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Transhumanism

Transhumanism

As the world draws closer and closer to the day of Christ's return, the exponential pace of technological change will play an increasing role in the fulfillment of bible prophecy.

The development of technologies such as molecular manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing will trigger abrupt and radical changes in the global economic, social, and geopolitical landscape.

The acceleration and magnitude in development of these powerful technologies will dwarf the Industrial Revolution in size and scale.

Foreseeing such change, the world should note the various social philosophies and political movements which emerged during the Industrial Revolution. Darwinism, Marxism, Communism, Facism, and eugenics all emerged within a few short decades.

While the Industrial Revolution was not absolutely necessary for, nor was the it the cause of, the rise in popularity for each of these movements - it did serve to amplify their influence.

So what small movements might explode in popularity during the next technological revolution?

One possible candidate is the transhumanist movement...

What Is Transhumanism?

The definition of transhumanism varies depending on who you consult, but here's Wikipedia's take:

"Transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. The movement regards aspects of the human condition, such as disability, suffering, disease, aging, and involuntary death as unnecessary and undesirable. Transhumanists look to biotechnologies and other emerging technologies for these purposes." (Wikipedia)

These are noble goals. After all, who could be against ending disabilities, suffering, disease, aging, and involuntary death?

Yet the aforementioned philosophical and political movements of the Industrial Revolution - Marxism, Facism, Communism, and eugenics - all had similar utopian goals.

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Despite their promises, the real world application of each resulted in unprecedented death and destruction.

If the Transhumanist movement takes flight, it will result in more of the same.

Why?

Because all of these movements fail to address the root cause of the current human condition - the sinful nature of man.

Instead of placing God at the center, each of these movements places "extraordinary" men at the center, whether through means of a ruling elite class, a master race, or the evolutionary development of "better" human beings.

After the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin gained widespread traction, it seems logical that most of its adherents would draw the conclusion that the current version of humanity is not "the final product," but only an early stage in a continuing evolutionary process.

This belief lies at the heart of the transhumanist movement:

"A common feature of transhumanism and philosophical posthumanism is the future vision of a new intelligent species, into which humanity will evolve, which will supplement humanity or supersede it." (Wikipedia)

In fact, following this line of thinking, human beings have a moral imperative to take charge of their own evolutionary progress and expidite the process:

"Transhumanist philosophers argue that there not only exists a perfectionist ethical imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition but that it is possible and desirable for humanity to enter a transhuman phase of existence, in which humans are in control of their own evolution. In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced with deliberate change." (Wikipedia)

If achieved, the desired result would be the attainment of a "posthuman" status, akin to nirvana:

"Transhumanist thinkers predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label 'posthuman.' Transhumanism is therefore sometimes referred to as 'posthumanism' or a form of transformational activism influenced by posthumanist ideal." (Wikipedia)

Given the utopian promises, as well as the exciting prospect of participating in such revolutionary change, look for the transhumanist movement to gain in popularity as we approach the singularity and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The World Transhumanist Association (TWA)

Anticipation of the singularity and the exponential pace of technological change has spawned the organization of like-minded individuals who look forward to a posthuman world and seek to hasten its arrival:

"In 1998, philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), an international non-governmental organization working toward the recognition of transhumanism as a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and public policy. In 1999, the WTA drafted and adopted The Transhumanist Declaration." (Wikipedia)

The World Transhumanist Association (WTA) has since changed its name to Humanity+, but its focus as an organization dedicated to developing transhumanist ideas and policies remains unchanged.

At its core, the organization promotes the development of the next step in humanity's evolutionary process:

"Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman, beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have." Transhumanist Values (Humanity+)

So what fuels this desire to transition to "posthuman" status? Is it really idealistic, utopian goals, or is it really just an inherent desire to overcome the "biological chains" of humanity?

For most transhumanists, its probably the latter.

As Wikipedia cites:

"At the EZTV Media venue frequented by transhumanists and other futurists, Natasha Vita-More presented Breaking Away, her 1980 experimental film with the theme of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the Earth's gravity as they head into space." (Wikipedia)

A theme "of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the Earth's gravity as they head into space?"

That theme sounds familiar...

