top of page

Transhumanism: Can Technology Replace the Resurrection?

Transhumanism and Christianity

Transhumanism is not science fiction, and neither is it a future reality—it is already here! It looks to enhance the human by use of bio-transformative technologies that in time will radically alter the human being, creating a posthuman species. The argument is that human nature is not a fixed concept, hence the prefix, “trans.” According to Transhumanism, humanity must take charge of its evolutionary process using technology.[1]

The concerns of Transhumanism are numerous, and Christians ought not to respond with thoughtless knee-jerk reactions. But instead, highlight the common ground between Christianity and technology, and offer a mitigated response that is compassionate towards those who are suffering and may receive help from human enhancement technology to alleviate suffering or handicaps.[2] These are complicated realities that deserve an urgent response from the Christian church.

Transhumanism looks to overcome human limitations, like the body and its physical restrictions, disease and physical illness, aging, cognitive capacities, and life span. Think of it as three superpowers, super-longevity, super-intelligence, and super-well-being.[3] This will be achieved by employing enhancement technologies to launch humanity into its next evolutionary phase, so they say. These technologies include genetic engineering, nanobots, neuro implants, bionic replacements, and cybernetic enhancements to our physical, emotional, and cognitive makeup. As you might imagine, the line between human and robot will become blurred. Transhumanism is the present transition towards the goal of post-humanism where our psychosomatic (body-spirit) persons are replaced by a non-organic body, either as a robotic machine (think cyborg) or in virtual space. Either way, our minds, and even our consciousness could be uploaded onto a non-biological brain-computer interface (BCI). Although it is debated whether this is even a possibility.

Transhumanists and Christians agree that the world is not as it should be and needs to be fixed. However, Christian theologians argue that our present condition is the result of humanity’s corruption, and for the Transhumanist, the world is broken because of our limited mortal condition, unable to reach its full potential. While Christians seek transformation through living a life with Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:9–10), Transhumanists seek it through technological transformation. Both wish to see the removal of evil, sickness, suffering, and death and hope for a new world. Christians and Transhumanists perceive death as an enemy of humanity (1 Corinthians 15:26). Transhumanists look to overcome death by using technology “to extend life indefinitely, provide unlimited knowledge, and give its adherents total bliss.”[4] Christianity, on the other hand, teaches about eternal life (super-longevity) in which all of God’s designs will be made known (super-intelligence) in a state where fear or sadness no longer exist (super-well-being; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 John 5:13; Revelation 21:4).[5]

According to Christianity, humanity is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27), which forms the bases of a biblical ethical system. While theologians might not always agree on what is meant by being made in the image of God, we can agree that we are made in the image of God by (1) having an innate understanding of right and wrong (Romans 2:14–15), (2) having an awareness of spirituality and a desire for the transcendent and to connect with it (Ecclesiastes 3:11), (3) having a tendency to worship God (Psalm 95:6), (4) having the cognitive capacity for reason and logic (Isaiah 1:18), (5) having an awareness of time (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and (6) having creative abilities (Exodus 35:35). Any consideration for Transhumanism needs to take these human qualities which reflect the image of God into account.

One of the major obstacles to Transhumanism from Christianity is the embodied resurrection. The Transhumanist looks for a way to overcome death, either by prolonging life using technology, uploading consciousness onto a brain–computer interface (BCI), or Cryonics. Thus, Transhumanism offers a type of resurrection, but it is limited and beholden to physical technology. The irony, of course, is that for the Christian believer, Jesus has already conquered death in his resurrection (Romans 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57; Colossians 2:13–15), and this means that we too will be recipients of eternal life, embodied resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; John 5:28–29; Philippians 3:20­–21), and a redeemed creation (Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:19-21; Revelation 21:1). There will be continuity and discontinuity between our present and future bodies. It is this resurrection that will finally restore our true humanity and free us from suffering and death, making Transhumanist technology, as helpful as some of it might be, a poor substitute for the glorious resurrection for which we wait. One wonders how the resurrection might pan out for those individuals whose transition into Transhumanism has moved beyond being recognizably human. Of course, this begs the question, at which point in the transhuman trajectory does being human begin to diminish?

Furthermore, the resurrection, is an embodied one, enjoying a transphysical and eternal existence, and will be imperishable, powerful, glorious, and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; meaning that they would be free from the corrupting power of sin and will be infused with the power of the Holy Spirit). It seems that Christians are the true Transhumanists after all. With a resurrected body like this in a renewed creation, who needs the Transhumanist project?

Transhumanism and Christianity

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.

[1] Joel Oesch, Crossing Wires: Making Sense of Technology, Transhumanism, and Christian Identity (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2020), 24. [2] Fazale Rana, Humans 2.0: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives on Transhumanism (Covina: RTB Press, 2019), 21. [3] Jacob Shatzer, “Fake and Future ‘Humans’: Artificial Intelligence, Transhumanism, and the Question of the Person,” Southwestern Journal of Theology 63, no. 2 (2021): 134. [4] Oesch, Crossing Wires, 44–45. [5] Oesch, Crossing Wires, 44–45.


bottom of page