We Are Already Transhumanists

An Atheist’s Perspective on the Rise of Christian Transhumanists

by Zoltan Istvan

Recently, a number of religious transhumanists — those who advocate for using science, technology, and religion to improve the human being — have reached out to me, asking whether I plan to maintain my atheist position as both an outspoken transhumanist and a 2016 U.S. Presidential candidate. Frankly, it’s a good question, since America is mostly a Christian nation with mostly religious politicians — and to make real headway in U.S. politics, it’s going to be difficult to do it as a declared atheist.

We are already transhumanists: A NASA astronaut in space - Photo by NASA

We are already transhumanists: A NASA astronaut in space – Photo by NASA

Even if some of my friends and political advisors suggest it, it’s too late for me to do a U-turn on some of my atheistic positions. I’ve written too many pro-atheist articles and given too many secular-themed speeches. And recently, I helped start the world’s first atheist orphanage, which via crowdfunding became fully funded in only 29 hours.

However, I decided to write this bridge-building article because one Christian reverend, Christopher Benek, called me and told me he believed America was ready to start merging Christianity with transhumanism. Some people, including conservative Christians, may find that asinine, but I tend to agree with the reverend. I’ve said this before: In order for existing formal religion to survive in the 21st Century, it will have to bend and evolve to fit coming technological advancement. Technology is simply too powerful and all-encompassing to not make one’s beliefs work with it. Robot pastors, churches in Virtual Reality, debates about a Jesus Singularity, and saving Artificial Intelligences via Christ’s redemption are likely going to be a meaningful part of this nation’s future, whether religious old-timers disagree or conservative writers like Wesley J. Smith make light of it. Smith recently wrote in the National Review, “Every once in a while, when the world is too much with me, I turn to transhumanist advocacy for a little entertainment.”

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