Monday, July 23, 2007

Theological Librarianship & Transhumanism

Today's Chicago Tribune has an article on the 9th annual TransVision conference hosted by the World Transhumanist Association here in Chicago. This from the WTA's web site:

"The World Transhumanist Association is an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities."

Please understand that I am all for the ethical use of technology, and I think that there is a great need for people from other disciplines than just science to weigh in on the technoethical issues of the day.

As a theological librarian, though, I find myself distinctly out of step with the postmodernist, posthuman drum-beat of the WTA. One reason I am a theological librarian is that I think some of the best guides to ethical human behavior have already been written, and preserving that heritage is one of my jobs. It is a heritage that usually is not even acknowledged by those enamored of technological solutions to human problems.

I believe, though, that I can appropriately use today's technology to preserve this heritage so that it may be accessible to those who become disenchanted with technology's innate lack of morality necessary to govern itself. Technological power without morality is just another name for hell. Theological librarianship has something significant to contribute to this discussion in its commitment to the preservation of a timeless Word that expands human capacities in ways that no technology will ever match.


Lincoln Cannon said...

Hi Blake. You may find it surprising that some Transhumanists, like me, agree with your perspective on the value of theology.

Blake Walter said...

Glad to hear it! Given how history itself is such a human expression of time, I would hope transhumanists would not divorce themselves from historical (and theological) truths. Thanks for the clarification.