Science fiction nerds (self-identified) around the world would immediately recognize the classic phrase from the popular Star Trek franchise, Resistance is futile! as the chilling, mechanical warning delivered whenever the protagonists encountered the hive-like group of beings called the Borg.
Not actually capable of reproducing themselves, the Borg ravaged the spaceways, overpowering sentient beings they encountered and adopting the best technology available from every race they conquered and integrating and absorbing individuals into their collective by force via technological reconditioning.
To me, the Borg represented the most frightening of antagonists, lacking any kind of empathyinsect-like in their collective programming and actions. Their most disturbing hallmarks were their black bodysuits, protruding cybernetic implants, and pale, vacant visages.
And to be honest, the idea of having technological reconditioning devices injected into, running throughout, and sprouting up all over your body (which completely removed your will) gave me the creeps! But we all knew back then that this was just science fiction.
However, considering the pace at which (not just the idea, but the practical implementation of) technological implants are becoming commonplace, perhaps these fictional characters were a bit more prophetic than we realized.
Using science to enhance living standards in a fallen world is a practical and biblical conceptafter all, Jesus is our great physician (Mark 2). It gives us medicines and mechanisms that can help overcome accidents, crime, disease, and disasters.
Tracking devices can help keep people safe, and medical implants can regulate body functions and alleviate pain and risk. And sometimes, for more cosmetic reasons, surgical implants can improve the quality of life for individuals. And, like it or not, the concept of technological implants is becoming much more common in our society.
The most aggressive example of this in terms of implementation is likely billionaire Elon Musks Neuralink project. He hopes to start activating this brain-interface technology and implanting its microchips in humans this year, saying:
According to Musk, Neuralinks chip would be implanted in peoples brains to simultaneously stimulate and record brain activity in the hopes of treating spinal cord injuries and certain neurological disorders.
Another prominent example of mind-linking is the metaverse concept, which has likely seen accelerated interest as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The term metaverse can mean different things to different people, but in broad terms, it generally refers to a shared, enhanced, lifelike virtual world where people interact through virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) via the internet.
While people currently interact with one another online through social media, messaging applications, and websites, metaverse proponents see it as the next stage of internet development, and the Neurolink (or other similar technologies) implementation is surely a key component in its development.
Presumably, such technology will create online spaces in which peoples interactions can be more multidimensionalfor example, an employee in one part of the world operating a physical machine virtually on the other side of the planet. And the current COVID situation has created an increased demand for ways to make online teaching interaction more lifelike and effective.
So although many people use the word metaverse to primarily describe gaming worlds, many people are envisioning a type of online universe using blockchain technology where users could travel and buy virtual real estate and other digital assets using cryptocurrencies. It will be a place where users will immerse themselves in a whole new way and become linked through digital content rather than simply view it.
And while most reasoning people have no problem with beneficial procedures or applications in technology, like most things, these concepts could possibly produce very negative results as well. And Christians should be aware of one growing movement of particular concern that is rapidly embracing such concepts, dubbed transhumanism.
Transhumanism (as a quick Google search reveals) is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.
A large part of transhumanisms appeal is its overarching inclusivity. As the promotional blurb to the 2019 release of The Transhumanism Handbook on Amazon declared,
Some ideological stances that would seem unlikely to intersect positively (like Intelligent Design advocates and Darwinists, for example) could be imagined swimming happily together in the warm waters of the transhumanist movement.3
Spiritualists, science buffs, ET promoters, and UFOlogists are all able to coexist somewhat comfortably in a movement that at its core contains a self-guided salvation message that ultimately says that mankind is in control of its destiny.
As one Canadian Christian apologist and researcher (Carl Teichrib) explains,
As stated, implicit in the concept are two components married together: the story of evolution and advanced technology. This concept is not a recent one, as the roots of the transhumanist movement can be traced all the way back to the Great Depression.
At that time in the USA, a growing social movement called technocracy began gaining a lot of popularity because of the financial desperation felt by many. People wanted a quick solution, and with the growing crisis hammering the US economy, progressive engineers such as Frederick W. Taylor imagined a world where elite scientists and engineers should replace politicians as a better way to deal with the economic collapse.
One influential technocrat was the professor and published economist Thorstein Veblen, who championed applying Darwinian principles to societys institutions. A contemporary research professor in business studies (University of Hertfordshire) explained,
So the connection of the story of evolution to the technocracy movement (later to become transhumanism) is quite clear.
