Endpoint: become a transhumanist or not (join Humanity +).
People often go through three stages in considering the impact of future technology: awe and wonderment at its potential to overcome age-old problems; then a sense of dread at a new set of grave dangers that accompany these novel technologies; followed finally by the realization that the only viable and responsible path is to set a careful course that can realize the benefits while managing the dangers. – Ray Kurzweil “The Singularity is near” p. 408.
After almost a year of personal (re)search and pondering, I find myself leaning more and more towards Transhumanist ideas and principles. My three remaining major concerns are:
1. Technology accessibility in the future. If technology is available only to the fortunate, then technology can easily be a source of conflict, death and destruction rather than an instrument for peaceful, prosperous and healthy living for all. Humanity + deals with this concern saying:
……everybody should have the opportunity to become posthuman. It would be sub-optimal if the opportunity to become posthuman were restricted to a tiny elite. Taken from here
2. A question that has been bugging me, and one that I feel the needed to find an answer to before calling myself a Transhumanist is
“why is something natural also regarded as something good ? – by default”.
And I think I have come up with (a somewhat unsophisticated) answer: Natural is good because many people (most of us ?) believe that we need to remain as self-sustainable as possible. Dependency on technology is just that….dependency, and that, together with lack of knowledge, may be what is scaring many of us. I do not however, feel scared myself, – and knowledge is out there to be grabbed by anyone….
3. The right to say no to technology. When it comes to medical genetic technologies, I have come to the conclusion that the single most important right is the right to say “no”. Freedom to say no to any technology must be an essential part of our technological future. To ensure personal freedom, but more importantly – to keep non-technological options alive – preserving diversity as well as potentially life-saving alternatives……The people that many transhumanists and singularitariens derogatorily label “bio-pundits” or “bio-conservatives” will be an important balancing factor in the future we are developing. Transhumanists do not have to agree with them, only respect their opinions and rights to make personal anti-technological choices.
Those three concerns out of the way, the only thing that remains now is to take the test leaflet to see if me and the Human + society is a match. Result:
7-10 points: You are a transhumanist. Go forth and share the memes.
I refuse to use the word meme, but be open about my transhumanist membership I will. One small reservation will be made in making this last quote my own…..:
………transhumanism is very diverse. It’s a phenomenon that may well look different in Italy (say) from how it looks in (say) California or Nairobi. Not only that, there may be considerable debate about the essence of transhumanism, or what is important to it, among different thinkers in Italy (or in California, or Nairobi, or wherever). Transhumanism is a cultural, social, and political movement with much internal variety and debate. –
the form and joining the fold. I am officially a transhumanist.And with that, I am filling in