You came up with a well constructed and written, lucid and common-sense set of arguments against transhumanism. Just what I wanted. You have confirmed my belief that transhumanism is the ONLY solution to the human problem.
Because there is nothing common-sense about the arguments FOR this technology.
That of course, is what makes it outside the box thinking and why I align myself with it’s principles.
Let’s dissect your position point-by-point:
You begin with the observation that our society, politically strives to maintain the “human-ness” of it’s population. I can’t argue that. That is precisely why it is important to transcend it. A “human” populace is the highest order of animals that can be “farmed” by the upper echelon of itself. I do not wish to be farmed anymore. Perhaps I am among the few that feel this way…perhaps not. I do not wish to be governed by my own kind. I do not need it. Period.
Next you question why I would want to escape my biology. In my view, biology is merely a tool to reach consciousness. By itself, biology is merely a kind of messy “thing” replete with an on-board set of survival instructions for the biological entity itself. Nothing more. So why wouldn’t I want to escape/transcend it? It’s like those people that always keep the packing box for their new computer, in case they don’t like it or something. I say get the technology that we have “paid” for, then cut up and recycle the box it came in. We have evolved to the point that this packing case is no longer necessary…and it isn’t important. The important thing is where our consciousness and intellect can take us, as a once-biological body.
Then you move on to all sorts of praise for emotion and psychology. Emotion is merely a defense mechanism. Psychology and it’s hebrew-marketed “deeper meanings” is also a remnant of the survival instructions from ancient periods in our history, where anger and jealousy and love and fear, kept our species alive and improving toward the next step in our evolution. All these phenomena are meaningless in the scope of what we must become. Although this comes off as a bit cold and calculating, think about it. When we can “feel great” about a love affair…or “proud” of the accomplishments of ourselves or our children…doesn’t that also “FEEL GREAT” to our bodies? Don’t you feel a “tingle” when something good happens to you? Don’t you feel physically sick when you witness a tragedy or lose at “love”? That is the purpose.
To give us purpose to carry onward…upward. We will not need these emotions and they will become a thing of the past that were merely there to protect our soft physical bodies. Emotions are either a reaction to something physical going on in our soma, or something that is designed to help our bodies to continue to survive. As in “depression is just god’s way of telling you to blow your brains out”. We have always, in my humble opinion, ascribed entirely too much importance to these feelings. Abnormal psychology is merely congenitally defective “wet-ware”. Period. No further analysis required.
Also you query where we would be without the wisdom and council of the aged. Huh? In exactly which century are YOU living? We have not revered nor relied on the wisdom of the aged since the days before Guttenburg. We don’t have to. We can read. We have the wisdom of the ages at our fingertips(when we get by our “biological” master’s censorship). The aged have become nothing but a portent to our own end, a source of grief for the loss of what our loved ones used to be, and an expensive pain in the ass to take care of.
As far as your observation that we are somehow connected to this rock from which we sprung…I guess. However my consciousness/intellect feels no more connection
to it than the afore mentioned cardboard shipping carton. Of course they are both carbon-based, but that would only make sense chemically, and not to be cause for yet another “emotional” trauma. Our connection to this planet is merely transitory in the “blink-of-an-eye” that we humans have been so far in it’s history. Again, I must stress here, that this process of transhumanism will be an agonizingly long period in our history. It has already begun. As we know the advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology and medical research into stem-cell harvesting has already produced encouraging results. And with these jumps and starts we will see more and more mechanization of the biology of humans….but it will take a LONG time to reach the full transitions that I am writing about.
As far as your examples of the physically handicapped…I offer exhibit A: Stephen Hawking. By his own admission, he is wholly more absorbed in his craft of mathematics BECAUSE of his physical limitations. Proof in point of my assertion that the mental capabilities of our beings are hampered by our biology. From senseless emotions to the distraction of physical pain, we are held back by our bodies. Perhaps at some point after our complete ascension, the mathematicians among us will be able to figure out why six times seven ISN’T really 42.
Which brings up your astute question of what constitutes “human-ness”? In my estimation, we have yet to find out. However, we will. But only when we release ourselves from this physical imprisonment of biology. Will our individuality be uploaded with our memories? I don’t know. But I tend to think it will…for what are we but our memories, which provide us with our ability to cope with the future?
Whoever “pushes the button” for our uploads is irrelevant. Your concepts of evil machinations concerning these next cosmic steps are again rooted in survival-fear. The whole of the human concepts of good and evil are nothing more than a morality that places “good” – life/survival affirming, above “evil”- survival hindering. You see it doesn’t matter once we become machines. A physical mad scientist( I assume this is whom you are trembling over) can have no power over a transcended being. You cannot make a machine suffer in pain. You cannot exploit a computer that has a will. Especially when the one that may wish to exploit, not only does not have fear to wield…they are still human in the biological form themselves and are inferior in every sense. But this is the stuff of science-fiction anyway. Those with enough vision to participate in such an experiment will understand and disregard the creature-comfort greed that drives humans now, and I am sure will have the most logical of motivations. If there should be any fears of the Evil Doctor, they should be directed at those that try to stop the transition, not further it.
You DO ask a question however that gives me pause. Are we “cheating” ourselves out of a spiritual death/transition that we have earned in this life. Of course, no one can say. But isn’t it worth the try. What do we, as a species actually have to lose? We cannot, as I said before, continue as we have been…that it is clear.
And our technology, even at the time that we can even hope to make the leap of transhumanism, will not be flawless by any means. So if we “cheat” ourselves out of the possible rewards of death, I am sure, as anyone that has ever owned a Ford knows, the synthetic bodies and artificial brains that we will become, won’t last forever anyway.