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What is Genoism?

Historically, eugenic ideals are clearly seen in the hateful policies of the Nazi regime, as well as in the guiding principles of the KKK. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (PP), levied for strict procreation laws against minorities and the poor. She believed that only the upper classes should have the privilege of childbearing in hopes of developing a “cleaner race.” PP has carried on its founder’s creed, but attempts to soften it eugenic agenda by repeating the mantra “Every child a wanted child.” The question remains: Wanted by whom, the eugenically driven machine of PP, or each individual mother in a happy or desperate situation?


My Time With Peter Singer

by Daniel Becker, President, Georgia Right to Life

 

“An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.”    Proverbs 29:27 ESV

Webster defines the word “abominable” to mean “causing moral revulsion.” Yesterday I had an opportunity to sit down during a lunch break, one-on-one, with Peter Singer the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and one of President Obama’s elite advisors for Obama Care.


He is someone who openly declares the Christian worldview to be “abominable”. In fact I have spent my weekend with an entire body of scholars and left leaning world leaders in public policy . . . who openly declare Christianity to be the single most pervasive problem they face. I was not prepared for the number of presenters at an animal rights symposium who spoke to the theological underpinnings of my own "abominable" worldview.

I am here at Yale University for the last day of the “Beyond Human Personhood” Symposium. As National Field Director for Personhood USA, I was asked by my superiors to attend to see if I could garner any insight in how a leftist worldview approaches the effort of convincing our culture to accept personhood for non-human actors such as: elephants, dolphins, great apes, artificial intelligences and extra-terrestrials.

I was a little surprised to find a modicum of common ground as I observed their intense passion to promote their worldview. I can admire their sacrifice and commitment to what they hold as the true nature of things. I was wholly unprepared for the moral revulsion I felt as they described their overall agenda. They openly admitted that their goal is to “animalize” mankind as just another animal in the zoo we call earth. Their godless evolutionary pre-suppositions demand this. “Speciesism” was mentioned quite often—rightly accusing the Christian worldview of elevating all mankind as being “created in the image of God” and setting man apart from the other creatures of earth by placing all of God’s creation under mankind to act as steward “over the garden”. Countless speakers decried human exceptionalism” and Christianity’s role in promoting a worldview that demoted animals to a status under man’s “dominion.” As I mentioned earlier, I was struck by the sheer number of references to the early church fathers and various quotes from Christian theologians. This was a crowd who knew their church history and had made a conscious decision to reject the good news of Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection for our soul’s sakes. And yes . . . there was a discussion on ensoulment and the fact that Christians denied ensoulment to non-humans. Again, I want to emphasized how unprepared I was to encounter such a high level of theological content, not to mention that it was all directed at me.

At first I thought that surely there were those in the audience that might question some of the presuppositions that were being openly proclaimed, perhaps a philosophy student with an inquiring mind who could connect the dots—particularly in the area of relegating man to the same level as other animals, thereby denigrating human life and dignity. Sadly, I didn’t find a single individual in a crowd of a 100, who spoke out against the obvious policy implications that these ideas proposed.

Singer delivered the keynote in the opening session of the symposium. In it he stated that there were a number of innate characteristics that were inherent in any being who was a candidate for attaining personhood.

They include:

  • Cognitive or phenomenal capacity (ie. Can it experience pain?)
  • Intentionality of action (free will)
  • The capacity to plan for the future
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-recognition
  • Self-interest

It should be obvious from this list that many classes of human life do not meet all of these criteria. For instance, those who are temporarily comatose or misdiagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state, those who have temporary or progressive stages of dementia, Alzheimer patients, some with mental or developmental disabilities, the pre-born, post birth children suffering a congenital anomaly, and yes . . . even perfectly normal children thru 18 months post-birth. These classes were not inferred, they were openly acknowledged! They allege that personhood can NOT be assigned to these classes of human life.

This will have a profound impact on public policy, particularly in the area of denial of healthcare under Obama Care. The presenters in the symposium were not just “post-Christian” they were “anti-Christian” in their formulation of a future utilitarian philosophy that would deliver “the greatest good to the greatest number” by eliminating what Germany in the 1920’s labeled “useless eaters”.

I have always wondered if our side wasn’t succumbing to a certain amount of hysteria when it came to denouncing our pro-death opponents by ascribing to them certain extreme positions. I had the perfect opportunity to find out for myself. I approached Peter Singer after the very large crowd of his admirers had left with signed copies of his books. I note that he is well-loved and acknowledged by all academically as the “father” of the animal rights movement. He is a noted world leader in bioethics. The sheer presence of so many academic heavyweights was very intimidating. I introduced myself as the National Field Director for the largest Christian “Speciest” pro-personhood group in the nation . . . Personhood USA. I had his immediate attention. I asked if we could sit down at some point in the conference . . . I wanted to ask him a few questions. He was very gracious and said he would like to. He understood that I did not intend to debate his position, rather I wanted to verify his policy objectives firsthand. He suggested we meet the following day during the lunch break, somewhere private, so that we could discuss our positions freely.

