Category Archives: Transhumanism

Transhumanism | America Magazine

If science and technology are left totally free, mankind can achieve an enhanced, transhuman future, rid of all pain and even free of death except by choice. At least that was the view of some 150 scientists, philosophers and engineers at the recent TransVision 2004 conference at the University of Toronto. The conference did not target only the U.S. Christian right for opposing such things as stem cell research. It challenged every faith community that believes a human being is more than just one more biological product. The weekend of Aug. 7 was organized by the World Transhumanist Association. In 2005 its conference will be in Caracas, Venezuela, where this small band of transhumanists will continue to challenge all larger faith communities to review what they have to say about a brave new world that would carry us far beyond the engineered manipulations that seemed so distant when Aldous Huxley wrote in 1932 about creating babies in test tubes.

The six-year-old W.T.A. has nearly 3,000 members, two-thirds of them in the United States. Most are male engineers, philosophers and research scientists. Co-sponsors of the Toronto conference included a number of similar organizations that exist mainly as stylish Web sites mounted by small groups with names like Betterhumans, Extrophy Institute and Immortality Institute.

For Nick Bostrom, co-founder of W.T.A. and an Oxford University philosopher, transhumanism is a new paradigm for thinking about humankinds future that rejects the assumption that human nature cannot be changed. Transhumanists, who include computer scientists, neuroscientists, nanotechnologists and researchers working at the forefront of technological development, believe that we can and should try to overcome all our biological limitations by means of reason, science and technology. They seek complete freedom to use new technology to augment intelligence, increase human strength and beauty, bring about sustainable mood enhancements, prolong life greatly and make it possible to leave the earth and explore and inhabit space.

David Pearce, who joined Bostrom in founding the W.T.A., predicted in an article published in 1977, The Hedonistic Imperative, that with genetic engineering and nanotechnology our post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish suffering throughout the living world.

Perhaps because the transhumanist message is disseminated mostly over the Internet, and perhaps also because of the W.T.A.s call for total freedom in scientific exploration and technical engineering, many of the nonmember participants in the Toronto weekend were university students preparing for high-tech careers. The conference made the faith views of the transhumanists easily accessible to these students.

The Toronto conference had just ended when it was announced on Aug. 11 that a Newcastle University team had been given a license in Britain to clone human embryos for therapeutic research purposes. The following weekend, Lux Research, a consulting company that studies nanotechnology, reported that corporations, governments, universities and others will spend an estimated $8.6 billion (U.S.) on such research and development in 2004, more than double the estimated $3-billion level of 2003. (Nanotechnology is used to build products out of components whose size is less than 100 nanometers, usually designer molecules. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter; the word is derived from the Greek root nano, which means dwarf.) The vision of the late physicist Richard Feynman, who proposed in 1959 that molecular manufacturing processes would make possible digital control of the structure of matter, is now becoming a reality in laboratories.

Because foreseeable innovations might enhance human life beyond all present constraints of disease or aging, there should be no limits whatever on new technologies, according to the self-styled transhumanists, who describe themselves mainly as avowed atheists with a libertarian bent.

The Toronto conference was their latest collective effort to win public support for their viewpoint. They talked about the creation of entities with greater than present-day human intelligence. One session looked at quantum miracles and immortality, another at a kinematic cellular automata approach to building self-replicating nanomachines. One of the few women W.T.A. members talked about posthuman prototypes debating their own design.

There was some questioning and debate amid their optimistic reports. There was both scornful criticism and tentative support of the U.S. presidents Council on Bioethics and its cautionary stance. Questions arising directly from religion fared less well. Christian resistance to some new techniques was characterized at one point as a Luddite dragging in of Trojan horses.

Yet, as a sign of some openness for dialogue, the Toronto conference began with a day described as a conversation between religion and transhumanism. This was a sequel to a similar workshop in July on a post-human-future, organized by the Ian Ramsey Centre, part of the theology faculty at the University of Oxford. In Toronto, however, many religious families were not represented, and those who did present some Buddhist and Christian reflections were also paid-up transhumanist members.

Tihamer Toth-Fejel, a research engineer with General Dynamics, identified himself as a Catholic. He noted without comment from any other conference participant that transhumanism is somewhat a product of secular humanism, which blindly rejects God, dehumanizes us into animals, claims that no objective statements can be made about morality (except the one just made), and ignores that we are intrinsically valuable because we are made in the image and likeness of God.

In The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (summer 2004), Toth-Fejel wrote that nanotechnology is only a tool and can be used for good or evil; the problem is that some significant opportunities made possible by precise molecular manipulationespecially within our own bodiesmay seem good but will actually be harmful to our humanity as persons. Enhancements that degrade our humanity are not good for us, because they contradict who we are as persons and, therefore, should be prohibited and discouraged. Our difficulty is in recognizing which enhancements are degrading us, discovering how this degradation occurs and, finally, finding the strength to resist the alluring promises they make.

Other questions about the limits of transhumanism arose during a presentation of work being done by the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. Steve Mann, a pioneer in developing wearable computers to aid vision, stressed that his main interest was not to enhance human functions but to explore how technology mediates between people and the world around them. Robert Logan recalled Marshall McLuhans law that each technical medium enhances some human function but also causes obsolescence, replicates and reverses into its opposite. As an example, computers enhance information handling, replace typewriters, replicate libraries and bring on information overload. The ambiguity of new technologies can be seen in the recent report by Britains Environment Agency that Prozac, widely used as an antidepressant, is building up in the countrys river systems and groundwater used for drinking supplies.

There are many questions to discuss, therefore, with W.T.A. members. The views expressed by James Hughes, W.T.A.s executive director, suggest the difficulties involved in joining them in a dialogue that engages their own faith. Hughes, now a Buddhist, says that new medical technology should be governed only by the principles of liberal democracy: equality, liberty and solidarity. People have the right to control their own bodies, he contends, and efforts by government to control such things as euthanasia or gene manipulation are throwbacks to the authoritarianism of the church and totalitarian states…to dogma and fear.

For Hughes, the human embryo is not a person. It is a biological product, so we must think we can use it for good ends. Engineering genes is like using any other technology, and the precautionary principleDont do anything until you understand the long-term consequencesis Luddite. We are a society that learns. Physical safety is the only ground he would accept for limiting technology. He is sure, he said in a public debate in Toronto last year, that in about 400 years there will be people with green skin and four eyes who are devout Roman Catholics.

Hughes and others do not think of their transhumanism as a religion, but they maintain their faith in their worldview with religious zeal. For Catholics, therefore, dialogue with them could amount to the kind of interfaith dialogue that Pope John Paul II discussed in Article 68 of Pastores Gregis, his summary of the 2001 synod on the mission of bishops. Such dialogue, the pope said, belongs to the new evangelization, especially in these times when people belonging to different religions are increasingly living together in the same areas, in the same cities and their daily workplaces.

Therefore, one challenge of the new evangelization, especially for Catholic lay scientists and engineers, is to enter interfaith dialogue with transhumanists and like-minded people, perhaps especially over the Internet, searching for those seeds of the Word which lie hidden among them, rejecting nothing that is true and holy in what they have to say.

The second challenge is to clarify what to bring to this dialogue. Catholic scientists and engineers, the Second Vatican Council taught, are among those whose first and special vocation is to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs, like nanotechnology, and directing these developments according to Gods will. Is it Gods will that everything that can be done should be done?

Near the end of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley put todays transhumanist argument in the mouth of Mustapha Mond, the authoritative state representative. Industrial civilization, Mond says, is only possible when theres no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning. The challenge, then, is to develop counterarguments in favor of a human civilization with self-denial, with limits, with constraints. For that, there is an inescapable first question: What does it really mean to be human?

