Sunday, January 5, 2014

Google to foster The Great Divorce.

Yesterday I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. In this fictional story it seems that upon dying every person goes to a place called The Town, which is a drab and violent village of ruffians. The Town is always in twilight but rumor has it that eventually an intense darkness will come bringing many demons and terrors with it. The residents of The Town are perfectly free to take the bus to another place that is in the light of dawn and waiting for the eventual sunrise. The people of the dawn land (Heaven) are filled with joy and plead with the residents of The Town (Hell) to stay and journey with them into the mountains where all their sorrows will be turned to joy. The vast majority of the residents decide, each for his/her own reasons, that it is better to stay in The Town. In The Town they can hold on to grudges and vices and have their own pet projects and be important and powerful and famous. Each individual is so attached to some person, place, thing, or idea that he/she will remain in The Town in order to hold onto it. How many of us would choose to stay in The Town?

I now see that Google has started a medical company called Calico to help make The Town a reality. The sentiment is that this world and this life may not be perfect but they're all we have and so we should cling to them as long as possible. Google has been quiet about what they actually plan to do, other than solve death, but CNN highlights current futurist research into possibilities such as "mind uploading" which would involve creating a digital "map" of the brain that can later be transferred to a robot or human clone, like installing an operating system. Come on, people! This is evil. And deep down, we all know it.

Rather than hope for salvation and redemption and eternal glory, Google plans to cheat death. But unless Google can also solve sin then they will bring us Hell on Earth because as St. Ambrose aptly wrote, "Without the assistance of grace, immortality is more of a burden than a blessing."

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