Hospice Patients Alliance: Patient Advocates




Man in the World




(Part of the Ethics of Life Series)



by Ron Panzer

April 15, 2013

Part Two of Ten



Proud Man and Pseudo-Religion


Ultimately, man's pride is the root cause of socialism, totalitarianism, imperialism and any other system of thought or power-seeking materialism that openly rejects God. If man rejects materialism and yet clings to his arrogant pride, he seeks the spiritual without humbling himself.

He reaches for occultism and a dry Gnosticism, pseudo-religions that fail to properly guide man. Or, he may cloak himself in the trappings of religious authority itself, in religiosity. Many of those who consider themselves to be "right," and most others "wrong," fall into the religiosity trap, as did some of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' time.

They hate to be corrected in the slightest way and are offended by anyone who suggests they need correction (Proverbs 12:1). This is pseudo-religion in the religious, whether official priests and ministers or self-proclaimed preachers, great teachers and scholars or simply those who have fallen into error due to self-pride.

If we pride ourselves on our position, knowledge, power, degrees or perhaps nothing in particular, if we are easily offended, it is self-pride leading us astray. Self-pride rises up repeatedly like a many-headed Hydra that is impossible to defeat without divine assistance. Self-pride is the reason we are offended when others try to lead us back to the right path. If we embrace self-pride and delude ourselves, we never accept the wisdom contained in the words that stung us.

We feel angry and strike out against those who shared those words with us, blaming them, accusing them of attacking or insulting us. "How dare you speak to me like that?" we spit out. We don't want to admit that their words ring true somewhere deep inside us. If their words held no truth at all, we would know it and not be offended at all, but since we are offended, sometimes even outraged, there is something we are meant to learn.

Humble man accepts the rebuke that may suddenly be spoken by just about anyone, even if self-pride lurks underneath, as it does in all. He recognizes the need to change and thanks God for this opportunity to grow, however painful it may be. Many will seek to help us over time, but if we do not overcome our sense of being offended, we miss the opportunity to grow.

Gnosticism and occultism,1 both forms of pseudo-religion, reverse the role of man and God. The gnostic and occultist say man makes his own way in this world and the world beyond without the help of God. They say that man can become master of himself and all of Nature without recognizing any divine power, and especially strives to be subject to no other.

Rather than consider Creation good, many gnostics view the world as evil, while occultists have varying opinions. The occultist believes in powers derived from sources apart from God. Both the gnostics and occultists see man as intrinsically good, therefore in no need of God's grace. However, when we look at man throughout history, it is clear that man without grace is fallen and evil — but not intrinsically evil or good — rather, he is wounded in nature.

Across the globe, man continues to commit all sorts of never-ending crime and violence. How can we ignore all of this and consider him to be good, as he is? Secular, gnostic and humanist thinkers view man to be entirely good and deny that man's nature is wounded by Original Sin. So when man commits these crimes, it proves their position to be faulty, and they feel a need to explain away those actions.

They say, man is good, but "His childhood environment caused him to act this way." "It was his mother's fault," or "his father's fault." "He had a history of being abused." "He suffered from a mental illness." "He had a genetic predisposition to act that way." "He was under the influence of alcohol or drugs." For any of these reasons, they assert that "man is not responsible for what he does."

The secular humanist and many gnostic thinkers never easily admit that man is responsible for the crimes he commits. They do not wish to acknowledge the existence of evil, or good and bad. If they did, they would have to acknowledge God, the divine and the natural moral law. They would then have to order their relationships and lives in harmony with His law, and that is the last thing they wish to do.

Socialist materialism, applied to the relationship between men and women, and the family, destroys those relationships and is what hides behind the face of modern "feminism." Pseudo-religion, which is any path that leaves out humility and devotion to God, destroys the right relationship between man and God. Pseudo-religion hardens man's heart, leads him to defy God, and to reject God's grace along with His free offer of salvation.

Those who are proud among the gnostics, occultists and others follow a false path and attract some people who are seeking easy answers to life's questions, answers that don't challenge them to change how they act or how they are. These pseudo-religious certainly provide answers, and some of them promote ennobling values along with some startling answers — otherwise nobody would ever be tempted to consult or follow them. Yet, they do not provide the true and best answer, and the way of the proud leads to great harm.

They lead man astray and encourage him to focus on those who have special abilities. They manipulate man so he will end up idolizing that "special" one or that "special" knowledge. Man acquires the habit of running to that special one or to that special knowledge, the habit of consulting with them, and giving them the respect and reverence that rightly belongs to God alone.

