Demonizing Transhumanism on Worldview Weekend Radio
4 December 2010 (updated 12 January 2016)
Fundamentalist Christians are demonizing Transhumanism. It’s not new, of course, but it has become increasingly frequent and hostile.
“Evil”, “Hitler”, “Nazi”, “racist”, “pagan”, “deadly”, “elitist”, “fooling around”, “Babel”, “Sodom and Gomorrah”, “occult”, “demonic”, “crazy”, “crush”, “hurt”, “destroy”, “antichrist”, “Satan”, “eerie”, “run over ourselves”: these are a sampling of the words and phrases that Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend Radio associates with Transhumanism (and hopes you will associate with Transhumanism), as communicated during Brannon’s interview of Carl Teichrib on 1 December 2010. This is the same Carl that recently attended and wrote about the Transhumanism and spirituality conference sponsored by the Mormon Transhumanist Association.
Brannon hits every angle, from the malicious to the preposterous. He portrays Transhumanists as Nazi eugenicists that hate racial diversity. Transhumanists, he says, are just “fooling around with DNA”, “fooling around with science”, and “fooling around with demons”. Mormon Transhumanists, he implies, must be particularly racist, given their religion once banned persons of color; and they must be particularly evil, given that their founder, Joseph Smith, received messages from Satan, as did Hitler and Nietzsche. Not to leave anyone out, NASA is also “fooling around with demons”.
Although more measured in his own statements, Carl doesn’t do much to reign in Brannon’s rantings. He mentions that he’s had constructive conversations with some Transhumanists that he considers to have good intentions, but positions those good intentions as futile within a movement that is carelessly directing humanity down a slippery slope and over a cliff to destruction. He then talks about how he’s not anti-technology, but he thinks it’s important that we acknowledge the accompanying risks. Has he not yet recognized that such concerns are emphasized more by Transhumanists than any other ideological class of persons? It’s not an exaggeration to say Transhumanists wrote the book on such risks.
These Fundamentalist Christians (self-identified “Biblical Christians”) largely misunderstand and consequently misrepresent Transhumanism. They do so in a demonizing manner, and then they wonder ironically why so many of us are antagonistic toward them. They expect their God eventually to come show us who’s boss: “there’s only one God and I’m going to show you who it is”. Do they hear the oppression in their own words? Do they hear echoes from the New Testament, wherein Paul depicts both an oppressive would-be-god attempting to raise itself above all else called God, and a charitable God attempting to raise us together as joint-heirs in the glory of God? Which are they worshiping? Can they yet imagine themselves incomplete in their understanding of those they demonize? Do they care?