What next is a question asked the phrase makers? The first question is what is trans-humanism and what are its social implications? Trans-humanism is a concept whereby technology is used ethically to “expand human capacity” say writers at the trans-human website.
Vaguely humanism is a way of thinking about people and their ability to figure things out for themselves without the help of any divine intervention. That philosophical concept that started around two hundred years ago must be running out of fuel. It either needs a new base and some bolstering or else it needs to be crossed over.
With all newly coined phrases floating around, it’s hard to know what people are talking about. And that’s a problem when one wants to get in on conversations and add meaningful thoughts to what is being discussed. Understanding the purpose of these new discussion groups, bringing about a better life for people everywhere through technology and who can be against that? No one probably, but if the thoughts being presented are cloaked in new words and phraseology barely understandable, who benefits? On one website, the World Transhuman Association website, the name Ray Kurzwell popped up. He uses non-human means to perform human activities. Years ago on the internet a demonstration of a poetry making machine was exhibited. It was fun to see what the machine did with the words but it was nothing compared to Keats or to Shakespeare.
Ray Kurzwell is more than a curiosity. He is described as an inventor, an entrepreneur, an author and a futurist. That he is and more. Why was his name on the site? Some reporter passed along this headline “Ray Kurzwell wins 2007 H.G. Wells Award for Outstanding Contribution t0 Transhumanism.” Supposedly he is a Trans-humanist.
Another newsworthy bit: In March, 2008, in Memphis Tennessee, USA, the first conference on Artificial General Intelligence. (AFT-08) Those who get queezy stomachs over such talk and to those who do not embrace change; talk of transhumanism will interrupt their comfort zone. On this list are people who fear computers, thinking them wrong. Others, at least in the beginning thought them inventions of the devil. Maybe they were, but if that is true, maybe pencils too are in that category.
If that statement is true, it does not stop the Creator for using both for his purpose. It’s what humans do with technology that makes it either good or bad. So it is with trans-humanism. The word trans-humanism sounds as if it is a dull thud when first heard. The connotation is that it is something that goes against the created purpose of life. In reality it could be, or it could not be; it all depends on how it is used. Maybe it is humanism with a little religion thrown in.
Human progress through reasoning, science and technology is its game, Its stated purpose is to help mankind help itself. It believes in evolution, not revolution. It has a long list of what it opposes, universal eugenic enhancement programs, and the outlook it puts forth is positive.
It is against doom-mongering, against Western hand wringing, and it is for technology, reason and hard work. Who can argue with that? What is limiting to Tran humanism? The mind, of course. It’s not selfish to want to be all you can be. It’s what you intend to do with your better self once this cross over has come about, if it does, that will make it either good or bad. It’s about free individuals encouraging each other to be the best they can be; self concern and development for the disadvantaged, and much more wholesome sounding mental goodies.
It is against imposing one’s beliefs on others. Puerile mottos that have been around for eternity like live and learn’; you do your thing, I do mine’ are listed among its selling points. They insist it’s a place for those who are against extremist politics and bizarre ideas.
Most healthy were its four goals: eradicate disease, postpone aging, enhance mind and body and feed the world. These are certainly worthy goals and they cannot be attained overnight or by getting together and forming a club to talk about them. These are goals that will have to be inched toward and rethought, not grabbed and developed.
What are possible barriers? The first one being the unprepared mind of mankind to accept realities of things being as they were designed to be, and working from there. And coming into view those who want it, want it now, and want it their way.
This is referring to an interesting but disturbing happening in the world of Transhumanism. It already is schismatic. The first group,The World Transhumanist Association, is being accused by The World Transhumanist Society of becoming dictatorial and not playing according to Hoyle.
On the latter, the site that uses the word society in its organization has printed accusations against the leader of the first group. They can be read online. Check it out if you want to pursue the course of Transhumanism further. Like love itself, this new approach to what ails us does not seem to be running smoothly. Is it attempting to build beneath the heavens?