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Category Archives: Transhumanism
Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm
According to some versions of Buddhist apocrypha, the condition of our species mankind varied tremendously across vast ages. We live in an age of decadence and finitude wherein life is short and mankind is inexorably menaced by pain and death. Under these conditions, The Compassionate Buddhas bearing a salvific message appear before us and preach the sublime doctrine of total liberation from the forces of Karma and endless reincarnation.
All is not gloom and doom however because of the cyclicity of nature and its processes there were periods in the grand history of the Cosmos when our kind Homo sapiens were long-lived giants leading a salubrious existence with pain and suffering a distant shadow. Such beings, perforce, were unreceptive to the noble message of salvation and total release from the bondage of Karma hence The Buddhas did not appear to solace a grieving cohort of mankind and the healing truth lay in abeyance for long periods.
The great question to be answered is whether such periods of existential joy can be recaptured by the clever use of the science and learning now available for the advancement of our species when heavens and hells are forgotten and Planet Earth albeit briefly becomes the New Elysium.
The Transhumanists led by such stalwarts as Ray Kurzweil and Noah Harari believe that Homo sapiens can be made Homo deus by the clever use of the science and technology currently available if this goal is assiduously pursued. They pose the question What is it to be God-like? They find and most will agree that immortality, bliss and the power to do things at will are key attributes of divinity.
These seemingly divine attributes can be made part of the equipage of Homo sapiens with a sufficiently advanced science and the collective will to make the best of what we know and have. Heavens and Hells become paltry and negligible when divinity becomes commonplace.
Most futurologists believe that the life-span of Homo sapiens can be indefinitely extended and our knowledge base made God-like so that we can have what we wish. The issue of bliss is tricky because conventional Gods are debarred from the Four Fs and spend their idle days contemplating a non-functional navel.
Transhumanists believe that Homo deus can do much better with a form of active divinity based on a study of virtual worlds and computer simulations. In brief, death and the terrors of the associated afterlife can be actively expunged while all that is good and gracious can be made the norm.
If such a beatific scenario is a possibility our best efforts must be attuned to its realization religions must fade away and the torture-chambers called hells that disfigure all religions will become emblematic of a false spirituality that sees the suffering of others as a kind of sounding board for the boastfully virtuous.
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Posted: February 10, 2017 at 3:02 am
Barbara H. Peterson
There is a move afoot to reprogram humanity. To redefine it in the limited terms of scientific understanding, place it in a box, and then, all wrapped up in a pretty package, attempt to deliver this convoluted mess to us as progress.
There are those who think that, given the chance, they could and should genetically manipulate the earth and the creatures that inhabit it, including man, to suite a purpose of their own imaginings. They want to experiment on all of our precious resources, turn our rivers into streams of pollution, and take each and every living thing on earth and use it to create something better.
According to whose design? Well, the so-called scientific one, of course. And if this means combining cows and humans, goats and spiders, man and machine in order to achieve the goal? Well, so be it. After all, the only thing that is important is the end result. And the end result is that a few will obtain immortality or so they think. And if a few eggs get broken in the process, well, that is the price paid for success.
This is Transhumanism the natural culmination of something called reprogenetics. Some call it designer evolution.
What is Reprogenetics?
In short, reprogenetics is the genetic engineering of man to create a human race according to scientific design. Here is a definition from Lee M. Silver, author of the book Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (1998).
Reprogenetics will involve advances in a number of technologies not yet achieved, but not inherently impossible. Among these are improvements in interpreting the effects of different expressions of DNA, the ability to harvest large numbers of embryos from females, and a far higher rate of reinsertion of embryos into host mothers. The end result, according to Silver, is that those parents who can afford it will be able to pick out the genetic characteristics of their own children, which Silver says will trigger a number of social changes in the decades after its implementation. Possible early applications, however, might be closer to eliminating disease genes passed on to children.
According to Silver, the main differences between reprogenetics and eugenics, the belief in the possibility of improving the gene pool which in the first half of the 20th century became infamous for the brutal policies it inspired, is that most eugenics programs were compulsory programs imposed upon citizens by governments trying to enact an ultimate goal.
It becomes quite apparent, after reading the quote above, that the main difference between reprogenetics and eugenics is consent, according to Lee M. Silver. Eugenics forced. Reprogenetics consented to. Same thing, different mode of action. From the forced culling of those deemed inferior to creating a superior race through genetic engineering, the end result is the same. Those deemed inferior are eventually culled from the system using DNA manipulation techniques.
Eugenics renamed and defined as scientific progress. A life-saving technique that can reprogram the human race and create the ideal human family. Thats the spin. Im sure the promoters said the same thing about nuclear energy. Dangerous? Naw. We know what we are doing. Arrogance.
So, lets take this technique of reprogramming humanity through reprogenetics/eugenics and dig a little deeper, shall we?
Meet Genome Compiler
Genome Compiler is built on the idea that biology is information technology. We can design and program living things the same way that we design computer code. Genetic designers today are still writing in 1s and 0s they lack the missing tools to design, debug, and compile the biological code into new living things.
At Genome Compiler, weve built just that a simplified solution for designing DNA.
We are inspired by the breakthrough research done by the JCVI and Harvard with their achievement of whole bacterial genome engineering, as required for functional changes in the form of new codes, new amino acids, safety and virus-resistance and a vision of making biological design easier, cheaper, and open to people outside the research labs.
After all, when all is said and done, DNA is simply DNA, and mixing it up has no inherent consequences, right? That is what we are supposed to believe. And who is to say what is human and what is not? Arent we all made of molecules?
The Transhumanist Agenda
The following quote pretty much sums up the Transhumanist attitude towards the relationship between you, me, the computer I am using to write this, and the chair I am sitting on:
Whether somebody is implemented on silicon or biological tissue, if it does not affect functionality or consciousness, is of no moral significance. Carbon-chauvinism, in the form of anthropomorphism, speciesism, bioism or even fundamentalist humanism, is objectionable on the same grounds as racism.
If we want to be half human, half frog, isnt that our right? If everything is the same, then anything goes. This is put forth in the guise of freedom of choice, freedom from disease, and freedom from suffering. Actually, this is a sure road to slavery, disease and suffering, and a path towards erasing who we are and simply becoming just another set of molecules on planet earth, much like a chair, or car, or vacuum cleaner.
The Transhumanist goal, based on this oneness of all things biologically and artificially created, is to use science and technology to control evolution of the species, because science is safer than nature.
Biological evolution is perpetual but slow, inefficient, blind and dangerous. Technological evolution is fast, efficient, accelerating and better by design. To ensure the best chances of survival, take control of our own destiny and to be free, we must master evolution.
This mastering of evolution is accomplished through a scientific dictatorship:
Scientific Dictatorship is the utopian concept of scientific managerism whereby all facets of political, social and economic life are managed solely by the scientific method and dictates of science. (Patrick Wood)
And precaution? Well, that goes out the window. Quote from Dr. Max Moore, a leader in Transhumanism:
Many factors conspire to warp our reasoning about risks and benefits as individuals. The bad news is that such foolish thinking has been institutionalized and turned into a principle. Zealous pursuit of precaution has been enshrined in the precautionary principle. Regulators, negotiators, and activists refer to and defer to this principle when considering possible restrictions on productive activity and technological innovation.
