News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

The Transhumanist Responsibility


Read Richard’s current thoughts about transhumanism and related fringe topics here.

With transhumanism under fire in Missouri [website defunct, link removed], I recently discussed the issue with family members. I wrote a couple things that summarize the difference between the beliefs of transhumanists and their critics:

“[M]y only respect and support is for life, sentient or not, physically immortal or not, technologically enhanced or not. I have rarely been patriotic and if this means I need to move from the United States to another country that supports basic human rights – including the right to choose technology as I see fit to modify or enhance my body – then I will do so happily.

“The right to choose technology also includes the right not to choose technology. Therefore, the responsibility of transhumanists is far greater than critics of transhumanists can every claim: in seeking modification and enhancement, transhumanists must fully support and protect those who do not seek modification and enhancement. “

The debate over transhumanism already rages, despite the lack of awareness in the general public. As advanced technologies of human modification and enhancement become available in the next few years and the topic begins to show up in popular discussion, the debate over their use and accessiblity will inevitably turn violent. I hope that transhumanists understand their responsibility now, and can somehow prepare for the day when so many turn against them. Any response must remain true to the tenants of transhumanism, or all transhumanist efforts will have been in vain.

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