The idea of becoming more than human, or transhumanism, goes back to Genesis, but what does it look like today? Dr. Jacob Shatzer, Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Union University, shines a light on transhumanism from a Christian perspective.
“This idea of transhumanism is a commitment to use whatever we can to move on to that next stage to become more than human.”
From an evolutionist’s standpoint, transhumanism can appear to be a logical next step toward power and excitement. The concept has become prevalent in American culture, especially in media.
“There are certainly various Netflix shows and things like that, that promote this idea of a future where we’ve merged with machines, or maybe the machines have taken us over, or maybe we’ve been uploaded into computers. Oftentimes we keep transhumanism at an arm’s length because we think it’s only about those big far-off things.”
As transhumanism enters the subtleties of our day-to-day lives, how are we to think about and interact with this trend? Dr. Shatzer understands that many Christians cringe at the idea.
“The problem is that transhumanism is much deeper. There’s a logic to transhumanism; there’s a story to transhumanism and it’s one that’s actually very close to stories that we buy into. There are actually these smaller decisions that we make on seemingly less significant things that tie into this same story and make us more likely to, in the future, want to be part of the transhumanist story.”
Transhumanist concepts have seeped into our minds, and it is a topic worth digging into as we seek to understand our own thoughts and the thoughts of others. Which elements of the transhumanist idea resonate with you? How do you think this theme can interact with a Christian worldview?
Jacob Shatzer graduated from Union University in 2007 and has served at Union since 2017. Prior to coming to Union, Jacob taught on the faculties of Sterling College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has published on topics ranging from theological hermeneutics to posthumanism. Jacob is married to Keshia and they have four children.What is transhumanism and why do we care?