Father Tange Marie Polycoin, Professor of Ethics at the Faculty of Theology in Toulouse, highlights the link between transhumanism and Christianity. He is also the author of a book Fascination with New Technologies and Transhumanism: 115 Questions.
How does transhumanism conflict with God?
It can be summarized in the experience of the human god described in Ezekiel:Because you said I am a god, I will sit on the throne of God in the middle of the seas, and you are a human being and not a god »( this is28, 2). The heart that takes itself to God thinks of itself at the initiative of His existence. In moral language, we will talk about pride. To take yourself for the sake of God is to take itself for the origin of the created reality and not to see in creation a specific truth, guidance, or inner direction that would accompany my existence. The human god intends to replace the original notation in creation with its own reflection, its own direction, and its own universality in danger of being comprehensive or universal. Totalitarianism arises when self-projection is no longer created by myths that describe the human condition as created.
Transhumanism, is it antichrist?
I’ll paint on one of my favorite Pope Francis and Benedict XVI’s novels: Master of the Earth (Téqui ed.). The plot of this book, written in 1906 by Robert Hugh Benson, the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury who became a Catholic priest, is based on the infatuation of a man out of nowhere who seduces him suggests that it is the solution. For all the problems of democracy and social life. This infatuation is spreading gradually, and it has the side effects of eliminating, with its political extension, all public freedoms in successive and wonderful sections. Technology is perhaps the wonderful personality that makes us lose the ability, as the philosopher Hanna Arendt (1906-1975) described it, to think for ourselves. If a person loses this ability to think for himself, critically, then we are immersed in some form of practical ideology with an aim that is northern and, to some, universal.
Pope Francis does not hesitate to assert that the technocratic paradigm is carried by a new ideology that insidiously creeps into the minds by implicating its relationship to existence. The fascination with technologies, the time spent with them, suggests that this assertion is more than credible, as of today, and that a certain number of people, without knowing it, is imbued with a holistic relationship with these technologies. They are no longer the ones who go to the screens, but rather the ones that come to them to fill the inner void.
What is the response of Catholics in the face of the sheer power of technology?
They can present a dynamic integrated personality. Why is technology great? Because it gives energy. The Christian response is to show where the true energy is. It is in this integral humanism, integrally humanized, not in technology. This does not open up to everything about humans. Forms minds if it is the only reference. Is it the hand that holds the tool or the tool that holds the hand? We hope the tool was humane.
When Pope Francis talks about technology, he’s talking about integrating people. But the integration of man also means the integration of this man, the integrity of this man, and the integration of this man. Integration is the social aspect. Integration is the anthropological aspect – all human. Integrity is the moral aspect, rejecting its disintegration. Integration is the psychodynamic aspect: its unification.
Beyond humanity and infinity … what can we say?
Transhumanism translates as stones of waiting, especially endless openness. Christianity has all the answers to these awaited stones. There are three directions to infinity: either man lock himself in the end, it is materialism; Either it is going at a turn to infinity, it is a virtual reality, or even an ideological mental; Or he gives himself as an infinite, personal, relational answer that makes him a finite being and at the same time deifies him to infinity. For Blaise Pascal, the answer to two lamas is the heart. We are talking about his Easter nightMemorialThis heart was struck by the presence of Christ. The fire of grace. Here’s the antidote. Christianity will be the first antagonist of transhumanism.
Between transhuman and human perfection, are Christians the weight?
What is the model of perfection that organizes the social life of posthumanism? It is the perfection of technology, efficiency. The robot is the symbolic symbol of this perfection due to its nearly extreme efficiency. In contrast, among real humanists, perfection is the vision of the human being in a continuous improvement between his body, soul, mind, and capacity for relationship. This means that, from where he is, he is able to progress and that if he is not able at certain points to do so, due to weakness and fragility, with a specific and stable boundary, then this limit will be a space for a meeting of welcome and concern for difference.
Weakness becomes, in the Christian humanistic sense, an opportunity to join the other as it is, in its fragility, in its irreducible difference. Where I can give myself to help him be himself, in a free gift, without the need for immediate return.
All robots are alike, and that is transhuman perfection. All men are different, unique, this is human perfection. Being open to vulnerability opens the way to tenderness that a robot will never give!
Faced with this fascination with technology, will people find clarity?
At some point there will be a cry expressing the man’s misery. It has already started. Christians can help people name it. The technocratic model is like everyone riding in a Ferrari: it’s cool and cheerful, but it speeds up a dead end. At some point, we will meet his end. If we go too fast, we risk crashing into the wall; If we are careful, we will stop at his feet.
Yes, technology gives us a Ferrari, but let’s take it on the track that makes our society human and that makes the entire man human. May the renewal of technology serve the creation and re-creation of man, and unveil his human potential. Technology should be part of the dimension of salvation, that is, acceptance of receipt primarily from a project of life beyond it: the gift of nature and grace. This is the main antidote to technopholy materialism.
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