ISCAST is calling for volunteers to help in researching the topic of transhumanism, in order to help Christians and others think about this important topic.
Transhumanism and post-humanism aim to utilise technology to enhance human lifespan, cognition, and emotion. This aim is based on the assumption that the freedom to enhance these capacities would inevitably lead to the benefit of all people, without risk to human dignity. The signatories of the 1998 Transhumanist Declaration stated that “we seek personal growth beyond our current biological limitations.”
Some Christians would say, however, that these transhumanist claims regard the human person not as a creation in the image and likeness of God but as master of our own nature and destiny. Perhaps such intentions derive from a Gnostic separation of body and soul and an atheistic existentialist mindset.
Meanwhile, others, such as the Christian Transhumanist Association, claim that transhumanism can be about about fulfilling our destiny as co-creators with God “using science & technology to participate in the work of God, to cultivate life and renew creation.”
This research project will explore transhumanism from a Christian perspective. It will seek to address questions such as:
- Is transhumanism essentially a secular humanist and materialist philosophy?
- Where is the dividing line between appropriate therapeutic intervention and inappropriate enhancement of the human being?
- To what extent can a material and artificial pursuit of human enhancement benefit all people?
- Does transhumanism presuppose a dualistic view of the human person in which the true self is merely instantiated within a physical body?
- Can there be a form of transhumanism that is consistent with Christian principles?
If you are in a position to do some serious reading, or you have relevant experience in bioethics, theology, philosophy, or another area, then we would like to hear from you. Required capabilities include skills in general research, conducting literature reviews, sourcing relevant references, reviewing academic papers, and the ability to critically analyse philosophical and scientific arguments in light of Christian theological principles.
It is likely that this project will last a number of months and result in a published ISCAST “green paper.”
The project will be coordinated by ISCAST associate Paul Sheehan. Please email Paul (PabloSheehan@hotmail.com) for more details or to express your interest.