There is a movement afoot to establish a new religious perspective. Instead of God being the rightful higher power we believe in, it would be Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). As A.I. technology moves toward becoming smarter than humans, many feel it will become godlike and they have visions of merging this super intelligence with humans to produce a new creation — a trans-human creation.
Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that urges the transformation of the human being, by developing and using technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology. This enhanced human would eventually become a new posthuman creation.1
Augmenting the brain with A.I., as well as uploading the brain to a computer, are pretty near a science fact, rather than science fiction. So hold on to your hat, because there are futurists currently planing for this new society of super humans. Their ideas would seem to give answers to eliminating all sorts of human grief and sorrows: eliminating wars, pollution, hunger, disease, and even death; the very same promises given to humankind by God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4, NLT)
Reading a recent article in The Washington Times, I learned that this movement is not only serious, but international in scope. “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.’”2
The author of the article continued, “It’s one thing to be both Christian and scientist, and to make technological gains that better all 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.”3
The Christian Transhumanist Association mentioned above, believes that their mission involves the transformation and renewal of creation and that the intentional use of technology, coupled with following Christ, will empower them to become more human across the entire spectrum of what it means to be a creature in the image of God. They call themselves Christian Transhumanists.4
There is even a new religion being established for those people who believe that one day advanced A.I. will be smarter than humans, and will effectively become a god.5 In fact, for those who believe this situation will arrive sooner, rather than later, they can sign-up now with the Way of the Future Church. According to the website, they believe that intelligence is not dependant upon biology. “While biology has evolved one type of intelligence, there is nothing inherently specific about biology that causes intelligence. Eventually, we will be able to recreate it without using biology and its limitations.” They want to educate you about this exciting future.6
Those people who are allied with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can join the Mormon Transhumanist Association, which quotes Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith with “God . . . was once as we are now . . . You have got to learn how to be gods yourselves.” They believe that scientific knowledge and technological power “are among the means ordained of God to enable . . . transfiguration, immortality, resurrection, renewal of this world, and the discovery and creation of worlds without end.”7
For those that are interested, one of the better video presentations I have found, concerning the subject of Artificial Intelligence, is by Truthstream Media. I do not know the husband-wife team that produced this short film (about 15 minutes), but they did a very good job and it is worth viewing (see References & Notes).8
What is your opinion on A.I. and Transhumanism? Please share your thoughts below. Will these technologies bless humankind, or will humankind be cursed by it? Does God have a place in this vision, or will God be replaced by it? If you have a different idea, state it below. It is time to give this subject some thought, because these technologies are definitely already on the highway and headed our way.
Copyright ©2018, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- “Transhumanism,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12 September 2018), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism
- Chumley, Cheryl K., “Christians, beware the cult of transhumanism,” (The Washington Times, 7 September 2018). https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/sep/7/christians-beware-cult-transhumanism/
- Christian Transhumanist Association, retrieved 17 September 2018, https://www.christiantranshumanism.org/
- Leswing, Kif, “Way of the Future: A New Church Worships an AI God,” (Futurism, [by Business Insider], 17 November 2017), https://futurism.com/way-future-new-church-worships-ai-god/
- “What is this all about?” (Way of the Future Church, retrieved 18 September 2018), http://www.wayofthefuture.church/
- Mormon Transhumanist Association, retrieved 17 September 2018, https://transfigurism.org/
- “Will You Worship the AI God?” (Truthstream Media, 13 September 2018) – VIDEO, https://youtu.be/4l2RNa9Q7Ws