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What does it mean to be human? Transhumanists want to use technology to enhance the human body. What are the ethical considerations for enhancing human biology with technology? Are we less human with genetic engineering or technical enhancements to the body? We use technology everywhere else in our lives and, no doubt, humanity is better for technological developments. So what's so dangerous?


To think scientifically is to think dangerously. Scientists, from Copernicus to Galileo to Darwin, are among the many "Great spirits [who] have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds," as Einstein so eloquently put it...

Transhumanism is, at its artificial heart, a simple idea: humans should not be limited by our biology. We forget things, we are irrational, we are vulnerable, we get sick, we age, we die. But we don't have to do or be any of those things. Science and technology from every branch and every direction is slowly chipping away at each of these problems. Each tiny step aggregates and converges towards a world in which humans are free to live as long as they want, to love and reproduce with whomever and however they choose, to be as smart, as strong, and as happy as possible. The suffering and death that accompany much of our very existence (and perhaps give it meaning) would be reduced and, maybe, just maybe, eliminated. Human nature would be fundamentally altered; which is why Francis Fukuyama has called transhumanism the "Most Dangerous Idea in the World." I agree, and that danger, that essential threat to what we are, is why I believe we should, nay must, promote human enhancement...

Transhumanism, more than any idea in the world today, threatens our very way of being. It asks us to release the last vestige of religion, the last bastion of superstition and bias - that is, transhumanism asks us to reject the delusion that our biology defines us, that our failings are our successes, that human nature is anything but change itself...

Human beings have been evolutionarily selected to be adept at dealing with change itself. Every major revolution in human history, from the discovery of fire to the agricultural revolution to the rise of the digital age the human mind has shown its unparalleled plasticity. We are a species that has evolved to evolve beyond biology. It is time for us to embody that ability.

The Most Dangerous Idea in the World


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Sep 20, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=330

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