Forum Philosophicum

Volume 24, Issue 2, Autumn 2019

Humanity Enhanced, Transformed, Abolished

Anna Bugajska
Pages 397-433

Will Postmortal Catholics Have “The Right to Die”?
The Transhumanist and Catholic Perspectives on Death and Immortality

The article discusses the transhumanist and Catholic perspectives on death and immortality within the speculation on the rise of a postmortal society, and asks the question if Catholics have the right to reject immortalist technologies. To address this problem, I first outline the ideas and technology leading to the rise of a postmortal society, and accept Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon as a counterfactual scenario. Further, the naturalistic and Catholic understandings of death are compared, and it is shown that despite superficial similarities, they are fundamentally different. Finally, I consider insights from the current debates on end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia and the right to die, since some of the reasons and motivations behind choosing to die will be different in the postmortal society. The analysis allows to provide a set of arguments and problems for further consideration when it comes to the rejection of immortalist technologies.