Our culture has been captivated by stories of superheroes for as long as we can remember. And one of the greatest goals of science has always been to defeat the so-far undefeatable enemy of ageing. But in 2020 we’re seeing technological advances we never could have imagined – an emerging field of science wrapped in a philosophy called “transhumanism”.
Dr. Fazale Rana is a scientist and a man of great faith – and he shares both his excitement and real concerns about where we’re heading.
“This to me is the real point of concern – there are all kinds of obvious ethical questions when you start thinking about this technology and how it might be applied. Questions concerning the value, the dignity of & the sanctity of human life; our identity as human beings; questions concerning the equitable distribution and access to this very powerful technology. The list goes on and on, and the problem is that this technology is advancing so rapidly. There’s no time for proper ethical deliberation, let alone putting in place any kind of regulatory guidelines that could actually be genuinely enforceable. So this is a real concern.”
“I’ve heard some bioethicists lament the fact that transhumanism is creating ethical categories for which we never had historically been able to even engage. So there’s a call for a new type of bioethics to help deliberate about this technology. So this is a real concern that everyone shares regardless of their worldview with regard to this technology.”
Yet amid all the complexity and questions about this brave new world, Dr. Rana also sees a unique and powerful opportunity for Christians.
“This is why, as Christians, we really need to be informed about what’s happening here. To understand the role we can play with our worldview and a system of Christian ethics that, I think, actually can timelessly speak into how this technology should be used – and which instances and applications of this technology we should probably avoid using, or set aside, or even prohibit.”
Dr. Fazale Rana is Vice President of Research & Apologetics at Reasons to Believe & a groundbreaking author whose latest project – with co-author Kenneth Samples – is the endlessly fascinating Humans 2.0: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives on Transhumanism.On the Road with Dr. Fazale Rana