This is how man violates what God first commanded us: "You shall have no other gods before Me." When trouble arises, man looks to a mere man or to special knowledge as the answer to life's problems. He chooses not to directly reach out to God who is the only true Saviour of mankind. Thus misled, man neglects to listen for God whispering to him and neglects to continually recognize Him as the Giver of all good things.

If man acquires some of these "special" abilities or knowledge for himself, he looks to himself, and even gives reverence to himself, rather than to God alone. He thinks, "How great I am!" looks to see if others admire him, and secretly prides himself in what he himself can do. He forgets to always think of God and adore Him, and loses himself in the extreme pride that will completely consume him, to his ruin.

This is quite different from seeking inspiration and guidance from the truly wise, who will always point to God and give reverence to Him, and who will encourage man to abide by the divine and the natural moral law (Revelation 22:9). They will always encourage man to do the difficult, sometimes painful thing and humble himself. Humility is the real solution to man's difficult plight in this world.

If leaders in the secular culture were solely promoting the idea of an utterly material reality, without any belief in God or a spiritual dimension, why is it that they consistently promote all sorts of occult themes in their entertainments? They regularly portray men and women having very powerful occult, psychic abilities, or spiritually dark beings such as zombies, vampires or others. They regularly mock the divine way with a callous hatred and disdain.

It is clear that those who embrace and promote the secular culture are not truly utterly materialistic, but are aligned in opposition to God, as well as the divine and the natural moral law. The secular culture they create not only does not affirm the value of life, as well as humility before God, and love or forgiveness, it promotes division between men and women, poor and rich, healthy and ailing, and the young and old.

Those who embrace the secular culture actively seek to impose death upon the vulnerable. Those who embrace the culture of life encourage love among all mankind, uniting all in peace, and work to help those who are so vulnerable — never to impose death upon them.

Some who do not wish to relinquish their pride, yet who are disenchanted with the hypocrisy they see in those who practice religiosity and who are enthralled with their own authority rather than practicing true religion (who have no authentic love), look to other pseudo-religions. Followers of these pseudo-religions, like some who toy with spirituality, assert that man is intrinsically good ("I'm OK, You're OK") no matter what he may do.

They teach others that all religious paths are the same, when they are clearly not the same in many ways. The great world religions share some common teachings, but as we can readily see within Christianity, Protestant teaching is not the same as Catholic teaching. Within Hinduism, Vaishnavism is not the same as Shaivism. Within Islam, Sunni teaching is not the same as Shia teaching. Mahayana Buddhism is not the same as Theravada Buddhism.

Though many adherents to the world religions argue bitterly with others of other religious beliefs, from all of these and so many more, we can at least still learn a common truth: man must seek God or Truth sincerely with all his heart, mind and soul. When he does, he is not inclined to engage in endless arguments with anyone (Titus 3:9). He simply is captivated by the dear Lord's splendor.

From the mystics of so many religions, we can learn this truth: God calls us to have a deeper relationship with Him — that we must open our hearts, pray and meditate upon Him. From the wise of all religions, we can learn this truth: there is something that is true and we must seek It with humility, because finding the Truth is the greatest good.

Those who follow pseudo-religions mislead the naive and rather than encouraging humility, flatter them to actually inflate their pride. They teach them that all man has to do is practice one of many possible techniques to focus his mind in order to "know" the answers to life, force his way into heavenly realms or forge his own salvation.

Though man will experience many things along this path, without devotion and humility, he will discover little about true religion and be incapable of making right choices in life. So long as he retains his stubborn pride, he will continue to be utterly lost (Matthew 25:1-13).

Though concentration of the mind is necessary to reason and investigate in many fields, inner concentration of the mind can be used to uplift or to acquire power. Loving prayer naturally leads to contemplation and meditation, helping man to be absorbed in divine love and the presence of the Lord. However, concentration practiced without devotion and humility, and expressly to obtain occult power, leads to arrogance rather than closeness to God.

Such a man wishes to avoid the painful task of honestly looking at himself and realizing his need for grace. So, he moves ahead without having done the real work of true spirituality and true religion which is humbling himself before God, recognizing his own imperfect state, selfishness, pride and sin, and then changing the direction of his life!

In fact, he looks down upon anyone who even mentions the idea of sin, pride or selfishness. He considers the idea of God to be an illusion, and prides himself on being "better informed and wiser" than most people — one of the elite who knows and wields the power of an impersonal force! His conception of God is different and denies that God could create the universe out of nothing. "Out of nothing comes nothing," he might claim.

So, he believes the universe has always existed, that man is in some sense divine, and that sin is only an illusion. Consequently, he also believes that man's redemption is unnecessary.

