God’s going to have to recast the source-of-all-evil adulteress as a transhumanist. He must have known this day was coming and used the adulteress as symbolic of anything that presents an ideal world that leads you farther from God. At least the seductress was human with longings, dreams, and weaknesses like all of us. Maybe her faith in God was great, but she couldn’t get free of wanting to be loved for who she was. Heck, we can all relate on some level. Unless you’ve been sucked into immersive technology, in which case your capacity to empathize is being siphoned off by the minute.
Technology can be great. But every time we access it, we lessen our human abilities in whatever arena the technology covers. Social media pretends to be a world-uniting, diversified lovefest, but in actuality it wants people all over the world to subscribe to the company’s agenda. Make no mistake, big tech is the driving force behind the transhumanism movement and all that it encompasses. And boy, it’s siren’s song is nearly irresistible.
The term transhumanism is not just reflective of the increasing incidence of human-to-machine connection, but of the transition period from a mostly human world to a post-human one in which humans are essentially obsolete. Some experts counter that such societal evolution is not even close to becoming a reality, while others fear it’ll be unstoppable before we even wrap our heads around it. I’m of the mind of trying to understand it now so I’ll still have the freedom to play Jeremiah Johnson if I so choose later.
Transhumanism is easy to resist right now; it will get infinitely harder to turn away from going forward. Today we have narrow artificial intelligence that carries out tasks that make our lives easier. You know, like the clothes dryer that melts artificial fibers, or the robotic floor vacuum that drags around a puppy accident if you’re not there to render it unconscious, or my fav, the nanny vehicle that is constantly making you unlock doors. Narrow artificial intelligence is flawed at best. It’s a quick learner though, and what if these forays into minor everyday tasks acclimates us to greater technological partnering? After all, it only angers or amuses us. We don’t take it seriously. Never underestimate The Enemy.
Immersion technologies include augmented reality, like wearable tech like Fitbits and iWatches or Google Glass. Wearing a watch or carrying a phone in your pocket still requires you make a conscious decision to look at the device. Whereas Google Glass provides a graphic overlay of what you’re seeing. It shows you restaurant options two blocks away, for example, but what it’s really doing is training you to be more open to an enmeshed existence with technology.
Like The Enemy, transhumanists use all our values against us. It’s all about the individual’s right to chose, they say, and the cornerstone is morphological freedom. You want a tail? Whatever. I’ll take bicep muscle stimulus so I can feel like I’m 20 again. You want horns and a forked tongue? Have at it. I’ll take downsize by one chin. See, it’s all about freedom to be anything you want. But is it really? Sure, some will gravitate toward the exotic, but the majority will be lining up for beer gut removal and receding hairline reversal. The drive will be toward body sameness and away from the outwardly touted diversity. Add to that the social pressure to conform, and there really won’t be any freedom to resist.
God’s already got this covered. He sent Jesus not just in human form, but flesh. Being in our bodies is a big part of what makes us human. This isn’t to say that people can’t get a facelift, just that sitting behind our online avatars, constantly projecting an ideal life through filtered pictures, makes us less able to deal with the messiness of real personalities in real bodies in real life. If virtual reality and social media are ingrained from an early enough age, humans will gravitate toward an artificial existence and away from one in which they have to deal with non-like-minded family members and friends. Think your politically siloed Friends list on Facebook. If you’re anything like me, you jettisoned the human secular Marxists from your (online) life long ago. Not only do I not have to deal with them—a personal-comfort level win—but in essence I ceded the battlefield and am never “there” to challenge them in meaningful discourse—a community-level loss.
Christians will benefit from reading Jacob Shatzer’s “Transhumanism and the Image of God, Today’s Technology and the Future of Christian Discipleship.” Augmented reality, virtual reality, mind clones—that’s where “they” download a copy of everything in your head for their files. You die; your mind clone carries on. It’s all too much. We don’t see it yet, so it doesn’t exist and this is all so much overreacting. Question: Wouldn’t ethics and law require “they” get your permission first? I think that’s something that would need to be established beforehand, don’t you? As in, now.
