Followers of Christ, with growing frequency — with alarming frequency, perhaps — are jumping aboard an artificial intelligence bandwagon and trying to merge today’s technology with yesterday’s godly creations and in the end, come up with a race of people who are, in the words of the Christian Transhumanist Association, “more human.”
Eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil much?
The pursuit alone doesn’t seem to pass the Eve-apple test, to speak in biblical terms.
But there it is, in black and white print, on the CTA’s web site — this affirmation: “We believe that the intentional use of technology, coupled with following Christ, will empower us to become more human across the scope of what it means to be creatures in the image of God.”
Another: “We seek growth and progress along every dimension of our humanity: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental — and at all levels: individual, community, society, world.”
On one hand, how appealing. A world without sickness, an earth without hunger, a population buoyed by the latest advances in health, medicine, fitness, financial opportunity, social justice and so forth and so on — who could argue? But on the other hand — how Hitleresque.
“We believe that God’s mission involves the transformation and renewal of creation including humanity, and that we are called by Christ to participate in that mission: working against illness, hunger, oppression, injustice and death,” another CTA affirmation states.
Are we talking the creation of a superior race here? Or simply the eradication of all worldly ills and ailments? Either way, even a cursory glance at the Bible might offer an objection or two. After all, one of the caveats of being booted from the Garden of Eden was death; fast-forward to the New Testament and a clear and prophetic warning from Jesus was that trial and tribulation would come on this earth, to believers and non-believers alike.
Yet transhumanism, and all its glorious technological wizardry aimed at eradicating human problems, beckons — most recently in August, when the 2018 Christian Transhumanist Conference on “Faith, Technology & The Future” at Lipscomb University took place. Yes, these people not only have their own nonprofit; they’re organized, as well, and meet on a regular basis to spread their good artificial intelligence-based word as wide and far as possible.
It’s become a movement.
Mormons have gotten into the transhumanism act as well.
Flip on over to the Mormon Transhumanist Association’s web page and one affirmation there bluntly states, “We believe that scientific knowledge and technological power are among the means ordained of God to enable such exaltation, including realization of diverse prophetic visions of transfiguration, immortality, resurrection, renewal of this world, and the discovery and creation of worlds without end.”
What’s that, Ezekiel? God’s hand “will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations?” You don’t say.
Here’s the thing — and it’s something all Bible believers should consider before joining this A.I.-driven transhumanism drive. It’s one thing to be both Christian and scientist, and to make technological gains that better all of humanity. It’s another thing entirely to elevate science to such a level as to supercede and supplant biblical teachings and godly guidance — to such a point that the Bible becomes a secondary tool or worse, a subordinate consideration to the minds and musings of man.
The first shows an exploration of God’s domain, while still recognizing His omniscience and omnipresence. The second?
The second leads to cult-like worship of human-made technology.
And Christians need to beware the difference.
Transhumanism, in its runaway form, is simply a modern version of the false Golden Calf god of biblical days.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.