Transhumanism is presently defined as mankind’s enhancing itself and steering the course of its own evolution. It is explained that this would be done by post human body and brain augmentation so that one is no longer human.
It is stated that Transhumanism is guided by an evolving vision and that Transhumanists do not play God. However, it is admitted that the discipline has its roots in secular humanist thinking in which there is no God, only scientists, bio-ethicists and the government. Humanity is promised boundless pleasures and great personal development because we will be virtually immortal. We will experience greatly enhanced love, intellectual brilliance and we will discover values of a far higher order than we can attain as non-enhanced biological human beings.
The Transhumanists cite as their top ten technologies, cryonics, virtual reality, space colonization, cybernetics, autonomous self-replicating robots, molecular manufacturing, mega scale engineering, mind uploading, artificial general intelligence and gene therapy/RNA interference. Some of these technologies or proposed technologies have been dealt with by various science fiction writers, in the past and it did not end well. Of particular interest to this writer is the genetic component of the master plan of the Transhumanists. This science is well underway, is advancing by leaps and bounds and therefore, if one looks askance at Transhumanist thinking, creates the most imminent threat of all. A book, that I read some fifty years was brought to mind. It was titled “The New Genesis” and dealt with the danger of “designer babies”, where people could pick out the sex and every other genetic detail of their child and the foolishness of believing that the intervention of personal human demands to supplant nature and evolution could lead to anything but disaster. Of course, immortality, or, a variation thereof is an indispensible part of it all. It come in the form of something called “longevity escape velocity”, produced by gene therapy as part of a program of a gentleman by the name of Aubrey de Gray entitled “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence”. That is, every year that we live, we gain an extra year of life and so on and so on. Transhumanists believe that their advances will occur so rapidly that monitoring and regulation will be incapable of any meaningful slowdown of their progress. But, three questions present themselves
should any of this advance beyond the dream stage:
1. Who or what controls all of this?
2. Who or what has the wisdom to exercise such control?
3. Who or what will decide how these sciences and Transhumanism, itself, will be applied?