transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
What is the transhumanist Revolution?
Or even better why is transhumanism a revolution? The word revolution evokes strong and most likely violent imagery; conflict and war are also typically associated with the word revolution; and I named this article that way for an opposite reason.
Is not that I want to associate violence and conflict with the transhumanist movement, quite the opposite; I believe that the transhumanist movement will only keep gaining strength and that it would be beneficial and in the best interest for humanity.
But that being said what better way of addressing the most negatives arguments against transhumanism than tackling the head on, this is the first on a series of articles where I attempt to address the main arguments and criticism against transhumanity.
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: “There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris” (McGeorge Bundy).
This argument basically accuses humanity of trying to play ‘God’. Now there are two branches on which the phrase ‘playing God’ is used one is in the secular sense, meaning that secular humanist believe that tampering with the human biology has higher risk than rewards and thus it should be avoided, and while the secular argument does have some validity; let’s go back to the first one and address the argument from the theological point of view.
Against ‘God’ plan
The Vatican has been one of the main critics of the transhumanist movement and any related technologies, going as far as to calling genetic manipulation an ‘immoral act against god’; this belief is derived from the notion that man was created in the image of God and that anything that changes the genetic identity of a man is radically immoral.
The problem is that the Vatican decided to draw the line of what defines a human being at the genetic code; but the fact of the matter is that defining what makes human is still very much out for debate. A hundred years ago a man with a prosthetic leg or even a hard would have probably raised the same concerns, or let’s even forget the artificial aspect for a second; the catholic church battled for many years on the subject of organ transplant.
In that sense there is a fair amount of hypocrisy going around when transhumanism is called playing ‘God’, if you truly want to make that argument from an honest position, you would have to reject every single advance that modern medicine has made:
- Organ transplants
- Artificial Organs
- Cancer Treatments
- Prosthetics (even the most basic ones)
And while modifying the genetic code and improving our own biology does sound like playing ‘God’; we have been playing ‘God’ for as long humanity has tried to cure disease and heal our sick.
The difference is that technology capable of taking us a step beyond treatment and prevention, to a point where human might be in control of their own evolution. And while is easy to be scared by change, we have to recognize that a big part of what define us has human beings is the constant search for change and improvement and not the stagnation that fear brings.