From transgender to transhuman: The expanding culture of death

Transgender advocates have a much bolder vision than just redefining gender, as is evidenced by the emerging transhuman movement that promises immortality. But how real are such promises?

(Image: PapaOsmosis/Pixabay)

Most faithful Catholics have viewed the burgeoning transgender industry as encouraging a misguided belief that individuals—including even pre-school children—can change their God-given identity. However, the truth is that this rejection of human nature and natural law has opened not only the door to gender construction, it has also opened an even darker door to an emerging multi-billion dollar transhuman industry. And that industry is led by some of the wealthiest and most brilliant tech trailblazers. It is an industry that promises us that not only can we choose our own gender, but we can also choose to live forever as transhuman persons—with full citizenship rights—in a new and “perfect” body that will be created for us.

One of those trailblazers is Martine Rothblatt—born Martin Rothblatt—who was identified in a 2014 cover story at New York magazine as “the highest paid female CEO in America.” The founder of Sirius satellite radio, Rothblatt chose to undergo radical sex-reassignment surgery in 1994. But that was only Rothblatt’s first step in his real dream of immortality. In the New York interview—which was held in the Bristol, Vermont home of Terasem, the Rothblatt organization devoted to achieving immortality and “cyber-consciousness” through cryogenics and Artificial Intelligence—we learn that Bina, Martine’s wife of more than three decades, is already well on her way to helping her achieve Rothblatt’s dream of immortality.  In fact, Rothblatt is so devoted to his wife Bina that when he built his first immortal “mindclone,” it was of Bina.

All of this emerged from the realization that one could “change” one’s gender.  In the Preface to the most recent edition of his book The Apartheid of Sex (now re-named From Transgender to Transhuman) Rothblatt reported that:

I came to realize that choosing one’s gender is merely an important subset of choosing one’s form. By form, I mean that which encloses our beingness … I came to this realization by understanding that 21st century software made it technologically possible to separate our minds from our bodies. This can be accomplished by downloading enough of our neural connection contents and patterns into a sufficiently advanced computer and merging the resultant mindfile with sufficiently advanced software—call it ‘mindware.’

For Rothblatt—and a growing number of wealthy investors and visionaries—transhumanism is the belief that we can and should transcend human limitations. For Rothblatt, it is the natural progression from being transgendered where “one has to be willing to disregard societal rules that require gender appearance to conform to acceptable appearances for one of two legal sexes” to a rejection that one has to give in to a new “apartheid of form.”  Rothblatt claims that he is “on the threshold of creating humanity and personhood outside of DNA-driven flesh bodies.”

As Rothblatt writes in From Transgender to Transhuman:

In a similar fashion I now see that it is also too constraining for there to be but two legal forms, human and non-human. There can be limitless variation of forms from full fleshed to purely software with bodies and mind being made up of all degrees of electronic circuitry between. To be transhuman one has to be willing to accept that they have a unique personal identity beyond flesh or software and that this unique personal identity cannot be happily expressed as either human or not.  It requires a unique transhuman expression.

Warnings against the manipulation of nature

More than a decade ago, Pope Benedict XVI warned of the ramifications of such thinking when he denounced all attempts to “manipulate the nature of the human being.” He stated that such exploitation leads to a “self-emancipation of man from creation and the Creator.” Rejecting the post-modern conceptualization of gender as a moveable point along a spectrum that is fluid and changeable, Pope Francis has joined Pope Benedict in denouncing the claim that gender is socially constructed rather than God-given: “With this attitude man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator.” For Pope Francis, like Benedict, the “design of the Creator is written in nature.” This is further unpacked in Amoris Laetitia, where Pope Francis denounces “the various forms of an ideology of gender” that leads to the promotion of a belief in “a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female.” Further:

It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator. We are creatures, and not omnipotent. Creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift. At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created. (par. 56)

That is the real problem for progressive visionaries; the idea that anything is created by God and thus “written in nature” is repellent and ridiculous to them.  Yet, it was not too long ago that most philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and anthropologists actually believed—like the classical Greek philosophers and the Catholic Church—that a good human life was the one in accord with nature. It was uncontroversial that human nature was the source of ways of thinking, feeling and acting that occur naturallyindependently of the influence of culture. Human nature was traditionally viewed as a source of norms of conduct as well as a way of presenting obstacles or constraints on living contrary to one’s nature.

Today, aside from some evolutionary and developmental psychologists, the idea of a fixed nature is now taboo in academia—and beyond. Rothblatt scoffs at what he sees as such antiquated thinking. Rothblatt writes that “transhumans” are people who have hybridized themselves with computational technology as part of humanity’s effort to control its evolutionary destiny. Rothblatt credits inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s 2005 book The Singularity is Near with providing some of the inspiration for his work. But, the truth is that Rothblatt has been working toward the transhuman future for a long time.

Still, Kurzweil is important because he believes that human merging with rapidly advancing technology is the path of future evolution—producing a “civilization of enormous capability with transcosmic scope via self-replication and virtually unlimited intelligence.” Of this, Rothblatt writes: “Homo sapiens will become Persona creatus as it rides the journey of near infinite growth in computational knowledge that is the Singularity.” The future for Rothblatt and his wealthy investors is a future in which “people will copy ever greater portions of their mind onto software.” He goes on:

These software analogs will work, shop and communicate on behalf of their flesh masters. The more autonomous and life-like these software analogs are, the more useful they will be and hence market forces will make them increasingly human-like. At about this time some human masters will suffer bodily death but will claim that they are still alive in the guise of their software analogs. In essence, these transhumans will claim to have had a mind transplant to save their life not unlike the heart and kidney transplants that save so many lives.

Lawsuits will be inevitable over whether the transhuman or its flesh descendants control the property and whether the transhuman can get married and if so as which sex since the old body is gone. Rothblatt suggests:

Psychologists certified to determine whether someone adequately demonstrates, consciousness, rationality, empathy and other hallmark human traits could interview transhumans. Should two or more such psychologists agree as to the transhumanist’s humanity, the virtual person should either be permitted to continue the life of their biological original, or if newly created, be granted a birth certificate and citizenship.

These “visionaries” predict a time when transhumans will need to be documented and would qualify for citizenship. They maintain that transhumans will be given voting rights and the right to marry. Rothblatt claims that “everyone will look to the historical precedents of recognizing people as persons rather than colored persons, and people as people rather than as gendered people.”

Envy as a form of status anxiety

Those with strong faith in the God of creation likely view Rothblatt or Kurzweil’s frightening future as their prideful attempt to mimic God’s creation of the world and all living creatures. It is not a coincidence that Rothblatt named his daughter Jenesis—a variation of the name of the first book of the Bible—the book of creation. But I maintain that rather than the sin of pride, the transhuman advocates—much like the transgender advocates—are more likely suffering from the effects of the sin of envy. They envy those—including the God of creation—who have the power to create life and live forever on this earth. But faithful Christians know that such a quest for power like this is more demonic than divine.

Indeed, in my new book The Politics of Envy (Sophia Books, 2020) I maintain that much of the attraction to changing one’s gender emerges from mimetic envy—a desire to become someone one is not. In The Politics of Envy, I draw upon the central theory of “mimetic desire” first postulated in the 1960s by the French philosopher of social science, René Girard (1923-2015). A devout Catholic, Girard points out that human beings desire objects and experiences not for their intrinsic value but because they are desired by someone else. Envy is really a form of status anxiety that causes a contagion of “miming” the desires of others. We are seeing that miming in the frenzy of the growth of transgenderism and we will see that in the desires of those wishing to control our very essence as human persons.

It is difficult to predict how soon the transhumanist movement will take hold. The advocate-elites are wealthy, brilliant, and politically savvy. They know where to spend their money in order to promote public policy. No one would have predicted even a few years ago that the transgender industry would attain such success as it has with President Joe Biden. His first executive order was to expand rights and privileges to the transgender community—a community that comprises less than half of one percent of the population. But most did not realize just how much influential wealth from elites undergirds the transgender movement.

There is even more wealth beginning to flow into the transhuman movement because the potential for profit is so much greater in the marketplace for transhumans. Most would be surprised to learn the names of some of the biggest funders of this movement. For many—especially those without faith in the God of Creation—the promise of living forever is indeed something to envy. This is not just some strange theory of a fictional “brave new world”, but a bold and deeply problematic promise of immortality that appears to be growing in both popularity and influence.

(Editor’s note: For more on trangenderism and transhumanism, visit Jennifer Bilek’s blog, The 11th Hour.)


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About Anne Hendershott 97 Articles
Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  She is the author of The Politics of Envy (Sophia Books, 2020)

26 Comments

  1. ‘…They maintain that transhumans will be given voting rights and the right to marry…’

    Ah, yes. Who really would need illegal aliens to stuff the ballot box in the dystopian future? So much easier to ‘produce’ ‘transhumans’ / clone people and muscle one’s way into the seat of power. All you (sub)’humans’ can eat cake!

    Of course, it is not only ‘transhumans’ who would want a piece of the (voting / power / marriage) pie – there are naturally others too waiting in the wings – examples:

    1) BBC Teaching Children There Are “Over 100 Genders” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_JLj6q19FM
    [how quaint and so last decade https://www.nj.com/hudson/2020/02/jersey-city-muslim-and-coptic-christian-parents-angry-over-state-mandated-lgbt-curriculum.html
    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTLVDmAY_YQ now feels!]

    2) ‘thruples’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w3zL4R6xDU
    and the ‘polyamorous’ – https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/massachusetts-city-recognizes-polyamorous-civil-partnerships-38000

    3) the ‘transabled’ – https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/becoming-disabled-by-choice-not-chance-transabled-people-feel-like-impostors-in-their-fully-working-bodies

    4) the ‘trans-racials’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq50mSyorXs

    5) the ‘trans-species’ – https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1gxxpvf.23

    6) the ‘therianthropes’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYHsNUDQ7MY

    7) the ‘cyborgs’ – https://www.viaempresa.cat/via-empresa-in-english/neil-harbisson-cyborgs-senses_200001_102.html
    and https://www.clotmag.com/oped/designing-organs-at-the-transpecies-society-hybrid-practices-between-cybernetics-and-artificial-intelligence-by-tatiana-afanador-judit-pares

    8) the ‘objectumsexuals’ – https://youtu.be/rsfcQ1Ew9z4?t=24

    welcome to the ‘brave’ new world.
    get with the program or else it will be the gulag for you peasants!

    /sarcasm.

  2. Whatever happened to the “I am the Alpha and Omega ” with these people? Another inconvenient TRUTH brushed under the rug by the Devils Deputies.Who upon closer inspection turn out to be the socialist/democrats of today.

    • This is already the case. Rothblatt has been holding mock trials for cyborg human rights since 2003 every year on international human rights day. Rothblatt estimated in 2003 that it would take 20 years to achieve stage 1, non-human rights of personhood, with full human rights including the right to vote following a decade or so later. You can watch videos of some of these trials on YouTube. If you read Rothblatt’s Terasem Cyborg Cult’Bible’ “The Truths of Terasem” you will see it states that cyborgs shall dominate earth by 2100, biology shall be eliminated apart from ‘aesthetic’ specimens, and humanity replaced by self replicating robots which shall colonise the entire universe turning all of matter into computational devices to crunch enough data to ‘create’ God.

      The Trials of Bina48: https://youtu.be/BKINYvQoZSg

      Bina48 AI Preliminary Injunction:
      Defence Counsel Dr Martine Rothblatt
      https://youtu.be/iKKP8RLcRCE

      Dr Martine Rothblatt “Moving Trans History Forward”. Uvic Chair of Transgender & 2Spirit Studies

      https://youtu.be/XyVSxZVwH54

      Living in Space Settlements in our Lifetimes Dr Martine Rothblatt:

      https://youtu.be/1AHVN6eSFUQ

      “The Truths Of Terasem”, Bible of Dr Martine Rothblatt’s Cyborg Cult:

      “… 4.9.5 Nanobot swarms as virtual human real-world agents will dominate by 2100, plus/minus chaos/order time.

      4.9.6 Some biological life forms will be preserved out of aesthetic pleasure, using nanotechnology to relieve painful disabilities. …”

      “… 2.2.3 Future technology will enable Terasem to encompass the universe, thus becoming omniscient, omnipotent and omnificent.

      2.2.4 In this way we are building Terasem into God, with smart atoms and conscious electrons. …”

      … 5.5.5 Life is purposeful, death is optional, God is technological and love is essential. …”

      https://terasemcentral.org/2016_Truths_of_Terasem.pdf

  3. The first flaw in Mr. Rothblatt’s thinking is that he actually thinks that he became a woman.

    Women naturally menstruate, create sufficient amounts of female hormones, and eventually go into menopause. His body doesn’t do any of these. Nor does it have the XX chromosomes that are necessary for a woman. The truth is that he’s a man who had plastic surgery to superficially look like a woman.

    The first step in psychological recovery is to come out of denial. Mr. Rothblatt, you need to take that first step.

  4. “Software made it technologically possible to separate our minds from our bodies” (Hendershott). Actually what any computer can do is configure response with the information it receives. Depending on the amount and quality determines the degree of possible parallel thought. We cannot remove the mind, the intellect which amounts to removing the soul. Man’s mind a primary faculty of the soul with memory and will is created in God’s image. Free will determines our thought patterns which no computer can mimic. Aristotle raised the question in the Eudemian Ethics what moves the mind to spontaneously move to an entirely different subject with no prior indication, he answered God. Aquinas agreed. Science cannot produce an instrument that acts independently of its diagram. Although it may appear possible to some scientists the best they can achieve is a more intelligent Alexa. The horror is godless men who often tend toward deviate sexuality are prone to invent horror. China reportedly is experimenting in this area transferring human genes to dogs, apes. It’s Man rejecting God striving to be God paralleling Satan, the difference Satan is intelligent enough to know what Rothblatt believes can’t be done. Nevertheless he’s quite capable and willing to inspire this madness. Ann Hendershott wraps it up well, “Those with strong faith in the God of creation likely view Rothblatt or Kurzweil’s frightening future as their prideful attempt to mimic God’s creation of the world and all living creatures”.

    • “Aristotle raised the question in the Eudemian Ethics what moves the mind to spontaneously move to an entirely different subject with no prior indication, he answered [it must be] God”. In addition although it may seem anomalous Aristotle demonstrated only God who ultimately moves the will can provide free will and a creative mind. Not Man.

    • Correction to clarify it is Rothblatt who absurdly says “Software made it technologically possible to separate our minds from our bodies” not Hendershott.

  5. Interesting how the arrogance in the technological efforts is mimicking / aping what The Lord has revealed already through the Divine Will revelations to S.G Luisa , almost a century ago ..and the irony that as much as the powers behind such efforts also hate the life of the unborn/ elderly , seeing the worth of human life also through the hardened tech . indifference , they are trying to birth aberrant life , seeing themselves as the creators of same ..The irony of how we are in the midst of a virus with suspected origins in such dubious efforts on the part of man , thus the need for the caution given through The Church to be taken with good will .
    ‘ All beautiful , powerful and holy is my Celestial Mama ..’ – Bl.Mother as well as The Church advocating us to invoke her often through the Rosary so that , The Spirit can take hold of lots more hearts to be crowned with the truth in Love , to deal with the dragon torrents , esp. on behalf of those who have chosen to be deprived of the love for such a good and powerful Mother .
    https://benedictinesofdivinewill.org/uploads/3/4/3/2/34324596/mary_in_dw.pdf

  6. Why do we not know the identity of the wealthy individuals/groups who are underwriting the transgender and transhuman movements? I’ve just become aware that Planned Parenthood is a major promoter and financial beneficiary of transgenderism. Mm. Couldn’t have anything to do with Biden’s “evolving” views, could it?

    • Jennifer Bilek has been researching the funding of the transgender movement for the past decade. Her 11th Hour blog is essential reading on this matter and Rothblatt is well represented. This recent interview with Jennifer contains much vital information on this subject: Jennifer Bilek: Transhumanism and Autogynephilia: https://youtu.be/9kQ_o0G7D38

  7. I have here and there come across this notion of a physical transhumanism program.
    I am grateful for Professor Hendershot’s well written and referenced article that includes some insight into the personality involved.

    Some thoughts that come immediately to mind about the impossibility of such a program ever actualizing:
    First, the most sophisticated supercomputers are limited in their processing by the speed of light.. Although the human nervous system shares physical compatibility through physiological models, I’m not at all sure that human thought itself shares such a limitation in processing.

    This leads to a second difficulty involved in creating a self-evolution program in a system initially designed by a human effort. Evolving processes have an intrinsic component of Chaos, a phenomenon about which according to our current knowledge is very poorly understood.

    Finally bring ourselves up to the level of a thinking 3rd grader, attempts to eschew what is given by Nature will require an ever present police force to keep us from calling day night and night day. We have seen this need arise in attempts to overcome the ‘tyranny of the octave’ in musical history, and now the problems evolving in gender identity require very active police surveillance to continuously enforce what does not come natural. This is more compatible with a bureau autocratic system rather than a democracy. the law will eventually swallow up itself. The ultimate reason is that God is the author of society, all societies and law is a manifestation of that divinely created Institution.

