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Transhumanism’s Vain Search for Immortality

Transhumanism promotes its own defeat-of-death eschatology

April 9th was Easter Sunday for the Western churches. Next Sunday, for Eastern Orthodox churches. For believing Christians, whether Eastern or Western, celebrating Christ’s Resurrection joyfully commemorates the permanent defeat of death and entrance into eternal life.

Transhumanism, which is a quasi-religion that worships at the altar of technology, promotes its own defeat-of-death eschatology. Instead of the New Jerusalem for which Christians yearn, transhumanists hope to live indefinitely — if not forever — in the corporeal world through the wonders of AI and other human-invented methods of technologically defeating death.

And it could be here by 2050! From the Daily Mail story:

Despite the setback, that same year, a prominent futurist predicted that ‘electronic immortality’ would be available to humans by 2050.

Dr Ian Pearson said that human intelligence, memory or senses could be connected to external technology.

Rather than creating a backed up copy of your mind, most of your intelligence would simply be running from a place outside of your physical brain.

In a blog post, he wrote: ‘One day, your body dies and with it your brain stops,’ he wrote in a blog post.

‘But no big problem, because 99 per cent of your mind is still fine, running happily on IT, in the clouds.

‘Assuming you saved enough and prepared well, you connect to an android to use as your body from now on, attend your funeral, and then carry on as before, still you, just with a younger, highly upgraded body.’

No. Your mind uploaded into the Cloud would not be “you.” It would be mere software that might mimic your reactions to stimuli. But you would not be there. The zeros and ones of the program would be impersonal. You would be, well, dead.

I understand the yearning of atheists and materialists to escape the nihilism that the expectation of personal obliteration at death can generate in the human heart. But eternal life is not something that we have the power to invent — no matter how technologically advanced we become. Whatever that experience might be, it will be found in a Kingdom that is not of this world.

Cross-posted at The Corner in National Review.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.

Transhumanism’s Vain Search for Immortality