The Challenge of Transhumanism: Endless Progress Leading into the Abyss of Dehumanization

"the active imposition of homosexuality and lesbianism, and the destruction of the traditional family, is simply a means of preparing for a transhumanistic future . . . we are facing the threat of a global transformation of human nature within the next twenty-five years . . ."

"If Russia is with Christ, it can restrain the globalist onslaught. But holding him back will be very difficult. For they will constantly tell us that our views have become obsolete, that they are a brake on the way of mankind to extend life, improve health, and develop human information capabilities."

For a long time, progress was perceived as a generally positive phenomenon. It was usually said that progress is aimed at creating better conditions for human life, the development of medicine, comfort, and social relations.

The only negative side of technological progress was the growth of armaments, the creation of an increasingly powerful weapon with a destructive force, which as a result became such that its use could completely destroy the Earth.

Source: (Russian)

But as a result of progress, it was believed that the international community would eventually create conditions where lasting peace was established everywhere, and powerful weapons would become unnecessary. The ultimate goals of progress had not yet been called into question.

And suddenly, over the past 15-20 years, the world has come face to face with a global ideology that has clearly outlined these very goals of the progressive development of mankind. It's the ideology of transhumanism.

What is transhumanism? This is an ideology that is becoming dominant in the United States and most other developed countries in the West.

Transhumanism is a set of various doctrines that set as their main goal the achievement of earthly immortality, the creation of a superman.

Transhumanism is a natural stage in the development of science, based solely on rationalism. The most important foundation of transhumanism is the theory of evolution. Transhumanists believe that human evolution is not complete, and that it will continue on. Moreover, with the help of the tools offered by science, transhumanists consider it possible to completely overcome humanity itself.

Transhumanists consider the cardinal improvement of biological nature to be the first, auxiliary stage of a further round of human evolution. For this, the path of gene modification is most often proposed.

They propose using genetic engineering to achieve the cultivation of humans with desired genetic properties. They usually say that it is necessary in order to overcome hereditary diseases and ensure full health. It is assumed that people will eventually be immune to any disease, tolerate any temperature, endure radiation, live under water, or even be able to fly.

Next, the synthesis of man and machine should take place. This is supposed to be done by introducing artificial implants and chips into the body and brain, resulting in cyborg humans.

However, this biological and technical path is not considered to be the main one.

The main efforts are now aimed at using information and nanotechnology when creating the superman. The human personality is perceived by representatives of transhumanism exclusively as a set of gene information encoded in DNA, plus a carrier of consciousness — the brain — which is considered to be a neurocomputer.

Consciousness, in this view, consists of a certain information set based on the electronic impulses of the brain. Therefore, it is believed that by completely copying such pulses, you can transfer them to other, technical carriers.

When contemplating the hypothetical transfer of consciousness from a biological brain to a computer, transhumanists call it the “loading of consciousness”, “brain reconstruction”, or simply “loading”. After such a transfer has been realized, the consciousness, from the point of view of transhumanists, will live in virtual reality. And this, they believe, provides unlimited possibilities for human self-realization.

Another important term in transhumanism is “singularity”. This is such a moment when, from the point of view of the supporters of this doctrine, a qualitative leap will take place from man to the supermind, and the progress of posthumanity will begin to develop with extraordinary speed.

Transhumanists claim that these information-technological methods and biological methods work together, allowing mankind to achieve immortality. Since the ultimate goal of transhumanists is to overcome death, it is usually immortalism, the search for eternal life, that is singled out as its core.

Imagine that transhumanist plans were to come true. What would humanity expect as a result of their implementation?

Those people who now belong to the elite, who have concentrated most of the financial resources of mankind in their hands, would become an immortal super race, having moved to a new level of existence. The rest of humanity — that is, all those who are poor, who do not occupy the corresponding social niche — will become, in fact, unnecessary garbage under the feet of the elite. Humanity would clearly be divided into the “superintelligent” minority and everyone else.

In fact, this is not just neo-feudalism. All previous forms of enslavement and suppression, even Auschwitz, were at least relations between people. Now we are on the verge of suppressing people, not only by robotic superhumans, but also by those who will deny humanity as such.

In fact, for modern transhumanists, humanity is an outdated primitive form. Accordingly, all aspects of modern social human life are obsolete.