However, without changing direction and turning toward God, man cannot find his true way in this world. Who among us has found perfect happiness and peace without God? Without humbly opening our hearts in devotion to God, there is no true religion, no true spirituality and no real happiness (Luke 5:32).

Some pseudo-religious carelessly mix parts of one religion or sect with another to create their own idea of a religious path. Left unsaid, by those who follow any of these pseudo-religious paths, is the reality of where their path ends. A man who refuses to humble himself and acknowledge God, however "spiritual" he may think himself to be, goes to his own destruction.

Of those who have meditated for decades, using any of the methods known to man, none have found Truth except those who have been humble enough to open themselves to His grace. Only those who have finally surrendered their pride and given their hearts to the dear Lord, to Truth Himself, find Him. As the dear Lord said:


"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for Me will find it.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world,
yet forfeit their soul? ...."    - Matthew 16:25-26

We may ask, "Why do we need to understand such things? What does it have to do with the ethics of life, healthcare or service to those in need?" It is necessary to understand these things because the "ethics" used in many aspects of our society are secular ethics. Everybody has beliefs about life, existence, reality, right and wrong, and what gives life meaning. In other words, everybody has their own philosophy of life, but not everyone takes the time to make sure his or her beliefs are logical, reasonable, or acceptable to God.

If we haven't examined our beliefs, our actions in life may be inconsistent with the reality of life, harmful to our patients and our own well-being as man. For example, some aspects of science, technology and medicine are largely based upon secular ethics. Secular ethics are, in turn, often based on a proud secular humanistic and materialistic worldview, or pseudo-religious or gnostic worldview, which exalts man without allowing for humility before God.

Those who embrace these worldviews consider themselves superior to others. They arrogantly make decisions for others, especially the vulnerable, and even take steps that result in the deaths of those they deem unworthy of life. They may practice a secular "spirituality" that only emboldens them.

These gnostics or occultists may point to the meditative practices of the East, such as the yogis in India, Buddhist teachers, or others, but they misinterpret and misuse these practices. Of course, there are many varieties of occultism and Gnosticism, but they are all fraught with the same main dangers to man. They ignore or distort aspects of the rich teachings of other spiritual and religious traditions that they only pretend to emulate.

They ignore these world religious traditions' moral teachings that contain elements of the same natural moral law that is found everywhere in the world. How can the natural moral law be found in all cultures? Simply, because the natural moral law is an aspect of truth; therefore, it is universal and applies to all mankind. Wherever wise man is, he discovers the natural moral law anew.

For example, contrary to what the occultists or gnostics teach, which does not uplift the soul, the yogis of India (who many mistakenly assume are just like those occultists and gnostics) have taught that man is sinful, that "the sins are the causing of injury to others," and that "sin is the root cause of the suffering in the world." They teach that man must do no harm, just as Christian saints have taught us to "do good and avoid evil."

The yogis' teachings reflect the natural moral law, as do the teachings of the wise in many different religions. They teach that we must be honest, must not steal, must remain chaste and pure, must not covet that which others possess, must strive for inner and outer purity, must practice contentment with what God gives us, must focus all our attention upon God, and must make Him the motive of all we do, in all humility.2 They teach that these are the most basic and essential requirements for man before the religious way can even be begun!

In China, as well, great sages such as Confucius and Lao-Tzu also taught the people to live in harmony and to live virtuous lives. Proud man laughs at these conditions and says he can "storm the gates of heaven" as he pleases, without moral purity and humility. He seeks power to travel beyond this world and seeks power over others. Seeking power for power's sake is wrong everywhere and always. There are some paths that are not to be walked, ever, and some paths that will never reach the light of God.

Some gnostics, occultists and others who toy with spirituality may also say that they follow "Buddhist" thought or incorporate some of its practices. Again, they ignore the Buddha's teaching that we must have humility and serve all, have compassion for all, love all, and follow what he called the "eightfold path" including having the right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Without these there is no true peace and no humility.

It is clear to anyone who has studied even the most basic aspects of Buddhism3 that all of these "rights," include what is meant by living a virtuous life and acting morally — what is known to man as living according to the natural moral law. They certainly do not teach that harming others is good or that "it doesn't matter" what you do. Yet, it is exactly this discussion that is avoided within many gnostic, occult and pseudo-spiritual teachings.

Man must seek to do good and to avoid evil: he must avoid the reality behind that most-censored word in modern society — "sin." Without following the natural moral law, without what the Buddha called the eightfold path, there is no love and no religion at all.

Occultism, Gnosticism, and the pseudo-spiritual paths tempt those who choose to remain proud and insist on pursuing any pleasure, power, or immoral activity they wish. They offer man a seemingly easy path to a "shopping-cart" type of arid spirituality without God, a glimpse into the fascinating "mysteries of life" that the ordinary masses supposedly cannot understand.

