“If “individual human minds” are downloaded on a computer disc, indeed it would appear that we could solve some burning ethical issues, such as overpopulation. We would no longer have to worry about life and death as such, not to be concerned of physical pain, aging, and disease, feel fear, attachment, emotions of failure, and success neither could we experience love, hate, and other emotions related not only to the meeting of minds but also to that of bodies (Hellsten)”
To live is Christ, To Die is Gain (Philippians 1:21). Meghan O’Gieblyn was a former Christian enthusiast who became fascinated with the world and overall ideological atmosphere of the transhumanist movement. The despair she felt with the absence of God was healed and replaced by the promise of restoration, through science, and the process of transfiguration towards a nonbiological substrate of supercomputers. The parallels presented in Ghost in the Cloud between the transhuman enthusiast and Christian philosopher on the idea of eternal life for humans were uncanny. Meghan states, “Trans-humanism offered a vision of redemption without the thorny problems of divine justice,” and she contemplated with the idea that AI will serve the role of Jesus Christ and be our ultimate savior to bestow to humanity the experience of true eternity.
Megan O’Gieblyn had spent a considerable amount of time dedicated to dreaming about the “postbiotic future” of transhumanism and its connection with the ideologies of Christianity. However, she has been insouciant to the fact that Christians believe death is an essential experience for a human to understand life. Death is the center of our existence and is what defines human purpose and individuality. We gain meaning, relation, urgency, happiness, and feeling from death. Death was God’s greatest gift to humans. I think about death multiple times a day, not in a morbid or suicidal way; however, I understand that I need to make the most out of my limited time in this life. The idea of fusion with technology as the next stage of human evolution does; in fact, allow humanity to achieve resurrection and immortality, but this process stirps us away from every single quality that makes us human including the ability to learn, chose with our own perspective, and determine the course of our own actions.
Ray Kurzweil, the pristine, god-like, and illustrious prophet of modern transhuman belief, is the reason Meghan O’Gieblyn believes in the contemporary world of transhumanism. She analyzes Kurzweil’s perspective and perpetuates a certain belief to the reader that he is carrying on the legacy of the Enlightenment and furthering human progression with pushing for technological advancements to human transcendence. Kurzweil believes our bodies would become incorruptible and limitless and we would acquire knowledge by uploading it to our brains. This utopian dream would evidently eradicate careers, intellectual growth, educational institutions, relationships, creativity, and every other aspect that is a part of the human experience. In his academic journal “The Meaning of Life,”, Sirkku Hellsten further analyzes Kurzweil’s illogical and inhumane way of thinking. Kurzweil notes the change to humanity would perpetuate “Singularity,” which accentuates that there is no metaphysical category of person. In essence, we lose our defining characteristics…lose our value, ethics, and morals. We lose our sense of appreciation for life and therefore would completely lose the idea of hope and emotion. I particularly enjoyed the integral question purposed by Hellsten revolving the “divine ruler” of transhumanism that was not addressed in Ghost in the Clouds, “if all human minds could or would move into virtual reality and continue “living” in cyberspace then who or what is left behind to maintain the operations?” It is difficult to imagine a world ran by artificial intelligence; a government or ruling class led by computer information systems that are “exponentially more intelligent” who decide on pressing and difficult issues relative to the well-being of the general public that would be programmed to think a certain way. Human progression is predicated on the divergence of thought and a future founded on the tempting fallacy of computer-generated singularity will precisely halt human progression, and ultimately the human race.
Hellsten, Sirkku K. “‘The Meaning of Life’ during a Transition from Modernity to Transhumanism and Posthumanity.” Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu, Edited by Scott M. Fitzpatrick, vol. 2012, no. 210684, Feb. 2012, doi:https://www.hindawi.com/journals/janthro/2012/210684/.