In this chapter, I aim to explain how the precautionary principle, and the mindset that underlies it, threaten our well-being and our future.
Dr. Max More, the author of The Principles of Extropy, is one of the top leaders of the Transhumanist movement, and the two are tightly interconnected. One could consider Extropy as as the metaphysical backbone of Transhumanism. (Patrick Wood)
In other words, according to one of the top leaders in the transhumanist movement, the precautionary principle actually endangers us. How convoluted can you get?
So, throwing caution aside, onward we go by experimenting through DNA manipulation to create a world where the pseudo-science of a scientific dictatorship rules supreme.
Here are just some examples of DNA mixing going on right now:
The future of war is going to look really, really weird. The super soldier research that DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is working on right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. If DARPA is successful, and if the American people dont object, the soldiers of the future will be genetically modified transhumans capable of superhuman feats.
We are in for a lot more than those who actually believe in the medical benefits of DNA manipulation bargained for. All these examples are leading us down the road to the real Transhumanist agenda:
Transhumanism is the application of science to the condition of man to achieve characteristics of immortality, omniscience and omnipresence, among others, and to produce a God-like race of post-humans. (Patrick Wood)
Yes, there are people who are actively attempting a complete takeover of humanity in order to set themselves up as supreme beings. To transcend physical boundaries by intermixing any DNA that so-called scientists think is appropriate, discard the precautionary principle as too dangerous for proper evolution, full speed ahead, meld man, machine, computer, and eventually, transcend to Godhood. It doesnt matter if it works, it doesnt matter if it is sane, it is a plan in the works. And the people who are involved think that they know how to create a better man.
Here is a bit of the history of Transhumanism and its ties to eugenics:
Julian Huxley, brother of Aldous who authored Brave New World, first used this word (1957): Transhumanism. Huxley was a member of the British Eugenics Society, eugenics being the foundation of Transhumanism.
Eugenics is a science dedicated to a Darwinist philosophy applied to humanity, that the strong should thrive and evolve, while the weak are culled and eradicated.
Eugenics rests on a necessity of there being superior and inferior genetic pools in the human population. It might be very socially unacceptable to speak publicly of there being some races, ethnic or cultural groups who are inferior to the rest, yet in secrecy this is exactly what elite Eugenicists believe.
The public is guided to love the idea of Transhumanism by being persuaded that it is not a goal attached to race or ethnicity, but simply a means of bettering all of humanity. This is quite untrue.
Elite Transhumanists have no desire to evolve all humankind, their goal is one which seeks to advance only their own bloodlines and to leave the rest in disadvantage to them so that these unfortunate ones have no choice but to become their slaves, their lab animals and their labor force.
The lowest strata are reproducing too fast. Therefore they must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive; long unemployment should be a ground for sterilization.
And wouldnt you know it, the Rockefeller Foundation can be found providing funding for the eugenics movement:
In 1927, the Rockefeller Foundation provided funds to construct the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics in Berlin, which came under the directorship of the appropriately named Eugen Fischer. Adolf Hitler read Fischers textbook Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene while in prison at Landsberg and used eugenical notions to support the ideal of a pure Aryan society in his manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).
What was termed in its early stages as a pure Aryan society, is now being repackaged as a pure Transhumanist society in which DNA is programmed to conform to the design of a scientific dictatorship, and sold as the salvation of man. The New Age of ascention. Same story, new box. When will we learn?
And the motivation for all of this? As usual, there are many:
Eternal life immortality
The justification? Thats easy: Progress always requires sacrifice. To quote a famous activist:
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on wheels of inevitability. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action. (MLK Jr.)
Except in this case, it is not the beneficiary of the technologys sacrifice that is required, but the sacrifice of dedicated and ignorant servants and an unwitting populace. We sacrifice our health, wealth, and minds to the slavery of junk science that says it is okay to maim, torture, and impoverish millions so that a few may gain. It is okay to run widespread experiments on humanity so that a few may benefit from those experiments and transcend to a God-like state and rule over the universe. It doesnt matter if you believe it, or if I believe it. It doesnt have to be rational or sane. What matters is that people with enough money and power to go forth with this agenda do believe it, are working steadily towards it, and know how to market it in order to get the public to accept it as beneficial.
Transhumanism is being sold to the public as bringing forth a new age of enlightenment. This story is as old as the Biblical account of the Garden of Eden, where Lucifer, masquerading as the angel of light, tells Eve that he knows a better way. It is also being touted as an extension of Darwinism: another step in the evolutionary process the better, scientific way, because the slow, biological way is simply too dangerous and inherently unpredictable.
Humans are about to decommission natural selection in favour of guided evolution. Darwinian processes gave humanity a good start, but Homo sapiens can be improved. Owing to advances in genetics, cybernetics, nanotechnology, computer science, and cognitive science, humans are set to redefine the human condition. Future humans can look forward to longer lives, enhanced intelligence, memory, communication and physical skills, and improved emotional control. Humans may eventually cease to be biological and gendered organisms altogether, giving rise to the posthuman entity. Human enhancement will irrevocably alter social arrangements, interpersonal relationships, and society itself. And theres also the added potential for nonhuman enhancement.
Much better to trust in man and his scientific knowledge to create a better evolutionary path, and manipulating our DNA is that way. And just who comes to mind as an expert at manipulating DNA and public perception?
The Monsanto Connection
Remember when Craig Venture of Atlas Venture created Synthia, a synthetic life form, and partnered with Monsanto?
Monsanto and Atlas Venture
And now Monsanto has recently signed a deal with Atlas Venture for funding of, well, who knows? Monsanto does. And Monsanto isnt telling. But we do know that it will most likely be some sort of disruptive innovation because that is Atlas Ventures specialty. Atlas Venture is an early stage investment firm dedicated to financing disruptive innovation in Life Sciences and Technology.
Well, it appears that Monsanto and Atlas Venture are working on a new type of genetic engineering using RNA. Is this the disruptive technology that I mentioned in my article cited above?
Generations of high school kids have been taught that only about 3 percent of the human genome is actually usefulmeaning it contains genes that code proteinsand the rest is junk DNA. Cambridge, MA-based RaNA Therapeutics was founded on the idea that the so-called junk is actually gold, because it contains a type of RNA that can flip genes on inside cells, potentially offering a new approach to modulating diseases.RaNA is coming out of stealth mode today and announcing a $20.7 million Series A financing led by Atlas Venture, SR One, and agricultural giant Monsanto (NYSE: MON). Partners Innovation Fund also participated in the funding.
What is RaNA Therapeutics?
RaNA Therapeutics is pioneering the discovery of a new class of medicines that target RNA to selectively activate protein expression, thereby enabling the body to produce desirable proteins to treat or prevent disease. RaNAs novel therapeutics work by precisely activating the expression of select genes within the patients own cells, increasing the synthesis of therapeutic proteins. The companys proprietary RNA targeting technology works epigenetically to make it possible, for the first time, to increase the expression of therapeutic proteins with exquisite selectivity.
