Exploring the Social Imagination

Friday, May 16, 2014

Transcendence - The Movie and What it Means For Our 'Fallen' Social Reality... a Sociological Christian Perspective

Just saw the movie, Transcendence starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman.  It was very interesting to me as a Sociologist/Social Psychologist and as a Christian. Let us start from the later. As a Christian, we recognize our Creator who made us in His image; He is our Lord  and Savior.  We are His program essentially; given free will to choose life and though in this fallen world, our 'information' program contains 'His' being and all we have to do is turn to him... Ps. 71 "give the command to save me".  The world thinks of death as an absolute end. However, death is necessary so we will not live in a corrupted state forever which makes death an act of grace and mercy on God's part. His plan always was to restore us to our perfect 'information' state. Now, let us look at the movie script- Transcendence.

In this movie, the scientists (namely the Depp character and his love interest) are trying to develop the technical means to use information - computer data - to extend our lives, our consciousness, into a silicon processor so we can live longer lives and no longer suffer from the weakness and frailty of these corrupted bodies. In the film, the main scientist played by Depp is killed and his consciousness is uploaded into a computer. He quickly begins to act like a god and try to transcend the limitations of the physical world. He eventually takes command over microscopic robots - nanobots - and begins to alter the physical world around him at the atomic level. Unfortunately, this power is not measured by a moral conscience and people, feeling threatened try to stop him. In some sense, the other characters in the movie seem to realize the great danger in this, ...that the scientist is trying to overcome life itself; overcome what they already are, a program written by a Creator- the one who created the heaven and earth and everything in it.
Though, this may sound like it could be a good idea, to extend lives, end suffering... it is a false assumption. In that, we are already a wonderfully created program. One (program) however that became corrupted and now in this 'fallen world - program' we have only to die to it and be saved to a higher social reality (as Jesus Christ demonstrated). If that sounds way out there, imagine then that if scientists today (those that are seriously working on trans-humanism) are attempting to do what they movie scenario depicted then they are in denial of what they already are- organic avatar's (programs) in a program created by a Creator. How can that be a 'true' statement; it is because scientists are using what is already given to them; they are not creating something new, a new heaven/earth but recreating what they already are and have. This false endeavor will entrap them in another kind of program (man-made) from which they cannot be saved, not ever. In Revelations 9,... "there will come a time when men will seek death but cannot find it, they will long to die, but death will elude them".
Final point being, going off a quote in the movie made by the Depp character when asked in the movie "Are you trying to be God", the answer by the Depp character was "Yes, isn't that what man has always been trying to do". Some may read that and think of course, man has always been trying to elevate himself to a higher sense of human being. I say, how can he imagine what that higher human being is unless he himself already has an idea of that in him. I say man wants to be like God, because man is His creation.

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