They falsely claim that all the suffering in the world is caused by ignorance alone, not sin. When they refer to "ignorance," they mean ignorance of the knowledge of God (or reality) through spiritual illumination where man "knows" that he, individually, is god. The problem is that the occultists and gnostics take such experiences and use them to bolster man's pride. Such may identify their own sense of "self" with God, rather than recognizing the infinite glory of God and humbly adoring Him. They refuse to recognize that man is always nothing more than man (Genesis 3:19).

Secular and pseudo-spirituality become an "adventure" within the mind rather than a relationship with God! If one experiences a vision, a glimpse of inner light, one should be more devoted to God and more humble, not less. Whatever man knows, whatever an occultist or gnostic knows, is nothing compared to the infinite and perfect Knowledge of God.

Realizing this, man must be humble and acknowledge God and follow His ways, doing good and avoiding harm to others and himself. Only then will man's acts be truly good. Only then will man's peace be lasting. Only then will man's knowledge be true and worthy of being called "wisdom."

There is no true knowledge without His grace. There is no true knowledge without following His way. Yet, some gnostics and the occultists say, "Experience peace and do whatever you wish. Experience yourself as god himself." Some of their proponents entice followers with talk of the experiences and powers one may acquire without warning of the harm that will come by seeking these.

The major world religions all speak to man's sin and imperfection, though in different ways. Yet, many occultists, gnostics and pseudo-religious ignore all of this, even practicing yoga or techniques from other religions without following what these religions teach must first be done. Those who are authentically searching and those who authentically find Him demonstrate the greatest humility and reverence for Him.

The many denominations contained in Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Sikhism, for example, all contain elements of the natural moral law, and forbid many actions that harm man while directing that we be humble and do the good.

Some misunderstand and think it means we should live in a gloomy mood all the time and go around filled with guilt and shame throughout life. On the contrary, the wise warn man to avoid sin which results in harm to ourselves and others, and estranges us from God. They advise us to recognize sin, to see ourselves as we are, and then to move forward through life without being proud — so that we find a completely new way and live a truly blessed life in coming closer to God (1 Corinthians 2:9).

When the dear Lord Jesus met those who needed to change, who reached out to Him, He forgave them and told them, "Go and sin no more." And these rejoiced, not only because of the change in their circumstances, but because they felt released from the burdens of their lives and came to know the One who is the Light of the world (John 8:1-12)!

Can we know God? It depends upon what we mean by knowing God. Religion itself is all about knowing God and coming to have a real relationship with Him, to be connected to Him. If there is no connection and if we do not come to know Him somehow, there is no religion, just empty rituals and dry dogma. The dear Lord said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8), and He was not a liar or mistaken!

If we sincerely seek Him, our hearts will be purified through His grace. If we then see God, do we know Him, in some way? Of course, we do! If we meet others walking along the street, speak to each other and come to be friends, do we know each other? Of course!

But we do not know everything about each other. When Moses heard the dear Lord's voice from the burning bush, saw Him pass before him, and spoke with Him on many occasions later on, did Moses come to know Him (Exodus 3)? Certainly!

When the saints throughout history (like Elijah, Isaiah, St Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, St Teresa of Jesus (Avila), St John of the Cross, and hundreds more) have had a vision or heard God speak to them, did they come to know Him? Yes! In their own limited way, as He through grace revealed Himself, they knew Him (1 Corinthians 2)! But they never claimed to be God, and they never claimed to know all of what the infinite God is.

Those the world calls saints recognized that God had through His infinite mercy, allowed them to take a peek at His glory, His love, His wisdom and perfection. St. Paul says that "God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God" (Galatians 4:4-7).

If we who have accepted Him and whom He has blessed with His Spirit are sons, and therefore children of God, we must know Him, each of us in his or her own limited way, otherwise all of this has no meaning (Revelation 21:5-7). Do not the children know and love their father? And does not a father love his child?

The Lord has not disappeared from this world so that He is never to be heard from again as many suggest (John 16:7). If the Lord was capable of revealing Himself to His children in so many ways in the past, and did so, He is capable of doing so today, and does so as He chooses (Hebrews 13:8).

It is clear that God wishes man to achieve his highest good, which is to come to know, love, serve and adore Him. For this reason, He sent His Son, the dear Lord Jesus who lived here on Earth and reaches out to all who seek Him, with perfect love. He didn't come so that we would only remember Him as a merely historical figure or teacher, or only remember the words He spoke.

He came and lived among us to show man how much God loves us, so that we would reach out to Him and enter into a relationship with Him, here and now. He came that we would actually follow His words and enter into true life. For this reason, He is known as Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).