Given the same opportunity, what questions would you ask Peter Singer? I prayerfully asked God’s leading in this matter. I am not at all certain that I succeeded.

Due to another conversation with the head of the Trans-humanist movement in America, I came into the lunch area a little late. Singer was already seated at a table with a large number of admirers who were seeking his wisdom and encouragement. I ate my lunch alone. He saw me standing over against the wall, and good to his word, he excused himself from the group and made his way over to where I was standing. He said, “Daniel let’s go find somewhere where we can talk.” As we were seated, I thanked him for granting me this opportunity to get beyond the myth to the man himself. I began by restating his criteria for personhood from the previous evening's talk and asked him if he was intentional in excluding certain classes of human life. He said he was. He reemphasized that mankind is not exceptional. I stated that the ultimate goal of Personhood USA was the legal recognition of human personhood and asked, “Was not the legal recognition of non-human personhood ultimately the goal of his movement”? He agreed that it was. I stated that “Ideas have consequences”, and he replied, They certainly do.” I continued, “Would you agree that your definition of personhood diminishes and devalues human life and dignity and could have profound implications on healthcare policy? That it might lead to rationing and denial of service for those classes he has identified as non-persons under Obama Care?” His response was that it is already occurring  and that reform is needed all across the healthcare system. That his definition of personhood would provide a consistent universal ethic for all of earth’s animals.

My final question was that given human nature, my greatest fear was that even if I granted him his definition of personhood with its immediate healthcare policy implications, what would prevent those classes of human life being extended to other classes - the traditional slippery slope argument. He said, “Our open society would self-police the issue and I am fine with the process.” He thought that our democratic process would prevent abuse. I then invoked history. I said, “A decade before the Nazis came to power, Germany’s open society advocated for some of the same ends that you have advocated. Within a decade the litany of killing useless eaters had expanded to the mentally ill, blind deaf and dumb children, gypsies, Christian leaders and Jews.” At that point Godwin’s law kicked in. Godwin’s law states that whoever brings Nazism into a discussion is automatically conceding their point in desperation . . . no matter how appropriate the analogy is. He strenuously objected and replied that the society in Germany was not a free society and couldn’t be responsible for Nazism’s extremes. I replied that it was free enough. That the parents of blind children who were exterminated under the guise “of the best medical care Germany could offer”—these same parents who received an urn of ashes when their children were said to have suddenly succumbed to some deadly disease—rose in public outrage against Hitler and put enough public pressure on him to end the “T4 Action” program in 1941. I stated that this was my greatest fear with his position and that once the sanctity of life was demolished as a cultural anchor that the legal protections of personhood, being redefined and lowered to include animals, would deliver a new human holocaust. He didn’t disagree, he merely restated his position with all of its implications.

My goal at the symposium was to stay under the radar and observe where these non-human personhood  proponents were coming from—to discern their underlying presuppositions and to see them as persons and not the enemy. I was not there to argue because scripture indicates that you “answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him.” Alas I failed. For probably the first time in my life it was not my mouth which got me in trouble . . . it was my feet! I had noticed a large number of tennis shoes among this otherwise very well dressed crowd, but had just assumed that it was the standard uniform for preppy liberals. My feet were shod in black “cow’s skin”! It was a dead give-away. I (and my footwear) was an abomination in their midst.

Transhumanism: Mankind's Greatest Threat

"Maybe we're about to radically change the operating system of the human condition. If so, then this would be a really good time to make backups of our civilization."Bruce Sterling, American science fiction author

Trans-humanism is a term symbolized by H+ and often used as a synonym for "human enhancement." It has developed into an international and cultural movement supporting the use of sciences and technologies to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes. Transhumanism seeks to improve what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition such as: stupidity, suffering, disease, aging and involuntary death.

Engineering Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: the science and engineering of making intelligent machines or technologies.

The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was coined by John McCarthy in 1956 as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines." After 50 years of AI programming, researchers are creating systems that can understand speech, imitate human thought, beat the smartest test taker, and even create machines that can watch children for their parents. While many of these discoveries seem almost unreal, they are a part of the culture in which we live today. From creating a chip to implant into a person that would enable them to speak and understand a foreign language to creating a robot that could fight in times of war, the developments of AI are limitless.