Transhumanism In Bible Prophecy

The bible has a lot to say about our future. Approximately 3,000 years ago, King David wrote about the hearts of men just prior to the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ, as men prepared to "free themselves from God's slavery":

"Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against His Anointed One. 'Let us break their chains,' they cry. 'And free ourselves from this slavery.' But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them." Psalm 2:1-4 (NLT)

The viewpoint of end time humanity is one of animosity toward God. Humanity will view its limitations as arbitrary obstacles erected by God. As a result, humanity will prepare for battle against the Lord in an effort to break the shackles of its perceived oppressor.

The Transhumanist Declaration asserts a desire which has much in common with the attitude of humanity in the last days:

"Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth." The Transhumanist Declaration (Humanity+)

When asked by His disciples to describe the time of the end and the day of His Coming, Jesus stated:

"In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones." Matthew 24:22 (NLT)

In this translation, the phrase "not a single person will survive" is deceptive.

Why?

Because it's the result of the translator's assumption that the phrases "no flesh will survive" and "no people will survive" are interchangable.

Assuming the possibility exists for a transhumanist future, the two phrases are not.

According to Strong's Concordance, the key Greek word in this phrase is translated "sarx," and means:

"flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extens.) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by impl.) human nature (with its frailties [phys. or mor.] and passions), or (spec.) a human being (as such)"

Taken in its original context, Jesus did not necessarily say that unless those days are shortened, "humanity will not survive."

Instead, he said unless those days are shortened, "no flesh will survive."

If the transhumanist movement suceeds in transforming the human race into a race of "posthumans" who no longer need flesh covered bones to survive, then these words of Jesus take on an entirely different meaning.

And it doesn't take an illogical leap of faith to draw this conclusion.

After all, it seems reasonable to assume that humanity will have to undergo some sort of radical transformation in order to plot a war against God Almighty. The arrogant impulse already exists. All that remains is the need for an exponential increase in human power which deludes humanity into believing it can overcome the Lord of lords.

And make no mistake about it, the Bible is clear that this is where humanity is ultimately headed - physical conflict with God:

"Then I saw the beast gathering the kings of the earth and their armies in order to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army." Revelation 19:19 (NLT)

Do not confuse the "war" with a spiritual struggle.

According to Strong's Concordance, the key word here is translated "polemos," and means:

"warfare (lit. or fig.; a single encounter or a series) - battle, fight, war."

The word "polemos" appears at least 16 times in the New Testament, and in each case, it refers to physical conflict, not a spiritual one as Paul refers to here:

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

When Paul speaks of the spiritual struggle, he uses the word "pale." According to Strong's Concordance, "pale" means:

"wrestling"

Clearly, the Bible differentiates between our everyday spiritual struggle with the forces of darkness and literal phsyical conflict in the form of war.

Regarding the Antichrist, the gathering at Armageddon, and the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ, it's clearly prophesied that man will engage in physical battle with God Almighty:

"From one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and east and toward the glorious land of Israel. His power reached to the heavens where it attacked the heavenly armies, throwing some of the heavenly beings and stars to the ground and trampling them. He even challenged the Commander of heaven's armies by canceling the daily sacrifices offered to him and by destroying his Temple." Daniel 8:9-11 (NLT)

The power of the Antichrist will be immense enough to attack the heavenly armies, throwing angels to the ground and trampling them in the process. He will even attack the Commander of heaven's armies, Jesus Christ.

But the attack is futile. Jesus will destroy the Antichrist and all those aligned against God.

The Transhumanist Agenda

Ultimately, the transhumanist agenda is nothing new.

The transhumanist movement seeks:

  • Human immortality
  • The end of suffering
  • The end of starvation
  • The end of disease
  • The end of disabilities

Some humans will ultimately achieve these goals. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, they will witness:

1) The end of death and suffering...

"There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4 (NLT)

2) The end of starvation and disease...

"On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations." Revelation 22:2 (NLT)

and

3) The end of disabilities...

"And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!" Isaiah 35:5-6 (NLT)

All of these hopes are realized in heaven. So essentially, the transhumanist agenda is one that seeks to achieve heaven on earth.

The problem with the transhumanist movement is that there's only one path to heaven. All others are false:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice." John 10:1-5 (NLT)

Final implementation of the transhumanist agenda is a blatant attempt to "sneak over the wall of the sheepfold, rather than going through the gate." It's an agenda that will ultimately fail.

Christ is the only gate that leads into heaven. Those who try to enter by any other means are doomed to failure:

"Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: 'I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.'" John 10:6-10 (NLT)

To learn more about the transhumanist movement and its adherent's positions, read the Humanity+ website.

Britt Gillette is the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy and the author of Signs Of The Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime.

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