H+ TRANSHUMANISM

Several months ago, I realized I needed to learn more about the field of Artificial Intelligence and so I decided to do some research on the subject. I read Hugo De Garis’s book “The Artilect War – Cosmists vs. Terrans.” It was written for the general public and was a great place to start to learn the language and concepts being used in the AI field today. Because I read it, now when I read articles about AI written by Bill Gates or Elon Musk, I am now more able to readily assimilate the information and contextualize it.

Another area that overlaps part of the AI field is the field of Transhumanism. So, what exactly is Transhumanism? Transhumanism is the enhancement of the human body through technological, genetic, mechanical or synthetic means. It is a broad field with scientists and researchers moving forward to actualize their goals to move human beings past their biological limitations and create a “new and improved human.” This human will not be fully human, but will have enhancements in one form or another in their bodies, brains, or genetic makeup. It will literally be a Human 2.0.

If we have an artificial hip or shoulder, have we become a Transhuman? Technically, no. Anything we do to our bodies in order to bring them back to a normal functioning level is not Transhumanism. Although, while reading this book,  I did call my husband a Cyborg because he had an artificial hip. Needless to say, he was not amused! In other words, just replacing worn out body parts is not Transhumanism. A person is still a Human 1.0 who has had this kind of surgery.

Just as I needed a primer on AI, I needed a primer on Transhumanism to begin to understand the concepts and where the scientific research is taking us. I chose the book, “The Milieu,” by Dr. Thomas R. Horn for my initial introduction into the subject. 

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This book has nine other contributing authors who tackle the bioethical concerns relating to this subject. The authors give the reader the historical context of where the idea of Transhumanism originated and how the scientists got where they are today. They each take a different area of this vast subject and share their view of how this research will affect us in the future. When does a person move from being a human to being a Transhuman? If we allow animal DNA to be implanted in our bodies, have we ceased being human? Will an animal/human hybrid still have a soul? What are the societal implications of Transhumanism? These and many more questions are explored in the book.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this emerging field. Although many in our society are not discussing this subject, all of the leading nations of the earth are moving forward with their research in this area. The hope of producing a “super soldier” through genetic mutation, mechanical augmentation and brain implantation is no longer in the realm of science fiction. It is being played out in laboratories throughout the world every day of the week.

When I started this book, I was concerned that I wouldn’t understand it and that it would be too technical for me. Yes, I did have to look up several words in order to understand the initial concepts in the first few chapters, but after that it was pretty much smooth sailing. By the time I was about at page 80, I had moved from being concerned that I wouldn’t understand it to being concerned that I did understand it as I was becoming more aware of where the scientific research is taking us as a human race.

Transhumanism is quickly moving from the realm of science fiction to real science and I would hope we would all become educated about the biological, societal and spiritual implications that come with it. Better to begin to be aware of what is coming than wake up one day and have to try to form some sort of bioethical groundwork for how this will affect us societally. After all, most of us are still  Humans 1.0.

16 thoughts on “H+ TRANSHUMANISM

  1. I believe the change will be subtle. Gradually more and more joint replacements and organ replacements. Little bit by little bit. One day someone will be the first person to seriously ask themself, “Am I still human?” Eventually, I am guessing, There will be little left that we would call human.

    The question as always will be, “Who am I?” After my brain injury, when so many of the things that I called “me” had been unalterably changed, I went through what is called by the medical community a “loss of identity.” I mention this to show what a destabilizing concept Identity can be. The physical being can change, the inner being is mutable but constant.

    Thank for bringing this fascinating subject up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for you thoughtful and insightful comment. Yes, you are so right! The changes will be subtle and then we will have to ask ourselves about our humanity.
      There are many things that trouble me about Transhumanism. Genetic implantation of animal DNA for one and then of course, implantation of devices in our brain to connect with a computer system that will be able to read our thoughts. Some of it is very scary indeed!

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  2. Creepy stuff. You are right though, we need to be aware and research or even check in with science to see if it is going in the “right” direction. I recently read an article where there is a factory making these perfect AI dolls for personal use for men and women. There goes our human race if people think we are going to look as perfect as a doll. I am not afraid of it but leary instead. I don’t like it but it feels as though all we can do is pray for the future of technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we can pray and be aware of what is coming down the pike. Some of these trends will be marketed to the general public at some point and we will have to decide if we want certain implants (especially those in the brain). Some will jump at the chance to have the “Internet” wired into their brain. That is the creepy part! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome. I totally agree that we need to be aware and not just be stargazers of technology and how far it has come. We need to know where it is going. Trust me, doctors are getting pushy with my treatment and I am like no you can’t crack my head open for exploring! I don’t know what you are doing… I don’t know. I don’t star gaze so much at man’s work as Much as I marvel at God’s handiwork.

        Liked by 1 person

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