Global Future 2045: Part 2: The sci-tech revolution
By Debra Rae
Today, radical information technologies—i.e., quantum computing and cutting-edge biotech advancements—have served to reshape the marketplace and restructure society, presumably toward achieving a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future. Paired with religion, systematic knowledge of the nature of reality (that is, open-minded science/ technology) promises to support continued existence of humanity as a species. As breast milk to a newborn, technological breakthroughs nourish the burgeoning vision for a cyber-connected, wholly enlightened one-world community.
This June (2013) learned participants in the Global Future 2045 congress gathered in New York to map a new trajectory for large-scale transformation of civilization. Overcoming biological limitations to make room for high ethics, culture, spirituality, technology and science calls for two revolutions—one spiritual; the other, sci-tech. In tandem, both spheres (science and spirit) methodologically pursue states of higher consciousness.
Science and Spirit
While a Fulbright Scholar completing his Ph.D. at Columbia, Dr. Bushell co-directed several multidisciplinary conferences on science and spirituality. Yes, the Great Commission to take the Gospel to the four corners of earth rides the swelling wave of information technologies; and given the science of cybernetics, flexible and direct communication channels between distant locations serve well this noble cause. Unfortunately, not all endeavors are equally principled.
Having became an ascetic and self-realized Siddha Master in the solitude of Himalayan caves, one GF2045 promoter purportedly achieved a state of consciousness beyond body and mind and thereby claims to have attained a supreme sense of oneness with the absolute (Samadhi). He and his ilk believe that some seven billion connected global citizens, once freed from biological restraints, will bypass linear thinking, interface with technology, and emerge as virtual persons who, in turn, will create virtual environments in which they rule as "kings."
Theirs constitutes a sort of godlike meta-intelligence that envisions space farers populating the galaxy, perhaps even an infinite number of universes. Beyond that, the techno-god of humanity's alleged future holds promise for immortality, paired with expanded virtual environments to alleviate potential boredom naturally associated with longevity.
To envision saidtranscendence, recall the 20th Century Fox production of Avatar, a futuristic, body-snatching saga in which enlightened humanoids, animals, and vegetation experience spiritual "bonding" or "connecting." The plot features a paraplegic war veteran who gets a fresh start as an avatar in a distant world. Beguiled by its alien inhabitants and arcane culture, Marine Corporal Jack Sully "gets religion." When faced with military action spurred by corporate greed, this blue-hued avatar goes Green and godlike in committing to save the planet from victimization and extinction. Though intriguing, his techno savvy eco-theology misses the mark of sound doctrine. In its shadow, human aspirations and values fast defer to ruthless cravings for technocratic dominance, status, wealth, and accompanying power.
What's Not to Like?
Host of sillyConValley.net, Rob Argento imagines a new breed of intentionally dumbed-down humanoids willing to work twenty hours a day without "comp time" or sick days. An active, growing community of overseers, fully dedicated to Her Highness Technology (Argento's term), applauds anything that imparts to them smarter-than-human intelligence—i.e., brain-computer interfaces or neuroscience-based human intelligence enhancement.
This rising phenomenon Argento characterizes as techno-fascism. Techno-fascists hope to one up God by introducing mind-reading capabilities. Eventually, they will make a complete, 3-D reconstruction of the brain, able to be traded out at will. While the human hybrid with an added chromosome (not passed on to children) is deemed hopeful, human genetic modification poses insurmountable ethical problems.
Arguably, the minds of enlightened futurists have passed the limits of conceit. Be sure that manipulating RNA interference (RNAi) in order to create designer babies is worlds apart from silencing genes for ornamental pigmentation in petunia plants. Hooking neurons to molecular computing systems may promise better health care for psychiatric disorders, measurable solutions for rehabilitating the disabled, and the option of replacing people who work under hazardous conditions; but there's no turning back from participatory technology (virtual reality).
21st Century: Renaissance or Dark Age?
Worldwide re-visioning and global management by techno-fascists will result in humanity's undergoing huge changes in employment (therefore, education). Already, technocrats can construct avatar robots (artificial bodies) and tele-presence robotic systems for their long-distance control. With mobile communications built into bodies, thought-controlled tele-persons will "travel" (without moving) anywhere they want in the world; they will even participate in two events simultaneously with no clone/backup needed.
Even so, the sober question lingers: Are we on track for a 21st century Renaissance or another Dark Age? The Bible warns of a time when powerful signs and lying wonders (virtual reality and holography, for example) will introduce strong delusion. Consider the most famous android, that of a Japanese roboticist. Operated remotely, the Geminoid is a blinking, twitching, "breathing" copy of Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro. Talk about lying wonders: Tele-operating this relatively simple android can be so immersive that a single touch triggers physical sensation as though it were, in fact, the operator's own body!
Though access to limitless information defines the age in which we live, knowledge of truth is sadly lacking. Scriptures characterize human efforts independent from God as "utter vanity." Because even the elect of God are vulnerable to seduction, believers are commanded to avoid "profane, vain babbling and oppositions of science, falsely so called,"
Increasingly, deceivers claiming to have attained "Christhood" will entice others to champion an illumined global community that, wittingly or not, facilitates worsening evil, albeit in the name of good. Ultimately, proud, haughty scoffers will reason: "Perhaps man is not the end product of God's work. Perhaps man is the by-product of the process which will create God." Call this what you will but, in God's Book, it's blasphemy.
Debra Rae is a regular contributor to The Intellectual Conservative. © 2013