BreakPoint: Transhumanists and the Quest for Godhood

Memento Mori

What do cyborgs, vampires, and bowhead whales have in common?

History tells us that when victorious generals in ancient Rome returned home, they would hold triumphal processions through the streets. Singers, dancers, and adoring citizens would shower the general with effusive praises. But to guard him against getting a big head, a slave stood behind him to whisper in his ear, “Remember, thou art mortal.”

It’s a reminder each of us could use every day. But some entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of the tech world see their mortality and humanity not as realities to accept, but as hurdles to overcome.

Take billionaire SpaceX and Tesla founder, Elon Musk. As I told you back in October, Musk puts the odds that we’re not living in a Matrix-like computer simulation at one in a billion.

Now he says it’s time for humans to merge with machines, or risk becoming irrelevant in the age of artificial intelligence.

“Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological and digital intelligence,” he told the World Government Summit in Dubai. Musk thinks we’ll have to add a new layer to our brains—an implant, perhaps—that will allow us to tap into artificial intelligence and think at the speed of computers.

He admits that so-called “deep A.I.,” “smarter than the smartest humans on earth,” strikes him as dangerous. But he seems to believe that combining our wetware with hardware is the answer to human limitations.

CNBC uses the word “cyborg” to describe the concept, but Musk’s musings sound tame in comparison with fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel.

A self-proclaimed “transhumanist,” Thiel already takes human growth hormone to prolong his life, and says he hopes to achieve immortality by “uploading” his consciousness into a computer. And last year, Jeff Bercovici of Inc. magazine published an interview in which Thiel described a new plan to extend his life: injecting himself with the blood of young people to reverse the aging process.

The procedure is called “parabiosis.” And yes, of course many have already made the obvious comparison to vampires.

Referring to death, Thiel remarked that “You can accept it, you can deny it, or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are in denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.”

He’s not alone. In 2015, BBC Future reported on research to identify the slowest-aging animals to discover the secret to their longevity. So far bowhead whales, which may live over 200 years, along with naked mole rats and certain bats, show the most promise.

Of course, much of the work being done to delay aging and overcome our human limitations is good. Lifespans in the developed world have drastically increased in the last 200 years mostly because of improved medicine and nutrition. But the transhumanist impulse—the urge to not only delay death but beat it and become like gods—is lurking in the background, not to mention in Silicon Valley.

“Aging,” declares the BBC article, “is not an inevitable fact of life.”

But folks, it is.

“Dust you are, and to dust you will return,” God told humanity when sin entered the world. If Jesus tarries, you and I will die. All of us. Accepting that is crucial to living a meaningful life.

Even so, as the Apostle Paul wrote, death is “the last enemy to be defeated.” Our longing for immortality is good! It was put there on purpose. We were meant—from the moment of our creation—to live forever.

And the secret to eternal life is in Someone else’s blood. But it won’t happen the way some people think. That means Christians can accept death, knowing that He Who is the “resurrection and the life” has already defeated it.

 

Further Reading and Information

Transhumanists and the Quest for Godhood: Memento Mori

As Eric said, “remembering that we must die” (memento mori) shouldn’t be difficult for believers. However, because of the blood of Christ, not the blood of young people, we are set free from the power of death. For further information on transhumanism, click on the links below.

 

Find a BreakPoint radio station in your area–Click here.

Resources

The Secrets of Living to 200 Years Old
  • David Robson
  • BBC.com
  • September 16, 2015
Peter Thiel Wants to Inject Himself With Young People’s Blood
  • Maya Kosoff
  • VanityFair.com
  • August 1, 2016
Are We Living in a Computer?: Tech Tycoons and Transcendence
  • Eric Metaxas
  • BreakPoint.org
  • October 18, 2016

  • friendindeed

    This sounds just like the evil one. Rather than except the Blood of Christ, WE can become immortal by our own hands. WE can become gods and live forever. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

    • Dude2000

      I agree. Even science fiction is repleet with countless themes of man-machine mergers ending in man’s enslavement,or worse. One has to wonder whether Mark of the beast in Revelations could refer to something along these lines.

  • Warhawk2

    Science fiction has consistently, accurately predicted the future. A reoccurring theme is the rise of the machines. It always ends badly for the machines.

    • fred2

      Science fiction SOMETIMES predicts things that will really happen. The fact I don’t have my own flying car proves this point.

  • dadodeaf

    Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the *gift of God*,

    Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
    23 For the wages of sin is death, but the *gift of God* is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    ====
    Try as we might, eternal life is a gift from God and not from man. I have a feeling this initiative will likely be “short lived”. But like the Tower of Babel, certainly something many will strive toward.

  • Albionic American
  • zonie6044

    They want to live forever – and they will. I will, too. The only question is where. I know where I’ll be, and can hardly wait, thank God, thank you, Jesus!!