FREE PUBLIC EVENT: CSCA’s Montreal chapter presents a lecture with Cory Andrew Labrecque (Professor of Bioethics and Theological Ethics, Université Laval).
"And Death Shall Have No Dominion: Science, Transhumanism, and Christianity in Pursuit of Immortality"
Friday | 7:00 pm EDT | Zoom
“And Death Shall Have No Dominion:” Science, Transhumanism, and Christianity in Pursuit of Immortality”
Transhumanists lament the many shortcomings of being human, including the inevitability of ageing and death. Perhaps even more regrettable for transhumanists, though, has been our apathy in the face of these limitations; we have collectively surrendered our evolution as a species to Nature. As such, we have impeded progress and, ultimately, we are paving the way to our own extinction. It is high time, transhumanists tell us, to take the reins from Nature and assume full control over our (re)design by promoting enhancement on virtually every level, through the responsible use of science and biotechnology. This presentation engages transhumanism and the Christian tradition (writ large) on the matter of radical life extension. No longer within the realm of simple speculation, the idea of increasing human life expectancy by decades (at least) has become a serious scientific pursuit. Over the centuries, the Church has developed sophisticated doctrines on immortality, salvation, and transcendence that address human finitude, but these are described as being attainable only outside of, or beyond, the scope of this mortal, temporal human experience. The expectation of a growing number of scientists (and others) is that, in due time, humans will know indefinite longevity in the here-and-now.
Cory Andrew Labrecque, PhD, is professor of bioethics and theological ethics, and the inaugural chair of educational leadership in the ethics of life at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Université Laval in Quebec City, where he is vice-dean and director of graduate programs in theology. Cory earned a BSc in anatomy and cell biology, an MA in religious studies with specialization in bioethics, and a PhD in religious ethics at McGill. Cory’s teaching and research explore how the Abrahamic religions—with a focus on the Roman Catholic tradition—approach ethical issues in medicine, biotechnology, and the environment. He is especially interested in the context of aging, end-of-life ethics, and the human-nature-God relationship. Cory is a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which counsels the Vatican on ethical issues in medicine, biotechnology, and the environment. He is president-elect of the Canadian Bioethics Society, vice-president of the National Committee for Ethics and Ageing (in Quebec), and was recently appointed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group of the Canadian Council of Churches.