God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism

The Transhumanism topic has been exercising the minds of members of the UCFORUM Executive thanks to Paul Wildman. He has drawn our attention to this very interesting paper in the Guardian’s “Long Read” on 18th April 2017. The author is Meghan O’Gieblyn. Meghan is a writer based in Madison, Wisconsin. Her work has appeared most recently in the Oxford American, Guernica and Indiana Review


“After losing her faith, a former evangelical Christian felt adrift in the world. She then found solace in a radical technological philosophy – but its promises of immortality and spiritual transcendence soon seemed unsettlingly familiar……”

“At Bible school, I had studied a branch of theology that divided all of history into successive stages by which God revealed his truth. We were told we were living in the “Dispensation of Grace”, the penultimate era, which precedes that glorious culmination, the “Millennial Kingdom”, when the clouds part and Christ returns and life is altered beyond comprehension. But I no longer believed in this future. More than the death of God, I was mourning the dissolution of this narrative, which envisioned all of history as an arc bending towards a moment of final redemption. It was a loss that had fractured even my experience of time. My hours had become non-hours. Days seemed to unravel and circle back on themselves………”

“Transhumanists, in their eagerness to preempt charges of dualism, tend to sound an awful lot like these early church fathers. Eric Steinhart, a “digitalist” philosopher at William Paterson University, is among the transhumanists who insist the resurrection must be physical. “Uploading does not aim to leave the flesh behind,” he writes, “on the contrary, it aims at the intensification of the flesh.” The irony is that transhumanists are arguing these questions as though they were the first to consider them. Their discussions give no indication that these debates belong to a theological tradition that stretches back to the earliest centuries of the Common Era……”

To read the article go to: God in the machine and be disturbed or challenged to find out more.



One thought on “God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism

  1. Rodney Eivers

    This is a very interesting article Paul W. I have printed it out and intend to read it in detail later.
    A couple of first reactions. I had not thought of transhumanism as a religion. I just assumed that it was the way the world was going and that perhaps we had better accept it.
    The other thing that struck me was the contrasting approaches to what constitutes the ‘end times’. On the one had we have the forecast of some supernatural paradise, in this case.
    framed in transhumanistic terms. This can be one interpretation of scripture perhaps associated with the post-Easter Jesus. As against this we have the Kingdom of God proclaimed by
    the pre-Easter Jesus which is coming more and more to be seen as the ideal world nurtured, with more compassionate relationships, by human decision-making. Unfortunately this latter prospect
    of the end times has taken a severe battering from the events of 2016 with Brexit and the rise of the populism of Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson.

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