Shatzer poses four questions to Christians struggling with how to follow God’s way, especially when some Christians are squarely in the transhumanism camp. What is real? Where is real? Who is real? And am I real? Each one needs to be approached from a learned Christian perspective, because believe me, if transhumanism wants you chasing experience after experience, it will know how to mimic God and church in ways that pull you farther and farther away from both.
What is real? In-person, face-to-face interactions with people on the ground in your area of operation. Or, and this is especially important for military friends spread out across the country: visiting. Speaking of your AO, in the incessant march toward globalism, have you noticed that everywhere looks the same? A strip mall in the deep South looks the same as one in northern New England. Where is real? The celebration of each unique place is squelched and is populated with people from everywhere until its unique character is silenced. Again, this is challenging for former military with family and friends all over, but being present in real life is like PT: good for you; good for me.
Who is real? Here’s a challenge: Print out your Facebook Friend list and get phone numbers and addresses. You know, write them down in a book or something, and then make plans to go visit them. Share a meal, sit around the Ranger TV and tell war stories about how you were knee-deep in grenade pins. Memories are important; storytelling is important. Everyone wants to be heard; nobody is irrelevant. If the incarnation is pivotal to our beliefs, if loving our neighbor is paramount to showing our love for God through Jesus, then being present and open to each other is how we live it out. Plus, it’s good fun. It’s a joy to laugh with another human.
Am I real? I don’t know. I wonder sometimes. Is my laptop composing this article, or am I? I do know that I want it to be all me, even if it’s not always perfect. The problem with a birth-to-death social media footprint is that it locks you into a self-identity
you created online. But we aren’t always the same; we change and grow and go through phases. If we don’t post about it, did it ever even happen? Trying to live without designing your next post in your head is a great exercise in breaking the addiction to Likes. So is deconstructing your online identity, but it’s also scary because we want what we’ve done, where we’ve been, how we think, what we believe, who we associate with to be out there defining who we are. The order to be humble and serve others comes through garbled and distorted. It’s easier to pretend we never heard it in the first place.
Following God’s battle plan is not easy. Jesus said we need to be like children if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven. I’m thinking, What? Endless questions, short attention span, impatient, perpetual motion, toy-throwing mean? Giddy, joyous, covered in sticky candy? What does that mean? Or does He mean real, present in each moment with no pretense of being something other than what they are at that moment in time. Innocent, dependent on the Father. What exactly? Or is he saying that as adults we hide from others and from life, existing in colorless, joyless worlds as the path of least resistance to succeed financially or socially. Or that we lack the emotional fortitude to obey? Isn’t that like being lukewarm, when Jesus wished for us to be hot or cold and not tepid disciples.
Real life is filled with awkwardness. Once we obtain the perfect online timeline and then the ideal body; when we’ve turned over our writing, our composing, our war planning, and our governing to artificial intelligence; when criminal investigators and doctors turn to technology before they listen to people or patients; when humans are only good for separating the wheat from the chaff of computer output until the machines learn to do that part too, then what? Idyllic vacations and the freedom to chase whatever experience you want to have next? Extinction? Utter control by globalist elites who keep you in a matrix of your own perpetual quests to know, experience, and consume all? Layers of hell disguised as everything you ever wanted?
The solution lies where it’s always been: less in self-creation and self-fulfillment and more in serving others with our time and attention, our material support if available and warranted. Connect to the land by growing a few things to present to others when they come through the open door of your house. Share meals together in the spirit of Christ’s Last Supper. Carefully choose which technology to use and detox often from its hypnotic hold. Make Sundays a tech-free sabbath. Be in your body, in your unique place, with your community. Visit your people. Shake hands, hug, listen to their stories, and tell some of your own. And, frankly, consider yourself a heart-and-mind agent of God’s secret army.