In July of this year it became known that the Catholic Church of Madrid, Spain had openly declared war against Transhumanism. They called for violence against, and the kidnapping of, scientists who are using their resources to help combat aging and transcend biological limitations. As both an atheist and Transhumanist, I take that kind of threat seriously.
However, I don’t believe conflict should materialize between the two of us. As founder of the Transhumanist movement, Max More had openly called for instead a brace of unity in his article, “Why Catholics Should Support the Transhumanist Goal of Extended Life.”
I concur with his observations and call of unity. There is no real rational reason for conflict to arise between the Catholic Church and Transhumanists; I do not believe that a scenario similarly told in Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager should occur, for we both are on similar missions – the betterment of our people and the conquering of disease and poverty.
To quote Max More’s article, he says:
“Catholics faced with disease and suffering do not hesitate to support medical research even as they minister to the spiritual needs of victims. I believe that, as it becomes ever more feasible to prevent and reverse the diseases of aging, our moral responsibility to help in doing so becomes greater. Extending the maximum human life span has not seemed feasible until recent years. As more evidence accumulates showing that we can successfully combat aging and the inevitability of biological death, I would expect to see the Church actively supporting or conducting research.
“A final observation: From a specifically Christian perspective, extending the maximum healthy life span of humans beyond the current limit of around 123 years would have another major benefit: It would give us more time to develop virtue, to do good works, to serve God, and to save souls. This alone should be reason enough to vigorously support the quest for ageless bodies and indefinite life spans. Few of even the most optimistic transhumanists expect the world to ever be perfect. To the extent that the world remains imperfect—and far inferior to Heaven—a longer existence in the physical world might perhaps be regarded as a milder form of purgatory. It can be seen as a divine blessing: an extended opportunity to improve ourselves, do good works to redeem ourselves, to glorify God, and to more fully earn a place in Heaven.”