This optimism--or fanciful obsession--became especially vivid to me when I heard the following story: one of my colleagues, a middle-aged professor of philosophy, went to a transhumanist
conference to learn more about this movement.
Weyland's plan to overcome the limitations imposed by his human form through any technological means makes him a transhumanist
, which Max More defines as follows:
Drawing from the writings of James Hughes (a contributor to this volume), Sorgner fairly states in his "Pedigrees" chapter, "The great majority of transhumanists
have a this-worldly, materialist, naturalist, relationalist or immanent understanding of the world" (30).
encourage taking any necessary step for self-enhancement by relying on any available technology.
"Transhumanism" can refer to the Transhumanist
(with a capital T) movement, which actively pursues a technologically enhanced future, or an amorphous body of ideas and technologies that are closing the biotechno gap, such as a robotic exoskeleton that enhances the natural strength of the wearer.
However, I set that sort of transhumanist
and fairly radical objection aside.
Blackman L, Featherstone M, 2010, "Re-visioning body and society" Body and Society 16 1-5 Bostrom N, 2005, "A history of transhumanist
thought" Journal of Evolution and Technology 14 1-25
believe in the moral obligation of the enhancement of human nature through science and technology, they perceive such goals as social progress.
Now, it is no longer just unborn children whose lives are in danger; "intellectuals" such as the infamous Professor Peter Singer of Princeton University are advocating for the legalization of the killing of newborns whom they do not consider "persons." The "Transhumanists
" are "intellectuals" who promote the eventual creation of a "posthuman" species, augmented with mechanical body parts like cameras built into the eye, and computer chip implants, finding happiness and fulfilment not through doing good for humanity but through permanent intoxication on euphoric drugs.
(Storage of just one's sawed-off head is a better deal, at $80,000.) Even stranger are the dreams of transhumanists
who see the connectome as the key not just to outlasting the body but transcending it.
This hope was already expressed before the coming of nanotechnology, by transhumanists
. Now they see nanotechnology as a possible means for realizing this ideal.
Many readers of Sherrard have found him to be too one-sided in his assessment of modern science, but perhaps, as I have already suggested, it is precisely his sort of criticism that needs to have a greater hearing in our own day, when an increasing cultural prestige is accorded to sociobiologists and transhumanists
and eugenicists of varying degrees of self-awareness.