Meilaender on Transhumanism

At the New Atlantis, Gilbert Meilaender investigates the short-sightedness of the transhumanist movement:

“En route to what? How we answer that question makes an enormous difference in how we understand hope. For Aquinas — as for the Christian tradition on which he drew — what human beings hope for is a lasting union with the God Who has shared our vulnerability and overcome it. Only the beauty and goodness of this God can catch the heart and hold it still, answering its deepest desire. Such Christian hope for beatitude is not a desire for more of this life, wonderful though it is; nor is it a desire even for a “complete life,” however precisely we picture its shape; nor is it a desire for any human or posthuman future that we ourselves might fashion. Only if we were to stifle the human eros for God could we suppose that an extended longevity of our own making could ever lead us to imagine that we had arrived at the desired goal.”

Read here.

3 comments on “Meilaender on Transhumanism

  1. charles allan says:

    Yes I would agree – as Jesus said we cannot make one hair black
    or white.

  2. K T Cat says:

    Great link. I haven’t read the whole thing, but I was drawn to this passage:

    “The desire for such total control draws us into thinking of ourselves in a way that misses important aspects of our humanity. The posthumanist vision begins with a thoroughgoing commitment to materialistic reductionism, in order to re-imagine human beings as immaterial — as utterly disembodied. We are, according to this view, what our brains do. Mind and personal identity are located in the pattern of information housed in the brain, and our memories and emotions are simply the behavior of its nerve cells. Having reduced mind to that, we can then imagine the possibility of transferring it to a computer program, where the “self” would remain in entirely immaterial form.”

    What’s the point? If all I am is my physical being – a transient blob of subatomic particles, why bother? What’s my goal, to influence other blobs of subatomic particles? To spend more cycles staring at still more blobs of subatomic particles? It seems like a lot of effort for no payoff. We might as well spend that research money getting drunk and having lots of meaningless sex.

  3. K T Cat says:

    One more thing. I think this is hugely overthinking the problem. As I have engaged scientific atheists on my blog, I have discovered that there really isn’t anything there at all. It’s just a stick to beat Christians and a way to excuse hedonism. No one cares where the brain is, what the soul is, or what is “you.” All they want is to be allowed to have sex with their dog, should they so choose. You stand in the way with your judgmental religion, so they need to find an intellectual construct to overcome you. The intellectual construct doesn’t need to stand up to close scrutiny, it just needs to make the discussion too complicated to follow so they can go indulge themselves.