the Secularist Rapture

Submitted by frlarry on

An article in the New Oxford Review considers the broad social and technical trends I hinted at in the post below on the "Bleex 1." Entitled, "Bio-Luddites & the Secularist Rapture," the article points to an organization called the "World Transhumanist Association," which promotes extending merely human capabilities with a variety of electronic, mechanical and biological "enhancements." Obviously we're talking about everything from traditional electronic hearing aids to brain implants to electro-mechanical limbs and limb enhancements.

I don't consider myself to be a Luddite. I like technology. Unfortunately, there are people who love technology so much, they would replace perfectly functioning natural parts with artificial improvements. It's a kind of technological idolatry. Having lost a sense of being in the image of God, humanity inevitably seeks divinization through artificial means.

Pope John Paul II wrote about this in Evangelium Vitae. In paragraph 22, in particular, he said

Consequently, when the sense of God is lost, the sense of man is also threatened and poisoned, as the Second Vatican Council concisely states: "Without the Creator the creature would disappear ... But when God is forgotten the creature itself grows unintelligible". Man is no longer able to see himself as "mysteriously different" from other earthly creatures; he regards himself merely as one more living being, as an organism which, at most, has reached a very high stage of perfection. Enclosed in the narrow horizon of his physical nature, he is somehow reduced to being "a thing", and no longer grasps the "transcendent" character of his "existence as man". He no longer considers life as a splendid gift of God, something "sacred" entrusted to his responsibility and thus also to his loving care and "veneration". Life itself becomes a mere "thing", which man claims as his exclusive property, completely subject to his control and manipulation.

As the article on the Bleex 1 indicates, our government has a powerful motivation to accelerate this exploration of artificial human enhancements, and there is almost nothing in our culture to put up a hand and say, "Wait! Let's think carefully about what this does to a person's sense of identity as human." We already know the kind of impact steroids have on a person's sense of self. What impact will much more radical enhancements have?


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