I am posting this discussion to find out how you would answer the following question

Transhumanism what do you think
1) Great idea were do I sign up!
2) Interesting idea don't think its for me though.
3) Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?

Personally I choose answer 1 because I think we as humans should do everything we can to improve our species. The question is what do you think and why?

EDIT: While it is true that there are many ethical issues involved in transhumanism the question is not "What do you think of the ethic involved?", but "Assuming the transhuman technology were available, and affordable, would you take advantage of it or not?" And yes I am aware that the ethical issues will influence some peoples answers however I would appreciate it if you actually answered the question at hand before commenting on the ethics of transhumanism. I don't mind the ethical debates but the purpose of the discussion was to find out what you would do if transhumanism were available. In light of this discussing weather or not we will ever be able to do this is beyond the scope of the discussion. Of course I have no control over what you do all I ask is that you at least try to stay close to the topic.


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I'm going to go with #2 on this one. I wouldn't mind being able to download my brain into the internet (actually maybe that isn't such a good idea) but my spidey senses started tingling when I heard Ray Kurtzweil announce that he intended to resurrect his dead father. The Singularity is Near makes some pretty extraordinary claims, but he also has some pretty strong evidence to back it up.

So mostly I'm of the opinion that I wouldn't mind having a few enhancments of my own, but I'll believe it when I see it. Hard AI is still a very abstract concept and 5 minutes with your average chat bot makes it clear that we have a very long way to go.

Desirable? Sure.

Plausible? Not so sure.
For some reason, I get this very...........'Huxley' feeling going on when I think about this. And to enter into the vein that mthoreau puts down, even if it were plausible, I can imagine having an even greater difficulty with passing laws in favor of its practice and execution than that of stem cell research. I can just imagine the large outcry. But, barring that scenario, even then I'm not sure if I'm in favor of it. I think 2 would my option there; I tend to have a naturalistic bent myself....meaning I'm more likely to eschew technology in favor of a more traditional approach, more likely to cut my reliance on technology in favor of old-fashioned methods....yes, I drive a vehicle, use a coffeemaker, running water, electricity, cell phone, I-Pod, calculators, etc. I'm not talking about those technologies that have become standards. I'm talking about any attempt to cybernetically or technologically enhance man in a direct way. I'm not against pacemakers or hearing aids. But those things seem to be indirect 'assistants' to humans, not "integrated" into them somehow (well, I suppose pacemakers are not a good example; I do believe that they put those INTO the heart, right?) And we already put bolts in people who receive certain types of injuries, say automobile accident victims. But that's a poor example, because it's not exactly technology, no more than a tourniquet is.

I agree that we should do *a great deal* to improve our species, or try. But not everything; there have to be limits.

Read "When Atheism Becomes Religion" by Chris Hedges, he talks about what can happen when man tries to play God or achieve earthly utopia.

Sarah, I would suggest to you that just because science and technology are headed into a certain direction doesn't mean that they *should* be, despite a point that might be stated like "they're headed in that direction because they're supposed to be headed in that direction, like evolution".

I also get the feeling that transhumanism would eventually raise more spectres than it would eliminate.
All technology goes through a series of stages on the path to general acceptance. These are the stages as I see them are:

1) rejection
2) limited acceptance
3) general acceptance

I-Pods and cellphones are at stage 3 and transhuman tech is somewhere between 1 and 2. Right now transhuman technologies are limited to fixing defects and injuries which is accepted fairly widely, but the idea of improving humanity is still not widely accepted or possible. As the ability to improve on what individuals are capable of becomes more common more and more people will want at least some form of enhancement, bringing transhumanism to stage 2. As the use of basic enhancement spreads the idea that more extensive enhancements are a good thing will become more common and people will start having more extreme procedures done, which leads to stage 3 acceptance.
Put be down as a vote for #1. Unless something incredible changes in physics, this is the only way I will have a reasonable chance to travel in space. By living long enough to see the discoveries and application of new advanced physics or by being able to live long enough to get around in space at low speed. I don't care which.
I would also like to visit the stars someday, and agree that the only way thats going to happen is through transhumanism.
I wouldnt mind having super strength thanks to cybernetic limbs.....okay, I've been watching too much Ghost in the Shell.

With that said, I'd say I am in the opinion of choice 2, mostly because we havent reached such technology yet. And even if we do, good luck getting an affordable price tag. Enhancements/improvements would be looked upon as a commodity (and they kinda are).

I would love to have increased strength, sight, hearing, and heck, maybe even telepathy (telekinesis?) to those who would have cyber brains! :D
True but eventually economics might very well change, I think they most likely will because as humanity changes what it can do physically and mentally our priorities will change and I personally think money may become less important to us. Though I do agree that in the early days of transhumanism getting radical enhancements will be expensive.
I agree when this becomes possible we will have to watch the legal issues very closely or risk losing rights.
Transhumanism does not necessarily mean robot bodies. Improvements which would require less power would be the first steps, including enhancements to cognitive capabilities. Also we cannot accurately predict technological developments more then a few years, if that, in advance so it is entirely possible that we will find a much more efficient and compact power source at some point which might allow human minds in robot bodies.

I find it interesting that you think that it would be impossible for us to one day transfer the mind from the organic brain to a synthetic one, which would require less power and no chemical plant to run thus reducing the resources needed to keep us 'alive'.
Transhumanism does not necessarily depend upon the singularity in order to be possible. I would also point out that the singularity as I understand it, which I admit may not be perfect, does not refer to all technologies improving exponentially but can be better understood as technologies improving to the point that they can improve themselves, such as cognitive implants increasing human intelligence which is then used to improve the next generation of implants and so on.
How about we solve the basics first - like food, water and energy.

This transhumanist crap - much like hollywood spiritual mumbo-jumbo and associated health fads - will go to the rich and stupid first. As if any of you plebs have the money or the connections to be the first kids off the block.
Hi, David!

Good question! I think it's kind of a "djini out of the bottle" type of thing. I don't care what any one says, twenty-five years from now and they can give you the choice of, "Well, you can die now, or we can install this brand new Wirhly Birdy (TM) Hearts, "GUARANTEED FAIL FREE FOR 100 YEARS!"- y'all will say, "Sign me the fuck up!" As long as you're still otherwise healthy and enjoying life, why not?

However, I imagine an ultimate conglomeration of nano-tech, robotics, genetic engineering. Poor health will be eleminated and death, barring accident, will be by choice. This future is not too far away. Whether you or I want such a future personally, the species will demand it! Evolution at work, baby!

Or we could just blow ourselves the fuck up- jury's still out.




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