To keep my remarks in context, I have no problem with asserting that faith and science are valid means of finding truth, and firmly believe both can and do work together. For example, I believe science has contributed much to our understanding of the creation process on this earth, a point that revelation gives only an outline of phases and an order and purpose for creation. I'm fully convinced, through science, that the process must have taken millions of years and involved gradual changes. I'm also thrilled to see the Church using technology to further God's work on earth in many ways.
Science, due to its nature, is a much slower method of gaining truth than direct revelation, but it can work very well. For example, revelation taught us in 1833 that tobacco was bad for the body and that we needed lots of grains, fruits and vegetables, yet science took at least 100 years or more after that to come to the same conclusion.
My concern throughout this discussion is not about whether science is compatible with religion or whether science and technology are now used now and can and should be used to promote "positive futures." I fully agree with that. My problem is that the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation (MTA) asserts that essentially science can do some things, such as forgiveness of sin, that, in fact, belong in the realm of faith, not science. The level of emphasis of the MTA is on what man and science can do, not a humble reliance on God, His will, and His word.
On this key point, Lincoln essentially agrees with me--that our goal should be the unification of our wills with God and Christ. But in his agreement with me, he relies on his own personal beliefs, not those of the MTA, and admits that
"the MTA does not advocate specific positions on the extent to which positive human futures, whether we describe them as "salvation" or "exaltation", depend on God and Christ."That's the core of my concern. Scripture and Mormon Doctrine are abundantly clear that God and Christ are absolute requirements for exaltation, which is a clearly-defined state of cleanliness from sin as a result of Christ's atonement, not just a generic or undefined set of "positive futures." On the other hand, Mormon Transhumanism advocates science not just as a means of understanding truth, but as a means for exaltation. Those are two dramatically divergent viewpoints.
I'll get to our discussion of the next two affirmations in future posts.