Est. May 2008

16 February, 2015

Eternal Life

Or something as close to it as possible.  That's the gist of a Walter Hudson PJMedia article titled 'Would Christians Object to Living Indefinitely Through Technology?

The article states:
… the Christian faith doesn’t necessarily preclude an embrace of transhumanist technology. It depends on the particular nature of the tech. There’s nothing in mainstream Christian doctrine which would forbid something like artificial organs, for instance. And if replacing organs could extend life by decades or more, why not?

In this, the author is right – there's nothing in Christian doctrine forbidding artificial organs likely because when Christian doctrines were originally quantified and committed to writing there were no such things as artificial organs.  And, of course, to save life, no Christian ought to kick at the goads of utilizing the medical technologies God has seen fit to provide for us through doctors and nurses and inventors.  But the question is whether Christians should object to '"transhumanist" technology' in order to simply prolong life.  My answer is 'yes', and for two major reasons.

The first can be seen here:
In a lot of ways, the typical human lifespan hardly seems long enough to get much done. You get just enough time to figure out what you believe, why you believe it, and what you’d like to do. You raise kids. Then you grow weak, get sick, and die. Imagine if you could ditch that last part, if your empty nest was only the beginning.

… what has happened is that we have been taught [that] we should die. We have been taught this taboo of living indefinitely or having too much power, because after all – except for the last few hundred years – we’ve been a species that’s been subject to diseases and war and lots of terrible things. Once people think it through, and once people realize that this science and technology is actually here… they’re going to start saying, “Wow, yeah, this is great. I can have multiple careers. I can have more time with my family. I can watch my kids grow to [do] whatever they want to do.

Further, you could postpone childrearing, or produce in waves spaced years apart. You could spend 50 years focused on something like playing piano. You could take vacations spanning years, travel the world. You could budget and invest toward becoming a multi-millionaire on a middle class wage. With time no longer constraining your goals, you could do all sorts of things that prove otherwise implausible.
To extend life to fulfill your 'to-so list' in your own good, sweet-natured time is selfish, self-centered, and egotistic; the Christian's life is to be self-less, other-centered, and marked by humility.

The second is that earth is not the Christian's home – heaven is (see here).  To wish to prolong life on earth is counterproductive to the desire all Christians ought to have to live forever with their Savior.

Mr. Hudson then brings up the following:
The notion of living indefinitely, unto itself, should actually appeal to the Christian. After all, everlasting life is the promise of Christian salvation, and life-spans greatly surpassing those common today are recorded throughout scripture. Adam lived to 930. Noah made it to 950. Enoch was “taken” before his time at the tender young age of 365. For the believer who takes scripture literally, the notion of living for centuries has precedence.
And why did Adam and Noah live such long lives?  One reason may be because both needed long lives to 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth'.  A better reason is also the reason for the translation to heaven of Enoch (and Elijah) – because God willed it so.

And once you get to Genesis 11 (verses 10 through 32) you see a decline in the life-spans listed.

Physical death is the price we pay for our sinful natures (Romans 5); Christ's death and resurrection saved our souls from eternal death and damnation, so we can live eternally in heaven with bodies which will be perfect and free of blemish.

I'll take that over an earthly body that's augmented by 'spare parts' any day.

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