Come to think of it: Transhumanism

The publication that I write my Come to think of it column thought that opinion piece was too controversial to publish. I will leave it to my thoughtful readers to ascertain the reason why.

The transhumanist ideal is to use technology to make man more capable, but such technological improvement stands in the same relation to man as a crutch stands to an invalid with a broken leg.

All this talk about transgenderism makes me worried that there is something on the horizon so horrible one would rather not think on it, and transgenderism may just be the first step to transhumanism, which is the final solution, to coin a phrase. 

The idea in transgenderism and transhumanism is the same: the artificial replacement and construction of a new or improved biological entity through technological intervention. Transgenderism may be the nascent ideological and technological development of a deeper and darker movement toward replacing man as such with machines.  

Postgenderism, for instance, seeks the elimination of gender in the human species by applying advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies to normal healthy human beings. True, the thinkers behind this idea say it is “voluntary,” and stress ethical considerations along the way, but ethics has little meaning anymore when human nature is denatured, since all ethical considerations are based upon nature and primary principles of reason, like do goodavoid evil, and such.

In C.S. Lewis’s third installment of his space trilogy series, That Hideous Strength, we get a glimpse perhaps into where all this trans talk is going–and it isn’t good. Ultimately, the end-game for the transhumanists depicted in Lewis’s science fiction is to replace organic man with an inorganic existence, which will end, so the story goes, all death, sickness, poverty, ignorance, and, generally, human misery. The assumption is, I suppose, that if we cut off our heads, we won’t complain of headaches. (The story has a man’s head in a vat of liquid, fed by wires and oxygen: the futurist form of advanced human life and prosperity.)  

Though Lewis may have gone a little far in exaggerating the faults of the transhumanist movement of his day, the ideas swirling around today, though less hideous, are nevertheless just as silly. 

Take, for instance, the idea that human beings can be improved through technology. First off, one of the principles of reason is that no effect is greater than its cause. Thus, whatever technological advancement man can try to make upon humanity as a whole, that piece of machinery will not be more advanced than the man who came up with it. Technology may improve men, but it cannot improve man, since a man made it. 

Ultimately, then, the transhumanist movement is not about improving man as such, but men, with this catch, that the improvers neither can be improved–because they invented the improvement–nor would they desire to be. That’s because technological innovation of man, transhumanism at its core, is only for the weak, not the strong.  

Think I’m making this up? Elon Musk, the tech-tycoon who is famous for his innovative enterprises from space flight to electric cars, is also wanting to make man-machines, or brain-computer interfaces through an injectable mesh-like neural lace.

In a Tweet a few years ago, Musk said, “Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machines.” The idea is that, as AI becomes more mainstream, humanity will have to adapt to avert the fate of becoming “house cats” to the AI, who will have all the good jobs. Man must, Musk says, go along to get along by becoming a machine himself. 

Come to think of it, I doubt Musk will be injecting his brain with any neural lace anytime soon, since, being the richest man in the world, he is in no danger of losing his job to AI technology–since he invents it.  

Come to think of it: Spring cleaning

It is spring, and that means taking our rugs out into the open and clean air and beating them with a broom to get all the dirt out of them. It is also Holy Week, the days recounting the time our Lord was beaten, to get the dirt out of our souls.

There are a number of theories which might account for why people clean their homes in the spring, but the most evident reason to my sensibilities is that spring is fresh and new, and we only want to imitate nature and become fresh and new ourselves. 

The desire to be physically clean, to have our homes cleansed by a mop and duster, and our house aired out with open windows is a metaphor for a deeper reality and yearning we all have, believers and non-believers alike, but often we focus on the wrong things to clean.

Some turn to more healthy habits like diet and exercise, while others think that a new hobby will rub away the rust that has collected on their souls. Still others offer time and talent in volunteering with their favorite society or group. All these things are good, but they don’t clean the soul.

There are so many in the country who are post-Christians, who have dirty souls, while maintaining the veneer of being believers, but the LORD has already spoken to these:   

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean,” (Matthew 23:25-26).

I do not want to sound “preachy” since this is no place to preach, and I am no preacher. I am a fellow sinner. I am also a Christian and an American, and I think that more and more, those two great empires built upon belief are becoming evermore remote from each other. America is no longer Christian as it once attempted to be in the public square.  

Genocide of the unborn, human trafficking, drug addiction, and all manner of uncleanliness has saturated the American people from the top down, a nation in need of a spring cleaning of its soul. But the question is, where do we go to get clean? 

People can go to rehabilitation centers to get clean from their drugs, or they can talk to their psychologists to get a clean conscience, but where do they go to clean out the bitterness in the will, or the lust in the heart, or the anger and hate in the soul? 

A bottle of Windex or Oxi Clean won’t do. We can scrub our floors and scour our walls but the house of our bodies which is our soul will remain unclean unless we address the cause of the uncleanliness which is not physical but spiritual. 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” (1 John 1:9-10). 

Many readers may love Donald Trump. Many may hate him. Many may think he is a fake Christian, while others believe he is genuine in his faith. Whether he is guilty of the crimes he is accused of, the court process may reveal in short order. But like Trump, we all will stand before a just and almighty Judge who will demand us to give an account of our life’s deeds. 

Come to think of it, David was caught in an affair, too. But far from denying wrongdoing, the worthy King beat his breast like a rug and cried out to the LORD with a heavy heart:  

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin,” (Psalm 50:3-4).

May we Christian Americans, and the first among us, do the same.