2084 Book Review: Is Humanity Approaching Orwellian Dystopia

2084 Book Review: Is Humanity Approaching Orwellian Dystopian Danger

Oxford University mathematician John C. Lennox’s 2084: Artificial Intelligence and Future of Humanity is, I think, a review book on Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus, a theistic response to the atheistic views on Artificial Intelligence. Lennox does it conveying biblical teaching and is based on theistic scientists and philosophers’ perspective, especially of C.S. Lewis.

2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity is one of the top 10 books I have been reading about Artificial Intelligence and its supposed adverse effect on humanity.

Lennox refutes the statement of Harari “Having raised humanity above the beastly level of survival struggles, we will now aim to upgrade humans into gods and turn Homo sapiens into Homo Deus”, which is feasible through AI, such as Superintelligence or Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) that he thinks come about by 2084.

Lennox sees people’s struggle to deify themselves to gods is never new. people like the Roman emperor Julius Caesar always tried to assume themselves the position of god or demigod. his perfect example is the Fall of Man in the Old Testament where we see the fall of was accentuated by the desire of man to be equal to their Creator by disobeying the command of not consuming the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And of course, the time when the people wanted to build a tower as high as to as reach heaven. He fears that if one day just as God breathed life into Adam modern people may one day be able to breathe life into robots. Given the idea of free will or freedom, those robots may one day, just like Adam and Eve, turn against their creator. which in turn becomes the Lawlessness in biblical terms by assuming absolute power.

Moreover, Lennox views that robots with human-level intelligence are impossible without conscience. for him conscience and intelligence are inseparable, and what modern men are trying is building intelligence decoupling conscience. Moreover, it lacks the sense of work, language/communication and relationship. For the time being, he says, worrying about evil AI is a bit like worrying about overcrowding on Mars.

He rather tactfully asks, “Is it also possible that the artificial intelligent design proponents might just be wrong about the future – in thinking that the human mind can create artificial life?”

For him, a Homo Deus or Man God is already among us, Jesus. he speculates that AI may be more dangerous than atomic physics to build nuclear bomb as it is accessible to many people and does not need sophisticated facilities.

Totalitarianism Through AI

Lennox fears that people’s trading of freedom for security will give rise to a totalitarian government with absolute power. We can observe the rise of that trend as we look at what the Chinese government is doing to control its citizens. The social control surveillance systems.

The surveillance system adds social credit points to every citizen’s account as rewards for their government-approved behaviour – like using public transport, keeping fit, and reporting on someone who has seen with large amount of foreign currency. They get more facilities such as access to a wider range of jobs, mortgage opportunities, school placement for their children etc. as their points accumulate, which he called, Surveillance communism.

I agree with what he says that our technology’s gathering of our data can create Orwellian Big Brothers who would control our thoughts. He quotes Hanna Arendt who says, that in trying to create a perverse heaven on earth, totalitarian systems acknowledge no limit either on their conduct or their aspiration. they take Dostoyevsky’s chilling warning that if God does not exist everything is permitted”.

Lennox, moreover, adds “And as we observe developments in China, we shall scarcely be surprised either to see it associated with totalitarian social control. It is, alas, not difficult to imagine that programme being rolled out around the world.” This control may one day give birth to states like Nazi Germany.

Another concerning fact about AI is its data harvesting which he thinks can be used not only to inform us but to control us. where China is already using AI in order to achieve social control where citizens are under state surveillance. the state uses facial recognition system to observe people’s behaviour and awards points.

Though critical to his view on Homo Deus, man’s aspiration to be divine and emerge as gods, Lennox could not avoid some grim reality of the impact of technology. Here, he quotes him, “Eventually we may reach a point when it will be impossible to disconnect from this all-knowing network even for a moment. Disconnection will mean death.”


The quest AGI or Superintelligence is to enhance human beings through a project called Transhumanism, a philosophical and intellectual school to advocate the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies which can prolong human longevity, enhance cognition and well-being etc.

It involves cyborgs, whole-brain emulation, cryonics and germline modification. transhumanist artifacts through AGI may become more intelligent than their creators and take away jobs and worse even, rebel and destroy them as inferior of no further value. Lennox says, “Transhumanism is an attempt at human self-deification”.

Furthermore, he views The transhumanist Homo deus project as a parody of this Christian teaching which tells that human upgradation is only available in Christ who died to provide us an upgraded life, which is to become children of God by trusting Christ. The Homo Deus project seeks to upgrade us; God gives us new life. Christ himself describes this life as eternal life, God’s life in us, untouchable by death.

If we do not develop it soon; we may unwittingly invite the transhumanists to deface humanity with their genetic bulldozers and psychotropic shopping malls, he says.

Creation Out Of Control

Human history shows that we have used our autonomy to get out of control. “That is exactly what drives the fears around AI. What if our creations get out of control? Will a superintelligent Homo deus do to the rest of us what we have done to God?”, Lennox put that into perspective, and I think rightly.

At every turn, it would seem, humanity’s efforts to achieve divinity have been associated with an overweening arrogance and a sense of superiority that, far from achieving something superhuman, has produced something terrifyingly subhuman and bestial. The more they try to elevate themselves, the more they sink into a morass of violence and tyranny, as was horrifically demonstrated in the twentieth century.

World Government

going by the apocalyptic prediction of Revelation chapter 13 where John visions a beast with ten horns signifies ten kings who handover their power or one newly emerged beat, Lennox views that the world power will be concentrated in one man or in one country, meaning the world government. whoever these simultaneously existing powers might be they voluntarily or forcibly hand over their reign to one dictator, the Lawlessness as per Paul, a best in Daniel and Prometheus for Max Tegmark in his Life 3.0.

Lennox predicts a world government propagated by AGI or Superintelligence. He presents his reasons for this. Could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might. Firstly, the increasing national issues like global warming, financial crisis and terror on war are constantly unifying governments. secondly, the transport and communication revolution and, thirdly, the change of the global political atmosphere which pushes the global leaders to a global solution to the global issues.

Through technology, the ancient dream of a global government is about to become true in the near future.

Above all, Lennox’s biggest concern is the sin of humanity, not AI, not politics. There he is pessimistic about the benevolence of Superintelligence for humanity or rescuing it from sin. “The attempt to make a superintelligent Homo Deus will neither lead back to God nor lead to God, but rather to the greatest rejection of God the world has ever seen”, says Lennox.

Let us, therefore, live with the myriad cameras and tracers in our lives in such a way that even the monitors can see that we have been with Jesus. Almost half the 2084 is filled with the biblical text especially those related to the Fall of man, resurrection and ascension of Christ and return of Christ and emergence of the Lawlessness.

One might mistake it for a religious book written proselytising Christianity. Overall it is a good book for those who want to know how to adapt, accept and cope with technological changes without losing faith in God.

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