This has the potential to turn on and silence, with a great degree of accuracy, gene expression in anyones body. For example,
The patchy colours of a tortoiseshell cat are the result of different levels of expression of pigmentation genes in different areas of the skin.
Monsanto is not working at Curing world hunger through biotechnology. That is a successful smokescreen and marketing slogan gone viral. Edward Bernays, the father of marketing propaganda to the masses, would have been proud.
The Inevitable Conclusion
Remember the definition of reprogenetics in the beginning of this article? Reprogenetics is the genetic engineering of man to create a human race according to scientific design. Well, it is 2013, and we now have the tools to silence and turn on genes through RNA manipulation. And its coming to us courtesy of Monsanto, the chemical/life sciences company that brought us Agent Orange, PCBs, and most of the genetically engineered ingredients in 80% of the processed foods we eat every day.
We know that a pseudo-scientific agenda called Transhumanism, which is bankrolled by some very rich and influential people, is intended to change us as a species, knows no bounds, is set to replace biology as we know it and is inexorably connected to eugenics. We know that this Transhumanist agenda is well on its way to changing the world in ways that we cannot fathom, and we know that Monsanto is involved through its research and application of DNA manipulation techniques in our food supply. Happy eating, America
2013 Barbara H. Peterson
Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:10 pm
A sociologist in the United Kingdom is citing advances in technology that enablepeople to fulfill their potentialin contrast to a metaphysical assumption shared by liberals, that humans are equal.
Steve Fuller, who holds the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick, explained in the business review section of a blog for the London School of Economics that under capitalism,people have been free to exchange goods and services, which he calledan inalienable right.
There were dangers, he noted, from exploitation, and Marxists say the asymmetrical power relations in the marketplace run roughshod over human rights.
Now comes transhumanism, he wrote, challengingboth capitalism and socialism, which had created a sense of humanism with the balance of a right to work and participate in the marketplace, yet a right not to be controlled by another.
Transhumanism is the idea that humans can evolve to physical and mental capacities beyond those that exist now, especially by means of science and technology.
Investigate the growing trend of blending human and machine, called transhumanism, at the WND Superstore.
Computers now mediate both work and non-work aspects of life, and the markers that oncedivided themhave become smaller and smaller, Fuller said.
An obvious case in point is the idea of working from home. People who operate this way typically shift back and forth between performing work and non-work activities on screen in an open-ended and relatively unstructured day. Meanwhile, all the data registered in these activities are gathered by information providers (e.g. Google, Facebook, Amazon), who then analyze and consolidate them for resale to private and public sector clients, he wrote.
Is this exploitation? The answer is not so clear. The information providers offer a platform that is free at the point of use, enabling users to produce and consume data indefinitely. Of course, such platforms are the source of both intense frustration and endless satisfaction for users, but the phenomenology of these experiences is not necessarily what one might expect of people in a state of exploitation.
On the contrary, there is reason to think that people increasingly locate meaning in their lives in some cyber-projection (avatar) of themselves, notwithstanding the third-party ownership of the platform hosting the cyber-projection, he said.
Ones personhood, he wrote, strongly implicates transhumanism, which can involve a person changing genetically or prosthetically.
On the other hand, in the case of transfer, the person might do more than simply bequeath various assets to already existing individuals and institutions say, in a will which comes into force upon ones death. Rather, the person might in his or her own lifetime invest energy and income in support of virtual agents, second lives. with the effect of turning ones physical self into a platform for launching the more meaningful cyber-selves.
The result, Capitalism 2.0, he called it, is morphological freedom.
It is the freedom not only to do what you want but also to be what you want. It is worth observing that this sense of freedom violates a key metaphysical assumption shared by liberals and socialists, namely, that humans are rough natural equals, not in the sense that everyone is naturally the same but that everyone has roughly the same mix of assets and liabilities, which in turn justifies a harmonious division of labor in society.
The violation of this assumption implies that whatever problems of social justice relating to material inequality have emerged over the history of capitalism are potentially amplified by transhumanism, as the prospect of morphological freedom explodes stopgap liberal intuitions about the natural equality of humans, he said.
WND has reported about opposition to the general transhumanism movement, most recently by the Family Research Council.
FRCwas objecting to a plan last year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Barack Obamato have taxpayers fund the mixing of human stem cells with animal embryos to create chimeras, creatures that have part animal and part human elements, in pursuit of better lives.
WND has previously reported on such goals. In one case, a U.S. biotech company was given permission to obtain 20 brain-dead patients to test if parts of their central nervous systems could be regenerated.
The company, Bioquark Inc., plans to use a soup of stem cells and peptides on the brains of the patients over a six-week period to see if it can jump-start their functions.
Philadelphia-based Bioquark asks on its website: What if your body came with a restart button?
WND also reported last winter on the growing promise of anti-aging or gene therapy science, a technology known as CRISPR/Cas9. It purports to deliver immortality to human beings and has attracted support from some of the worlds richest men, including Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal; Ray Kurzwell of Google; Oracle founder Larry Ellison; venture capitalist Paul Glenn; and Russian multi-millionaire Omitry Itskov.
Carl Gallups, a Christian pastor, radio host and author of several books, including Be Thou Prepared and Final Warning, said there are moral and ethical dilemmas.
What entity or governmental power will make the decisions concerning who gets their death reversed and who must die? Gallups asked at the time.
Investigate the growing trend of blending human and machine, called transhumanism, at the WND Superstore.
Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:47 am
What does it mean to be human? Biology has a simple answer: If your DNA is consistent with Homo sapiens, you are human but we all know that humanity is a lot more complex and nuanced than that. Other schools of science might classify humans by their sociological or psychological behavior, but again we know that actually being human is more than just the sum of our thoughts and actions.You can also look at being human as a sliding scale. If you were to build a human from scratch, from the bottom up, at some point you cross the threshold into humanity if you believe in evolution, at some point we ceased being a great ape and became human. Likewise, if you slowly remove parts from a human, you cross the threshold into inhumanity. Again, though, we run into the same problem: How do we codify, classify, and ratify what actually makes us human?
Does adding empathy make us human? Does removing the desire to procreate make us inhuman? If I physically alter my brain to behave in a different, non-standard way, am I still human? If I have all my limbs removed and my head spliced onto a robot, am I still human? (See: Upgrade your ears: Elective auditory implants give you cyborg hearing.)At first glance these questions might sound inflammatory and hyperbolic, or perhaps surreal and sci-fi, but dont be fooled: In the next decade, given the continued acceleration of computer technology and biomedicine, we will be forced to confront these questions and attempt to find some answers.
