Transhumanism’s Despairing Howl

by Wesley J. Smith

I hear all the time that human exceptionalism is arrogant–that we are not “special” in nature, nor are our lives of higher value than other species, some even say, “nature.” Patent nonsense.

But this is arrogant–the transhumanist eschatology that we will recreate ourselves into near-immortals with god-like powers.

Take the recent pro-transhumanist article published in the International Business Times, as just one example:

Within the next 200 years, humans will become God-like cyborgs, merging man and machine to live forever, a professor has said. Yuval Noah Harari, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said human dissatisfaction will drive mankind to “upgrade themselves” – and that cyborg technology will allow them to do this.

According to the Telegraph, he said: “I think it is likely in the next 200 years or so Homo sapiens will upgrade themselves into some idea of a divine being, either through biological manipulation or genetic engineering of by the creation of cyborgs, part organic part non-organic.

“It will be the greatest evolution in biology since the appearance of life. Nothing really has changed in four billion years biologically speaking. But we will be as different from today’s humans as chimps are now from us.”

Well, if it has a purpose and a goal, it isn’t “evolution” is it?

As I have always said, transhumanism is a materialistic religion:

Harari argued that humans have become the dominant species because of our ability to invent fictions – like religion and money – that help to bind society together. However, he said the departure from belief in religion will spur on change to the human race.

“God is extremely important because without religious myth you can’t create society. Religion is the most important invention of humans. As long as humans believed they relied more and more on these gods they were controllable. “With religion it’s easy to understand. You can’t convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana with the promise it will get 20 more bananas in chimpanzee heaven. It won’t do it.

But humans will. “But what we see in the last few centuries is humans becoming more powerful and they no longer need the crutches of the Gods. Now we are saying we do not need God just technology.”

Technology is a very hard pillow. It will never supply true meaning to yearning souls–if you will pardon the term–just diversion.

Ironically, I have found many transhumanists are also often into misanthropic animal rights or radical environmentalism, associating themselves with movements that denigrate human beings as just another species in the forest–and a vermin race at that–because we supposedly are the source of so much suffering. 

At the same time, transhumanists say that precisely because we are not exceptional, we need to improve the defective product.

In the end, I think transhumanism is a howl of despair in the night, spitting into the wind of what most T’s see as a meaningless void.

I am having none of it. But it is fascinating to watch–like the famous scene of Slim Pickens riding the atomic bomb in Dr. Strangelove.