What is it about?

The worldwide transhumanist (H+) movement upgrades technological hopes and expectations to a level of spiritual fervor. When looking through the eyes of the public theologian, we see in H+ a disguised religion replete with faith in techno-salvation and even immortality. This is unrealistic. Whereas H+ assumes enhanced intelligence has redemptive power, the more realistic theologian avers that it is love and love alone that has transformative power. The implicit Gnostic assumptions of H+ are too weak to redeem the human condition; they need fortification by a hard-nosed sinand-grace dialectic. Apologetic public theologians can offer the wider public a more realistic assessment of technology’s potential while providing genuine hope in a future vision based on divine promise.

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Why is it important?

Although our society should be grateful to techies who supply wondrous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, we need to avoid falling into the trap of expecting that technological advance can cure all human ills. Techno-salvation is unrealistic. Genuine salvation can result solely from divine grace.


I like new things. I like the enthusiasm of my transhumanist (H+) colleagues and friends. I believe that human genius each decade makes human life on Earth better. Yet, I hesitate to embrace an unrealistic techno-eschatology that demands we place all our hope in computer engineers. Technology cannot overcome sin; it can only make sinners more powerful. So, I believe we will still need to pray for divine grace in an era of techno-wonder.

Prof Ted F Peters
Graduate Theological Union

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This page is a summary of: The Ebullient Transhumanist and the Sober Theologian, Scientia et Fides, September 2019, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika/Nicolaus Copernicus University, DOI: 10.12775/setf.2019.018.
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