In this sense, the active imposition of homosexuality and lesbianism, and the destruction of the traditional family, is simply a means of preparing for a transhumanistic future, where the human mind on a new medium can, as the bearers of this worldview suggest, use virtual reality to turn itself into anyone.

Thus, mankind has come to a stage when, relying on science and technological progress, it is ready to completely reject itself, to reject humanity itself as a form of existence.

This poses a whole series of serious questions.

The first question is: Isn't this just fiction?

No, unfortunately, it is not fiction.

In the US, NASA and Google are the active architects of the "transhumanistic future." In 2009, NASA and Google created Singularity University, located in Silicon Valley in the NASA Research Center, a stone's throw from the Googleplex, in order to train relevant personnel — potential leaders promoting the “technologies for solving global problems of mankind”.

The US government is allocating colossal amounts to solve the problem of combining human consciousness with computer technology.

In fact, as noted above, transhumanism is becoming a new form of dominant ideology.

Perhaps we are merely considering the prospects of a distant future, which will not affect our current generation?

Unfortunately not. Just a few years ago, the Second International Congress of the Global Future 2045 Forum was held in New York. Their goal for the transfer of human consciousness to a new carrier is the year 2045. That is, we are facing the threat of a global transformation of human nature within the next twenty-five years.

Transhumanism is trying to overcome death. It is trying to create an immortal superman. Everything that hinders this, from the point of view of transhumanists, should be rejected. And one of the things to be rejected, of course, will be Orthodox Christianity.

This is because Orthodoxy offers us a completely different vision of man than that of transhumanists. Man is not just a set of genes, not merely a set of electrical impulses in the brain.

Man is an immortal person created in the image and likeness of God. The creation of man was not the result of evolution in the animal world. It was a creative act of God. But a man called to heavenly life fell away from God in the act of sin. As a result, he received "leather robes" — the current conditions of human existence. Moreover, the result of the fall was physical death. Death is a gift to God's people, for it puts a limit to the rooting of man in sin. If there were no death, then people would endlessly grow in evil, closer and closer in their condition to fallen angels — demons.

The sin of Adam, who fell away from God, is transmitted to his descendants and gravitates over them. This original sin lies primarily in the rootedness of human nature in evil, in the sinful tendency that has become the spiritual disease of mankind.

Only Christ redeemed us from the curse, sin, and death, giving us the opportunity to reunite with God. He gives us cleansing from the ancestral sin, acquiring the conditions of a new eternal life with God which takes place in the Sacrament of Baptism, where a person dies with Christ in order to resurrect with Christ. Next begins the path of ascension to God, the key to which is union with Christ in the Sacrament of Communion. Only on this path is it possible for a person to achieve his salvation — that is, his everlasting dwelling with God, deification.

This fullness is possible only after the general resurrection from the dead — in the new heaven and new earth. Earthly physical death for a Christian remains the grace of God, not allowing him to fall off on the path of spiritual ascent and again plunge into evil, as if crowning his life and exploits.

Man is called to become a god, but this can happen as a Divine gift, as the mercy of the Creator to his creation. And the possibility of this is achieved in personal effort, to combat the sinfulness that is rooted in man, in the struggle against passions, in the feat of acquiring divine grace.

Man consists not only of soul, but also of body. The body is important. The souls of all people will be precisely reunited with their bodies after the general resurrection from the dead. And it is with these transformed bodies that they will remain in eternity.

Of course, this is something completely different than what the transhumanists offer us.

It is the problem of transhumanism that actualizes all the main aspects of our Orthodox worldview. We are faced with a serious worldview — to maintain our faith or continue to go along with everyone along the path of unlimited information and technological "progress".

Transhumanism challenges God. In fact, it is assumed that supermen themselves will become gods, and that they will not need the Creator. Indeed, transhumanists do not believe in God. They embrace purely rationalistic constructions.

For internal discussions among Orthodox Christians, the fact of the expansion of transhumanist ideology raises a number of questions.

Transhumanism proceeds from the theory of evolution. It argues that the human race will continue to evolve further until it overcomes itself in the near future. Therefore, the question “Can a Christian be an evolutionist?” moves from a certain marginality to a category of vital importance. If the theory of evolution is accepted, then what are the limits of this evolution, and why should limits be set? How can we stop dehumanization?