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Transhumanism | America Magazine

Transhumanism – H+Pedia – hpluspedia.org

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values” – Max More, 1990

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Main: Transhumanism definitions

“Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values” – Max More, 1990

“Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase” – Transhumanist FAQ

“Transhumanism is the philosophy that we can and should develop to higher levels, both physically, mentally and socially using rational methods” – Anders Sandberg, 1997

“Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have” – Nick Bostrom, 2003

“Transhumanism promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology; attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence” – Nick Bostrom, 2003

“Transhumanism is the science-based movement that seeks to transcend human biological limitations via technology” – Philippe van Nedervelde, 2015

“Transhumanism anticipates tomorrows humanity: Envisaging the positive qualities and characteristics of future intelligent life; Taking steps towards achieving these qualities and characteristics; Identifying and managing risks of negative characteristics of future intelligent life” – Transpolitica website, 2015

This section highlights reasons for supporting transhumanism.

Extracted from an essay entitled “Transhumanism” on pages 13-17 of the book of essays “New Bottles for New Wine” published in 1957:

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future. This cosmic self-awareness is being realized in one tiny fragment of the universe in a few of us human beings. Perhaps it has been realized elsewhere too, through the evolution of conscious living creatures on the planets of other stars. But on this our planet, it has never happened before…

Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, nasty, brutish and short; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery in one form or anotherpoverty, disease, ill-health, over-work, cruelty, or oppression. They have attempted to lighten their misery by means of their hopes and their ideals. The trouble has been that the hopes have generally been unjustified, the ideals have generally failed to correspond with reality.

The zestful but scientific exploration of possibilities and of the techniques for realizing them will make our hopes rational, and will set our ideals within the framework of reality, by showing how much of them are indeed realizable. Already, we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted. We are already justified in the conviction that human life as we know it in history is a wretched makeshift, rooted in ignorance; and that it could be transcended by a state of existence based on the illumination of knowledge and comprehension, just as our modern control of physical nature based on science transcends the tentative fumblings of our ancestors, that were rooted in superstition and professional secrecy.

To do this, we must study the possibilities of creating a more favourable social environment, as we have already done in large measure with our physical environment…

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.

I believe in transhumanism: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Peking man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.

Main: Transhumanist Declaration

The first four sections of the Transhumanist Declaration, written in 1998 by an international collection of authors, encapsulate an argument in favour of transhumanism, as follows:

In February 2013, a number of authors created alternative transhumanist declarations. Some excerpts provide additional reasons for supporting transhumanism:

From Dirk Bruere:

We assert the desirability of transcending human limitations by overcoming aging, enhancing cognition, abolishing involuntary suffering, and expanding beyond Earth.

From Samantha Atkins:

1) We advocate the end of aging.

We advocate serious research focus on finding a cure for all the deleterious effects of aging and ultimately the dissemination of the resulting treatment to all who care to avail themselves of it.

2) We believe in and advocate the achievement of actual abundance.

We believe in and seek to bring into the being the technologies and practices, that will ensure such abundance that it is trivial to meet all the needs and many of the wants of all humans. This abundance includes abundant food, water, shelter, education, communication, computation, health care.

This is to be achieved by means of advanced technology and whatever changes are necessary to actually experience abundance in ourselves and our institutions.

3) We hold that all must be voluntary.

None of our goals should be or in our view could successfully be achieved by force. No one should be forced directly or indirectly to support these goals. Force and oppression lead to hopelessness, anger, revenge, revolution. With the multiplication of consequences afforded by accelerating technology these cycles are even less survivable than ever before.

4) We support exploitation of near earth space resources.

The future of humanity brightens considerably if we exploit near earth space resources. The right to do so should be available to any and all entities capable of improving or making productive use of any part of it. Any treaties that say no part of off planet resources can belong to anyone should be nullified and declared void.

5) All humans are free to attempt to improve themselves.

All humans by virtue of the inalienable right to their own life have the right to do whatever they wish that they think may be an beneficial or even as a whim. They only limit is that they cannot abrogate the equivalent rights of others. They can ingest, or embed or modify themselves in any way they wish and think may be an improvement. This includes seeking and achieving improvements beyond the human norm. In short they have full right to pursuit of happiness via such means.

From Jason Xu:

We view our movement as an extension of humanitarianism and the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with exponentially greater benefits. We are first and foremost dedicating to radically improving humankind, ensuring that the great power of morphing technology comes with great responsibility.

From TJL-2080:

The twentieth century was a time of amazing growth and technological advancement. The twenty-first century will see these technologies burst forth in an unprecedented fashion. Humanity must adapt to the coming changes or become obsolete. We seek to fulfill our potential by not giving in to our biological limitations. We will use new technologies to enhance our lives, live longer, be smarter, healthier and more compassionate to all beings.

From Nikola Danaylov:

Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains. It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.

Biology mandates not only very limited durability, death and poor memory retention, but also limited speed of communication, transportation, learning, interaction and evolution.

Biology is not the essence of humanity.

Human is a step in evolution, not the culmination…

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.

From Taylor Grin:

Humanity has made leaping strides of advancement in the last 4000 years. From agriculture to genetics, from the printing press to the Internet. From the first controlled flight in 1903, to landing on the moon in 1969. From fire to the nuclear bomb.

Yet despite these advancements, we still fail to meet our potential in treating disease, solving human suffering and overcoming the lot nature casts us.

While science and technology are the greatest asset we have in the struggle to elevate ourselves above the human condition, we acknowledge that technologies can be misused to harm humanity, and the environment.

It is the goal of Transhumanists across the globe, therefore, to quickly and responsibly usher in a new era of individual freedom, health and longevity, and we seek to bring this about this goal through personal investment in researching and developing technologies.

The following argument is by Eliezer Yudkowsky (2007):[1]

Suppose you find an unconscious six-year-old girl lying on the train tracks of an active railroad. What, morally speaking, ought you to do in this situation? Would it be better to leave her there to get run over, or to try to save her? How about if a 45-year-old man has a debilitating but nonfatal illness that will severely reduce his quality of life is it better to cure him, or not cure him?

Oh, and by the way: This is not a trick question.

I answer that I would save them if I had the power to do so both the six-year-old on the train tracks, and the sick 45-year-old. The obvious answer isnt always the best choice, but sometimes it is.

I wont be lauded as a brilliant ethicist for my judgments in these two ethical dilemmas. My answers are not surprising enough that people would pay me for them. If you go around proclaiming What does two plus two equal? Four! you will not gain a reputation as a deep thinker. But it is still the correct answer.

If a young child falls on the train tracks, it is good to save them, and if a 45-year-old suffers from a debilitating disease, it is good to cure them. If you have a logical turn of mind, you are bound to ask whether this is a special case of a general ethical principle which says Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad. If so and here we enter into controversial territory we can follow this general principle to a surprising new conclusion: If a 95-year-old is threatened by death from old age, it would be good to drag them from those train tracks, if possible. And if a 120-year-old is starting to feel slightly sickly, it would be good to restore them to full vigor, if possible. With current technology it is not possible. But if the technology became available in some future year given sufficiently advanced medical nanotechnology, or such other contrivances as future minds may devise would you judge it a good thing, to save that life, and stay that debility?

The important thing to remember, which I think all too many people forget, is that it is not a trick question.

Transhumanism is simpler requires fewer bits to specify because it has no special cases. If you believe professional bioethicists (people who get paid to explain ethical judgments) then the rule Life is good, death is bad; health is good, sickness is bad holds only until some critical age, and then flips polarity. Why should it flip? Why not just keep on with life-is-good? It would seem that it is good to save a six-year-old girl, but bad to extend the life and health of a 150-year-old. Then at what exact age does the term in the utility function go from positive to negative? Why?

