In the war between bioethics and transhuman technology, where should the Christian Church stand?
Bioethics and the Christian Church Versus Transhumanism Part III discusses the definitions of bioethics and transhumanist technology. It discussed the details of why these philosophies are at war with one another. It also offers a basis for the Christian Church to stand for bioethics and against transhuman technology.
The Trouble of Personhood in Transhuman Technology
The issues between the Christian Church and transhuman technology are many. So, I want to concentrate on the philosophy of personhood. According to Allen Porter of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, The “criteria for personhood…are directly relevant to the debate between transhumanists (and techno progressive more broadly) and bio-conservatives.”
Porter explains the trouble of personhood in transhuman technology: personhood is the “structural analogy between—on the one hand—transhumanist conceptions of the human, the posthuman, and the relation between these, and—on the other—ancient conceptions of the human, the divine, and the relation between these.”
In other words, the transhumanist conception of personhood is the relationship between humans and posthumans. Meanwhile, the ancient conception of humanity is the relationship between humans and God. When comparing the two concepts, posthumans replace God in a relationship with humans in transhumanism.
The Christian Church’s Stance
The Christian church has a biblical basis against transhumanists’ opposition to personhood. The first foundation is godhead. If transhumanism compares the ancient concept of humanity against present-day views on transhumanist technology — the transhuman or posthuman ascends to a place of the godhead. In Scripture God says, “There shall be no other god before me” (Exodus 20:3 ESV). Furthermore, Genesis 6 discusses the ancient history of transhuman technology. Genesis 7 tells of God destroying transhumans and transhuman technology with the flood. If God destroyed transhuman technology once, would He not consider it an abomination again?
The second case Christianity has against transhuman technology is the case for personhood. God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:27). We are created with dignity because we are created in God’s image. To recreate us as part human or posthuman is to nullify the dignity that God has given us. To nullify God-given dignity is in direct opposition to bio-ethics.
Without dignity, we lose our personhood. When we lose personhood, we lose the sanctity of life. Christians are called to fight for dignity and the sanctity of human life. Christians are called to stand behind bioethics in the fight against transhuman technology.