Many at this point might be thinking, So what? Nothing about this seems nefarious so far. But what they may be forgetting is that the idea of improving mankind through scientific means has been tried before. It was called the eugenics movement (developed by Darwins cousin, Francis Galton).
The worst applications of eugenics were the horrors performed and documented in Nazi Germany based on social Darwinian concepts that some are more or less fit to survive and procreate. In Nazi Germany, this meant the violent removal of some from the gene pool.
However, todays transhumanists tend to focus on more of a utopian model to bring about the ultimate human. And how will this utopia come about? Apparently, modifying our DNA (what could go wrong?) and merging humans with computers capable of artificial intelligence (who would be operating the computers?) will accomplish this. Teichribs article explains:
As the transhumanist website Technolife states,
By the way, this is no fringe movement. The Technolife website represents a research project funded by the European Union consisting of 27 (primarily European) member states, including France, Germany, Sweden, and the UK.
Although transhumanists are aware of the obvious comparison to eugenics, many have dismissed it because of the supposed overwhelmingly positive benefits it will eventually bring to the human race. But what about if someone doesnt wish to participate?
Well, as one transhumanist and human cloning researcher said,
And as you dig deeper into this growing movement, that statement seems to reveal the outlook of many in the transhumanist community. Wanting to be gods, they seem willing to justify the means by which it happens because of the end they seek.
As leading transhumanist Mark Pesce (coinventor of 3D interfacing for the internet and judge on ABCs TV show The New Inventors) puts it,
We will reach into the improbable, re-sequence ourselves into a new Being . . . translating ourselves into supernatural, incorruptible, eternal. There is no God but Man.
Men die, planets die, even stars die. . . . We seek something morea transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form. . . . We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect willto become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our imagefor our own delight.9
The blasphemous and misleading idea that man can become godlike is one that traces all the way back to the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5), where Eve was deceived. Satan (the father of all lies) lied to Eve and contributed to her doubting Gods words by asking, Did God actually say?
The Apostle Paul also warned born-again believers about being deceived this way and pleaded with them to be on guard against false promises of salvation that come from anywhere but Jesus.
And yet there are professing Christians that are transhumanists whove bought into the concept wholeheartedly. A fellow named James McLean Ledford (who runs the websites Technical-Jesus.com and Hyper-Evolution.com) is one such person.
The description (no longer available) of a talk he did at the 2010 Transhuman and Spirituality Conference (at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City) called Christian Transhumanism contained the following text:
Transhumanisms universalism is truly unmatched. Here we have a movement where professing Christians and atheists converge around the same ideology.
Atheism could actually morph into an acceptable form of theism for atheists in this view. After all, belief in a god/gods is much easier if you are the god in question. Then they could repeat the commonly heard feel-good mantra: just believe in yourself!
A 2003 report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (CTIHP), revealed some clues. This extensive 405-page document issued by the US National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce explains,
Apparently, this reports answer to humanitys ultimate problems is a worldwide, technology-induced unity among humans, which, like the Borg, seems radical and inhuman, equivalent to losing your identity.
Transhumanists understand this may not be embraced by the average person, so to assist in convincing those that may not be on board, the CTIHP paper suggests,
Radical indeed. Have Christian parents noticed how radical our public education system has become over the last 20 years?
Transhumanist lingo often refers to the convergence or singularity. In essence, they believe humanity will transcend into a higher plane of existence (sometimes referred to as the techno rapture) but ultimately defined as a point in a future time when technological change takes place so fast it produces a qualitative shift in society . . . the merging of Man and Machine.11
And what would be the result of this singularity in the transhumanists way of thinking? Well, their literature and lectures are replete with references to a future where there are basically no tears, no pain, no struggle, no conflict, and no death. We will have new perfect bodies and minds and eternal life. All of mankinds problems will be solved.
However, although this sounds great to the average person, the entire premise is based on a liethe story of evolution. And the sad fact is, what they are looking for is exactly what God has already promised for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus.
Unfortunately, they dont want to repent of their sin and go through the door of salvation to gain eternal life.
Ultimately, the transhumanist movement is simply deception, a way in which mankind is attempting to achieve eternal lifewithout God.
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