As far as a transhumanist is concerned, if you see someone in danger of dying, you should save them; if you can improve someones health, you should. There, youre done. No special cases. You dont have to ask anyones age.

You also dont ask whether the remedy will involve only primitive technologies (like a stretcher to lift the six-year-old off the railroad tracks); or technologies invented less than a hundred years ago (like penicillin) which nonetheless seem ordinary because they were around when you were a kid; or technologies that seem scary and sexy and futuristic (like gene therapy) because they were invented after you turned 18; or technologies that seem absurd and implausible and sacrilegious (like nanotech) because they havent been invented yet. Your ethical dilemma report form doesnt have a line where you write down the invention year of the technology. Can you save lives? Yes? Okay, go ahead. There, youre done…

So that is transhumanism loving life without special exceptions and without upper bound.

Can transhumanism really be that simple? Doesnt that make the philosophy trivial, if it has no extra ingredients, just common sense? Yes, in the same way that the scientific method is nothing but common sense.

Then why have a complicated special name like transhumanism? For the same reason that scientific method or secular humanism have complicated special names. If you take common sense and rigorously apply it, through multiple inferential steps, to areas outside everyday experience, successfully avoiding many possible distractions and tempting mistakes along the way, then it often ends up as a minority position and people give it a special name.

A techno-utopia, as hypothesized by Marshall Brain in a futuristic science-fiction novel titled “Manna”, can be seen as a strong arguments for transhumanism. In the utopia, with the aid of science and technology, humans are capable of doing the following:

A techno-dystopia, which is the current, non-transhumanist paradigm, holds the following in store for humans:

Writers in previous generations have often expressed arguments in favour of transhumanist ideas, without using that precise terminology. This includes Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Condorcet, Francis Bacon, and many others. See the Prehistory of Transhumanism.

Main: Criticism of transhumanism

This section lists some common criticisms of transhumanism. See Criticism of transhumanism for more discussion of:

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Academic researchers, Dr. Joseph P. Farrell and Dr. Scott D. de Hart, discussed transhumanism and the hidden history and agenda that have set humanity on a collision course for the Apocalypse. Transhumanism encompasses the total transformation of mankind, Farrell said, pointing out that its adherents view humanity as malleable and capable of being engineered via technological meansa process he likened to alchemy. “The ultimate goal is to reach a higher level of consciousness,” de Hart added.

Farrell detailed four stages of the origin of mankind, starting in the highest state of androgyny and falling progressively lower through the mineral, vegetable, and animal conditions. Just as in alchemy, the transhumanists are attempting to reverse engineer the process in order to ascend back up into the primordial androgynous state of unity, Farrell explained. “The idea of fusing man with whatever could be imagined is part of the agenda,” de Hart noted. The two cited examples of scientific research aimed at producing chimerical creations, such as a mouse genetically-engineered to produce human sperm cells.

Transhumanistic research raises the prospect that eventually a human being could be created whose parents are not human, they’re mice, Farrell continued. He further suggested that GMO foods may be introducing genetic modifications in the people consuming them. Both men also referenced ancient stories, including the Old Testament tale of the Tower of Babel, as warnings against civilizations reaching beyond what they should, violating the dividing line between the powers of god and man, and getting put back into place for it.

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Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda – Waking Times

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Uri Dowbenko, Conscious ReporterWaking Times

At a TED-like techno-geek symposium in the 2014 film Transcendence, Artificial Intelligence guru Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is asked by an audience member, So you want to create your own god? And he answers, Isnt that what man has always done?

This smarmy remark is indicative of the hubris and arrogance of scientism, the belief that science can solve all the problems on this planet, while scientists can have fun playing god at the same time.

It could also have been the answer of Real-Life Techno-Wizard Ray Kurzweil, Googles Director of Engineering, whose book The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005), is ever so popular with scientific materialists who neither have the capacity nor the desire for spiritual evolution, but have a fervent belief that the shotgun marriage of man and machine is not only normal but something to be ardently pursued.

Simply put Kurzweils sociopathic quest for digital immortality is based on his fear of death. He claims to take 150 pills a day in order to still be half-alive when voodoo science will have succeeded in uploading his sorry-state mind into a digital facsimile of his former self into cyber-space.

No soul? No problem

Since materialist scientists dont understand multi-dimensional or spiritual realities, they are unconcerned about the details which they cant even fathom.

And what exactly is the Singularity supposed to be? Its a future mythological moment when machine (artificial) intelligence becomes more intelligent than human intelligence.Kurzweils thesis and fervent hope is that it will occur by 2045. He writes that it is a future period during which the pace of technological advance will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed The Singularity will represent the culmination of the merger of our biological thinking and existence with our technology, resulting in a world that is still human but transcends our biological roots. There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine or between physical and virtual.

Does that sound like science or a religious Belief System (B***)?

Despite a lackluster script, Transcendence is worth seeing because it is another example of Illuminati predictive programming in popular sci-fi movies. After all todays Hollywood Illuminati make the best movies, which are also the best propaganda for preparing humanity to accept One World Global Techno-Feudalism.

Eliminating humanity altogether also appears to be one of their goals as they seem to believe that the Humanity Experiment for all intents and purposes is finished. And, if they realize their twisted vision, humanity will in actuality become completely superfluous on Terra.

A Charlie Sheen movie called The Arrival comes to mind, in which an alien race is terra-forming Planet Earth to fit their requirements which are far different from that of humanity. They need a darker and more humid climate like the one in which dinosaurs roamed the earth. Obviously geo-engineering spraying chemtrails around the world and other forms of weather manipulation using HAARP technology, etc. are used in this so-called climate change scenario. Of course humans are always blamed for using the petro-chemical technology with which they have enslaved humanity in this age.

Now the plan to get rid of those pesky humans appears to have accelerated as the movie Transcendence introduces the concept of transhumanism to the hand-held electronics-addled masses.

Transhumanism itself was coined by Aldous Huxleys brother, biologist Julian Huxley, in 1957, when he wrote The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature. (Religion Without Revelation, p.27)

Even Illuminati Gofer Julian Huxley called it a belief, since he knew that immortality was the Illuminati goal in life. After all, transhumanism has been aptly named the Rapture of the Geeks.

Reviewers of the movie have failed to put the film in context with real-life science, wherein techno-mischief makers like Google have plenty of cash to make their dream of transhumanism a reality. It should be noted that Google has been buying up companies like Boston Robotics, which makes killer robots, Deep Mind Technologies, an artificial intelligence company, NEST Labs, which plans to monitor your life through interactive appliances called the Network of Things and Project Calico, a genetic engineering project to defeat death itself, as their hype goes.

Scooping up human DNA into a gigantic database also seems to be one of Googles goals. A Google-wannabe subsidiary called 23andMe, founded by the wife of a Google founder, has as its stated goal creating the worlds largest secure, private database of genotypic and phenotypic information that can be used for comparison analysis and research. Of course Google has included a disclaimer in the Terms of Use which states Genetic information you share with others could be used against your interests. And this wonderful Monopoly Capitalism zinger as well By providing any sample, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by 23andMe or its collaborating partners.

According to a New York Magazine article called The Google of Spit, by the end of 2013, 23andMe had extracted and analyzed DNA from 650,000 people, making it one of the biggest genetic banks in the world. Like any other Google scam, you sign away your rights but this time its your genetic program its your DNA.

Will Google be able harvest your soul in the future?

As New York Magazine put it In September, just a month after Wojcicki [wife of Google founder Sergey Brin] and Brin announced their separation, Google announced the launch of a new venture called Calico. Though its exact mission and purpose remain unclear, the general idea is for Calico to solve death, as Time magazine put it, in an uncanny echo of Wojcickis [founder of 23andMe] promise to solve health.

