Transhumanism’s Despairing Howl

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.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More