This new Johnny Depp movie “Transcendence” should spark popular interest in the spiritual goals of our increasingly technological society, and clarify that the western world is Christian/Transhuman... Yes, I dare say this is the definitive movie for western culture because it touches our Christian roots and our technological branches.
In the movie, Depp makes a computer-to-mind interface, he transcends into the “cloud”, and grows beyond. It’s a new type of pioneer story with uncharted territory to discover. The grass is much greener here: The collective intelligence of everything ever known, with the full range of human emotions is concentrated in the mind of our hero. Of course if he overcomes all the dangers in the movie plot, it will be because of his western/Christian sensibilities.
Why do I say the west is still Christian? Like it or not the gospel is ingrained deep in our culture. Jesus is the biggest name in human history. Ever. It is a matter of fact Jesus is the indisputable leader of influential ideas: Reference here.
Why do I say we are Transhumanists? Transhumanism is about learning, and overcoming our human condition: "In the end, all technology is prosthesis, the extension and augmentation of existing biological and informational capabilities. We put eyeglasses in front of our eyes to bring the world into focus, telescopes and microscopes to see those realms which our unaided eyes cannot fathom. We use remote sensors to explore the planets, and these are all extensions of the senses we have. All of our systems of writing and of calculation are similarly extensions of memory systems and logical operations that we can perform in our minds. Similarly the technological implements that carry us from one place to the next, or that grow our food for us, or that keep us warm are but extensions of our own bodies' effectors." - Peter Cariani ... Transhumanism goes all the way down to the essence of life:
- A living thing is conditioned to exist and grow.
- Understanding the laws of nature increases a living thing's chance to exist and grow.
- Science is the systematic process of understanding nature.
- Technology is the application of our understanding of nature to better adapt to our environment.
- Why do I say we are Christian Transhumanists? The two converge hand-in-hand on the way to the Supreme State of Being. The early Christian church was clearly closer to the spirit of life with the idea of transcendent humanism; where it was taught not only mankind but the whole cosmos finds its fulfillment in Christ. Through the grace of God we grow to be like Christ. Paul Tillich calls this original meaning "The profound doctrine of a transcendent humanism, a humanism which says that Christ is the fulfillment of essential humanity." "And we can become fully human through participation in this which has appeared in Christ, including eternal life, and similitude with God with respect to participation in infinity." Then Tillich says, "I am always surprised how much better the theology of the ancient church was than the popular theology which developed in the nineteenth century, how much profounder and more adequate to the paradox of Christianity, without becoming irrational, nonsensical, or absurd." Know Transhumanism is part of God’s plan, the spirit of life. Because the reality is, through computer and sensor evolution our technological tools are turning into a place where we can extend our senses to better understand where to grow. Technology is a place to expand your mind, and find truth, for those who wish it. There is talk of uploading our minds into this environment and living forever. Technology is opening the door to a new ecological niche to grow. This is not a plastic virtual reality. It is God's creation in high resolution and amplified. The doors of perception are opening.
It seems like transcendence really is at hand. Check out the Transhumanism movement to see how some folks are speculating on, and actually trying out possible transcending paths. Then check out the various Singularity Watch Internet sites to see what futurist think is happening with technological growth.
Is this really a place for a Christian?? Let’s say we transcend our flesh body using the technology of the near future. What about our soul? There isn't much being said about the spiritual aspects of this exponential technological growth. Every movie or book I have read on this subject is rather scary. Scary sells. So let me provide a comforting metaphor for what I think is really happening. You could look at it this way: engineers build a church as a place of worship. They build roads to the church. They design modern modes of transportation for getting to the church. Then it is up to us to get to the church and use it in the spirit of love. This technology is just another church, a place to get together and worship. Personally, the kingdom of God, and the Temple, is within us all and these technologies are extending our influence. So, be careful there will be challenges, if you go this path, Go in the Spirit of Love. You can do no wrong when the spirit of love, the Holy Spirit is with you. And, it is said; "If you are trying to save your life for any other reason than love, you will lose it." There is one way to life and truth. This wisdom is eternal. It takes love... Love is the winning life-strategy in the end. To survive even the meanest brute will grow to understand! This really is a place for a Christian. You see, Christianity is Transhumanism!