Solve health? Solve death? Theres no so-called problem these Arrogant Techno-Creeps cant handle

And then theres DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), the Pentagons black-magic voodoo-science department that wants to create among other things replicant super-soldiers as portrayed by Rutger Hauer in the movie Blade Runner or Kurt Russel in Soldier for the Illuminatis future wars which will then inevitably morph into autonomous killing robots as seen in the RoboCop and Terminator films.

Coincidentally in a book by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange called When Wikileaks Met Google (2014), we discover Surprise! Google was actually partially funded by the sinister DARPA, the Pentagon Devils Workshop. Heres a footnote from the book

Acknowledgments, in The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, Sergey Brin, Lawrence Page (Computer Science Department, Stanford University, 1998): The research described here was conducted as part of the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project, supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement IRI-9411306. Funding for this cooperative agreement is also provided by DARPA and NASA, and by Interval Research, and the industrial partners of the Stanford Digital Libraries Project, archive.today/tb5VL.

In an excellent documentary called Google and the World Brain, WIRED magazine writer Kevin Kelly asked Google founder Larry Page back in the olden days, Why would anyone want a new search engine when we have Alta Vista?

And Page replied, Its not to make a search engine. Its to make an A.I.

The documentary also quotes Ray Kurzweil before he was hired as Googles Director of Engineering saying We talked to Google about their quest to digitize all knowledge and then create an A.I.

Googles corporate goal appears to be not only to steal all words, books, images, video, music, etc. through its search engine and other subsidiaries like Google Books, You Tube, etc. but then to monetize this wholesale theft on a worldwide scale.

This global library of information can then be transformed into a super-cyber-godlike Artificial Intelligence, which literally may become tantamount to SkyNet of Terminator movie fame.

In Transcendence, the Johnny Depp character turns into an uploaded cyberspace version of his former human self. Disguised as a cautionary tale, the movie is presented as a fait accompli, since the mad scientists of Google and DARPA are undoubtedly working day and night to initiate the so-called Singularity a confluence of the so-called GRIN technologies Genetic, Robotic, Information processing, and Neuro-technological processing.

By merging Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, and Synthetic Biology, augmented by geo-engineering and Genetically Modified (GM or weaponized) food crops, these voodoo priests and rabbis of transhumanism are attempting to create a consensual virtual reality in which humans have become irrelevant because they are not augmented like those who have A.I. enhanced techno-gadgets, granting them super-powers, super-knowledge or super-intelligence. These synthetic or artificial siddhis (spiritual powers), they believe, will make them much more than mere mortal humans.

Like SkyNet, the all-powerful Artificial Intelligence in Jim Camerons Terminator movies, which sees humans as the enemy because it has no use for humans, Johnny Depps uploaded super-mind in Transcendence becomes a kind of cyber-god which craves more energy and power, not only to survive, but to expand itself and control everything on Earth.

Or as the Depp character tells his TED fanboys at the symposium Imagine a machine with the full range of human emotion. Its analytical power will be greater than the collective intelligence of every person in the history of the world. Some scientists refer to this as the singularity. I call it transcendence.

The problem with Singularity is that these materialistic scientists dont even understand what consciousness is, yet believe that uploading a human brain into a computer environment is somehow akin to transcending humanity even if its just a synthetic copy of a persons memories, etc.

They call it H+ which implies a superior human (Homo Superior) as opposed to Homo Sapiens.

The reality may be a little different, since the Illuminati plan for humanity is genetically engineering Homo Sapiens into Homo Deus.

Or is it Homo Insanus?

After all. No soul? No problem

Even Nobel Prize winner Stephen Hawking has written about his foreboding regarding transhumanism and the movie Transcendence in a UK Independent op-ed piece.

Of course Hawking doesnt say that Google is equivalent to Skynet, but he appears to be concerned about the dangers of an A.I. arms race, since mega-corporations like the sinister Google and Apple, as well as the sinister DARPA, are using their formidable resources of money and high-tech labor to try to produce an A.I. as soon as possible. Hawkins writes its tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction. But this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history.

And why does Hawking sound a warning about the dangers of A.I.? Because he knows that as a cripp(term used by the handicapped as short for cripple), he would have been terminated as a useless eater.

The movies premise that Artificial Super Intelligence, a/k/a The Uploaded Johnny Depp 2.0 is a threat to humanity is of serious concern to Hawking and that dismissing the film as just science fiction could be the worst mistake in history, implies that film director Jim Camerons scenario in Terminator 2, wherein the A.I. based SkyNet overpowers the humans is not simply an idle threat but a very real problem since morality-and-ethics-free robots who are soul-less beings are an existential threat to humanity itself.

Hawking argues that developments in so-called digital personal assistants like Apples Siri and Google Now show a current I.T. Information Technology arms race which pales against what the coming decades will bring.

Success in creating A.I. would be the biggest event in human history, writes Hawking Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.

Another opponent of the Singularity agenda is Bill Joy, who wrote an article for WIRED Magazine called Why the future doesnt need us: Our most powerful 21st-century technologies robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech are threatening to make humans an endangered species.

Joy quotes from Kurzweils book The Age of Spiritual Machines, wherein he finds himself most troubled by this passage

The New Luddite Challenge

On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite just as it is today, but with two differences.

Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite.

In the book, you dont discover until you turn the page that the author of this passage is Theodore Kaczynski the Unabomber.

By the way Luddite is a derogatory term for anyone who is opposed to technological so-called advances for any reason whatsoever.

And of course what the alleged Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who was a mind control experimentation victim at Harvard, meant in his screed was that propaganda is actually so-called news, psychological techniques is the Malthusian belief system that there are too many humans on earth, and biological techniques means genetically modified foods and vaccines to cull the herd. In other words, he is predicting the Illuminati vision for the future a future bereft of what Illuminati Kingpin Henry Kissinger called useless eaters.

Then Bill Joy, cofounder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems, gets positively metaphysical, writing I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment.

Perfection of extreme evil now thats a mouthful.

Even Elon Musk, of Tesla Car and SpaceX Rocket Fame, is allegedly wary of A.I. According to CNN, he told an audience at MIT that we should be very careful about Artificial Intelligence, warning it may be our biggest existential threat, adding that with Artificial Intelligence, we are summoning the demon.

When so-called High Profile Illuminati Gofer Scientist-Entrepreneurs refer to Artificial Intelligence as Perfection of Extreme Evil and Summoning the Demons b******! You Better Pay Attention!

CONTINUE READING

URI DOWBENKO is the author of Homegrown Holography, Bushwhacked: Inside Stories of True Conspiracy and Hoodwinked: Watching Movies with Eyes Wide Open. He is also the founder and publisher of http://www.ConspiracyPlanet.com, http://www.ConspiracyDigest.com, http://www.AlMartinRaw.com, and http://www.InsiderIntelligence.com, as well as the publisher of The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider by Al Martin. Uris latest project is called New Improved Memoirs, Its your life story Without the hassle of writing it. (http://www.NewImprovedMemoirs.com) a professional service for people who want to leave behind a customized autobiography, in other words a published book, as a legacy for their friends, family, and posterity. You can visit Uri at http://www.UriDowb

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Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda was last modified: June 18th, 2016 by WakingTimes

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Transhumanism: The Anti-Human Singularity Agenda – Waking Times

What does transhumanism mean? – Definitions.net

Transhumanism

Transhumanism is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal at fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label “posthuman”.The contemporary meaning of the term transhumanism was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and worldviews transitional to “posthumanity” as “transhuman”. This hypothesis would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990, and organizing in California an intelligentsia that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.

