On a recent Sunday at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church basement, parishioners sat transfixed as the Rev. Dr. Ted Peters discussed an unusual topic for an afternoon assembly: “Can technology enhance the image of God?”
Peters’ discussion focused on a new philosophical movement. Its followers believe humans will transcend their physical and mental limitations with wearable and implantable devices.
The movement, called transhumanism, claims that in the future, humans will be smarter and stronger and may even overcome aging and death through developments in fields such as biotechnology and artificial intelligence, or AI.
“What does it mean to be truly human?” Peters asked in a voice that boomed throughout the church basement, in a city that boasts one of the world’s largest tech hubs. The visiting reverend urged the 30 congregants in attendance to consider the question during a time when “being human sounds optional to some people.”
“It’s sad; it makes me feel a lot of grief,” a congregant said, shaking her head.