Transhumanism is a cultural and intellectual movement that believes we can, and should, improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies. One of the core concepts in transhumanist thinking is life extension: Through genetic engineering, nanotech, cloning, and other emerging technologies, eternal life may soon be possible. Likewise, transhumanists are interested in the ever-increasing number of technologies that can boost our physical, intellectual, and psychological capabilities beyond what humans are naturally capable of (thus the term transhuman). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), for example, which speeds up reaction times and learning speed by running a very weak electric current through your brain, has already been used by the US military to train snipers. On the more extreme side, transhumanism deals with the concepts of mind uploading (to a computer), and what happens when we finally craft a computer with greater-than-human intelligence (the technological singularity). (See: How to create a mind, or die trying.)
Beyond the obvious benefits of eternal life or superhuman strength, transhumanism also investigates the potential dangers and ethical pitfalls of human enhancement. In the case of life extension, if every human on Earth suddenly stopped dying, overpopulation would trigger a very rapid and very dramatic socioeconomic disaster. Unless we stopped giving birth to babies, of course, but that merely rips open another can of worms: Without birth and death, would society and humanity continue to grow and evolve, or would it stagnate, suffocated by the accumulated ego of intellectuals and demagogues who just will not die? Likewise, if only the rich have access to intelligence- and strength-boosting drugs and technologies, what would happen to society? Should everyone have the right to boost their intellect? Would society still operate smoothly if everyone had an IQ of 300 and five doctorate degrees?
As you can see, things get complicated quickly when discussing transhumanist ideas and life extension and augmented intelligence and strength are just the tip of the iceberg! This philosophical and ethical complexity stems from the fact that transhumanism is all about fusing humans with technology and technology is advancing, improving, and breaking new ground very, very quickly. Humans have always used technology, of course our ability to use tools and grasp concepts such as science and physics are what set us apart from other animals but never has society been so intrinsically linked and underpinned by it. As we have seen in just the last few years, with the advent of the smartphone and ubiquitous high-speed mobile networks, just a handful of new technologies now have the power to completely change how we interact with the the world and people around us.
Humans, on the other hand, and the civilizations that they build, move relatively slowly. It took us millions of years to discover language, and thousands more to discover medicine and the scientific method. In the few thousand years since, up until the last century or so, we doubled the human life span, but neurology and physiology were impenetrable black boxes.In just the last 100 years, weve doubled our life span again, created bionic eyes and powered exoskeletons, begun to understand how the human brain actually works, and started to make serious headway with boosting intellectual and physical prowess. Weve already mentioned how tDCS is being used to boost cranial capacity, and as weve seen in recent years, sportspeople have definitely shown the efficacy of physical doping.
It is due to this jarring juxtaposition the historical slowness of human and societal evolution vs. the breakneck pace of modern technology that many find transhumanism to be unpalatable. After all, as Ive described it here, transhumanism is almost the very definition of unnatural. Youre quite within your rights to find transhumanism a bit, well, weird. And it is weird, dont get me wrong but so are most emerging technologies. Do you think that your great grandparents werent wigged out by the first television sets? Before it garnered the name television, one of its inventors gave it the rather spooky name of distant electric vision. Can you imagine the wariness in which passengers approached the first steam trains? Vast mechanical beasts that could pull hundreds of tons and moved far faster than the humble but state-of-the-art horse and carriage.
The uneasiness that surround new, paradigm-shifting technologies isnt new, and it has only been amplified by the exponential acceleration of technology that has occurred during our lifetime. If you were born 500 years ago, odds are that you wouldnt experience a single societal-shifting technology in your lifetime today, a 40 year old will have lived through the creation of the PC, the internet, the smartphone, and brain implants, to name just a few life-changing technologies. It is unsettling, to say the least, to have the rug repeatedly pulled out from under you, especially when its your livelihood at stake. Just think about how many industries and jobs have been obliterated or subsumed by the arrival of the digital computer, and its easy to see why were wary of transhumanist technologies that will change the very fabric of human civilization.
The good news, though, is that humans are almost infinitely adaptable. While you or I might balk at the idea of a brain-computer interface that allows us to download our memories to a PC, and perhaps upload new memories a la The Matrix, our children who can use smartphones at the age of 24 months, and communicate chiefly through digital means will probably think nothing of it. For the children of tomorrow, living through a series of disruptive technologies that completely change their lives will be the norm. There might still be some resistance when I opt to have my head spliced onto a robotic exoskeleton, but within a generation children will be used to seeing Iron Seb saving people from car crashes and flying alongside airplanes.
The fact of the matter is that transhumanism is just a modern term for an age-old phenomenon. We have been augmenting our humanity our strength, our wisdom, our empathy with tools since prehistory. We have always been spooked by technologies that seem unnatural or that cause us to act in inhuman ways its simply human nature. That all changes with the children of today, however. To them, anything that isnt computerized, digital, and touch-enabled seems unnatural. To them, the smartphone is already an extension of the brain; to them, mind uploading, bionic implants and augmentations, and powered exoskeletons will just be par for the course. To them, transhumanism will just seem like natural evolution and anyone who doesnt follow suit, just like those fuddy-duddies who still dont have a smartphone, will seem thoroughly inhuman.
Now read: The Geek shall inherit the Earth
[Image credit: Darkart.cz]
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Posted: at 9:47 am
Transhumanism is a recent movement that extols mans right to shape his own evolution, by maximizing the use of scientific technologies, to enhance human physical and intellectual potential. While the name is new, the idea has long been a popular theme of science fiction, featured in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, the Terminator series, and more recently, The Matrix, Limitless, Her and Transcendence.
However, as its adherents hint at in their own publications, transhumanism is an occult project, rooted in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, and derived from the Kabbalah, which asserts that humanity is evolving intellectually, towards a point in time when man will become God. Modeled on the medieval legend of the Golem and Frankenstein, they believe man will be able to create life itself, in the form of living machines, or artificial intelligence.
Spearheaded by the Cybernetics Group, the project resulted in both the development of the modern computer and MK-Ultra, the CIAs mind-control program. MK-Ultra promoted the mind-expanding potential of psychedelic drugs, to shape the counterculture of the 1960s, based on the notion that the shamans of ancient times used psychoactive substances, equated with the apple of the Tree of Knowledge.
And, as revealed in the movie Lucy, through the use of smart drugs, and what transhumanists call mind uploading, man will be able to merge with the Internet, which is envisioned as the end-point of Kabbalistic evolution, the formation of a collective consciousness, or Global Brain. That awaited moment is what Ray Kurzweil, a director of engineering at Google, refers to as The Singularly. By accumulating the total of human knowledge, and providing access to every aspect of human activity, the Internet will supposedly achieve omniscience, becoming the God of occultism, or the Masonic All-Seeing Eye of the reverse side of the American dollar bill.