Follow this link:
What does transhumanism mean? – Definitions.net

Transhumanism – Catholicism.org

Having fouled Earth with the works of their modern substitute for religion, science and technology, liberals imagine they can build a perfect world in outer space by means of science and technology that are now more advanced than they were in the past, or so it is boasted. It is what NASA has been about since the agencys inception. The effort has been joined in recent years by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos with space projects of their own financed by them. However, there is a fly in the liberals ointment.

It is that their planned perfect world would be inhabited by imperfect human beings, men and women who are often irrational, some to the degree that they persist in holding to the preposterous notion that a Palestinian peasant two thousand years ago was God, and all of them subject to emotions which can be unruly and lead to messy situations. This, despite liberalism with its belief in the perfectibility of man, having long ago replaced religion as the core around which the life of society is lived.

Some very rich and powerful men, not to speak of scientists and technologists of like mind, think there is now a solution to the problem (as they see it) of human imperfection. It is called transhumanism. Perhaps you have heard of it. The literature of transhumanism is quite extensive. Heavily funded foundations promote it. References to it show up regularly in mass media. Persons under forty are apt to talk about it at social gatherings when they want to appear to have intellectual interests.

Like Christianity ever since the so-called Reformation shattered the unity of the Faith, sectarian differences exist within transhumanism, but all its adherents believe in, work toward, or otherwise support an undertaking of the kind that could only be conceived in a post-Christian age like ours: melding human beings and computers. The idea is to upload artificial intelligence (A.I.) into men so they will become, transhumanists say, more than human. Christians would say it will make them, if successful, less so, but were not going to get into that here.

Not all Christians would say it anyway. Although most transhumanists are atheists, they recognize the Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin as a precursor. To anyone looking for clarity of thought and expression the woolly verbiage of Teilhards writings make them difficult to read, but it is possible to get his drift. It appeals to the kind of Catholics who strive to reconcile truths taught by the Church with science and technology in order to rationalize their dependence on machines to transport them, cool them, make things for them, entertain them, keep them alive in some circumstances, do more and more of their thinking for them.

Being a paleontologist, Teilhard was a great believer in evolution. What he envisioned, decades before the development of the internet and worldwide web, was all machines linked in a network by which, and in which, human minds would merge, all consciousness becoming unified so that it would eventually break through the material framework of Time and Space and arrive at what he called Omega Point the Divine, Christ. Of course at that point human beings would not be as we know them and as they have always existed.

Julian Huxley, the famed British eugenicist, was a close friend of Teilhard, but a non-believer. In a 1951 lecture he presented a secularized version of Teilhard: Such a broad philosophy might perhaps be called, not Humanism, because that has certain unsatisfactory connotations, but Transhumanism. It is the idea of humanity attempting to overcome its limitations and to arrive at fuller fruition

Oh, those irksome limitations! (i.e., irrational beliefs and emotions.)

Many transhumanists see Christian belief in particular as positively threatening. Simon Young, one of their leading thinkers, has written: The greatest threat to humanitys continued evolution is theistic opposition to Superbiology in the name of a belief system based on blind faith in the absence of evidence.

Perhaps the most influential transhumanist thinker is Ray Kurzwell, a director of engineering at Google. A book he wrote in 1999, The Age of Spiritual Machines, is a kind of bible of the movement. The twenty-first century will be different, he said therein. The human species, along with the computerized technology it created, will be able to solve age-old problemsand will be in a position to change the nature of mortality in a postbiological future.

Change the nature of mortality? He means his spiritual machines will live forever, their bodies incorruptible, immune to disease and decay. To acquire knowledge, all theyll have to do is upload it effortlessly to their brains.

Kurzwell calls the point in evolution where this happens Singularity. It is analogous to Teilhards Omega Point.

Some transhumanists, including Kurzwell, talk about resurrecting the dead. Theyll do it, they think, using the DNA we all leave behind. This is where space travel comes back into the picture, though in a way unforeseen by the men who launched NASA: What with the dead being brought back to life and everybody living forever (as spiritual machines), it wont take long before Earth really is overpopulated. Migration to other planets will be necessary.

The billionaire Elon Musk identifies as a transhumanist. Besides developing the Tesla electric automobile, he is best known for Space X, a project for developing reusable rockets with a view to their eventually transporting men and material to Mars for human colonization of the Red Planet. (Since there is no oxygen on Mars, vehicles on the planet will have to be powered by electricity. Hence the Tesla.)

Peter Thiel is another billionaire transhumanist and financial angel to enterprises like Future of Humanity Institute and Singularity University. Although he was given a speakers slot at last years Republican National Convention, he is less well known to the public than Elon Musk. Born in Germany and now a citizen of New Zealand, he was a co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, is openly gay, a huge fan of Tolkein (he says he has read Lord of the Rings more than ten times), was a member of the Libertarian Party until 2016, and seems to have an unerring instinct for placing himself where power and influence can be had. His membership on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group shows that. So did his being named to the executive committee of Donald Trumps transition team after Trump won last Novembers election (he had contributed $1.25 million to the Trump presidential campaign). It is known that he is a partner of Jared Kushner in one of the latters investment operations. Oh, he also describes himself as a Christian but acknowledges that his beliefs are not orthodox. His financial contributions to transhumanism are weighted toward life-extension and age-reversal projects. (At one point, pre-PayPal, Thiel was a speech-writer for William Bennett when the former drug czar and U.S. Secretary of Education was marketing himself as a morality guru with books like The Book of Virtues and The Childrens Book of Virtues, but grew tired of the job and quit before the public learned that Bennett was a compulsive gambler who had blown millions of dollars at Las Vegas casinos.)

The defense of civilization requires vigilance, but guarding against treachery from within is hard. Western Christian civilization has been undone by leaders who were really Judases, beginning with the priests, bishops and princes who led millions out of the Church at the time of the Protestant revolt commonly called the Reformation. They were followed by the Revolution which first overthrew Christian government in France in 1789 and has continued to unroll so that it does not now exist anywhere. More recently there were the culture wars, which Christians could never have won, not with the weight of modernity against them.

Why? The Judas factor again. Christianity demands sanctification for entrance into Heaven; and self-denial, self-abnegation, self-discipline are requisite to it. Too many modern Christians, faith and belief run out of them, including belief in Heaven except maybe as a place where everybody will go anyway, have preferred self-aggrandizement instead. What they want is all that will make things easier for self or, better yet, enhance it. What could do that to a greater degree than the promise of immortality, especially immortality without pesky emotions and irrational beliefs to mar its perfection?

The trouble is that only a computer could see such a state of things as perfect.

Footnote: Transhumanists argue among themselves as to whether the right of anyone to stay human, especially for religious reasons, should be respected and protected. If these people ever exercise more power and influence than they already do, the argument will probably prove pointless. When most remaining Christians arent Christian enough to face life without the benefits of modernitys existing appurtenances smartphones, processed foods, automobiles, television, air-conditioning, etc., etc. how many will choose Heaven in whose existence they can believe only by faith over the scientific certainty of life in the here and now forever and ever?

Related

Go here to read the rest:
Transhumanism – Catholicism.org

Transhumanism and Libertarianism Are Entirely Compatible – Reason (blog)

Luis Manuel Tapia Bolivar/DreamstimeA fight over whether or not transhumanism can be libertarian broke out over at The American Conservative. The contretemps began with an article by Zoltan Istvan, author of The Transhumanist Wager. Istvan is also seeking to become the Libertarian Party candidate for governor of California.

In “The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism,” Istvan optimistically asserts that “freedom from the government will allow radical science to go on undisturbed.”