Why should human evolution stop? How does this relate to new information and biomedical technologies? The “Foundations of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church”, adopted back in 2000, speaks about the inadmissibility of genetic manipulations at the DNA level. Moreover, from the Orthodox point of view, attempts to transfer human consciousness to other carriers are unacceptable. But, if we proceed from the logic of the development of evolutionary science itself, and accept such logic, then it is really impossible to put limits on the transformation of man into something completely inhuman.

Purely theological questions are also important, for example, the dogma of the Atonement, and the question of the ancestral sin. If we reject the very concept of ancestral sin, imagining that it is possible to be saved outside the Sacraments of the Church, only on a purely moral path — then nothing prevents us from achieving eternal earthly life. Indeed, if this were the case, we would have to believe that human nature is not fundamentally damaged.

If, like some theologizing liberals, it is believed that Christ united the whole nature of the world with God, then again — nothing prevents you from following the path proposed by transhumanists.

It may seem to us that transhumanism is a purely Western phenomenon, and that humanization can be opposed to a certain national tradition. There is a naive assumption that Holy Russia will certainly stand in the way of “the man of sin, the son of perdition”. Some Orthodox Christians are convinced that the Antichrist, whose reign is predicted to us by the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Fathers, will certainly go around Russia or some of its holiest places.

In such a picture of the world, evil is certainly associated with the United States and its neighboring countries.

However, those forces that are preparing a global transformation of mankind, in fact, can use any developed countries as their tools, if only because information and finance (which are the main spaces of these dark forces) flow on their own, having long been international.

For example, China may become an important tool for the global demolition of human civilization, equal to the United States. Any tool can be selected, including Russia.

Transhumanism is actively developing in present-day China and Israel. It is very active in Russia. There are historical reasons for this. It is worth recalling that transhumanism rests solely on rationalistic grounds. Religion is understood in its framework as a kind of temporary instrument for regulating human life, which, as soon as it becomes a real brake on the path toward the appearance of the superman, should be discarded.

In Russia, despite a thirty-year period of church revival, rationalism remains dominant in science and education. The main cadres in these areas were formed either in the Soviet period or in corporate traditions with a Soviet atheistic foundation. The same applies to management personnel, and the financial and political elite.

Therefore, transhumanism finds itself taking root in well-fertilized atheistic soil that is still present in Russia.

The Russian transhumanist movement is active. Russian scientists are trying to integrate into the logic of the main global trend, which today, of course, is transhumanism. Russian oligarchs actively support this trend, probably in search of eternal life in sin and pleasures. It was reported that the main organizer of the New York Global Future 2045 forum is the Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov, who proclaimed: "A person must be free from the limitations of biological nature, death, and gravity."

Moreover, the Russian intellectual space has its own tradition of secular immortalism. We are talking about the so-called "Russian cosmism", and in particular the doctrine of the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov. Despite the fact that he considered himself a believing Orthodox Christian, his doctrine anticipated the current challenge to God posed by transhumanists. Fedorov believed that it was necessary by means of science to resurrect all ancestors, thereby saving humanity from the Last Judgment.

Some time ago, the Russian Academy of Sciences, together with China, held a globalist conference. Russian intellectuals are actively speaking at other globalist forums.

It is with the help of the ideas of "Russian cosmism" that the older generation of scientists is trying to integrate into global globalist trends.

I emphasize again that any developed statehood can be tools in the hands of those who are currently dreaming of overcoming humanity, in order to make their power over the world eternal and to gain eternal life. And the rest of humanity, in fact, is not necessary supporting these forces.

Therefore, we must oppose globalism, which is trying to destroy human nature itself, trying to turn a person into a bunch of digital information.

Only the Church is that space in which eternity is already revealed on earth, in which Christ takes on human nature, in which genuine eternal life is granted to us.

If Russia is with Christ, it can restrain the globalist onslaught.

But holding him back will be very difficult. For they will constantly tell us that our views have become obsolete, that they are a brake on the way of mankind to extend life, improve health, and develop human information capabilities. There are problems within our own church consciousness, because for many Orthodox Christians, "progress" — including the development of science — is the norm they accept.

Will transhumanism triumph? It can be assumed that the Lord will not allow such abuse of our God-given human nature. Something must stop humanity on the path of endless "progress", leading into the abyss of dehumanization.

What will it be? War, global catastrophe?

Perhaps we will find out soon.

Igumen Vitaliy Utkin is a priest in Russia, serving the Ivanovo-Ascension diocese. He is head of the diocesan department for relations between the Church and society.

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