Lang leve het Internet! Toevallig kwam ik enkele dagen geleden een dissertatie tegen die in zijn geheel als pdf te downloaden is over Transhumanism and the Imago Dei van Stephen Robert Garner (een persoon die mij verder onbekend is). Deze dissertatie is een bijdrage aan het debat over de relatie tussen technologie en religie – een debat dat nog betrekkelijk jong is. Hij gaat ook in op de idee van de ‘created co-creator’ (een idee van de Amerikaanse Lutheraanse theoloog Phillip Hefner) en citeert ook een aantal van mijn artikelen over dit onderwerp.
De samenvatting van de dissertatie luidt alsvolgt:
The development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality generate narratives of apprehension within contemporary Western technoculture. Transhumanist narratives declare that humanity is now upon the brink of seizing technological control of its own evolution, and creating a brighter and better posthuman future. For many, this leads to human technological capability being seen with both a sense of wonder at its potential, and a sense of dread of that same potential. Theologically, this raises two key questions: Firstly, why are human beings technological? Secondly, how should human technological agency be pursued? In this thesis, the motif of the imago Dei, the theological assertion that human beings are somehow made in the image and likeness of God, is employed to explore technological narratives of apprehension, and to answer these key questions. It is argued that the imago Dei, interpreted through the metaphor of the created co-creator, provides significant insight into the question of human technological inclination. The created co-creator, as a metaphor of hybridity, also intersects with similar transhumanist visions of the hybrid or cyborg, where the boundary between human persons and technology is ambiguous. Such visions of the hybrid prove disconcerting, for they blur traditional categories used to organise the world. Moreover, such visions also comprise elements of technological eschatology that provide meaning and hope, and stand in possible conflict with theological equivalents. The thesis concludes by considering how the metaphor of the created co-creator can draw upon the richness of the Christian traditions of social concern and hybridity to engender narratives of hope. These new narratives enlarge upon the theological understanding of human technological creativity and purpose to supplement the narratives of apprehension. In doing so, they provide impetus for wholesome and hopeful technological agency.
Het hele boekwerk is hier te downloaden: