Activate Series: #11 - Why Should a Robot and an Elephant Give Us Pause? November 16, 2017 13:34

Our weekly #Activate vlog series uses clips from Educe™ online courses to illuminate the truth behind the cultural battles of today (and tomorrow) and move Christians from education to action in their communities, churches, and circles of influence.

The ‘pro-life’ label has long meant anti-abortion, but as we approach 50 years in this battle, we see the movement gaining ground in opposing other life-destroying practices like assisted suicide, euthanasia, assisted reproductive technologies, and unethical treatment of the disabled and medically vulnerable. But there’s an emerging battle in which our voices are almost completely silent. Perhaps this battle is too vague or too far-fetched to think about. Maybe we just don’t have enough information to understand what it means when a robot is granted citizenship or when an animal rights group seeks personhood for elephants. What do these totally weird and random things have to do with abortion anyway, right? Unfortunately, these far-fetched ideas are just the tip of a gigantic iceberg the pro-life movement has already hit. And we are totally unprepared.

Let’s establish some context here by acknowledging three intertwining realities that have forged this gigantic iceberg:

  1. The push to assign personhood to non-human entities isn’t new, but the momentum behind it is. This momentum is building globally, across many disciplines, including biotechnology, information technology, law, climate science, labor, economics, and the transhumanist movement.
  2. Since our Creation, humans have sought to expand the God-designed boundaries of our existence. Only now, we have the technology to actually make this happen. We can enhance our physical, intellectual, and emotional traits, even our ‘humanness’ at the genetic level. Remember those key players mentioned in #1? They’re stakeholders in human enhancement technologies, too, as are all the familiar forces that fight for ‘reproductive justice.’
  3. Legalized abortion has had a devastating impact on how Americans view human life. We see evidence of the devaluation of life almost daily in horrific stories of abuse, neglect, sexual assault, human trafficking, and mass shootings. This moral chaos, and the waning witness of Christianity, has created an ethical void that technologists are more than eager to fill.

It is within this context that the pro-life movement needs to consider a new strategic response—a response that must expand far beyond our current framework and stand united on the concept of human personhood. Why? Because human personhood is the only ethical foundation that can consistently and simultaneously oppose citizen robots, elephant-persons, human enhancement technologies, and every other issue that threatens the dignity and rights of human beings, both born and preborn.

In this week’s online course clip, we explain exactly what we’re up against and why the pro-life movement must shift to be relevant and effective in this new paradigm. The future is here, folks, and it's weird.

For more information on what the biblical path to victory in the 21st century looks like, check out the new book Personhood: The Tree of Life, authored by 22 diverse, yet united leaders in the pro-life movement.

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