Enhancing the Imago Dei: Can a Christian Be a Transhumanist?

Christian Bioethics 28 (1):76-93 (2022)
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Transhumanism is an ideology that embraces the use of various forms of biotechnology to enhance human beings toward the emergence of a “posthuman” kind. In this article, I contrast some of the foundational tenets of Transhumanism with those of Christianity, primarily focusing on their respective anthropologies—that is, their diverse understandings of whether there is an essential nature shared by all human persons and, if so, whether certain features of human nature may be intentionally altered in ways that contribute toward how each views human flourishing. A central point of difference concerns Transhumanists’ aim of attaining “substrate independence” for the human mind, such that one’s consciousness could be uploaded into a cybernetic environment. Christian anthropology, on the other hand, considers embodiment, with its characteristics of vulnerability and finitude, to be an essential feature of human nature—hence, Christians’ belief in bodily resurrection. Despite Christianity and Transhumanism having fundamental differences, I contend that Christians may support moderate forms of enhancement oriented toward supporting our flourishing as living, sentient, social, and rational animals.



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Jason Eberl
Saint Louis University

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Nicomachean ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 2014 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.. Edited by C. D. C. Reeve.
Confessions.R. S. Augustine & Pine-Coffin - 2019 - Hackett Publishing Company.

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