Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare
STEP 1: UNLOCKING FORBIDDEN GATES
The steady migration toward the fulfillment of biologically and cybernetically modified humans combined with corporate and national investments will predictably fuse this century, ultimately leading to strong cultural forces compelling all individuals to get “plugged in” to the grid. Whoever resists will be left behind as inferior Luddites (those who oppose new technology), or worse, considered enemies of the collectives’ progress, as in de Garis’ nightmarish vision in the Artilect War or former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clark’s Breakpoint, which depicts those who refuse technological enhancement as “terrorists.”
According to the work Human Dignity in the Biotech Century, this pressure to become enhanced will be dramatic upon people in all social strata, including those in the middle class, law, engineering, finance, professional fields, and the military, regardless of personal or religious views:
Consider...whether the military, after investing billions in the development of technologies to create the cyborg soldier...would allow individual soldiers to decline the enhancements because of religious or personal qualms. It is not likely. Individuals may indeed dissent and decline technological augmentation, but such dissenters will find job options increasingly scarce.
Because the network of cyborgs will require increasing levels of cooperation and harmonious coordination to further improve efficiency, the prostheses will continue to introduce means of controlling or modulating emotion to promote these values. Meanwhile, the network is increasingly controlled by central planning structures to facilitate harmony and efficiency. While everyone still considers themselves fully autonomous, in reality behavior is more and more tightly controlled. Each step moves those who are cybernetically augmented toward becoming like the Borg, the race of cybernetic organisms that inhabit the twenty-sixth century of the Star Trek mythology. The Borg, once fully human, become “assimilated” by the greater collective mind, losing individuality for the good of the whole.[i]
Lest anyone think the writers of Human Dignity in the Biotech Century are overly paranoid, consider that nbic (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Cognitive Science) director Mihail Roco, in the U.S. government report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, wrote,
Humanity would become like a single, distributed and interconnected “brain” based in new core pathways in society.... A networked society of billions of human beings could be as complex compared to an individual being as a human being is to a single nerve cell. From local groups of linked enhanced individuals to a global collective intelligence, key new capacities would arise from relationships arising from nbic technologies.... Far from unnatural, such a collective social system may be compared to a larger form of biological organism.... We envision the bond of humanity driven by an interconnected virtual brain of the Earth’s communities searching for intellectual comprehension and conquest of nature.”[ii]
Nowhere will the struggle to resist this human biological alteration and machine integration be more immediate than in those religious homes where transhumanism is seen as an assault on God’s creative genius, and where, as a result, people of faith seek to maintain their humanity. Yet the war against such believers is poised to emerge over the next decade as much from inside these homes and families as it will from external social influences.
As a simple example, flash forward to the near future when much of the technology previously discussed—factually based on emerging technologies and anticipated time frames—is common. Your tenth-grade daughter, Michelle, walks in from a first day at a new school.
“Well, how did it go, Honey?” you ask with a smile.
“It was okay,” she says, “though the kids here are even smarter than at the last school.” But then she pauses. She knows begging to be enhanced like most of her classmates will only lead to more arguing—common between you two on this subject. How can she make you understand what it’s like even trying to compete with the transhumans? The fact that most of the student body, students who are half her age, will graduate from college summa cum laude with IQs higher than Einstein’s by the time she even enters is a ridiculous and unnecessary impediment, she feels. She can’t understand it. You’ve seen the news, the advertising, the H+ magazines articles and television specials outlining the advantages of enhancement. Even the family doctor tried to convince you. But it will probably take a visit from Child Welfare Services, which in the U.S. is soon to follow the European model where, starting in 2019, parents whose children went without basic modifications were charged with neglect and had their kids put in foster homes. She just wishes it wouldn’t come to that. If only you could be like those Emergent Christians 2.0 whose techno-theology arose during the early enhancement craze of 2016–2018, based on a universalist imperative for “perfectionist morality” and the Christian duty to be “healers and perfecters” as opposed to the “bio-Luddite theology” of your outdated religious “divine order” concept, which only serves to keep people like her at disadvantage. That’s why she gave you the school report compiled by Prof. Joel Garreau describing the average high school pupil today, so you could understand how her classmates:
· Have amazing thinking abilities. They’re not only faster and more creative than anybody she’s ever met, but faster and more creative than anybody she’s ever imagined.
· They have photographic memories and total recall. They can devour books in minutes.
· They’re beautiful, physically. Although they don’t put much of a premium on exercise, their bodies are remarkably ripped.
· They talk casually about living a long time, perhaps being immortal. They’re always discussing their “next lives.” One fellow mentions how, after he makes his pile as a lawyer, he plans to be a glassblower, after which he wants to become a nanosurgeon.
· One of her new friends fell while jogging, opening up a nasty gash on her knee. Your daughter freaked, ready to rush her to the hospital. But her friend just stared at the gaping wound, focusing her mind on it. Within minutes, it simply stopped bleeding.
· This same friend has been vaccinated against pain. She never feels acute pain for long.
· These new friends are always connected to each other, sharing their thoughts no matter how far apart, with no apparent gear. They call it “silent messaging.” It seems like telepathy.
· They have this odd habit of cocking their head in a certain way whenever they want to access information they don’t yet have in their own skulls—as if waiting for a delivery to arrive wirelessly...which it does.
· For a week or more at a time, they don't sleep. They joke about getting rid of their beds, since they use them so rarely.[iii]
Even though these enhanced students treat her with compassion and know that she is biologically and mentally handicapped by no fault of her own, she hates it when they call her a “Natural.” It feels so condescending. And then, at the last school, there was that boy she wanted to date, only to discover it was against the informed-consent regulations passed by the Department of Education two years ago restricting romantic relationships between “Naturals” and the “Enhanced.” She could have crawled into a hole, she was so embarrassed. But she’s decided not to fight you anymore about it. Next year she will be eighteen years old and has been saving her money. With the federal Unenhanced Student Aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the United Naturals Student Fund (unsf) that provides financial assistance and support for “Disaugmented American Students,” grades pre-kindergarten to twelve, whose motto is “An augmented mind is a terrible thing to waste,” she'll have enough for Level 1 Genetic Improvement plus a couple of toys like Bluetooth’s new extracranial cybernetic communicator. It’s not much, but it’s a start, and though you will tell her that her brain-machine interface, and especially her genetic upgrade, makes her—as well as any kids she has in the future—inhuman, according to the school’s genetic guidance counselor, there will be nothing you can do to legally stop her.
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