Read more here:
Posted: October 1, 2016 at 1:44 am
-Alguien Quiere Ser Androide? – El Cerebro Puede Sobrevivir a La Muerte del Cuerpo
– Biological Immortality and You
– Cerebros y Mentes Digitales – A La Vuelta de La Esquina
– Chemtrails, Transmutacin Gentica y Transhumanidad
– Cyborg America – Inside the Strange New World of Basement Body Hackers
– Cyborg Brain/Machine Interface is Now Reality
– DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – Main File
– Depopulation of A Planet – Thinning Out The Useless Eaters – An Unspoken NWO Agenda
– El Movimiento Singularidad, la Inmortalidad y Quitando el ‘Fantasma’ de La Mquina
– El Programa Inmortalidad 2045′ del Transhumanismo Amenaza La Integridad de La Humanidad
– El Reino de Las Mquinas – La Separacin de los Mundos 1
– Ethical Assessment of Implantable Brain Chips
– Ethical Issues in Human Enhancement
– Futurist Claims Technology Causing Humans to ‘Evolve’ Into a New Species
– ‘Genetically Modified Micro Humans’ to be ‘Farmed’ for Drug Testing by 2017 – Mad Science
– Google versus Muerte – El Combate del Siglo?
– Hacking The Human Brain Furthers The Advent of Super Soldiers
– How ‘Smart Dust’ Could Spy on Your Brain
– Humans Fully Outsourced to Robots by 2045?
– Immortality Transhumanism Program 2045 Threatens Humanitys Integrity
– Intelligent Neural Dust Embedded in The Brain Could Be The Ultimate Brain-Computer Interface
– Is The Transhumanist Movement a Threat to Our Survival?
– Kurzweil and Google Working Together to Develop Technology for Immortality
– La Agenda de Vacunacin – Transhumanismo Implcito
– La Fantasa del Transhumanismo es un Fracaso para la Humanidad
– La Inmortalidad Digital
– La Trampa del Transhumanismo – Porqu el Hackeo Biolgico Encadena la Conciencia al Mundo Material
– Literal Smart Dust Opens Brain-Computer Pathway to “Spy on Your Brain”
– Merely Human? Thats So Yesterday
– Merging Man and Machine – Singularity vs. Humanity
– Mind-Blowing Benefits of Merging Human Brains and Computers – Hitler Would Have Loved The Singularity
– Nano-Bots, Mind Control and Trans-Humanism – The Future of Consciousness?
– Neo-Humanity – Transhumanism Will Merge Man With Machine
– Neural Dust – An Ultrasonic, Low Power Solution for Chronic BrainMachine Interfaces
– Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms’ – Molecular Kill-Switch Included
– Por La Senda del Transhumanismo
– Revelacin de los Objetivos Transhumanistas de la Elite
– Russian Scientist Says Immortality Possible for Wealthy Elite by 2045
– Scientist Says Immortality Only 20 Years Away
– Signs of a Transhuman Future – The New Technologies that Will Change Human Civilization as We Know It
– Superhuman Powers and Life Extension Technologies will Allow Us to Become Like God – Transhumanists
– ‘Super Soldier’ – Genetically Modified Humans Won’t Need Food, Sleep
– Teilhard de Chardin and Transhumanism
– Tecnologas Trans-Humanas – Anticuerpos Plsticos, Impresin de rganos
– The Coming Technological Singularity – How to Survive in The Post-Human Era
-Te Gustara Ser como ‘Dios’? – Transhumanismo
– The Anatomy of Cyborg Man – Overcoming the Mechanistic Mind
– The Ethics of Transhumanism and The Return of Eugenics
– The Evolution of The Humanoid Robot
– The Human Avatar Programs by NASA & DARPA
– The Looming Future of GMO Technology – Transhumanism, Biocrops, and More
– The Machine Kingdom
– The Singularity – Main File
– The Singularity Movement, Immortality, and Removing the Ghost in The Machine
– The Transhumanism Fantasy is a Failure for Humanity
– The Transhumanism Trap – Why Biohacking Chains Consciousness to the Material World
– The Vaccination Agenda – Implicit Transhumanism
– Top Transhumanism CEO Says Artificial Intelligence Singularity Will Go Very Badly For Humans
– TransEvolution – The Age of Human Deconstruction
– (Trans)humanism and Biopolitics
– Transhumanism Advances With The Creation of GM Babies
– Transhumanist Bankers Plan Robotic Future
– Transhumanism – From MK-Ultra to Google
– Transhumanism – Is a Future Where Men Have Merged With Machines Inevitable?
– Transhumanismo – Desde el MK-Ultra hasta Google
– Transhumanismo – La Agenda Antihumana del Culto a la ‘Singularidad’
– Transhumanism – The Anti-Human Agenda of the ‘Singularity’ Cult
– Transhumanism – The New Face of Eugenics
See original here:
Posted: September 14, 2016 at 1:11 am
[Update 2016.06.20] -Treat ageing as a disease – let’s spread the word on election day!
Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow Really Wants You To Care About Science -The Huffington Post
Chip Implants – The New Credit Cards?
[Update 2016.05.21]- Triple H FM radio interview with transhumanist and Science Party Candidate for Berowra, Brendan Clarke!
[Update 2016.05.18] – Matt Barrie Supports Science Party
[Update 2016.05.10]- Podcast with Questionable Content – AI For Prime Minister!
[Update 2016.05.05]- Coverage of Zoltan Istvan and the Transhumanist Partyby Vocativ!
[Update 2016.04.27]- Transhumanism Australia Update blog is up!Science Party Candidates, Design Workshops, Biohackers, Effective Altruism and More!
[Update 2016.04.09]- “CRISPR: A Genetic Cut and Paste Tool” from The Verge
[Update 2016.03.21]- Blog update is up! Future Day, Biohack+Ethereum, Basic Income and More!
[Update 2016.03.20] – The Tiny Key To Ageing
[Update 2016.03.18]- Dr Brian Greene in Sydney, Luna Park During Q&A
[Update 2016.03.12]- Real Future: Meet Zoltan Istvan, the Transhumanist Running For President (Episode 5)
Cleaned up homepage and moved old stuff to Archives
[Update 2016.3.01]- Happy Future Day! The videos from the Sydney event are up!
[Update 2016.02.26] – Transhumanism Australia on Vice AU!
[Update 2016.02.25]- Zoltan on The Feed – SBS 2!
[Update 2016.01.26] – New AI blog on Sightings from the Edge: Artificial Intelligence – January 2016. See our page dedicated to AI
[Update 2016.01.23] – How Will You Die? (Unless We Do Something About It)
Sign the petition to deem ageing as a disease.
[Update 2016.01.10]- Update to our page onAutomation. Enjoy!
[Update 2016.01.06] – Podcast with Questionable Content onSimulated Transhuman Overlords!
[Update 2016.01.02] -We’ve started uploading videos on our Facebook page and YouTube channel!
[Update 2015.12.31] – Zoltan’s 2015 wrap up!
[Update 2015.12.30] -Join the chat group on Slack for all transhumanists around the world! If you haven’t received an invite already, send an email to email@example.com
[Update 2015.11.29] -Check out our new page onTranshumanism in pop culture!
Join us in signing this petition to deem ageing as a disease!
[Update 2015.10.17]Transhumanist Leandro Brun joins Sunday Night Safran on Triple J radio! (Skip to 43:45)
Welcome to the official site shared by Transhumanism Australia – the nonprofit organisation, and Transhumanist Party Australia – the Australian political organisation.