    • Samagelin,
      I’ve heard from Dr. Susskind, a quantum mechanics theorist, that statistical variation can never be fully characterized. Has science determined that the cause of this is due to Caos or is this just a guess on my part?

    • Also, I forgot to mention: Is your idea that the human mind might operate at speeds faster than light due to the immateriality of the human soul?

      • Steve Seitz
        You ask some very good questions with some very difficult. not always decisive answers which. if I could provide at all, would scarcely be available in a post. Chaos theory is barely in it’s infancy. i.e. the millennial prize for non-reductive theorem. The same could be said for the notion of the human mind (vs brain) The answer to your second question is related to the inability to continue acceleration at right angles.

  8. This ‘tgr’ to ‘th’ is inherent in the [absurd] foundation of transgender ideology, as anyone who has even skimmed “Transgender One Shade of Grey” [Patrick J Byrne 2018], or its abridgement, “The Little Grey Book on Sex and Transgender, [2019] will understand. Byrne’s work is essential to understanding and dealing with the inconsistencies, contradictions and absurdities of gender theory, its origins in Foucault, its derivatives and consequences.

  9. Some good points in the article, but as I have written elsewhere, the following approach to the “transgender” movement (and now also the “transhuman” movement as well) should be adopted to avoid giving even a smidge of credibility to the concepts and terms as they are used by proponents in their ongoing attacks on reality:

    In writing, ALWAYS use quotation marks with “transgender” to signify that it is a faux term since nobody can change their genders. Do the same with “trans” when writing in this context. Also, there is no “transgenderism,” and nobody has ever “transitioned” from one gender to another one, so quotation marks should be used for these terms as well. In conversation, be sure to make it clear that the faux terms are not accepted and won’t be acknowleged for the same reason. Don’t ever give in on this, even for so-called politeness reasons.

    Many years ago the late, great Reverend William Smith frequently advised that “all social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.” The more we give in to the use of such malevolent and false terminology (no matter how many doctors, psychologists, church leaders, and so on believe otherwise), the more we help to normalize the abuse of properly recognizing God’s creative order of male and female.

  10. Separating one’s mind from one’s sexual reality is still a mystery. For many of us who would like to see the “issue” disappear, society’s fabric of morality has suffered. My desire for “normalcy” creates a dilemma. Can I commit a mortal sin myself when I isolate transsexuals with disdain’? Or, should I follow Christ’s… “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”? And, “love your neighbor”. “Father, they do not know what they do”. We may not accept transsexuals as our “neighbors”. We don’t want our children to interact with them. They are a threat to locker rooms and bathrooms. Given all that I ask how could TGs “insist” they are members of a minority group that is disparaged, scorned, and volunteer to have their genitalia surgically and painfully altered.

    God save all who love you.

  11. Nano tech (nanobots) has been in our food for years. Now they are growing Nano-Networks in our bodies. This needs to be exposed.

    We Are All Eating Nanotechnology December 6, 2012
    https://www.kcet.org/food-discovery/food/we-are-all-eating-nanotechnology

    Edible holograms could someday decorate foods
    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-edible-holograms-foods.html

    Nano-Toxicity: Are Nanoparticles in Food and Our Environment the New Health Epidemic? 2017
    https://healthimpactnews.com/2017/nano-toxicity-are-nanoparticles-in-food-and-our-environment-the-new-health-epidemic/

    ‘I wash all my food like crazy’: scientists voice concern about nanoparticles
    2019
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/29/i-wash-all-my-food-like-crazy-researchers-voice-concern-about-nanoparticles

    NANO BODY NETWORKS

    2021 Nanotechnology Conferences around the World
    https://waset.org/nanotechnology-conferences

    VIRTUAL 21st IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology
    https://2021.ieeenano.org/

    EAI BODYNETS 2021 – 16th EAI International Conference on Body Area Networks: Smart IoT and big data for intelligent health management
    https://bodynets.eai-conferences.org/2021/

    CV-19 = Body Networks
    Connecting in-body nano communication with body area networks: Challenges and opportunities of the Internet of Nano Things, 2015
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1878778915000071

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