The Problem of Trans-Humanism in the Light of Philosophy and Theology

In James B. Stump & Alan G. Padgett (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, pp. 393-405. Blackwell. pp. 393-405 (2012)

Authors
Philippe Gagnon
Universite Catholique de Lyon
Abstract
Transhumanism is a means of advocating a re-engineering of conditions that surround human existence at both ends. The problem set before us in this chapter is to inquire into what determined its appearance, in particular in the humanism it seeks to overcome. We look at the spirit of overcoming itself, and the impatience with the Self, in order to try to understand why it seeks a saving power in technology. We then consider how the evolutionary account of the production of organisms does not set them against a perfect standard, but rather injects in them a contingency that seems to be near to the heart of the problem. We then try to assess the objective basis for improvements and manipulation of nature, and although we do not find it forbidden on all occasions, it seems that the criteria for such alterations are impossible to detach from a form of eugenics. We finally open a window toward a theological account of the problem, and find that the desire of autonomy and independence is inevitably going to be challenged by the Christian dogma of creation.
Keywords Transhumanism  technology  evolution  anthropology  eugenics  artificial intelligence  creation
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ISBN(s) 9781118241455  
DOI 10.1002/9781118241455.ch34
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