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An intelligence so capable it can perceive every cause and effect. The promise of eternal life. The dawn of a new age in which suffering will be eliminated, every need will be met and the individual will find fulfillment by subordinating himself to something far greater than himself.

These are the promises of most great faiths. The capacity to understand and predict everything that could possibly occur is a characteristic most would ascribe to God.

But today, this rhetoric surrounds an ostensibly scientific and secular movement. Transhumanism, the attempt to overcome the body’s limitations through technology, and the hunt for artificial intelligence are promoted with evangelistic language.

Around the world, heavily funded by billionaire philanthropists, researchers are probing whether aging can be curbed or even prevented, just like any other disease.

Indeed, scientist Aubrey de Grey, chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation, argues the biggest obstacle to immortality is simply a lack of funding to fuel research.

Even dissident and Wikileaks head Julian Assange confidently predicted de facto immortality would soon exist because people would upload their consciousness to an artificial intelligence and “live forever” as part of a simulation.

“It’s like a religion for atheists,” Assange said.

Assange is not alone in identifying the fundamentally religious impulse behind the movement. In a recent piece at Aeon – a digital magazine on science, philosophy, society and the arts – Beth Singler of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion pointed out how despite its scorn for religion, the AI community often sounds like a group of believers in a coming god.

“[B]elievers in a ‘transhuman’ future – in which AI will allow us to transcend the human condition once and for all – draw constantly on prophetic and end-of-days narratives to understand what they’re striving for,” she writes.

The community has also generated thought experiments in which the singularity, the creation of artificial intelligence that will spark runaway growth, is framed as something akin to the formation of a god. For example, “Roko’s Basilisk” posits an AI which, because it would conceive of itself being able to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, would actually punish humans, even after death, who do not labor to bring it into existence.

Joseph Farah, founder of WND and author of “The Restitution of All Things,” argues secularists and scientists who seek to escape the need for God ultimately and inevitably find themselves groping back towards the divine.

“There’s an old saying, ‘If you don’t believe in something, you’ll believe in anything,'” he said. “There’s an absolute, fundamental need for human beings to believe in something.

“If it’s not the God, it will be a god. Transhumanists offer an alternative god. ‘You can be like God,’ the old lie the serpent told Eve in the Garden. You can still have eternal life apart from serving God and obeying His commandments. It’s as simple as that. Transhumanists are peddling that kind of lie, again, so naturally they would have their own doctrines, gospel story, creation story, etc.”

Ultimately, Farah maintains transhumanism and the quest for immortality, despite its supposedly secular orientation, leads to anti-Christian spiritual and even demonic connotations.

“Absolutely, I think that’s implied in the way this plays out,” he said. “It’s about living forever. We all know these bodies wear out over time. But you can conquer death. That’s a spiritual idea and it comes from God’s consistent message to us. It’s hardwired into our fallen genetic material. And, I believe it is at least inspired by the father of lies.”

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Mark Biltz, the discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon and the author of “God’s Day Timer,” pointed out the term “transhuman” ultimately came out of religious literature.

He pointed to an article in the London Guardian profiling how a former Christian fell into transhumanism. The very word first appeared not in a work of science or technology but in Henry Francis Carey’s 1814 translation of Dante’s “Paradiso,” the final book of the “Divine Comedy,” Biltz noted.

“Dante, in this passage, is dramatizing the resurrection, the moment when, according to Christian prophecies, the dead will rise from their graves and the living will be granted immortal flesh,” he said.

“The vast majority of Christians throughout the ages have believed that these prophecies would happen supernaturally – God would bring them about, when the time came. But since the medieval period, there has also persisted a tradition of Christians who believed that humanity could enact the resurrection through science and technology.

“What’s amazing to me is how transhumanists are not just made up of atheists exclusively but Christian involvement has been growing exponentially,” he said.

“It is hard to believe how this is coming into mainstream Christianity! Indeed, there is even a Christian Transhumanist Association, headed by a preacher’s kid who was saturated in the Bible and Christian thought but has identified as a transhumanist since the mid-90s. He states in an article in Vice that ‘we may see the next wave of Christians embrace transhumanist technologies as part of a sacred duty to participate with God in the redemption of the world.'”

Biltz says he is troubled by such theological innovations.

