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Hava Tirosh-Samuelson | Transhumanism as Contemporary Idolatry: A Judaic Critique
Transhumanism is a social and intellectual movement that promotes the use of technoscience to shape the evolution of the human species. Transhumanism calls for the engineering of the human body to enhance physiological and mental capacities, radically expand the duration of human life, and even attain (digital) immortality. Although secular in tone and style, transhumanist discourse is rife with utopian, apocalyptic, and eschatological motifs that invest technoscience with spiritual and even salvific meanings. For transhumanists, transcendence is to be attained through technoscience. Engaging transhumanism from a Judaic perspective, this lecture argues that transhumanism is a contemporary case of what the Bible understood as "idolatry," namely, the veneration of human-made artifacts as if they were divine. Instead of making us "better humans" and "perfecting" our world, the transhumanist idolatry has made us and our world less just, less equitable, and less caring. The harm inflicted by the massive technologization of life demands a critical examination of transhumanism.

Nov 17, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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