time was that Nazi eugenics was merely the full-blown application of the principles that had been developed and were openly espoused by the British, French and American Eugenics Societies.
So, eugenics lived on, under many, heavily funded formats, one of them being transhumanism. By and large, transhumanism proposes to use applied science to ‘steer human evolution into the future’.
A transhumanist society will have, as its name implies, ‘transcended humanity’. We're heard the terms in some of the science fiction shows about ascension and ascending—similar to that. In such a society, human beings will have been replaced with hyper-efficient workers, bio-robotic warriors, and other purpose-made humanoid life forms. This means that their goal is to “improve” humans with implanted computer chips and genetically modified people to be smarter, faster, stronger!
Transhumanism sounds like the very stuff of science fiction—and it is: Technology advancing to the point where humans are rendered more machine than mere biology; consciousness borne into the infinite universe of the internet; it’s the veritable backbone of many a story out there right now.
Yet, to its very core, transhumanism is a movement of philosophy, neuroscience, computer science, cognitive science, biology, and a perverse blend of almost every aspect of humanity. It is a revolutionary movement that has claimed that the human condition will evolve alongside the advancement of technology and, though it focuses on the future of humanity, it also incorporates age-old questions about the human condition such as immortality and enlightenment.
In our everyday lives, we are always encountering how the advancement of technology has influenced us. Even now, people are still dreaming of a future in which it would be possible for artificial limbs to become fully integrated into the human nervous system to the point it is virtually indistinguishable from a normal limb. Granted, to bring a person, especially a child, who loses a limb back to full functionality, is a positive thing. But transhumanism encourages the use of artificial enhancements to try to push mankind towards something “more than human.”
Fundamentally, it is a form of utopianism, the belief that human beings can change themselves and create heaven on earth. The basic idea of improving the human condition is compatible with the Word of God. In fact, it is one of the purposes of a Christian lifestyle. But transhumanism contradicts the Bible when it assumes that humanity is completely sovereign and capable of self-directed change without the need for God.
Like any other cultural movement, there are subsets and subcategories of thought under the transhumanist label. Transhumanism is marketed as a way to reduce suffering or improve quality of life, but just as drugs have side effects, so too does transhumanism. Taken to the extreme, though, it can become a pursuit of immortality, an escape from moral boundaries, or a form of religion in and of itself. The social engineers will be surprised to find out that the ultimate salvation of mankind is something that will be accomplished by God alone, NOT by technology or genetic manipulation.
Since God gave mankind dominion over the earth, there are spiritually acceptable means of improving the human condition through technology. That doesn’t mean that humans are fully capable, or even fully free, to change ourselves in any way we choose. Prosthetics is certainly a blessing to those who have lost limbs through war, disease, or accident. Ultimately, God is sovereign over us; we are not sovereign over ourselves. Once people take the view that they can re-create themselves, they place themselves in a presumptuous spiritual position.
Since humans are the creation of God, then to change that creation to a different state than its original design is trespassing on God’s area of authority and responsibility. It stands to reason, then, that if man is made in God’s image, to change man is to pervert the image in which God made us. Since the creation of God is very good, then changing it can only make things worse.
Our knowledge, power and ability simply can’t compare to that of our Creator. He said to Job,
Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”
Modern man has technology unimaginable to generations of a thousand years ago, but we’re still human, still flawed, and still in need of a Savior. Experience has taught us that human beings tend to be just as immoral with technology as without it.
Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker! . . . . Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'?”
These transhuman scientists don’t understand that there is a spirit in man which only God can impart. This spirit distinguishes a human being from an animal. No cloning, no genetic engineering, no sorcery, and no transhumanism can create a human being.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
Transhumanists promise a future where all mankind’s problems are solved (no tears, no pain, no struggle for existence, no conflict between each other); perfect bodies and minds, and longer life. Sounds great, doesn’t it!?
The main problem is that transhumanism is based on a lie: It is a belief in evolution.
All transhumanist’s hopes and dreams are built on a foundation of believing that man is always improving himself. The false concept of evolution and of transhumanism is constantly being instilled in the minds of the children of the world from the earliest ages. And now, this society looks to man to solve its problems while fiercely resisting God and wanting to become powerful like Him.
This desire to ‘be like God’ is based on the lie that integrating technology with the human body makes one mentally and physically stronger than what God created. And yet man can’t even create a computer with the full processing power of the human mind.
Mankind’s greatest hopes and dreams (of no more suffering and long life) can certainly be achieved, but not by himself. People can be free one day of all tears, pain, mourning and even death. We have the potential to have a new incorruptible body that doesn’t die, not because of what WE have done or can do, but because of what our Savior Jesus Christ has done and what God will do!
The point is, the trail of foreign gods that were introduced to the Israelites in Egypt, remain with us all the way to the present day. Taken to its extreme transhumanism is nothing more than an attempt to become like God. Transhumanism is a religion, a belief system, that seeks to make man a god-like being. It’s the same wicked lie Satan deceived Eve with:
Genesis 3:4-5 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
From the very beginning of mankind’s history people have lamely tried to usurp God’s power, creativity, and authority. They certainly are not going to stop now. But they have and always will fail. Only by the power and authority of God and the work of our Savior Jesus Christ can we be changed into spirit members of God’s Family and attain eternal life!