Christian Transhumanism?

Sixth in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Five

Respect for life shines in many deeds and the lack of it is in plain view as well. An example of the latter: Brains Of 40 Dead Children Removed, Kept In Jars In UK Hospitals. Needless to say, their parents were not aware of this.

If you have not recently lost a loved one, you may not be prepared for the interviews and calls you will receive when that time comes. Start thinking now if you are willing to have the body dissected for bone, skin, organs; and get ready to sign on the dotted line. "Desecration" will pass from the dictionary. What could it mean in the context of doing good by sharing body parts?

Those reflections came to mind as I thought of how to present a review of Chapter Five of Pandemonium's Engine, "Christian Transhumanism: Pandemonium's Latest Ploy," by Cris D. Putnam. He gives direct advice to Christians to oppose the Transhumanist movement. As Christians, "we believe all humans have intrinsic worth separate from abilities…" (p 193)

The "Christian" Transhumanists berate those who impede scientific progress. The Genesis story is myth to them, and humans are viewed as "God's co-creators." (p 200) Desecreation is archaic. Not to desecrate is inhumane.

Putnam wrote, "In truth, we have what the secular world does not have: infallible and timeless principles revealed from the very author of life… Humans are God's highest creation on earth and are commanded to be good stewards of the earth and its resources. Thus, we have a mandate to engage in some of the technologies discussed, but …" (p 199). BUT, study and discernment are needed. Christian, are you prepared to draw lines and determine what technologies you will approve and why?

I enjoyed viewing a video created by Putnam on YouTube, ‪The Attributes of God & the Borderlines of Reality‬ . The video post offered a website link, needgod.com. Great site!

I also visited Putnam's blog, http://www.logosapologia.org/ which is still online though he passed away at age 51 on March 1, 2017.

On his blog he has a post on his chapter in Pandemonium's Engine. I have included below some of his comments.

The term “pandemonium” has an interesting origin. It is the capital city of Hell in Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. I run a little theme throughout my chapter using quotes from the 17th century Christian classic throughout my critique of transhumanism and the theology and philosophies which under gird it.

In Paradise Lost, Satan and the fallen angels have been relegated to Hell and seek to mount a new offensive. In Pandæmonium, the capital city, Satan employs his beguiling oratorical skills to incite his forces. Aided by his lieutenants Mammon, Beëlzebub, Belial and Moloch they plot to overthrow God’s forces. The final strategy is decided when Satan volunteers to poison the newly created Earth and God’s new and most favored creation, Mankind. This is where an intriguing parallel with transhumanism comes into play as it has the potential to do just that. Not only could we create a posthuman species, germline genetic therapies could pass it down to the next generation permanently altering the human genome. The potential for a horrific outcome is real.

The American philosopher, political economist, and author, Francis Fukuyama, agrees, contending that “the most significant threat posed by contemporary biotechnology is the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a posthuman stage of history.” The potential threat is real and the decisions made over the next decade will have a deciding influence on the outcome. The theological and ethical issues are critically important for Christian thinkers to consider. This book is just one ripple in the pond of our culture. I pray it inspires many of you to think critically about the spiritual implications of the bio-technology revolution.

The Righteous Mantle of Improving Humanity

Fifth in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Four

The Übermensch and the Antichrist by Douglas Woodward is the fourth essay in Pandemonium's Engine. I enjoyed reading Mr. Woodward's bio online. I believe you would too. If you visit the Faith-happens.com website that includes his bio, you will find a promotional video for his recently published book, The Revealing.

The German word Übermensch was coined by the German atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who influenced Hitler's eugenics quest. "The German prefix Über can have connotation of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is prepended. Mensch refers to a member of the human species, rather than to a man specifically." (p. 166)

Woodward discusses the spirit of the Antichrist (I John 4:1-3) in the work of many authors and political figures of the late 19th and the 20th centuries, quoting from Nietzsche and exposing the occult involvements of German and British figures including Winston Churchill.

It is likewise at work today, and Woodward includes some quotations to illustrate. Here is one:

And the other thing, because no one has the guts to say it, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes why shouldn't we? What's wrong with it?… Evolution can be just …cruel, and to say that we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity to it? I'd just like to know where that idea comes from. It's utter silliness. - James Watson, Nobel Laureate (p. 169)

Woodward notes that as Christians we need to remember who is behind the push to alter the human genome:

[In Ephesians 6:11-12] Paul intimates that the forces are many, are not monolithic (they are diverse — there isn't just one devil); they are highly organized, and live in an unseen world surrounding us.

The Wizard of Oz said to Dorothy, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Yet, the Bible counsels that the "man behind the curtain" is really the collective sinister force behind all the evil that we encounter in the empirical world. Forgetting who's behind the scenes weakens our ability to stand firm against this power. To arm ourselves properly, we must remember what we're up against. When we encounter push back, it's a good time to stop and recall that our struggle isn't against mere mortals and human institutions.

Woodward warns us that while the spirit of Antichrist has been in the world over all the ages, it is in our generation that this spirit manifests in a "distinctively different and much more understated style, albeit in the end more destructive." (p. 159) He notes, "It's interesting that John didn't use the term, Antichrist, in his Apocalypse (which we know today as the Book of Revelation), penned 10 years before his epistles. There his description of the Antichrist was, The Beast." (p. 158)

The final paragraph of Chapter Four warns us:

The Spirit of the Antichrist in the 21st century will wrap itself in the righteous mantle of "improving humanity." Bible-believing Jews and Christians will be challenged as the "evil doers" — primary obstacles to human progress — that insist on the purity of the human genome. Are we ready to defend the sanctity of God's greatest creation? Are we ready for the probable persecution that lies ahead?

These are good questions.

Angel fish bild.JPG
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...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1

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A SistersSite eBook

Flesh and Bone and The Protestant Conscience is an e-book on Amazon.com. It is 99¢ and in the Amazon lending library as well. The book description follows.

Would you let your conscience be your guide?

Does God care if the skin and bone of the dead are passed along to the living for medical uses? Is organ donation OK with God? Should you sign a Living Will?

Did you know that dead organ donors are often anesthetized before their organs are removed? Do you know the current definition of death? The conscience cannot function without facts.

As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

How should a Christian think about euthanasia by starvation when doctors and the state attorney general all agree it is time to withhold feeding from a brain injured patient? Some things are family matters, but someday it may be our family.

Here is a small book to help you think about whether you want to sign your driver's license, donate a kidney, cremate your loved one, and many other practical questions that may arise in the course of your healthcare decisions or watch over others.

It offers a special focus on the doctrine of the Resurrection that is related to such decisions. Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups could use this book to facilitate discussion about the issues covered.