Transhumanism(abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
Transhumanismis a positive philosophy about the future based in optimism, rational thinking and the application of science and technology to improve the human condition. We seek to live longer, stay healthier, and become smarter and even more physically fit. We want to develop tools and technologies to help ourselves and others do the same.
Here’s a well designed FAQ on What Is Transhumanism.
Transhumanism in Australia is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to our communities which educate and invest in scientific research and technologies enhancing the human biological condition.
Get involved with the Transhumanist movement today!
For a timeline of Transhumanism throughout history, check out the coverage by The Verge.
TRANSHUMANIST PARTY AUSTRALIA (TPAU)
TPAU is an Australian political organisation dedicated to putting science, health, and technology at the forefront of the Australian political agenda.
TPAU aims to uphold the energy and political might of millions of transhumanist advocates around the world who desire to usescience and technology to significantly improve our lives.
The co-founders of TPAU arelisted here. Join ourFacebook groupto meet our existing TPAU admins and the transhumanist community in Australia!
Our party’s core ideas and goals can be found in theTranshumanistDeclaration.The Transhumanist Party in the United States wasfoundedby futurist and philosopherZoltan Istvanon October 7, 2014 as a nonprofit organisation. Istvan manages the party and is its 2016 US Presidential candidate.
Check out thecalendarfor a list of upcoming events, and please considervolunteering for the partyormaking a donation.
Together we can vastly improve Australia through effective policy and investment in science, health and technology. Help us create a better future for all Australians.
Become a member today!
Find out more about us belowand get to know our team.
TPAU is not currently registered with the AEC. We have an alliance with theScience Partyto pool our votes and therefore contribute to shaping the policies of the Science Party. The Science Party’s values are aligned with ours and you can find out about their policieshere.
Please support us by clicking on the sponsored ad below or throughout the website, or by making a donation!
GLOBAL NETWORK OF TRANSHUMANISTS
Transhumanist Party Globalis an organisation co-founded byAmon TwymanandZoltan Istvan,dedicated to supporting Transhumanist Parties around the world and encouraging effective cooperation between them.
H+Pedia is a wiki for a single source of truth on all things transhumanism, created by Chris Monteiro and David Wood
MAKING TRANSHUMANISM MAINSTREAM
Transhumanism is becoming more and more popular every day, and we hope to desensitise the term itself so that people can understand what the movement is about. Here’s a video fromRhett & LinkfromGood Mythical Morningthat did a great job of this:
Read the rest here:
Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm
by Gregg Prescott, M.S. Editor, In5D.com
While there are many movies that expose the globalist agenda, four movies particularly caught my attention.
There seems to be several agendas going on simultaneously, such as the alien agenda and the New World Order agenda, but one other agenda is being shoved down our collective throats for at least 30 years: The transhumanism agenda.
The premise of transhumanism dates as far back as mans first search for the elixir to immortality and in recent years has segued into glorifying the idea of combining man with machine.
IMDb describes Chappie as:
In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.
Chappie is glorifying the transhumanism agenda in conjunction with artificial intelligence where people will soon be offered to live as immortal gods in exchange for being hooked up to the matrix, which inevitably, will make these same people perpetual, subservient slaves.
We are starting to see the beginning of this through digital tattoos, smart tattoos, ingestible RFID chips, and nanoparticle RFIDs. Globalist shill Regina Dugan, former DARPA head who now leads advanced research for Motorola stated, It may be true that 10-20 year olds dont want to wear a watch on their wrists, but you can be sure that theyll be far more interested in wearing an electronic tattoo if only to piss off their parents.
For many people, The Matrix was just another science fiction movie but for even more people, this is the initial movie that truly woke the masses out of their collective stupor.
IMDb: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.
More and more people are beginning to realize the many truths in this movie which basically shows how we are living in a simulated reality while our bodies are living as an energy source for our overlords.
Similar to Chappie, transhumanism takes precedent as a means of going in and out of the matrix. While caught within the matrix, we all assume that this is real but relatively few people question why we need to work for money and cannot comprehend the premise behind the question, If there was no such thing as money, what would you be doing with your life? Weve been brainwashed for millennia about living in this false reality constructed to keep us living in subservience, control and conformity to a system designed to keep us living in fear as economic slaves.
When you look at it from this perspective, does it make sense to waste the majority of your life working some job that you hate for a boss whos an a*hole, only to get that 1 or 2 weeks off a year to enjoy as a vacation while your literally recharge your battery? Theres a reason we look forward to the weekend because by the weekend, we are weakened.
Mark Passio does an amazing job analyzing The Matrix trilogy:
IMDbs description of Network: A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchors ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.
In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.
The star of the film, Howard Beale, even hinted at transhumanism:
The whole world is becoming humanoid creatures that look human, but arent. The whole world, not just us.
The bottom line is how the nightly news influences and persuades public opinion, even through blatant lies. Youll never feel good after watching the nightly news. Why? Because when you live in the lower vibration of fear, you can be easily controlled and manipulated. The current terrorist agenda is the perfect ploy by the globalists because its a war that can never be won. Additionally, people will gladly give up their civil liberties and freedom in exchange for perceived protection by the government to fight these non-existent entities.
David Icke calls this Problem. Reaction. Solution in which the government creates a problem through false flags, we react by saying the government needs to address the problem and the government has a solution to the problem, which ALWAYS involves the loss of civil liberties and freedom.
We are just starting to see a group of disgruntled reporters leave the industry because they do not agree with how the news is scripted or the propaganda that is being pushed by the CIA in order to influence public opinion regarding everything from how well the economy is doing to why we should start yet another war. Unfortunately, there are plenty of buffoons in search of fame and notoriety (ego) who are willing to take the places of these reporters who have left the business, and they will conform to whatever their overlords desire, even if that means hurting their friends and family by reporting lies to the masses.
John Carpenters 1988 cult classic, They Live combines an alien agenda with how the mainstream media is brainwashing the masses.
IMDb describes the movie as A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like Stay Asleep, No Imagination, Submit to Authority. Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.
An intriguing part of the movie is when the aliens throw a party for their human collaborators who agree to push the alien agenda. This is very reminiscent of lobbyists who push agendas for Monsanto, Big Pharma, etc.. The bottom line is that if you support the alien agenda, you will be generously compensated to keep your mouth shut. Does this sound familiar to you?
A cyborg is sent from the future on a deadly mission. He has to kill Sarah Connor, a young woman whose life will have a great significance in years to come. Sarah has only one protector Kyle Reese also sent from the future. The Terminator uses his exceptional intelligence and strength to find Sarah, but is there any way to stop the seemingly indestructible cyborg?
It was supposed to be a simple job. All Lucy had to do was deliver a mysterious briefcase to Mr. Jang. But immediately Lucy is caught up in a nightmarish deal where she is captured and turned into a drug mule for a new and powerful synthetic drug. When the bag she is carrying inside of her stomach leaks, Lucys body undergoes unimaginable changes that begins to unlock her minds full potential. With her new-found powers, Lucy turns into a merciless warrior intent on getting back at her captors. She receives invaluable help from Professor Norman, the leading authority on the human mind, and French police captain Pierre Del Rio.
