If the lines are blurred between animals and humans who can say which creature has a soul and which does not? What are the eternal and religious implications? What are the human rights implications? Could human clones be produced in laboratories and nurtured in the wombs of surrogate mothers? Could they be genetically modified to have reduced human capabilities–arguing that they are a subspecies and that they could be used as slaves or disposable drones? Are these scenarios so far fetched when society already accepts in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, designer babies and sex selective abortion?
Transhumanism is a global movement pushing the ideology that all these technologies and more should be used to help human beings transcend their limitations and take a new step of evolution to become “super humans.” Transhumanists advocate using the latest biotechnology innovations to preserve and maintain human health well beyond the normal range of life expectancy. Organ transplants and artificial body parts and prostheses already extend human capabilities while new computer technologies and artificial intelligence will expand the mental and psychological capabilities.
Furthermore, many transhumanists see a spiritual dimension to their movement. They speak of a “new immortality” in which human individuals, through various technologies will be able to delay death almost indefinitely while others talk about “uploading the brain” of an individual onto an external computer and then downloading into a newly born cloned individual so the original person will continue living with the old brain content infused into the new body.
Such ideas, naturally fill the traditional Christian with horror. The separation of mind and body is a Manichean heresy and anathema to all traditional believers. Transhumanism is a man made lie which threatens to destroy human life as we know it, and the lie is inspired by the Father of Lies who said to our first parents, “You shall not surely die!”
The term transhumanism is itself a lie, for individuals who seek to live forever do not transcend their humanity, but trap themselves in their mortality.
As usual, the Catholic faith already offers a way to transcend our mortality. By the mystical union of ourselves with Christ we die with him and we also share in his resurrection. This is not a theological theory, but an existential reality. Through this transaction we already have available to us what the transhumanists look for–a way to become the super humans we were created to be, and after our physical death to live forever.