It seems the echo of these words remains to haunt humans as they were heard from the bible story of the Garden of Eden. “…in the day that thou eatest thereof [of the tree of knowledge] thou shalt surely die.”
So with every progress the human race makes in their entropic quest to bend the universe to their will, they are forever limited by the virus of sickness, pain and death. In times past, this limiting virus may have been accepted as the indelible fate of the human race, but with progress in technology, armed with AI, nanotechnology, 3D printing, gene-editing technology etc. Humans have entered a new dare – a dare in which humans believe they now have the tools to challenge even death itself.
As we enter into the next few decades, we will have the technologies that grant us the possibility of immortality, albeit one that is highly subjective.
With our ability to 3D print new body organs, our ability to use nanotechnology in fighting death at cellular levels, our ability to use CRISPR or other gene-editing technology to rewrite our definition of humans and even our ability to capture and extend our consciousness beyond the confines of the biological weakness of our human bodies – immortality may be within reach of our fingers as depicted in the painting of Michelangelo – Creation of Adam.
The race to human 2.0 will be run broadly in two spectrums – the evolution of our body and the evolution of our minds. The Christian bible story of humans’ subscription to temptation and the rationale for eating the fruit of knowledge, provides the background for these two ambitions (mind evolution and body evolution) that have etched their purposes into guiding the subconscious mission of the entire human race.
According to the Bible account, humans needed to be given the assurance of body evolution beyond the realms of death: hence the statement “Ye shall not surely die…” a statement that was quickly followed with the assurance of mind evolution – supposedly beyond any realm humans could ever have ascribed to – as seen in this statement “…your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The technologies of the 2020s and the decades after it will for the very first time in the history of humans provide the possibility of a future where death is no longer our biggest limitation; where through technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence, we can ‘neurally’ empower ourselves with the abilities we have in eons passed reserved for gods.
So the undeniable truth becomes that, humans – whether as evolutionary creatures as projected by science or as progressive beings as taught by mainstream religions – are continually on a march for that subconscious ideal of god-hood.
Through the layers and layers we have piled up in the buildup of our technologies, it could almost be said that our ultimate goal was to, with one hand, stretch for immortality, and with our other hand reach out for godlikeness. While the road toward this ideal remains imperfectly defined, transhumanism appears to be one of the greatest travel guides that guarantee it will take the human race to this promised land.
A promised land where it is believed the three great goals of transhumanism: Super Longevity, Super Wellbeing, and Super Intelligence will be guaranteed.