While it may seem like a glamorous idea to have infinite knowledge, there will be a price to pay. For example:
Its not enough to expose these agendas. One needs to be cognizant of what is being forced upon us and be willing to make decisions that are proactive, such as refusing any RFID chip implantation or simply not buying into the false promises of how great your life will be as a cyborg. By choosing artificial intelligence, there is no spiritual progression for the soul, if any part of the soul remains.
The power of thought can also create the world you want to see. Try envisioning a world without transhumanism, money or globalist agendas. Replace the negative things in this world, such as nuclear energy, gas or coal, with free energy. We have the ability RIGHT NOW to create a world where everyone can live in abundance and prosperity without the need for economic subservience.
You were born as a PERFECT soul and upon returning to the Creator, you will remain in complete perfection without the need for artificial intelligence or transhumanism.
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Click here for more articles by Gregg Prescott!
About the Author: Gregg Prescott, M.S. is the founder and editor of In5D and BodyMindSoulSpirit. You can find his In5D Radio shows on the In5D Youtube channel. He is also a transformational speaker and promotes spiritual, metaphysical and esoteric conferences in the United States through In5dEvents. His love and faith for humanity motivates him to work in humanitys best interests 12-15+ hours a day, 365 days a year. Please like and follow In5D on Facebook as well as BodyMindSoulSpirit on Facebook!
Tags: agenda, artificial intelligence, chappie, gregg prescott, lucy, movie, movies, network, propaganda, RFID chip, the matrix, the terminator, they live, transhumanism, transhumanism agenda
View original post here:
Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:32 pm
by Adrian Calderone
Mr. Adrian Calderone provides a thorough explanation of transhumanism, which attempts to free mankind from its biological limitations by employing such methods as genetic engineering. Calderone traces its foundations back to secular humanism the modern religion of the Western world.
Homiletic & Pastoral Review
28 31 & 41 43
Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA, June 2008
The political philosopher Francis Fukuyama called it the world’s most dangerous idea.1 He was talking about transhumanism.
Just what is transhumanism and why is it so dangerous?
Like many other ideas, it can imply different things to different people. But generally, transhumanism refers to an attempt to free humanity from its biological limitations. Today, transhumanists advocate the use of various types of rapidly developing technology, especially bioengineering, to accomplish this purpose. Some transhumanists imagine the creation of a new type of human being. That is, a human being with biological features so far removed from natural human biology as to warrant classification as “post-human.”
Transhumanists hold firmly to Darwinian materialism. We know that Darwinian evolution is predicated upon the assumptions of random variation and natural selection. But suppose, through genetic engineering, we can create our own genetic variations perhaps with inheritable traits. The transhumanists hope to achieve an artificial, human-guided evolution, at least on the level of microevolution, as well as the creation of “post humans.”
Ask a person what he considers to be the most dangerous thing in the world and most probably the answer would be atomic weapons they can eradicate several hundred thousand human beings in a flash. But with transhumanism, you can displace nature with technology and subvert natural human biology.
Sir Julian Huxley is credited with coining the term transhumanism in 1957.2 He wrote:
As we shall see later, use of the term transhumanism predates Sir Julian Huxley by several centuries. Nevertheless, we can credit Sir Julian with putting the name to a modern movement that seeks to modify human beings through technological manipulation in order to transcend human biology. The technology can include genetic engineering and interfaces between the human body and machines.
One definition offered by the World Transhumanist Association3 is this:
Transhumanists see it as an ethical imperative to use technology to transcend physical barriers to human potentials, and to proceed with their project of humanly guided evolution.
What has happened in the past century is the development of science and technology at a pace so fast and in so many different specialties that one scarcely has the opportunity to understand one development before it is made obsolete by another development.
There are four areas especially in which we’ve seen such rapid advancement in the past twenty to thirty years: biotechnology, information technology, wireless technology and nanotechnology.
In biotechnology we see the genetic manipulation of life. In information technology we see the ever-expanding reach of digital information processing to the point where hardly any household in the developed world is without some type of personal computer. Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables computers to “learn” from experience and modify their own operational procedures without human intervention.
As for wireless, the Internet is accessible without land lines or physical hook-ups. Everywhere you turn there is someone talking on a cell phone. Nanotechnology deals with the manufacture and use of very small particles, which can include simple materials or even tiny machines with interacting parts machines, for example, that can be introduced into the human body to cut away arterial plaque or perform operations on a submicroscopic level. We still don’t know all of the potentials of nanotechnology. Keep in mind, also, that these technologies can be merged.
These technologies enable us to do things inconceivable even a few decades ago. These new potentials present new dimensions of ethical dilemmas.
Suppose you can insert portions of the genetic material of one type of being into the genetic material of another type of being. In fact, this has been done. Who would have thought to introduce the genes of fireflies into a tobacco plant to create a plant that glows in the dark? Yet this was done over twenty years ago. The cloning of animals, transgenic plants and a host of other developments are historical events, not futuristic speculations. A U.S. patent application is on file detailing the creation of an artificial life form.4
Genetic engineering enables us to use living organisms bacteria for example as miniature drug factories to manufacture pharmaceuticals that otherwise could not be produced. Genetically modified viruses can be used to introduce modified DNA into target organisms.
But suppose one merges portions of human genetic material with portions of the genetic material of an animal an animal, say, with the genetic instructions for growth of human organs, or humans with animal features. What have we produced? And suppose that the chimerical being we’ve created can reproduce itself. What is the moral status of such beings? What is one to think about the deliberate creation of “subhuman beings” or “superhuman beings” through genetic engineering? We believe that the human soul does not arise from matter but that God creates and infuses a rational soul into a human being at conception. This is clear enough from human procreation. But what of the prospect of artificially assembling DNA, inserting that DNA into a cell, and letting that cell grow into an organism? How close do we have to be to the DNA characteristic of human beings for the organism to be considered human? Suppose a gorilla body can be combined with a human brain. Does God implant a human soul into it? How do we know unless we let the organism grow and see if it matures into a rational being? Does the possibility of salvation apply to homo artificialis as it does to homo Sapiens?
Yet genetic engineering can have legitimate therapeutic purposes, for example, to overcome naturally occurring genetic abnormalities, or to provide new cancer therapies.5 Genetic engineering and other technologies also might be used to enhance the genetic potential of healthy people, for example, to increase lifespan.
There is also now the possibility of implanting computer chips in the human brain. Neural implants, human-computer interfaces these are concepts that just a few years ago were the subjects of science fiction. Today, they are the subjects of U.S. patents.6 One should also consider the possibility of wireless communication between a neural computer implant and some remote control center. How do Catholic moral principles apply to such things? Until now, we’ve not had to think about a coherent moral position in the face of such possibilities. That’s changed.
It’s not only personal morality that needs to be addressed. We also have to think about social and political effects. One of the criticisms of all this genetic enhancement is that it will be available only to the wealthy. Will we have society stratified into classes of the “genetically enhanced” and the “genetically deprived”? What new weapons will be unleashed upon us in future wars?