When God is with us, there is a living, real relationship between man and God. That is true religion and leads to the culture of life. The dear Lord Jesus said:


"If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--
the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me.
Because I live, you also will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in My Father,
and you are in Me, and I am in you."    - John 14:15-20

Not only is He with us, with me and you, He is here now! As we through faith surrender to His will, accept His Holy Spirit, and immerse ourselves in His love, Who then lives within us? It is none other than the dear Lord, Himself. If He lives within us, then we cannot help but know Him as He reveals Himself to us. If He does not live within us, then what worth is there to what we do or say?

The Lord said, "I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people (Jeremiah 31:33)." The King of love seeks the good of those He loves, and so, as He chooses, we may, at some point in our lives, actually feel His palpable presence in our lives, experience His love and grace in many ways or even, should He wish it, in some small way as He permits, know Him and see Him. If He is God with us, how can He be an unreachable, unknowable God?

His love reaches out to all of us that we know Him in this way and share it with all His other children. It is this perfect love — charity — that arises in our hearts as a gift from our divine Friend, which enables us to love all.

As friends mutually love each other and wish only good for each other and each other's family,4 we are led to love all men here on Earth, as they are all the children of our divine Friend. This is the basis and inspiration for all healthcare and merciful acts we do in this world. This is the spirit of love shared between God and man, and from man to his neighbor throughout the world.

We can see that the contrast between the apostles and the saints and other followers of the Lord, and those who practice a pseudo-religion, is as stark as that between the Sun's light shining at midday and the darkness of night. The apostles of the dear Lord, blessed with the Holy Spirit, and filled with a divine love, prayed with faith, and miracles of healing occurred in their presence. Even the dear Lord Jesus humbly gave thanks to God when praying that Lazarus would be raised from the dead (John 11).

However, those who have sought occult abilities for their own enjoyment and power, do not acknowledge God, do not have humility, do not love, nor do they pray to Him. Simon the Magician, who sought to exercise power for his own sake, knew nothing of true religion or healing (Acts 8:9-25).

The humble man of faith prays and asks that God act in this world to heal — giving credit to God for any good that arises. The proud magician or occultist acts without asking God, acts to increase his own popularity, to gather power for himself, and to gain status in the world. The man of faith receives grace and obeys the will of God who may work through him how and when He chooses (1 Corinthians 12-13).

Seeking power for power's sake leads to the expansion of one's pride; therefore it is a sure path to utter ruin, a path tempting to some, but one that leads away from God into utter darkness. We know it leads to darkness, because pride is the source of all man's darkness, and because man's humility opens the door to God's grace and light.

Just as those who discover a powerful technology in the world, such as nuclear energy, may not have the wisdom and purity to refrain from using it as a bomb to kill, the quest for special abilities without humility before God will damage those who experiment with it. The saints have experienced mystic states of oneness within the love of God, as well as visions and inspired dreams, but as a grace from God (Joel 2:28).

While we must beware of exalting self in a dangerous quest for personal power, we must remain open to the possibility of inner spiritual growth, recognizing gifts of the Holy Spirit when they are given to inspire and guide us. True religion is a way of life that spontaneously opens up a continuous conversation with God, a remembrance that follows naturally from our love. This leads to inner communion with Him as demonstrated in the lives of many saints.

To seek power and experiences of occult realms is to invite harm, to inflate one's pride, and therefore, be led into darkness and destruction. Just as one may take a mind-altering drug at first thinking it will do no harm, one may begin to follow this path thinking it to be harmless. Unfortunately, both can prove to be addictive and finally lethal.

Recognizing ourselves to be as tiny in this universe as a drop of water in an endless ocean, we can rightly and humbly claim to owe our being to the life given to us by our God, the source of all life. But if we claim to be the entirety of all that God is, or to know the entirety of God, He might laugh at our absurd arrogance, just as the Ocean might laugh at any drops that claim to be the Ocean in its entirety.

Pseudo-religion of many forms is the foundation for transhumanism, the effort by man to intrinsically change what man is into something "more perfect" physically and mentally than God has already accomplished in us, but not morally! This is where we can see how the way of the pseudo-religious leads to the culture of death. With their mind entirely clouded by their pride, they seek to become as God, even consider themselves to be God, consider the material world evil, but man good.

Thinking themselves good, without being good, they have little caution about the terrible harm they may do with these powers, whether technological, scientific, or even occult. They may also teach that there is no difference between good and bad, that it's all "relative," or that "nothing really matters." Or, they will teach that what man thinks determines what is good, not what God has determined is good! Societal chaos and inner confusion are the fruit of their teachings.

