February 22, 2006

What would Jesus say about human enhancement?

I don't normally post overly religious or hyper-conservative arguments that are in opposition to human enhancement (mainly on the grounds that they are far too outside the conversation), but I just caught an article in Christianity Today that I just had to share.

In the CT article, "The Pursuit of Enhancement: The latest from Brave New Britain," writer Nigel M. de S. Cameron addresses the recent book published by the think-tank Demos, Better Humans: The Politics of Enhancement and Life Extension.

Cameron is quite unhappy with the people at Demos, mainly because they are calling for an open debate on the topic and the emergence of a politics of enhancement. Cameron is unconvinced that there could ever be a true politics constructed around the issue.

One of the fears that he expresses in the article is that Christians will "slide down the slope into the view that God wants the best for us." (that's right, we wouldn't want that to happen now, would we?)

Cameron goes on to explain himself. We are often told, he says, that God wants us healthy and wealthy. What could be better than to use our wealth to create super-health, and use the super-health to create yet more wealth, he asks. "For there is no doubt that 'enhancement' will be for the haves," writes Cameron, "and it will dig deeper the ditch between them and the have-nots."

Defeatedly, Cameron notes, "So let's have better babies, babies by design, and let's move on to redesign ourselves, using drugs and surgeries and finally reinventing ourselves from the genes and neurons up."

But the coup de grace of his article is in the conclusion:
"Can't see the problem? Well, when Jesus returns—Jesus the incarnate Son of God, the first-century Palestinian Jew, his flesh and blood glorified but still his own—when he returns in power and glory to call us to account, what will he find? Will he find faith upon the earth? Will he even find men and women? Or will he say, as he searches for fellow members of homo sapiens, the species he made in his image and took to be his own, and meets self-invented, designer beings, quite literally, "I never knew you"?"
Hmmm, I suppose that could be a problem for the Messiah when he returns, but I'm sure the new Jesus will get along with cyborgs just fine.

Like I said, far outside of the conversation. Far, far outside......

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