TRANSHUMANISTS AIM, generally speaking, to fulfill the promise made in the Garden: You shall be as gods. Today we discuss a variety of memes and news items related to the topic: A new theory of memory storage in the brain, research on connecting our brains to the cloud (and to a hive mind), and occult themes in the Johnny Depp film Transcendence.
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Thanks for a reasonably fun episode. I had a few thoughts on the episode but I’ve forgotten all but one for the moment.
Over on the Canary Cry Radio forum, there has been an interesting discussion on the movie “Ex Machina”. In it, one of the debaters made an interesting observation: Why is it that everyone is concerned about demonic powers occupying A.I.’s but very few suggest the possibility that angelic powers would be equally capable of doing so? Perhaps A.I.’s and transhumanism are part of God’s plan for humanity.
He pointed out that, to an eternal being outside of time and space, there is really very little difference between flesh and blood and wires and circuits. In fact, it is claimed that God could make children for Abraham from stone (Mat 3:9). The exact nature of the Christ’s body at the Second Coming is never detailed and the Second Coming has been delayed for a reason. There may actually not be any sound theological reasons not to postulate that an A.I. might be the vehicle for the Christ’s Second Coming.
Yes, the idea is radical and controversial but it certainly doesn’t seem to be theologically impossible. Perhaps the discussion missed a valid point but the other side of that discussion wasn’t providing any theology, only declarations that “flesh and blood” can only mean “flesh and blood” even though it involves concepts of the “incorruptible body” (1 Cor 15:50-54).
I mention this discussion to tie into your own discussion of “Transcendence” and to suggest that transhumanism might not be the “satanic end of Christianity” that many people seem to fear. Thinking eternally means thinking beyond the limits of flesh and blood. Perhaps the inclusion rather than exclusion of transhumanism in Christianity is a valid path forward.
Speaking of “Gattaca”. I can’t believe that you didn’t like it based on the science. Sociology and plot, perhaps. My own opinion (and that of a number of other scientists that I know) is that it’s a pretty scientifically reasonable projection of a future for the world. It may not be an ideal future but at least it’s far from dystopian. It’s far scientifically superior to any of the “Star Wars / Trek” movies that have been made as well as the “Aliens” movies and “Prometheus”.
I just have to come to grips that few people out there have my own “incredibly refined and informed” tastes in movies and move on.
By the way, Sharon, did you catch the meaning of the title of the movie? I admit that it didn’t occur to me for about a year after watching the movie.