Humble man, knowing that he is meant to improve himself as well as improve things in the world, approaches his work with an eye to bringing good to all around him, respecting the individual rights of man and carefully working to avoid bringing harm to others. He knows that good does not always result from merely having good intentions, so he is prudently cautious.

The arrogant who follow gnostic and occult pseudo-religion view man as his own savior, the one capable of improving the material world. They see no reason to seek God's grace and forgiveness for man's sins, as they don't recognize that man has any sin. They are horrified by the idea that they need anything at all from a God. In fact, they consider the destruction of the world good, a requirement for the eventual reabsorption of the universe into the Light.

If embryonic man, fetal man, infants, or vulnerable patients are destroyed in their effort to make the world "better," for example, they do not consider it an evil, just as the callous materialists see no evil in killing the vulnerable.5 "It doesn't really matter!" "I've done nothing wrong!" "What do you care what I do?" they shout angrily at anyone who challenges them.

Transhumanist "Man"


The proud transhumanist or futurist man,6 who seeks to re-make man as something "more perfect" than what almighty God has made us, refuses to acknowledge the Lord or to love Him. The transhumanist believes he can make himself a god.

Those seeking to change the intrinsic physical and mental nature of man do so for the same reasons that Plato argued that "the wiser" elite should control all aspects of society and determine everything individuals should do. They are convinced that they do know better than God or other men how man should be changed and controlled.

Transhumanist man knows not what he does nor what the results of his actions will truly be. He is already tainting much of what is, through unrestrained experimentation and technological change. Such a man seeks to remake himself to be as powerful and long-lived as he can, with artificial body parts, enhanced physical and mental capacity through computerization, genetic engineering, hormonal treatments, and nanotechnology, among other methods.

He sees computerized artificial intelligence ("A.I.") as the panacea for all man's worries. Of course, the wise know that in this world there is no panacea that provides a cure for all the afflictions of man, just as there is no utopia. With the billions of dollars being channeled globally into biotechnology, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, genetically-modified crops, and artificial reproductive techniques, with virtually no societal oversight, he will make of man, a monstrosity. He cares nothing for those he may discard or destroy in the process.

It is not difficult to admire the processing capabilities of the computers that man is building today. A one "Gigahertz" processor makes a billion calculations per second. The new "Edison [computer] will perform as many as 2 quadrillion operations a second."7 That's two times a thousand, thousand billion operations per section!

While we think how "awesome" that is, many refuse to believe that the Creator of the creators of these computers can do more. No matter how fast a computer may be, no matter how many finite number of super-computers are linked together, they can only process what has been originally programmed into them by imperfect man.

However powerful such super-computers may become compared to man's ability to think, they will never have an infinite capacity to process data. We need to remember that the infinite, almighty God is capable of an infinite number of "calculations" without any time at all, in less than a moment! That is what is meant by an infinitely, already all-knowing God (Psalm 147:5). God does not need to "process" anything in order for Him to know!

Transhumanists do not heed the cautions that naturally arise out of the large body of knowledge man has already gained about the intelligently-organized nature of all life on Earth. Biological science and especially ecological insights demonstrate how intricate are the interrelationships between the living organisms on Earth, including man.

Science demonstrates that changing even the slightest environmental condition may cause death to many species: if the temperature is too high or low, if the pH is too acidic or alkaline, if there is not enough of the exact type of nutrients needed, or if certain organisms die, other organisms that are dependent upon them also die.

But proud, transhumanist, futurist man doesn't pause for a moment to consider any of this. He forges ahead experimenting with nanotechnology, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, genetically-modified crops, and more, ignoring the ecological implications of what he does.

He may even use women as surrogates to carry his genetically-engineered transhumanist embryos forward through birth into this world, either by paying these women or even through the horror of human trafficking and forced surrogacy!8 When couples seek to acquire a baby through the unregulated in vitro fertilization and surrogacy industries, how can they ever be certain that the child has not been genetically-altered in some way?

Because transhumanist man has an agenda that he considers to be more important than any other concerns, he cares nothing about newly created diseases that he may unleash. Lusting after knowledge, power, wealth and fame, or simply to see "what can be done," he causes unknown evils to be brought down upon people without the slightest concern, all the while asserting that he is going to "fix" the entire world.

If millions of humans die in order to achieve his goal, he considers that a justifiable sacrifice, and in any case, he believes the Earth is already overpopulated. He believes his goals are so important that almost any means to achieve them are justified.

Just as the secular humanists have done before, proud transhumanist and futurist man moves along like the mad scientist accusing anyone who questions him of being backward and against "science." Like the materialists and socialists, he despises the path of true faith, yet flirts with pseudo-religion, priding himself on his "enlightened" and elite perspective of the world. He says, "There is no God," but there "will be" when, through the assistance of a supposedly "all-wise," superior and ever more powerful artificial intelligence, the "Singularity" arrives9 and he makes himself one!

