A LIVING SACRIFICE

In his letter to the Romans, Paul stated, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”

When does this stop being true?

Is there a time when your body stops being a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God?

Does it happen when you become morbidly obese?

Is staring into a screen most of the day, day after day, displeasing?

What of those born by means of stem cells transformed into human tissue grown outside the body?

Born following significant gene editing?

Injured in war and with both legs and arms replaced by bionics?

On steroids? On brain medications?

Those who have embedded their skin with LEDs and processors, who glow and compute, their thoughts automatically sent to the cloud.

Ever? If not, why not? When does a human start and stop being human? Our tech is already stretching the boundary.

This study suggests that a man — “man” — undergoes hormonal changes when his wife is pregnant.

Levels of oxytocin, the so-called ˜cuddle hormone, almost double in fathers between the time the mothers become pregnant and the first months of fatherhood. Prolactin, the hormone that triggers lactation in women, was almost a fifth higher in fathers of infants than in non-fathers. Fatherhood also physically alters the brain. In a 2014 study, researchers scanned mens brains in the first month after their children were born, and then again after the fourth month. It turned out that gray matter grew in areas linked to reward, attachment and complex decision-making.

What happens if this hormonal change never goes away? Or never shows up? What of the father who pumps himself full of this hormone, addicted to the joyous love of his little baby?

There is a gene that some have which predisposes them to studying. It’s going away:

The genes that predispose people to attain higher levels of education have been in decline over the past 80 years, and researchers are suggesting that they’re now under negative selection, which could have a big impact on our species in the coming centuries.

As computing spreads everywhere, maybe we don’t need this gene? Let’s literally edit it out, making room for other senses. Will our bodies still be holy and pleasing?

I wonder if we can develop something that adds or takes away — or both — from our bodies so that God simply refuses to find it holy and or pleasing.

Will publicly professed atheists demand access to it?

Many people hear voices. There is a semi-controversial treatment which has the sufferers engage the voices, rather than attempting to silence them — typically done via alcohol, medication, or suicide, or a combination of the three.

In his 20s, while working as a janitor and selling drugs to scrape together college tuition, Hadge self-medicated with alcohol and heroin to drown out the voices. Over the years, he spent time in nearly every hospital in western Massachusetts, from Springfield to Deerfield to the Berkshires. He was told at different times that he had bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, trauma, and schizophrenia. Hadge didnt put much stock in the diagnoses because they kept changing.

I predict we are less than 15 years away from the widespread use of technology which can direct sound — or voices — to individuals. Walk into a store and a voice only you hear says, “hello, welcome, these are today’s specials.”

Then a hacker will have the voices only you hear always be threatening.

And some will install tech which makes them hear the voices louder, or blocks them altogether.

There may be tech that ends our blindness or enables us to resuscitate, using lab-grown organs and all manner of electronics, those who have been dead for, say, 7 days.

We are radically altering our bodies and brains and constructing a world where our bodies and brains interact with everyone and everything in a manner which has never existed before. I assume God will still allow us, notwithstanding all our upgrades and alterations, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, even those brought back to life after a week on ice, but I’m not completely certain.