What Is Transhumanism?

The 1984 film “Terminator” portrays a human soldier sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop a futuristic and almost indestructible cyborg killing machine produced by artificial intelligence. Other stories insight fascination with this part-man, part-machine character. Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein famously depicted Victor Frankenstein, the prototypical “mad scientist” who creates a monster-like machine. Despite popular notions, Frankenstein’s creation was not some unintelligent zombie. Rather, he held a brilliant mind, but as a mutant creation, there was nothing natural about him.  

Intriguing as these stories are, there is an increasing interest (among global elites) to develop artificial enhancements to the human body given the rise of technological advancements. Yuval Noah Hara, a prominent World Economic Forum advisor, recently said, “We are probably one of the last generations of homo sapiens. Because in the coming generations, we will learn how to engineer bodies and brains and minds. . . We have reached the point when we can hack not just computers we can hack human beings and other organisms. Now, what do you need in order to hack the human being? You need two things. A lot of computing power and you need a lot of data, especially biometric data. But control of data might enable human elites to do something even more radical than just build digital dictator-chips. By hacking organisms, elites may gain the power to re-engineer the future of life itself. Because once you can hack something you can usually also engineer it. . . Science is replacing evolution by natural selection with evolution by intelligent design. Not the intelligent design of some god above the clouds, but our intelligent design and the intelligent design of our clouds – the IBM cloud, the Microsoft cloud.”

What Harari and others at the World Economic Forum are describing is called “transhumanism.” Transhumanism is the belief that the human race can evolve beyond its physical and mental limitations by means of science and technology. The phrase “transhumanism” was first articulated by Dante in his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy. In the opening of part III, Dante describes how emerging beyond human nature is “to become a transhuman.” But, Dante is not talking about a blissful encounter, rather, he is describing the transformation of a soul to hell. 

While modern man might view transhumanism as a net plus, to the critical thinker transhumanism arouses suspicion for it can lead to the grisly path which Dante portrays. 

Let us first define transhumanism to grasp where it will take us. Transhumanism is the idea that we can extend and expand human nature to reach beyond what it means to be human through genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Transhumanism attempts to overcome our fundamental limits as human beings, such as getting sick, losing our memory, and even dying. Yes, we have limitations as humans such as we can’t fly. But, transhumanism comes in and announces that science will give us an outburst of enhancements that reduce our barriers while expanding human nature towards a quasi “super-man.”

In transhumanism, man and machine integrate to create a supposed utopian experience for all. There are different levels of this human technological project. Cognitive enhancement would make us smarter. Physical enhancement would make us stronger. Mood enhancement should improve our emotional life. Supposed “moral enhancement” would facilitate our collaboration with each other while cyber enhancements allow us to enter any virtual world we want. Amazing or bizarre as this scenario might seem, world leaders are moving forward with gusto on the transhuman agenda.

The U.K. and German defense ministries issued a recent report called Human Augmentation – The Dawn of a New Paradigm, a Strategic Implications Project, Importantly, the report notes that, “Human augmentation has the potential to… change the meaning of what it means to be a human.” Let that line sink in – “change the meaning of what it means to be a human.” Rather than just summoning grandiose language, this report truly holds the desire to change what it means to be a human being. Why? Because this phrase has been repeated by those power brokers who hold sway on human affairs. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has stated that the goal of The Fourth Industrial Revolution is to “challenge the ideas about what it means to be human.”

This very statement is why transhumanism needs to be opposed. Given that God created the human person “in his image and likeness” to tinker with human nature would be to diminish (possibly eradicate) God’s image and likeness in the human being. Therefore, to change what it means to be human would be to dramatically alter the human trajectory from being “made by God” to now “made by science.” 

Under the illusion of cutting-edge science people are being conned into the hype of expanding human anthropology into a fusion of techno-science into our bodies. Swaths of influencers are promoting this human metamorphosis as a thrilling proposition. Klaus Schwab has stated that “the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to a fusion of our physical, our digital and our biological identities.” In fact, The World Economic Forum foresees a near future in which everyone’s digital identity is connected to each other through an “Internet of Bodies.”

Certain report titles alone tell the story, such as the Biotechnologies for Health and Human Performance Council’s report titled Cyborg Soldier 2050: Human/Machine Fusion and the Implications for the Future of the DOD. According to the assessment abstract: “The primary objective of this effort was to forecast and evaluate the military implications of machines that are physically integrated with the human body to augment and enhance human performance over the next 30 years.”  

Interestingly, this report thesis attempts to bring the Terminator movie into real-time.

