You can find my point-of-view on transhumanism. It is part of a series of articles on the topic on KedgeForward.

Here is the full text for convenience:

 

“My view is that humanity is already moving towards a transhuman, beyond biology, species. We have taken little steps. This will be a gradual shift in what we are made of, as well as for our mindsets, unless some dramatic events precipitate humanity’s steps towards it. The forces pushing us are a combination of technology and the essence of humanity, which feed each other. As an example over the next few decades we will discuss the potential impact of a demographic peak, which is the turning point for the population increase, in which case we end up seeking to sustain the human resource balance by extending life. The other scenario is that we could actually grow well beyond the forecast nine billion. In that case we would need to seek new ways of inhabiting either the Earth or some other currently inhabitable place. In either case we will need to look into enhancing our abilities to sustain life. In a similar manner we may need to seek to become a more resistant species in the extreme case of climate change, cooling to ice-age in the Northern parts of Europe and extreme droughts and other patterns in southern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Human search for longevity, wellness and performance is age-old, even to the point of seeking eternal life. As the potential for augmentation increases, in a similar manner to plastic surgery, little by little we enhance our make-up, no pun intended, through technology, as it becomes more acceptable societally and psychologically. The decisions we face can be very profound. Do I decide to live with a biology, accident or calamity based issue or do I seek to improve my functioning? How about living a good life? A lifetime as it stands today seems not to be long enough for wisdom and leaving a legacy. Some wake up very late to their ‘calling’, this may push them to seek assistance for their longevity. Humanity as a whole may need this in order to progress. In reality human augmentation is already happening. Just like a toaster, which we no longer consider to be technology, our pace-makers, implants, meshed bones and so on do not seem like technology. These technologies have become transparent and hence acceptable and yet in the direction of transhuman existence. Technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology make it very difficult to even decipher anymore where the line between physics or biology and technology is.

Many technologies, including those related to transhuman species, carry within them some ethical and moral dilemmas, and most of them also present dangers of misuse. If I augment myself because I might have the means to do it, what about others? What about the younger generations? Are we in danger of killing humanity by augmenting those already on the planet? Who decides who gets to be augmented and who not? Do we check the biology potential first and then make that even better or do we leave the biology as is and then add to it through technology, or improve both? These discussions will lead humanity to hot water and are a reason why this transition will not be a fast one but rather by circumstance. The development for technologies allowing for a super human to exist necessarily needs to happen before we need it on a large scale, which in turn leads to the need for management, open discussion and humanity beneficial frameworks.”

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