Some Transhumanism Articles

The cloyingly intellectual webzine The Global Spiral devoted their June issue to Transhumanism; hat tip to Austrailian Transhumanist Russell Blackford who critiqued each of the six articles on his blog MetaMagician3000. The article by Ted Peters starts with a darn good summary of what Transhumanists generally believe and value, but in the second half he winds up pulling his punches so as not to seem a "luddite" and seems to endorse a "careful" version of Transhumanism that keeps a watchful eye out for bad applications. Perhaps that's why Russell thought it was the best article. Katherine Hayles also chickens out, making a point to disagree with Francis Fukayama (who I've emailed a couple times), saying "I do not necessarily agree with Fukuyama’s argument that we should outlaw such developments as human cloning with legislation forbidding it". I think she, like most people in this debate, is making the mistake of not appreciating what a ban would do.

Most Transhumanists frame the question as: should we keep moving toward this post-human future, where we could eradicate diseases and enhance human capabilities and even achieve Universal super-intelligence, or (the sole alternative), should we let the "anti-science" and "luddite" Chicken Littles keep us stuck in this disease-ridden world because they fear change? They never consider that a ban would be change, and they are desperately trying to maintain the status quo. A ban on genetic engineering would be a radical and revolutionary change, not only causing a massive shift in funding to health care and prevention and research aimed at helping existing people today, but it would have an enormous positive effect on every person's sense of responsibility and self-worth, by affirming each of our lives as fully equal and deserving of dignity and respect. Affirming that all people are and forever will be "created equal" as the child of a man and a woman, and have the same right as everyone to reproduce with their unmodified gametes, will be a big change, it will make people stop assuming that technology is our only hope, that we are only in the way. Instead, we will be the only hope, and that affirmation of our responsibility as an integral part of nature will be felt the world over. Choosing to maintain the Transhumanist status quo is missing out on how beautiful life will be in a post-Transhumanism world. We need to put Transhumanism behind us as soon as possible.

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