The question remains though with all of these developments what should be the limitations? If we as a society possess the ability to create a machine that can think, talk, walk, and even respond to stimuli like human beings, then does that mean that they are equally human, or even a person? The otherside to this debate is the reality that through technology a superior race of human beings could exist. No longer would we watch the Olympic games and see skilled athletes, instead we would see athletes that had been programmed to run faster, breathe longer, and play harder. The prize that came to the athlete that trained the hardest would now go to the athlete who had been given the newest technological advancements. In the search for technological advancements do we risking loosing our value as humans, better yet persons? Science will give society the opportunity to redefine what it means to be a person, yet the question is what will our response be?

 

Artificial Intelligence: What are the Transhumanists saying?

Implantable brain chips: ethical and policy issues

By Ellen M. McGee, Ph.D. Director, The Long Island Center for Ethics Long Island University
By Gerald Q. Maguire, Jr., PhD Royal Institute of Technology, Kista, Sweden

“The future may include the reality of science fiction's "cyborgs," persons who have developed some intimate and occasionally necessary relationship with a machine. It is likely that computer chips implanted in our brains and acting as sensors or actuators may soon not only assist the blind and those with failing memory, but even bestow fluency in a new language, enable "recognition" of previously unmet individuals and provide instantaneous access to encyclopedic databases.

Developments in nanotechnology, bioengineering, computers and neuroscience are converging to facilitate these amazing possibilities. Research on cochlear hearing and retinal vision has furthered the development of interfaces between neural tissues and microcomputers. The cochlear implant, which directly stimulates the auditory nerve, enables totally deaf people to hear sound. An artificial vision system, the "Dobelle Eye," uses a tiny television camera and ultrasonic distance sensors mounted on eyeglasses and connected to a miniature computer worn on a belt. This invention enables the blind to navigate independently, "read" letters, "watch" television, use a computer and access the Internet. 1 These "visual" activities are achieved by triggering pulses from the microcomputer to an array of platinum electrodes implanted on the surface of the brain's visual cortex. In March 1998, a "locked in" victim of a brain-stem stroke became the first recipient of a brain-to-computer interface, enabling him to communicate on a computer by thinking about moving the cursor.”  Source: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=21069

How long Before Super-Intelligence?

By: Nick Bostrom, Oxfrord Future of Humanity Institute, Faculty of Philosophy & James Martin 21st Century School, University of Oxford

“Once artificial intelligence reaches human level, there will be a positive feedback loop that will give the development a further boost. AIs would help constructing better AIs, which in turn would help building better AIs, and so forth.
Even if no further software development took place and the AIs did not accumulate new skills through self-learning, the AIs would still get smarter if processor speed continued to increase. If after 18 months the hardware were upgraded to double the speed, we would have an AI that could think twice as fast as its original implementation. After a few more doublings this would directly lead to what has been called "weak superintelligence", i.e. an intellect that has about the same abilities as a human brain but is much faster.”

Source: http://www.nickbostrom.com/superintelligence.html

 

Artificial Intelligence: what are the Scientists and Secularists saying

Brain Chips: Connecting the mind and machines

By Michael Bay (Monday, June 5, 2006)

“A chip implanted in your head that allows you to store and recall information, of have a direct connection to machines, including computers and the Internet. Kennedy says the implications of such technology are very serious. ‘You are going to have individuals who have super-power of memories, calculation abilities and communication abilities and be far superior than the rest of us.’” Philip Kennedy, CEO and chief scientist of Neural Signals.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/02/brainchips/index.html

 

Will Biological Computers Enable Artificially Intelligent Machines to Become Persons?

Anthony Tongen, Ph.D. is, Visiting Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona

Central to a Christian concept of personhood is the image of God. A strong AI perspective poses challenges to three common views of how human beings bear the image of God--the functional, the relational, and the substantive. The functional perspective concentrates on what we as human beings do. This view comes under attack as we consider our response to whether or not we are deterministic creatures. Did God create us in such a way that we follow a brain "program," or is there an aspect of free will in our function?

The relational view of the image of God focuses more on our ability to have relationships with others and with God. In his book The Frontiers of Science and Faith, John Jefferson Davis chooses to focus on the security of the relational view in the face of strong AI. Davis's point is that instead of seeing strong AI as an attack on the unique creation that we are in Christ, we should regard our ability to have a relationship with God as the element that will ultimately set humans apart from "intelligent" machines.

Source: http://www.cbhd.org/resources/biotech/tongen_2003-11-07.htm

 

Biblical Worldview

Remaking Humans: The New Utopians Versus a Truly Human Future

By C. Ben Mitchell and John F. Kilner

"Again, the idea of improving society through technology is not new... What is new, however, is how the transhumanists intend to use technology. They intend to craft their technopia by merging the human with the machine. Since, as they argue, computer speed and computational power will advance a million fold between now and the year 2050 A.D., artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence. The only way humans can survive is by merging with machines, according to the transhumanistss.