We have a situation in which government leaders and those in elite tech circles have become giddy about creating robotic genetics that will produce an augmented man. This artificial man will be full of advanced technological insights so he can live longer, have a sharper memory, a higher IQ, enhanced muscles and organs so he can do more. Some of the human augmentation technologies deemed feasible by 2050  include ocular enhancements to improve sight and situational awareness, optogenetic bodysuit to restore or improve muscular strength and auditory enhancements, as well as neural enhancement of the brain for two-way data transfers and brain-to-brain communication. 

What’s more, is that the augmented man’s tech body will allow him to be fully immersed in the virtual reality world of the metaverse. Here, the human brain would be connected to the cloud, the internet, and the metaverse, thus, allowing people to have a robotic engineered existence on earth. In short, this transhumanism realm will alter the human experience on the inside with a beefed-up tech body, and on the outside, as he lives in any artificial, programmed world he desires.

Transhumanism will likely be sold to us as a way for all people to obtain health and longevity. Here, the phrase “health equity for all” will be cheered through the usual propaganda channels. Yet, the reality will be far from equitable. So, while the initial concept of transhumanism may sound thrilling, when dissected under a critical lens,  it reveals a dark scenario in which authentic human nature is stripped away.

The first glaring error of transhumanism is its connection with eugenics through the merging of man with machine. It is important to grasp that as transhumanism proposes upgrading the human population’s intellect and physiology to superhuman levels, the pressing question remains – who is going to manage and participate in this population improvement? As WEF spokesperson Yuval Noah Hara alluded to in his early cited quote it will be the governing elites who spearhead it. By having a few select groups of people manage this “human upgrade” we are pushing closer and closer to the dark effects of eugenics.

Let us recall it was the Nazis that practiced eugenics in an attempt to create a superior race. Whereas the method to get to the superior race in eugenics is by selective breeding while transhumanism’s process is managed by a technological “operation” the end result is the same – creating a super race while minimizing those who hold less desirable traits. In the transhumanism setting, a toxic environment will exist between the elites that will manage this human upgrade and those who do not wish to go through this artificial enhancement. Noah Hara even alluded to this when he described those who refuse to integrate computer programs into their minds as a “useless class.” Here, one can only imagine the grim effects as a technologically advanced group of people dominate over the normal group of people. In his recent book, Cardinal Robert Sara warns about this scenario. “I tremble to think that maybe soon some men will be able to feel and believe that they are superior to others because of their technological prostheses.” 

Many commentators are concluding that this eugenics undertaking in transhumanism really is the end result of Darwinian evolution – let the strong and the fit survive while the weak are removed from existence. 

Therefore, transhumanism is eugenics rebranded. We saw a hint of this when the story broke about Jeffrey Epstein. The New York Times reported that Epstein planned to inseminate women with his sperm, and keep them at his ranch in New Mexico, so they could then give birth to his babies and “seed the human race.” 

It is no coincidence that the same people, and organizations that in the past supported eugenics now support transhumanism. Likewise, the merger of Silicon Valley companies with Big Pharma is nothing other than eugenics framed as health care. And let us not forget that the COVID experience has shown us that this rebranded form of eugenics can be forced on us. 

Besides being a conveyor belt to eugenics, the more pressing problem with transhumanism is it thwarts human anthropology away from a sacred body and soul composite to now view a person as merely a body that can be manipulated. Cardinal Robert Sara comments on this, “By producing modified or augmented human beings, it would lead us to abolish the boundary between subject and object.” In this dark setting, the human being is reduced to an object.  

Now, the global leaders that are on the cutting-edge of technology don’t likely view their transhumanism project as dismissing the “image of God” stamp, but this merely reveals their vantage point lacks God as the starting point. As John Paul II warned,

It follows that certain scientists, lacking any ethical point of reference [no view of God] , are in danger of putting at the center of their concerns something other than the human person and the entirety of the person’s life. Further still, some of these, sensing the opportunities of technological progress, seem to succumb not only to make market-based logic [earn money], but also to the temptation of a quasi-divine power over nature and even over the human being (Fides Et Ratio no. 46)“.

While it may seem that the concept of transhumanism is a new phenomenon that has emerged only because we’ve scaled the heights of technological maturity, the idea to elevate the human being to a higher level has been a repeated pattern throughout the Biblical narrative. 

One of the fascinating aspects of studying the Bible is that the stories and ideas that play out in the Bible are continuously being put into action in our world today. In the Bible, one of the main themes is the false notion that a creature can exalt himself to the level of God on his own. This underlying theme keeps popping up in our culture like an error message on an outdated computer. Simply reflect on the words of Yuval Noah Harari when he said, “Humans are very likely to be upgraded into gods.” 