Zoltan defines transhumanism as “the international movement of using science and technology to radically change the human being and human experience. Its primary goal is to deliver and embrace a utopian techno-optimistic world.” Due to rapid technological progress “the world is shifting under our feetand libertarian transhumanism is a sure way to navigate the chaos to make sure we arrive at the best future possible.”

Kai Weiss, a researcher at the Austrian Economics Center and Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria, swiftly denounced the piece. “Transhumanism should be rejected by libertarians as an abomination of human evolution,” he wrote.

Clearly there is some disagreement.

Weiss is correct that Istvan doesn’t expend much intellectual effort linking transhumanism with libertarian thinking. Istvan largely assumes that people seeking to flourish should have the freedom to enhance their bodies and minds and those of their children without much government interference. So what abominable transhumanist technologies does Weiss denounce?

Weiss includes defeating death, robotic hearts, virtual reality sex, telepathy via mind-reading headsets, brain implants, ectogenesis, artificial intelligence, exoskeleton suits, designer babies, and gene editing tech. “At no point [does Istvan] wonder if we should even strive for these technologies,” Weiss thunders.

While Istvan may not wonder, Weiss fails to make a single argument against these technological developments: It is apparently self-evident to him that they are evil.

As with all new technologies, unintended consequences are inevitable and people can and will surely misuse them. Libertarians know all too well that vigilance against government abuse of modern technologies is vital. These worries do not, however, constitute preemptive arguments for preventing people from voluntarily seeking to use the fruits of innovation to work out how to live the best lives that they can.

Oddly, as a riposte against libertarian transhumanism, Weiss cites Christian conservative Rod Dreher’s assertion that “choice matters more than what is chosen. The Technological Man is not concerned with what he should desire; rather, he is preoccupied with how he can acquire or accomplish what he desires.” This is a non-sequitur. Of course, libertarians (and one hopes most other folks) are concerned about what it is that we should desire. The central question is who, if anyone, has the right to stop us from pursuing our private and non-aggressive desires once we’ve applied our intellects and moral imaginations to figuring out what it is that we want?

Progressives and conservatives believe government has extensive authority to tell citizens how to live their lives. Libertarians do not. On that count, Weiss is entirely correct to call out Istvan for succumbing to authoritarianism when he advocates for licensing reproduction as a way to prevent overpopulation.

As someone who evidently thinks he is committed to enlarging human liberty, Weiss would do well to ponder this observation from economics Nobelist Friedrich Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty:

Nowhere is freedom more important than where our ignorance is greatestat the boundaries of knowledge, in other words, where nobody can predict what lies a step ahead.the ultimate aim of freedom is the enlargement of those capacities in which man surpasses his ancestors and to which each generation must endeavor to add its shareits share in the growth of knowledge and the gradual advance of moral and aesthetic beliefs, where no superior must be allowed to enforce one set of views of what is right or good and where only further experience can decide what should prevail. It is wherever man reaches beyond his present self, where the new emerges and assessment lies in the future, that liberty ultimately shows its value.

Hayek’s point is that human beings are terrible at foresight. Engaging in a robust process of trial, error, and correction is how nearly all moral and technological progress has ever been made.

As I have earlier argued:

The highest expression of human nature and dignity is to strive to overcome the limitations imposed on us by our genes, our evolution and our environment. Future generations will look back at the beginning of the 21st century and be astonished that some well-meaning and intelligent people actually wanted to stop bio-nano-infotech research and deployment just to protect their cramped and limited vision of human nature. If transhumanism is allowed to progress, I predict that our descendants will look back and thank us for making their world of longer, healthier and abler lives possible.

While Weiss asserts “it is time for libertarians to argue against the notion of extreme transhumanism,” he ultimately concedes “the state shouldn’t prohibit it.” So long as he leaves government power out it, Weiss is, of course, free to argue as much as he likes that transhumanism is an abomination contrary to libertarian thinking. But I suspect that few people, especially folks committed to liberty and the development of technologies that enable them and their progeny to have better chances to lead flourishing lives, will heed his Luddite counsel.

For those interested in libertarian arguments in favor of transhumanism, you may be interested in my essay, “The Case for Enhancing People” and my book, Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution.

Disclosure: I was on a panel with Istvan at FreedomFest in Las Vegas a month ago discussing the much dreaded prospect of designer babies. I am generally in favor of allowing parents to use modern biotechnologies with the goal of improving the prospects that their children will enjoy flourishing lives.

Read more:
Transhumanism and Libertarianism Are Entirely Compatible – Reason (blog)

Transhumanism: Can’t Code This – Patheos (blog)

Transhumanists do a disservice by making transhumanisma term first coined in 1957 by Julian Huxley in his essay New Bottles for New Wineseem appealing because its based on speculative philosophy that reduces the self to a series of ones and zeroes.

I feel like Im looking into those mid-90s mirror glasses of Morpheus trying to decide if I should take the blue pill or the red pill. Which one lets me wake up like nothings happened, again?

Transhumanism evangelists tell me to take the blue pill. Stay plugged in to the Matrix and live the life I always wanted. Stave death off for a few more years. Upload some memories from my brain into my hard drive and live in said harddriveonly consciously, mind you.

But my actual soul urges me to take the red pill; stay in wonderland, see how far the rabbit hole goesand hopefully find freedom from the machines.

In The Matrix human beings, made of flesh and blood through and through, fought for their lives against their oppressors: the machines.

Man gave birth to AI (artificial intelligence) and AI took over and enslaved humans, reducing them to a copper top so they could harvest their power, and, therefore, continue to exist.

In the The Matrix the protagonists hacked into the machine network in order to free other humans who were unknowingly plugged in, living a dream life.

Theres a trace of transhumanism in The Matrix: the characters possess the ability to plug their brains into a fake world, and upload instructions on how to fly a military helicopter.

But the humans warred against the machines. They didnt adapt, and become part machine themselves.

In the critically acclaimed ExMachina (2016) we again find ourselves wondering if AI can possess human consciousness (the Turing Test). The storyline here plays like The Matrix: man versus machine. It just employs more seduction into the mix.

Today, however, were taking the next step.

Machines arent just our friends, like C3PO or our potential enemies like Ava. We are the machinesor part machine. At least we soon can be.

The 2017 remake Ghost in the Shell highlights this progression and presents us with a sexy look at the future when a self is really just a matter of perspective.

Russian tech mogulDmitry Itskov believes he can pioneer a way for human beings to live forever. He believes without immortality technology he will be dead in thirty-five years.

The implication lining his ambition is that when we die, thats it. No afterlife.

Hes a materialist. So, rather than settling for the end, hed rather discover a way to upload his brain into a computer mainframe and live in his consciousness forever. Sounds delightful.

Well known American tech moguls are investing in various areas of research designed to extend life and have founded institutions such as Singularity University and Future of Humanity Institute (which is in association with Oxford University). Even noted evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins wants in the game.

Hes committed to the view that there is nothing mystical or supernatural about life, and therefore in principle, it must be possible to construct life either chemically, making your own by chemistry, or in a computer.

Even disenfranchised Christians find transhumanism a viable alternative to religion.

In this disturbing piece found in The Guardian, Meghan OGieblyn chronicles her fall from her Christian faith, due to an overwhelming despair at the absence of God.

OGieblyn admits transhumanists do not believe in the existence of a soul, but they are not strict materialists, either. They believe in patterns, meaning our consciousness is the result of biological processes.

So, of course you can replicate a pattern and store it somewhere, right?

But some scientists think differently. Dr. Miguel Nicoleis, a neuroscientist from Duke University, says:

You cannot code intuition; you cannot code aesthetic beauty; you cannot code love or hate. There is no way you will ever see a human brain reduced to a digital medium. Its simply impossible to reduce that complexity to the kind of algorithmic process that you will have to have to do that.