Transhumanist man forgets (or simply refuses to believe) that no matter how powerful any computer becomes, it is nothing compared to the actual infinite power and wisdom of God. He forgets that man, although imperfect and limited in many ways, when receptive to God's guidance, can receive revelation and insight that might never be realized through any computer. He neglects to understand that all true ethics and morality arise out of God's goodness, and that the greater the power acquired by man, the greater ability he will have to cause harm.

Like the materialists and socialists, if he is able to do so, he maliciously crushes any scientists or others who warn the people about what he is doing. He brushes aside those who stand in his way. He accepts no limitation on what he may do. He acts without permission, without informing the public, imposing his will upon all the people like a snake that bites one who is asleep. Like the materialists and socialists, deep inside, he is always filled with fear of suffering, old age and especially death. Like them, deep inside, he secretly fears that God might exist.

The materialists and socialists watch transhumanist man and unite with him in seeking to control man, to make man and society as they would have them be. If transhumanist man practices pseudo-religion, materialist and socialist man tolerate it with amusement, knowing it is no threat to the establishment of a totalitarian State.

Materialist and socialist man see what transhumanist man is doing — altering the genetic nature of man, plants and animals, working without caution to control the weather and all that is in Nature. They see him using artificial intelligence of the supercomputers to recklessly attempt to "improve" Nature and man physically, and say, "So what?" So long as the totalitarian State is achieved, with the elite being in control, they welcome him. That man may be made more manageable, somehow, is what they've sought all along.

Anything but true religion is acceptable to them, as true religion shows man the path to God. With that knowledge comes knowledge of man's authentic human rights, of free will and the freedoms given to man by God, his Creator. This is a knowledge that the materialist, the socialist, and the transhumanist can never allow.

Because they wish to control society and the men within it as they see fit, they seek to suppress that knowledge. As free-thinking men and women who understand their human rights are a threat to their plans, they naturally fear a society filled with those of faith.

Another Way


Those of faith, on the other hand, follow the eternal way and know the dear Lord and are not afraid to live, not afraid to suffer and not afraid to die. Those of faith seek to relieve the suffering of others throughout life and are not afraid to do what is necessary to accomplish that great duty. Those who embrace God embrace the life He gives with gratitude and reverence.

In addition, no matter how much success man achieves in the wonderful effort to cure disease, no matter how long man may live, even with the aid of genetic engineering or artificial body parts, suffering is not an external object that can ever be completely cast aside or overcome through technology or science. Suffering is an unavoidable part of man's experience as man in the world.

Wherever man goes, the inner experience of suffering of some sort goes with him. Man cannot get away from himself, no matter what he does! Therefore, if man is to find fulfillment or know how to reason rightly, man must finally face the reality of his life, face what he is and what he is not. He must face what he can and cannot do, and humbly and soberly reason and will to actually be how God wills him to be.

Mississippi River Delta distributaries - courtesy of University of Oregon
                                            "photo courtesy Univ of Oregon

If we are to live in this world and experience the fullness of happiness, we must say "yes!" to God. We must choose to and will to turn toward Him. We must sail a different path through this world. This is an act of faith in the truth of that wondrous and awesome loving God who has always been, is now and will be forever more.

Many do not like to hear that, but the history of man teaches us that if we are to find happiness, we must choose to and actually act rightly, basing our actions on right reason and give ourselves totally to serve Him.

If we are to experience true happiness, we must change our hearts and minds. We must serve the God who created us and who loves us perfectly (Luke 12:13-21, 32-34).

Many imagine that we are at the height of man's evolution, that we are more modern and sophisticated than any before us, that through man's genius and science, we will finally be able to achieve all our dreams for the perfect man and perfect society. They look back at history and think that man then is nothing like man today. They have not studied well. Man now is exactly as man was then.

Man is in every generation thinking himself "the best," "the brightest," the "most modern," the "most logical," and the one who will finally succeed. Modern man thinks that with the aid of computers of great power and speed, man will be finally be able to solve all life's riddles. He says, "Nobody can stop us!" and remains defiant to any who challenge him and to God Himself. Man is as he ever was, alone before God and the world. Only the Designer of this life knows how to best manage a life, how man should live.

We must serve Him in order to run this race rightly. We must adore Him to know how to live rightly. We must melt before His Sunlight, surrendering all, in order to be molded according to His will.