There remains a wicked element in thinking we can harness nature by our own powers and elevate it to God. One of the main Biblical themes that surface is that people must seek truth, rationality, wisdom, and prudence through God. The key aspect to understand is man seeks insight “through God” not through himself. However, certain people in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve, the people of Nimrod, Egyptians, Greeks, etc., claim that they can obtain enhanced human insights on their own. This is why groups of people throughout the Bible construct religions and idols for they want to become divine on their own ability without God. The Gentiles and others in the pagan land would engage in the ultimate act of transhumanism by creating an idol. By constructing a false god (i.e. an idol) a human being makes with his own hand a god. In this setting, a person elevates himself over God all the while demonstrating how pride can run amok. This is why God’s First Commandment to the human race was to not construct idols of false gods. The underlying teaching is that we as human beings, don’t get to decide how God should operate and certainly can’t form a god in our image. 

Put bluntly, the starting point of the transhuman philosophy is likely satanic. In Genesis 3:4 Satan seduced Eve with the notion of transhumanism in that she would “become like God” and be an enhanced human through his fruit. In other words, in the exchange in the garden, the serpent was promoting transhumanism – to upgrade and transcend human nature into a god-like being. In Catholic theology human beings do have the ability to elevate their nature only when they unite their nature with Christ – specifically when he said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” So, we don’t need to import microchips or undergo an A.I operation to elevate our nature. Rather, when we go to the Holy Trinity in the sacraments, our soul (and eventually our bodies) ascends to a higher level as grace becomes infused into us. As St. Peter writes, “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these [sacraments] you may escape from corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)

Notice Peter is letting us know we can become “partakers of the divine nature.” While there is a longing within all people to extend our human nature and become greater, it is vitally important to grasp that this happens only through God’s way. To be sure, in God’s economy of creation, this doesn’t mean that we are turned into superhumans who can fly and perform extraordinary bodily feats. What this means is what St. Thomas calls “deiform” when he writes, “by this light [beatific vision] the blessed are made deiform.” What Aquinas is indicating is that when our sins are purified from us (after purgatory) we will be ushered into God’s glory and our human status will be transformed into perfect human nature. Here, Aquinas is drawing off of St. John’s letter when he wrote, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Therefore, in Catholic theology eventually, we will be conformed to the Son of God (assuming humble reception of the sacraments), but this is not a quick fix that happens through man-made technology. While it is a natural desire for this human transformation one must be patient in working through God’s way, not our own. Aquinas writes on this, “This disposition to the form of fire can be natural only to the subject of that form, hence the light of glory cannot be natural to a creature unless the creature has a divine nature which is impossible. But, by this light the rational creature is made (by God) deiform of that divine nature.” 

The spiritual struggle plays out like this; while we have a natural craving for a human elevation of our nature, the serpent takes this longing and redirects it in a warped way – which is man-made; not God-made. What flows from this is that the arrogant technology gurus are happily invoking the spirit of the serpent – let’s ditch God’s way and do it ourselves. 

Christ came to elevate our human nature by injecting God’s life in us through the sacraments. So, yes, human beings can obtain divine qualities but only through God. As St. Augustine summed it up, “God became man so man can become a part of God.”  If people wholeheartedly knew this, the confession and communion lines would be out the door while simultaneously we would brush off the transhuman and Humanity 2.0 project as another failed attempt at building a Tower of Babel.

If we back up, we can see that transhumanism is a hellish project in which the devil mocks God’s creation by perverting it. In fact, it is the logical path of the demonic philosophy encircling our world. First, we had transgender where the devil wants you to believe you’re not a man, you’re not a woman, you are not who you think you are, and that your gender can change. Now that transgenderism is in place, the next step the devil is pushing is taking the human from being made by God to now having the human being “enhanced” by man. Since the devil has successfully redefined what genders are, he now wants to redefine what a human person is. The demonic list of redefining God’s creation reads like a poisonous plan – redefine marriage, redefine gender, and redefine what a human being is. Fr. Chad Ripperger indicates that the sign of the diabolical is that “the demon militates and pushes society towards absurdity. In other words, a demon is not happy in stopping at redefining marriage. He wants to redefine all aspects of what God has created.”

Instead of joining the cultural craze to redefine all aspects of natural law, let us instead act as beacons of light to God’s creation while simultaneously exposing this dark plot. 

So, be wary of the promised technological “enhancements” that come at the cost of human dignity. In Catholic theology, our bodies on earth are holy and part of what unites us to God’s creation (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19). Our bodies are not to be viewed as stretchable systems that can be upgraded through digital technology. Yes, while on earth our bodies temporarily have limitations and as a result of human sin, breakdown. However, because Christ established a means of salvation in the Catholic Church we have access to a divine “upgrade” in heaven. Our glorified bodies in heaven will be free of all the limitations that transhumanists seek to overcome. What transhumanists seek is accomplished even more so to what happens to us at the second coming – enhanced, glorified bodies that no transhumanist can’t compete with.

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