“When I read this I see how the deception of Christians in these last days will be so persuasive,” he said. “Christians are like the proverbial frogs in the boiling water. Believers need to get on God’s calendar so they realize we are at the time in history were we really need to be looking up, for our redemption draws nigh. Man has always wanted to become god or at least create a god in their own image. This just demonstrates how close we are to the coming of the Messiah.”

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Joel Richardson, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and “Mystery Babylon,” believes what is occurring is part of an old pattern in human behavior.

“Mankind is essentially religious, whether they will admit it or not,” he explained. “If someone claims to deny the one, true God of the Bible, and every other god, they will inevitably find another created object to worship, most often themselves.”

Richard said the Silicon Valley “techno-gods of our time are among the most arrogant and most overt of the self-worshippers.”

“Perhaps understandably so. Never before in human history has technology and particularly the kinds of technology that is just on the horizon, so deeply challenge not only the essence of what it means to be human, but also our very perception of what it means to be God,” he said.

“Because of technology, mankind is entering a very dangerous spiritual phase of its existence. The tower of Babel is once again being erected. Those who are at the vanguard of these technologies, though denying true religion, understand the fundamentally religious nature of their work. This is why you will find so much of their work enshrouded in such religious language.”

Richardson argues all of this was foretold in the Bible.

“As always, it is mankind’s arrogance that is his undoing,” he said. “Ultimately, these are those who the apostle Paul spoke of long ago when he said, that though they self-profess to be wise, they become fools, darkened in their understanding. After all, we all know how the story of the Tower of Babel ends. There is only one true God. He is the one who once warned, ‘Though you say you are gods, you will die like mere men.'”

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Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries suggests transhumanism is comparable to the theory of evolution in how it asserts “knowledge will evolve to a higher level – likely without God.”

“Man just has to play God or at least be godlike,” she said. “This advancement comes through cloning and genetic manipulation. Transhumanists look to the future and believe the human condition will see improvement in physical ability, lifespan, mental acuity and health. In addition, the world conditions can also be improved. Such technological advancements, some have said, would even redefine what it means to be human.

“It says in the Bible that knowledge will increase. It doesn’t suggest this knowledge will be used to good or evil, but I believe, like everything else today, man is trying to be like God. Man will abuse this increase in knowledge and understanding. Thus, transhumanism is almost a religion in itself.”

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Pastor Carl Gallups, who examines current headlines in the light of end times prophecy in his book “When The Lion Roars,” argues the reason transhumanism so closely resembles a religion is because it was predicted in the Bible itself.

“From the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation we watch the story unfold, and the prediction that humankind would eventually, near the return of Jesus Christ, accept the very same lies that started in the Garden,” the pastor explained.

“Those lies can be summarized as: Man can be ‘God-like,’ man can live forever without obeying God’s morality code, and therefore man can create ‘God,’ ‘life’ and ‘morality’ in his own image, rather than the other way around. This is exactly what the transhumanists imagine themselves doing. Thus they are in a constant dilemma of trying to explain exactly what it is they are up to without falling into biblical language and imagery. If this scenario wasn’t so clearly predicted thousands of years ago, complete with the somber results that are soon to come, it would almost be comical.”

Gallups warned transhumanists are pursuing something the Bible warned about in the last days.

“Even the transhumanist ‘prophets’ predict an ultimate and soon-coming intelligence that will surpass any human capability – perhaps even leading to unthinkable brutality,” the pastor said. “They even admit that what they are up to is, ultimately, ‘rebellion against human existence as it has been given.’ Again, exactly what the Bible predicted. Demonically, that intelligence, rebellious spirit and brutality will manifest itself in the personage of the Antichrist. Transhumanists are not only saying basically the same thing as the Bible but are actually working feverishly to usher in the same biblical predictions they mock.”

Gallups said ultimately Christians have a choice: whether they will place their faith in the promises of technology or the prophecies of Scripture that seem to be predicting exactly what’s happening today.

“Which came first, the Word of God and the lies of the Garden of Eden or the modern transhumanist’s pursuit that matches the Bible’s description of the last days? The answer is so obvious that apparently even some of the transhumanists see it – the Word of God and its prophecies came first. Therefore, I’m sticking with the original source, God’s holy Word.”

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