As I stated earlier, Sir Julian was not the first person to conceive of a process of transhumanization. Let’s go back several centuries. Before there was a Julian Huxley there was a Dante Alighieri. Dante expressed the idea of transhumanization in Canto I of Paradiso, written sometime in the early 1300s. Dante wrote, “Transhumanizing cannot be signified in words therefore let the example suffice him for whom grace reserves the experience.”
Transhumanization is something ineffable, something beyond the ability of words to encompass. It can only be experienced, and that is a matter of grace. One can also refer to the Epistles, where St. Paul often talks about being a new creation in Christ and being sons of God through faith in Christ.7
Transhumanization is not a concept alien to Christianity. Quite the contrary, it is our Christian hope. But in Christianity transhumanization is a matter of God’s grace. Although we can begin the process of transhumanization in this life by living in the state of God’s grace, completion of the process is meant for a future life, an eternal life, of intimacy with God. In our present life in this world, grace does not destroy or change human nature, but works through human nature and perfects it. Through grace we are transformed into images of Christ. But we must await our resurrection for final transformation in the world to come. In the journey of our lives we must take as our companions the Christian virtues of patience and perseverance.
How, then, did we get from Christian transhumanization to biological transhumanism?
I want to offer a very cursory review of certain philosophical developments that have led up to secular humanism, which has become the de facto religion of the Western world. Transhumanism is an extension of secular humanism. If we use the image of a tree, secular humanism is the trunk, transhumanism one of the branches and the roots are planted in the soil of unbelief. This unbelief is not just ordinary atheist materialism. That’s been around for millennia. Rather, it is something just a few centuries old. It is not so much a non-God view as it is an anti-God view. More particularly, it is an anti-Christianity percolating through modern culture.
First, let’s turn to the Enlightenment, which is a foundation of modern secular humanism. The Enlightenment embraced a turning away from religion in general and Christianity in particular. The Enlightenment thinkers weren’t all atheists. Many were deists who believed in a creator, but one not personally involved with creation on an ongoing basis.
However, the question arises: if you don’t put your trust in a God who takes a personal interest in the world, then in what do you put your trust? Throughout history there runs the theme of salvation and the hope of it. In what do we place our trust? Where is our hope?
The Enlightenment thinker places his trust in the human potential to remake society by human reasoning and human will.8 The basis for hope is science and technology. Remember that the Enlightenment period of the 1700s was also a period of the rapid growth of scientific discovery. It must have been intoxicating. Here was the way to truth in the scientific method. One aspect, then, of the Enlightenment is positivism, a philosophy based upon sense experience and relying only on scientific observations for knowledge about the external world. Concomitantly, Enlightenment thought rejects tradition, the supernatural and revelation.
Now, social order cannot be achieved without values. So, where do values come from? The scientific method doesn’t provide values, only data. Also, for some time philosophy in Europe had been turning inward, away from the objectively knowable external world into the subjective operations of the mind. Eventually, there came from this a subjectivity with respect to values, or moral relativism.
A post-Enlightenment philosopher, Nietzsche, saw inherent weaknesses in Enlightenment liberalism. But, instead of turning back to the pre-modern, common sense philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas, he followed the thread of modern philosophy to a logical end point. God is dead. What’s more, according to Nietzsche, we killed him. God and religion became our enemies by limiting our freedom. In the end there is nothing but will to power. We are what we will to be.
The twentieth century atheistic philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was very influential in promoting existentialism.9 He was not an optimistic person. The concluding observation in one of his plays was, “Hell is other people.” Sartre defined existentialism by asserting the principle that existence precedes essence. This was the reversal of centuries of philosophical understanding that held that essence was first. This may seem like an academic issue of concern only to ivory tower philosophers, perhaps arguing over the matter at two o’clock in the morning in some cafe. But ideas have consequences, and one of the consequences of this idea is the slaughter of millions of unborn children each year.
Pro-lifers, for example, argue that the fertilized human ovum is, from the moment of conception, in essence, a human being. The attributes and powers we normally associate with fully developed humans a nervous system, the ability to move and think, self awareness, etc. are present in the human embryo as potentialities that, in the course of natural development, unfold or outwardly express themselves. In an ontological ordering essence precedes existence.
The pro-choice position, at least among some, is that an unborn child does not have the attributes and powers of a human being and is therefore not morally equivalent to a human being. In other words, existence precedes essence.
The dictum that existence precedes essence means that there is no human nature. According to Sartre, we invent and make ourselves. Sartre, like Aquinas, held that there can be no human nature unless there is a God who designs it. But Sartre took his atheism to its logical conclusion and denied the objective existence of human nature. If we do not believe that there is a human nature created by God, there is no level of dehumanization to which we cannot fall in our headlong rush to engineer human evolution.
We are running up against a wall of misconceptions, prejudices, faulty valuations and linguistic confusions firmly cemented together by existentialism. It takes great ingenuity and effort to render a population oblivious to common sense and reality. But our educational institutions, mass media and public officials have proven up to the task.
Modern humanism, founded upon Enlightenment thought and modified by the influence of Nietzsche and Sartre, has several important features.
Add to these features of secularism the powers given to us by technology, and the result is transhumanism. Transhumanism is the new face of eugenics, with this difference: in the older conception of eugenics human biological reproduction is limited by law or social pressure to those deemed to have the physical and intellectual qualifications defined by the ruling elite. It is like breeding horses or dogs. But the biology of reproduction remains natural. With transhumanism the biology is engineered.
The Church has begun to deal with transhumanism. The 2002 document of the International Theological Commission entitled Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God addresses some of the issues I have mentioned. This document warns against mankind usurping the role of God. “Neither science nor technology are ends in themselves; what is technically possible is not necessarily also reasonable or ethical.”11 The document also deals with cloning, germ line genetic engineering, enhancement genetic engineering and therapeutic interventions.12
But there is an ethical labyrinth to journey through that becomes ever more complex. In trying to help students find their way through complex philosophical ideas, one philosophy teacher used the metaphor of the golden string given by Ariadne to Theseus to find his way through the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur.’13
What’s our golden thread? How do we find our way through the ethical labyrinth of transhumanism? It has to be the fundamental principles derived from our religion. What does it mean to be a human person? What is our mission and destiny as human beings? If you exclude God from consideration there is no way through the labyrinth, even for well-meaning secularist philosophers such as Fukuyama who do see the dangers ahead.
Through it all we have to remember that the world has lost sight of something precious a vision seen only through the eyes of faith the vision of something supernatural and eternal.14 There will always be a little flame of faith shining in the wilderness of this world. The spirits of darkness are afraid of it and try to snuff it out, because as long as it shines there is the potential for the world to catch fire and for the grace of God to illuminate everything. As Catholics we have to keep this vision always in sight for ourselves and continually present it to the world.
Mr. Adrian Calderone graduated from Manhatten College with B. Ch. E. and M. E. degrees in chemical engineering. He spent more than three years living and traveling in Asia. Having earned his Juris Doctorate from New York Law School, he now practices intellectual property law. He and his wife Jo live in Brooklyn, New York and have three daughters. His last article in HPR appeared in October 2007.
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