Robots and computers will of course never become human. Why not? Because being "one of us" transcends functional biology. Human beings are psychosomatic soulish unities made in the image of God. The image of God is fully located neither in our brain nor our DNA. We, and all who are "one of us," are unique combinations of body, soul, and mind. We might quibble theologically about how best to describe the components of our humanity, but most Christians agree that we are more than the sum of our biological and functional parts.

The technopians, however, do not share our view of what it means to be "one of us." Even though computers and robots may never become "one of us," some will doubtless attribute to them human characteristics and--it is not inconceivable to imagine--human rights, including a right not to be harmed. One day it may be illegal to unplug a computer and so end its "life" at the same time that it is an ethical duty to unplug a human being whose biology has ceased to function efficiently."

Read complete article: http://www.cbhd.org/resources/biotech/mitchell_kilner_2003-08-29.htm

Eugenics: Illegitimate Offspring of Transhumanism


 

Throughout history eugenics has been used to "purify" the human race of the unwanted. Historically, a standard was set by the State that determined who was worthy of life and dignity and who was not. Those that did not meet the mark were treated as non-humans undergoing experimentation, torture and death.

It is not possible for man to set a standard of humanity without eugenics following. Hitler performed it with the Jews. America accepted it with slavery. Margaret Sanger enacted it with abortion. Transhumansim is ratifying a standard and a dream of human perfection, but with that standard there are those who will not meet it. It has built an idea that people no longer have dignity or respect of life just because they are human, but because of what they can be or do. People become commodities where they are no longer human, but products or property.

Scientific methods have already been developed with little restriction laying the ground work for this type thinking. Eugenics has three main categories of implementation into society as expressed by the new emerging biomedical technologies: Cloning, Genetic Engineering and Genoism.

Historically, eugenic ideals are clearly seen in the hateful policies of the Nazi regime, as well as in the guiding principles of the KKK. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (PP), levied for strict procreation laws against minorities and the poor. She believed that only the upper classes should have the privilege of childbearing in hopes of developing a “cleaner race.” PP has carried on its founder’s creed, but attempts to soften it eugenic agenda by repeating the mantra “Every child a wanted child.” The question remains: Wanted by whom, the eugenically driven machine of PP, or each individual mother in a happy or desperate situation?

If the eugenics movement is allowed to infiltrate the mainstream culture of today and manipulate the way people view life, it will pervert the beauty found in the individuality of all humans. If people fail to realize what evil can come from engineering future generations to achieve man’s ideal of perfection, a new breed of discrimination will be born. It’s called genoism: discrimination against someone based on their “inferior” genetics. The topic is explored in the sci-fi movie Gattaca and although the discrimination seems far-fetched to the movie viewer, the reality of the situation hits closer to home than people may realize. Will this movement towards genetic perfection one day leave those deemed “genetically inferior” in the same place the African American was in when they were ignorantly deemed “racially inferior”? Will we remain silent as history repeats itself?


Subcategories

Whitepapers & Links: Transhumanism

Conscious Evolution

"We in the Eugenics movement are not interested in competing against Adolph Hitler or Karl Marx for some minuscule little 1,000 year Reich. We are interested in competing with Jesus Christ and Buddha for the destiny of man."

 

The Theology of Posthumanism

Posthumanism is not a formal religion, but rather, it is driven by a series of underlying religious beliefs. Posthumanists, for example, believe that finite and temporal limits of the human body place severe constraints upon the human will.

Summer 2009 Issue of H+ Magazine

"The Designer Baby Controversy", page 25

Fall 2009 Issue of H+ Magazine

Recommended Reading: "God Wants You Dead", page 86

Movie Trailer for Ray Kurzweil's Transcendent Man: Prepare to Evolve

Transhumanism's "Prophet" for the 21st Century and beyond

Remaking Humans: The New Utopians Versus a Truly Human Future

The new technopians actually have a name for themselves: transhumanists. According to the World Transhumanist Association: "Transhumanism (as the term suggests) is a sort of humanism plus.

The Worst Lies You Have Been Told About the Singularity 

Are we approaching technological changes that will merge biological and non-biological intelligence, fuse the man-machine relationship, and blur the lines between reality and virtual reality?

World Transhumanist Association

We support the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy better minds, better bodies and better lives.

Democratic Transhumanism 2.0: Citizen Cyborg

"Let the ruling classes and Luddites tremble at a democratic transhumanist revolution. "

Transhumanism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

". . . the world's most dangerous idea."

A.L.L. News and Events

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