Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Vision for 2058: God is Dead

A collection of essays entitled "The Way We Will Be 50 Years From Today," edited by Mike Wallace, is recounted at this news site. Here is the final conclusion of what we can expect from the year 2058 and the "progress" the world will make:

20 PREDICTIONS FOR 2058

1. We'll all know our personal DNA sequencing, allowing medical treatments and health-prevention strategies to be tailored to our genetic profiles.

2. Life spans will reach triple digits as we learn to reprogram cells to compensate for failing organs.

3. Five to 10 percent of children will be born with genetic enhancements, speeding human evolution. Part of the motivation will be to keep up with fast-evolving artificial intelligence.

4. The recognition that infection causes most chronic diseases will lead to vaccines against schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, dental caries, autism and some cancers. AIDS will be eliminated.

5. Pets such as cats, hamsters and birds will become rare as it becomes clear that animals are a major source of transmission of chronic diseases. The exception is dogs, which have lived with humans and shared their pathogens for 14,000 years.

6. Hand-held neuroimagers will reveal when people are lying.

7. People must have government approval to marry and have children, based on their genetic compatibility, or face a huge tax burden for any sick or disabled children they produce in defiance of a ban.

8. Children of the baby boomers will work into their 70s because of a labor shortage -- and because they can.

9. The merger of real and virtual worlds will allow people to meet holographically and to feel, smell and taste products they buy online.

10. Nanotechnology will let us turn information files into physical products. For example, we can e-mail a toaster and print it out on a desktop "nanofactory."

11. Integrated, hand-held devices will coordinate appointments, track family members, even plan vacations by matching our wish list of destinations with free blocks of time. Many people will vacation in virtual worlds.

12. Global interdependence will allow people, capital and information to flow freely across borders, eroding the power of nation-states. Simultaneous translation will let us talk with people of any language.

13. Goodbye, privacy. Data from cameras, biometrics (retinal scans, fingerprints, face recognition software), full body scans and perhaps microchip implants will be sent to intelligence "fusion" centers to tell governments where people are going and what they're doing in the public realm.

14. We may be able to add memory to human brains, just as we do to old computers, and download human memory into remote storage devices.

15. Thanks to research begun in the early 2000s, a child who is born blind can have nerve signals wirelessly rerouted to the brain's auditory cortex, which will process both sight and sound. A child born deaf will undergo a similar procedure, routing impulses from the ear to the brain's visual cortex.

16. Nanotechnology will allow paralyzed people to walk. Molecules injected into the spinal cord will form into nanofibers that prevent scar tissue and promote new cell growth.

17. People can get artificial retinas that let them switch (simply by thinking) between "reality" mode and virtual reality, including the ability to see real events in other locations -- say, checking on Mom in the nursing home.

18. Handshakes and other types of human contact will be reserved for family members to avoid spreading disease.

19. Animal diseases such as mad cow will reduce meat consumption and lead to germ-free, engineered meat.

20. We will understand the origins of life and re-create it in the laboratory.

The last entry may be the darkest of them all and seems to really disclose the hearts of those who dream, and hope for, such diabolical "progress." Essentially, they say, we will be like God in that we will re-create life ourselves. It harkens back to the desire of Lucifer: "I will be like the Most High." If we ever wonder where such ideas as mixing humans and animals comes from, or where it aims to go, it is this end: to be a god. This desire is the height of pride and of human depravity. In a world that attempts to turn away from God, to reject Him and pretend as if He does not exist - replacing Him with the pagan goddess of reason and progress - it is little wonder that they attempt to do and be everything that is particular to His divine Being.

Notice, too, that everything that is human is destroyed. We won't see like a human being is created to see, we'll be able to switch between a variety of realities or see activities occur somewhere else. Omniscience anyone? If there is no God, they reason unknowingly, then let's obtain what we attribute to Him - such as seeing events occuring elsewhere. Instead of dying, let's live forever in this world, they posit. If there is no God, then all that is left to hope for is happiness in this world. Instead of allowing God to heal all disease and sickness, if not in this world then in the next, let's fix it ourselves. And what is missing? The solution to sin and evil. Then again sophisticated modern man had explained those two negations away long ago. Who believes they even exist in our day and age? This list is concrete evidence that they do.

These "inventions" or attempts at a false form of progress are interesting because they attempt to make everything natural and to reject the supernatural - or rather, perhaps, to obtain the supernatural in a natural way. In rejecting God they have rejected the idea that grace can build upon nature, that man can become supernatural by co-operating with the Divine Being. They do not want to acknowledge God's sovereignty, His power and His essential nature so they attempt to seek all these ends in nature alone. Man then loses his true end. None of these attempts at progress will fulfill man because they reject his true end: the supernatural life of grace that is the seed of glory in heaven with God. Only in God is man fulfilled and only by God's grace does man make true progress.

People are overwhelmingly alone, depressed, anxious and angry in our day and age. Children kill children. Psychotropic medications are on the rise because of "mental disorders." Why? It is all a natural, material problem these men claim. Could it not be that the world being created, the view of society that is being established, does not have as its aim the true fulfillment of man? Could it be that our modern world is rejecting man's true and right last end, thus making him more and more dark, further away from that which will satisfy him? Could it be that all this "progress" is not fitting with God's will for man?

We live in sad times. Happily, as St. Thomas More has said, there is never an age so dark and so evil that men cannot live good in it. We need good men and good women, those formed not by the spirit of our age but by the Spirit of Truth. We need true Saints today more than ever before. The world is becoming darker and more diabolical. It appears satan is getting more power than ever before. But let us hope! Our Lord has overcome this world! He is the Strong One and satan is a wretched created being whose end is already determined. Let us live in faith, in hope and in love. Let us live in God, not in this world.

Pax Christi tecum.

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