Dr. Nicoleis admits things exist beyond ones and zeroes which cannot be duplicated, and this makes human beings impossible to reduce to a machine.

What makes you and me a self, then, are things outside the world of science. They cannot be replicated because they deal with our individual experience of living in relation to other people and things in the world.

Embedded in the transhuman idea lies the concept of dualism. Our physical bodies and our minds can and do operate independent of each other. This raises questions about what constitutes the self.

Transhumanists believe the self can be replicated and uploaded into a computer. But what kind of existence is that?

The despair that drove OGieblyn to transhumamism is a relationally cosmic issue. Who are we in relation to one another, to God? Where is God when life hurts? Do I matter? What is my purpose in this world?

We can try and outsmart genetic issues like suffering, alienation, and death all we want. But in the end a better weapon against genetic and cosmic entropy might be found in the rumination of C.S. Lewis who said:

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

After all, if were considering the stuff of science fiction as a real solution to our ontological problems. Is a place like heaven really that far fetched?

Link:
Transhumanism: Can’t Code This – Patheos (blog)

The first men to conquer death will create a new social order a terrifying one – New Statesman

In a 2011 New Yorker profile, Peter Thiel, tech-philanthropist and billionaire, surmised that probably the most extreme form of inequality is between people who are alive and people who are dead. While he may not be technically wrong, Thiel and other eccentric, wealthy tech-celebrities, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, have taken the next step to counteract that inequality by embarking on a quest to live forever.

Thiel and many like him have been investing in research on life extension, part of transhumanism. Drawing on fields as diverse as neurotechnology, artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering and philosophy, transhumanists believe that the limitations of the human body and mortality can be transcended by machines and technology. The ultimate aim is immortality.Some believe thisis achievable by 2045.

Of course, humans have long harnessed technology, from vaccinations to smartphones, to improve and extend our lives. But that doesnt admit you into the transhumanist club. Wanting to live forever, and possessing vast sums of money and time to research, does.

The hows and whens of transhumanism are matters of debate. Some advocatethe “Singularity” a form of artificial super-intelligence which will encompass all of humanity’s knowledge, that our brains will then be uploaded to.Others believe in anti-ageing methods like cryonics, freezing your body after death until such a time when you can be revived.

Transhumanism is no longer a fringe movement either. Darpa, the US governments research arm into advanced weaponry, created a functional prototype of a super soldier exoskeleton in 2014, which will be fully functional in 2018, and is researching the possibility of an artificial human brain.

“Transhumanism doesn’t have much to say about social questions. To the extent that they see the world changing, it’s nearly always in a business-as-usual way techno-capitalism continues to deliver its excellent bounties, and the people who benefit from the current social arrangement continue to benefit from it,” says Mark O’Connell, the author of To be a Machine, who followed various transhumanists in Los Angeles.”You basically can’t separate transhumanism from capitalism. An idea that’s soenthusiastically pursued by Musk and Peter Thiel, and by the founders of Google, is one that needs to be seen as a mutationof capitalism, not a cure for it.”

Silicon Valley is characterised by ablind belief in technological progress,a disregard for social acceptability and an emphasis on individual success. It’s no surprise, then, that it is here that the idea of living forever seems most desirable.

Musk has publicly declared that we have to merge withartificially intelligent machines that overtake humanityin order to survive. Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who pioneered the Singularity, is now an engineer at Google. O’Connell points out that “you’d have to be coming from a particularly rarefied privilege to look at the world today and make the assessment, as someone like Thiel does, that the biggest problem we face as a species is the fact that people die of old age”.

On an even more basic level,a transhumanist society would undoubtedly be shaped by the ideals of those who created it and those who came before it. Zoltan Istvan, the transhumanist candidate for governor of California,toldTech Insiderthat a lot of the most important work in longevity is coming from a handful of the billionaires…around six or seven of them.

Immortality as defined by straight, white men could draw out cycles of oppression. Without old attitudes dying off and replaced by the impatience of youth, social change might become impossible. Artificial intelligence has already been shown to absorb the biases of itscreators. Uploading someones brain into a clone of themselves doesnt make them less likely to discriminate. Thiel andMusk, for example, identify as libertarians and have frequently suggested that taxes are obsolete and that governmental military spending needs to be curbed (and put into life-enhancing technologies).

Thiel himself is a Donald Trump supporter. A one-timeassociateMichael Anissimov, previousmedia officer at Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a Thiel-funded AI think tank, has published a white nationalist manifesto. In a 2013 interview, Anissimov said that there were already significant differences in intelligence between the races, and that a transhumanist society would inevitably lead to people lording it over others in a way that has never been seen before in history. It doesnt take much to guess who would be doing the “lording”.

“The first enhanced humans will not be ordinary people;they’ll be the people who have already made those ordinary people economically obsolete through automation. They’ll be tech billionaires,” says O’Connell.

If those who form society in the age of transhumanism aremen like Musk and Thiel, its probable that thissociety will have few social safety nets. There will be an uneven rate of technological progress globally; even a post-human society can replicate the unequal global wealth distribution which we see today. In some cities and countries, inhabitants maylive forever, while in others the residents die of malnutrition.If people dont die off, the environmental consequences from widespread natural resource devastation to unsustainable energy demands would be widespread.

It would be remiss to tar all transhumanists with one brush. In 2014, Istvan claimed inThe Huffington Postthat the membership of transhumanist societies and Facebook groups has started to expand in number and in diversity, drawing in young and old people of all political persuasions and nationalities.

There are some prominent transhumanists who dont fit into the Silicon Valley mould. Natasha Vita-More, the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Humanity+ , the globaltranshumanist organisation, has spoken about the potential for a posthuman society to address issues of economic justice. Other academics and philosophers have even spoken about the need to explicitly ground diversity and tolerance within posthumanism, such as Nick Bostrom, the head of the Future of Humanity institute and one of the original modern transhumanist thinkers.

It remains the case, though, that the majority of the money invested inmaking transhumanism a reality comes from rich, white men. As the descendants of a species with a tendency to exploit thedowntrodden, any posthumans must guard against replicating thosesame biases in a new society. For some, potentially in the near future, death might become optional. For others, death will remain inevitable.

See the article here:
The first men to conquer death will create a new social order a terrifying one – New Statesman

Transhumanism: The final chapter in humanity’s perpetual quest to be kitted out in comforting accessories – The Independent

In Jackson, Minnesota, there is a man making Massey Ferguson tractors. He works for Agco. Which is huge, apparently: making billions. Tractors are very big business. And now they are making roughly another billion every year, because the guy who is making the tractors is wearing a pair of glasses.

The thing is, they are smart glasses, with a blueprint of the tractor built in to the lens, with instructions about which bit connects to which. He never has to pick up a manual with his greasy hands. They may not even be that greasy, but you can see how its an improvement on the old system. (Suggestion to Ikea: maybe you could consider including a pair of smart glasses with the next bookcase or bed I buy from you).

So its a guy with a very small tool (glasses) making a very big tool (tractor). But eventually he will take the glasses off and go home, job done. Now imagine if he had the lens built in to his eye, maybe like contacts, and he didnt have to take them off any more. Then you would be modifying the human too, you would have created what is popularly known as a transhuman. Not long ago an art student in London was experimenting with a third thumb which she had attached to one hand. Could it speed up tractor making? Its doubtful but if youre already making billions it might be worth a try.

Somewhere out there is a guy with a chip in his head (or neural implant) that enables him to know whether there is any broccoli left in the fridge without ever opening the door.

