Kudos for your efforts! I do believe you went beyond the box.
[Though my response isn’t exactly timely, I thought this subject worth the effort of a lil research over the course of a couple of days …. consideration … to provide an informed response, if you will. And a fascinating subject this is! And my last couple of days, which I spent in the company of a very Unforgiving headache, made my thoughts on this subject all the more steadfast. The following may be considered a knee-jerk reaction … that’s fine. In a sense it is. As with any controversial subject, it takes a bit of learning and consideration … to come to a conclusion or educated opinion. So … consider this my first response … as I am sure the next may growl with ferocity or, hell, it may purr with contentment, not sure yet. But for now, here we go.]
First, leaving the biology of human-ness behind??? Are you kidding me? Though the idea of “uploading” consciousness, memories, and everything else may be a great “storyline” for late nite SciFi, I don’t see how we can even stretch that far at this point. If anything, science seems to be exploring ways to Maintain our Human-ness as long as possible … cures for disease, preventative care, blah, blah, blah. Make it more tolerable, if not pleasant!– A naive thought, I am sure you will judge, but a passionately felt thought all the same.
Prior to your entry, I was vaguely familiar with the subject of transhumanism. And, yet, I find that I still consider it alien territory, no pun intended.
Why so much focus on Escaping??? Why do you wish to run from that which Makes YOU human? The lessons, physical experiences, etc … Granted, yes, it may be unpleasant (I have yet to reach the peaks and vantage point of age that you proudly proclaim) to wake up to a new pain, discomfort, etc …. But that is part of what makes our journey on this gigantic rock. Have you considered that maybe … just maybe … the entire Physical experience is just in addition to the emotional, psychological portions of this ride? Or that the physical Completes the Emotional and Psychologcial? That without one the rest are incomplete? Consider our views of the impaired and handicapped?
If it Weren’t for our biology, how do you figure we would acquire our experiences, emotions, etc?? To be able to feel pain and then experience the body’s ability to heal itself. Why take away such a remarkable gift; to merely “Escape” the inconveniences our existence may inflict upon us once in a while? Course, I am speaking from the other end of the spectrum where I am young enough to not find a reason to run away from the periodic inconveniences of my biological human-ness. Maybe when I view my existence from your heights I may feel differently, but I would like to own that Choice. Not have a mechanical, Man-Made replica thrust upon me when I hit a preconceived age where my supposed warranty runs out.
What if we were meant to continue as we are? Take this how I mean it and not how it sounds, but what if medicine is what has gotten in the way? Now, I do appreciate modern medicine. I DO. And I am thankful for what it has done for myself, my family, my friends, and humanity. However, I think that when it comes to the idea of transhumanism, that is taking things a bit too far. Doesn’t the whole concept detract from the value of maturity, experiences and learning? Even the physical aspect. The “battle-scars”, if you will. Those of advanced age, maybe not so much in our culture but in others, are revered as those to whom people look for wisdom, advice. And to many, their physical or “biological human-ness” serves to support/reinforce his or her societal stature. Passing experiences onto others, fueling knowledge, research, and LIFE are all compromised when you let go of the earthly aspect. Again, meaning, what are we made of???? Don’t you think that connection to the earth is valuable at all?
I don’t mean to sound on the attack, but you have made your point clear that transhumanism is the “only escapable step” but why do you seek an escape from the experiences generations before have faced … and most faced with dignity (despite their physcial maladies) I might add. Yes, there are those who are less fortunate who become incapacitated for whatever reason, and I feel for those individuals, I do. I have had family and friends who, due to unfortunate circumstances, were unaware of their surroundings, unable to care for themselves, etc … But shouldn’t one’s sense of moral responsibility, humanity step in and take responsibility to care for such individuals? Isn’t a bit of a sneaky way out to push for a mechanical take-over of sorts to spare an individual pain that sometimes intrudes on life?
Consider it all a learning experience. A moral test. A testament to one’s honor …. k, I am reaching here. But still, I have a difficult time understanding how it is that if you “upload” someone’s consciousness that she/he would still retain his or her human-ness? Isn’t that a contradiction? Course, I would suppose it isn’t, but essentially saying that consciousness makes human-ness and is perfectly complete without the biological? Am I interpreting that correctly? Again, uncharted territory, alien subject matter,and my helmet is fogging up.
And, just to throw this out there, if Death is (obviously?) a portion of the escapist mentality that so adamantly supports transhumanism, what if that too is part of the process. Then you cheat yourself out of that promotion (exit, vacation, trip) you have toiled on this earth for so long to earn? acquire? receive? (Fill in appropriate word here, I am at a loss) Suffered all those aches and pains, discontent, disappointment, and sadness … to be “mechanically-promoted”, so that you may live on indefinitely and witness even more discontent, disappointment and sadness. Granted, you don’t have to worry about the aches and pains anymore, or even getting Old. But you do get to be witness to the continued struggle of man trying to conquer man, man trying to conquer earth, and all the wondrous interludes that may transpire. Sucky prospects, huh? Personally, I don’t adopt that mentality, but it was something I thought I should throw out there to see if I get any nibbles, b/c you know inevitably, the conversation will lead in that direction … sometime.
Let’s say for a minute, you are onto something. Something that would be fabulously popular and accepted unconditionally by the masses? Firstly, who says that the “Pilot” “Doc” “Oz” whomever is in charge of the “uploading” process wouldn’t take liberties? Yes, this is obviously a distrust of others, but seeing how humans behave, how they react when given certain powers, etc …. would you really trust someone else to be in charge of pushing THAT button? This may be a lame, defensive argument, but you gotta admit that there are some out there that you may not want in the same room with your Import Bod 3000, let alone allowing him or her the privilege of making you YOU with a flip of the switch.