Serving Him means loving Him and acting out of love for those around us. We can hope for the fulfillment of our seeking in realizing a greater degree of His truth. Seeking Him earnestly, we can trust that He will compassionately touch us and save us from our distress. Like the good shepherd who saves His sheep from the wolves who attack, the dear Lord guides us into the right, the safe paths. We can add our voices to the song of King David, the psalmist, and say:


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.    - Psalm 23

We can have confidence that He will guide us into the right path, the right choices, the ethics of life, if we only trust in Him. Trusting in Him is what is meant by having faith! If we trust in Him, we cast all our concerns and questions onto Him, even our ethical concerns, and in time, He will answer us. If we trust in Him, we really do not worry. As the dear Lord assured us,

"... seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow ...."    - Matthew 6:33-34 [emphasis added]


Of course, living in this world as man, imperfect as we are, many of us do worry. All of us, at sometime or other, experience perplexing situations. If we trust Him, we won't worry or experience our situation as so perplexing. With our hearts inclined toward the Lord, we will seek answers to the question, "How are we to know what is right?" And when we listen, we will hear Him whisper within our minds and touch our hearts.

We are still on a journey through life, whether we are lost into this world or not. Yes, realistically, we don't always have the answers to the problems that inevitably arise. Other family members, friends, acquaintances and colleagues may give us advice that brings no clarity or peace (Job 2:9-10, 4:5-8). Some may wrongly encourage us to betray God or to think that it is God who tempts us to do wrong (James 1:13-16).

As time goes by, if we come to understand one thing, we only find another question forming in our minds. We may realize that we really didn't understand what we thought we truly understood. We find much of this painful, but begin to learn humility in the process. Perhaps that is the real reason for our experiences in this life. God compassionately finds a way to whittle away our pride if we are among the haughty (Psalm 18:27). How else would we find our way again without such painful but necessary lessons?



Next:    "Man in the World" (Part Three)



Endnotes:


  1.    Diane N Irving, MA, PhD:
           "Foundations of Transhumanism and Futurism; Short List of Website URLs," LifeIssues.net, Sept 28, 2012
           Gnosticism, the Heretical Gnostic Writings, and 'Judas'", LifeIssues.net, June 7, 2012
           'Gnostic Soup'": Pagan fertility gods, IVF, Hollywood, cloning/genetic engineering, bioethics,,
           transhumanism, libertarians, drugs, eugenics, etc., LifeIssues.net, November 7, 2005
           Irving Response to "Transhumanism is Religion for Atheists", LifeIssues.net, June 7, 2012.
          Father Alfonso Aguilar, LC, Gnosticism and the Struggle for the World's Soul,
            National Catholic Register, March 30, 2003.
           Into the Gnostic Wonderland, National Catholic Register, April 6, 2003.
           Wonderland or Christianland? , National Catholic Register, May 18, 2003.
           Judging Harry Potter, National Catholic Register, Aug 29, 2007. Back

  2.    Patanjali, "On the Practice of Yoga," The Yoga Sutras, ch. II, 30-45, Munshiram Manoharlal
           Publishers, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, 3rd edition, 1982
           (originally 300-400 B.C.) Back

  3.    Dr. K. Sri Dhammanada, "The Noble Eightfold Path - The Middle Way," What Buddhists Believe
           4th edition, Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia, 2002 Back

  4.    St. Thomas Aquinas, "Of Charity, Considered in Itself, Whether Charity is Friendship, "Treatise on
           the Theological Virtues," Summa Theologica, SS, Question 23, article 1. Back

  5.    John Nolte, "Gosnell Employee: I Saw Ten Babies Breathe Before They Were Killed,
            April 18, 2013, Breitbart.com Back

  6.    Diane N Irving, MA, PhD:
          "Foundations of Transhumanism and Futurism; Short List of Website URLs," LifeIssues.net, Sept 28, 2012;
           Playing God by Manipulating Man: The Facts and Frauds of Human Cloning," October 4, 2003;
           "Plato's 'Royal Lies'," "State Authorized Eugenics, Communism, Utilitarianism, Euthanasia,
           Physician Assisted Suicide, "Mother Earth" Myth, Day Care Nurseries,
           Women in the Military, and Population Control," August 2004;
          Lev Grossman, "The Singularity: Kurzweil on 2045, When Humans, Machines Merge,"
            Time magazine, Feb. 10, 2011;
          The Singularity Institute, "Strategic Plan," Aug 2011. Back

  7.    Lisa M Krieger, Supercomputers could generate warnings for stock crashes, April 22, 2013, The Denver Post Back

  8.    Dutch Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, "Trafficking in
           human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs and forced commercial surrogacy (2012);
            See the Summary here. Back

  9.    Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near, Nov 12, 2012 Back