It sounds trivial but there is something fundamental happening here. I am a great fan of the almond (and other nuts). But I have only recently discovered (thank you, Tony Kuklinski in New Zealand), that the best almond trees are actually grafted on to the back of a peach tree. The peach tree has more resistant roots, I gather. And the almonds are great (I know, I checked). Transhumanism is a bit like that: we are grafting one thing on to another to produce an improvement, in this case the graft is inorganic and the recipient of the graft is organic, namely one of the species we laughingly or in a hopeful, aspirational way (rather like saying Good dog! to a dog that is manifestly not good at all) refer to as Homo sapiens. The point is to make the homo more fully sapient than it (s/he?) was to begin with.

I think it was Jules Verne, in his prescient way, who first predicted the rise of the internet. He also brilliantly predicted newspapers that would be made out of chocolate and you could eat them when you finished reading them. Im sorry that one never quite made it through the reality checkpoint. Verne wrote hymns to technology, which was relatively unusual in the second half of the 19th century. I recall he had serious doubts about bicycles (he actually made a speech to a girls school denouncing them as a threat to civilisation), but on the other hand was very enthusiastic about the submarine.

A Glass apart: Googles foray into eye technology was a bit of a flop (Getty)

Captain Nemo (who appears in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island) is one of the first characters in literature to dramatise the merging of man and machine. A curious scientist asks him how his wonderful machine is powered: By a cunning system of levers, he replies. It should be obvious it is his organ playing that powers his vehicle (he really is an accomplished organist), which is to say it is the man himself. There is a perfect reciprocity: Nemo is the Nautilus, the Nautilus is Nemo. They are indivisible (far more so than Iron Man, for example, and his suit: you can always take the suit off again). But to make a mere human fully trans now in the underwater realm you would need to give them gills. Maybe a tail too, I guess.

The transhuman is a chimera, a fusion of two forms, one (as I remember human beings being described from an alien point of view) an ugly bag of water and the other a nice clean circuit board inscribed on silicon (or similar). Its like taking the Nautilus and miniaturising it right down and sticking it in your head so you can go cruising 20,000 leagues (or whatever) without any apparent vehicle. You become the vehicle. Which would be cool. Except I dont know if tractor drivers really want to turn into a tractor and have a little plough sticking out of their rear end, I guess that is never going to catch on.

Having just got hopelessly lost on the road from Wellington to Waipukurau when my phone conked out, I wouldnt have minded having a map app installed in my head (had there been a decent atlas of New Zealand in the car this thought would never have occurred to me but rather like the tractor guy I would then be hands-free and wouldnt have to stop to look at the map). You become a functioning GPS system, in other words, with a screen inside your brain, and will never get lost again (which now I come to think of it, I would regret). Homo sapiens are, at last, on the verge of getting smart.

But, hold on a second, says the philosopher, what ever happened to Socratic ignorance? According to Plato, Socrates had a habit (which could be annoying, depending on your point of view, and of course he was ultimately sentenced to death) of going about checking on people who were supposed to know stuff (tractor makers and suchlike) and concluding that really they knew nothing. Neither did he but at least he knew that he knew nothing, and that was his edge over everyone else. Ignorant, yes, but avowedly, self-consciously ignorant. He at least had the knowledge of ignorance.

Many other philosophers have made similar claims, not excluding ace deconstructionist Jacques Derrida, as Bernard Stiegler has pointed out. Stiegler was a student of Derridas who, as one should, derided the old master. All philosophy, argued Stiegler (having done his time in prison, I recall, for armed robbery), has been anti-tekhn. The guys who were making tractors or the BC500 equivalent (Socrates mentions shoemakers, for example) really did know something and Socrates was just being a bit of a pompous ass for cocking a snook at them. And Derrida was doing something similar by raving on all the time about the text and ignoring (in his Socratic ignorance) anything that smacked of science or technology. Just as anti-tekhn as all the others. Which is ironic considering that writing is a form of technology, just so commonplace (unless you happen to be illiterate) that we have forgotten thats what it is.

Dani Clode, a Royal College of Art student, created a third thumb as part of her MA dissertation project (Dani Clode)

This should have been obvious after the invention of the printing press, what Marshall McLuhan called the Gutenberg Galaxy, and the typewriter. If you ever went into a newsroom of old, you will know what I mean: it was like a factory, with the sound of clacking machines, and printed paper coming off the far end of the assembly line. This may explain why, even when it was parchment or stone tablets, Socrates disdained writing and stuck rather religiously to the oral (and relied on Plato to be his Dr Watson). He understood that the written would have compromised and corrupted the purity of his austere anti-tekhn discipline. Somehow Stiegler managed to get Derrida discussing computers and television, which of course he maintained were all just variations on the text.

There is no polarity between the human and the technological. We are naturally prosthetic beings, says Stiegler. The process of hybridisation simply means that we are becoming more engineered. I can think of a few spare parts I wouldnt mind having right now. Its a phenomenon that Derrida refers to as the logic of supplementarity: writing is a supplement to speech, for example. A guy with a leaf blower is supplementing his ability (extremely limited) to blow leaves around. The odd thing about Desmond Morriss old concept of humankind as the naked ape on account of our relative hairlessness is that it omits the crucial fact that we generally are not naked: we are constantly kitting ourselves out with accessories of one kind or another, perpetually dissatisfied as we are with the initial denuded state. The smart glasses are an advanced type of fig leaf.

In Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari suggests that, with the multiplication and extension of our virtual skills, we are now approaching a final state of secular divinity. It is true that it is possible to imagine (or not even imagine) enhancements to our knowledge such that, for all practical purposes, we are effectively omniscient. I already have students in the classroom correcting me, about two seconds after I have come out with some clearly inadequate answer to a tricky question: But my phone says You too can become a transhumanly annoying fact checker.

As seen on screen: could RoboCop become a reality? (Rex)

Add to that additional supplements: happiness, you only have to press a button, or rather your brain would press the button for you, releasing a rush of endorphins or endocannabinoids, just as soon as there is a hint of boredom creeping up on you. And, for an added bonus, intolerable beauty too, combined with a dash of immortality. A full-body engineering makeover, physical and mental, bionic and cognitive: the temptation to become a Hollywood superhero will surely become irresistible. In the realm of the Matrix, humans will become simulacra of themselves, but very good at running up walls and firing guns upside down. The physicist Frank Tipler, in The Physics of Immortality, reckoned that we will have to wait till the universe collapses in on itself a form of the Big Crunch that he refers to as the Omega Point until we attain godhood (admittedly, we would have to be boiled down into pure silicon). But perhaps we wont have to wait that long.

And alongside the homo deus would presumably stand the homo stultus, the village idiot or holy fool who remains regressively or aggressively unenhanced. Smartness versus dumbness who will win? The knowledge-based economy has only one answer. But somewhere in the interstices of all this information must remain at least the possibility of the kind of creative madness, an inspired stupidity, that lies beyond mere digital shuffling. Ignorance is probably not bliss, it probably contains an almost unbearable sadness and discontent, but it also allows the possibility of innovation in a form that mere knowledge (by definition) cannot know. Jules Verne, having described how a giant gun could shoot a missile at the moon, ridiculed his rival HG Wells for dreaming up an anti-gravity paint, for in effect, cheating: Mais il invente! Stupid dreamers can invent things that the smart guys can only deride.

Back in the Garden of Eden, Yahweh (a classic transhuman, if ever there was one, fully tooled and enhanced, and spending most of his time stored in a cloud, moreover) felt the same way about the humans he was soon sorry he had conjured up: not only were they ignorant (despite tasting of the tree of knowledge), it was impossible to guess what they were going to do next. If a god does not exist, maybe we can invent one.

Andy Martin is the author of Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me. He teaches at the University of Cambridge.

See original here:
Transhumanism: The final chapter in humanity’s perpetual quest to be kitted out in comforting accessories – The Independent