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Marc Manguray BME/PHIL 80G

Transhumanism and The Future it Holds
Swords, wheels, language, gunpowder, electronics, modern medicine, and computers were invented in order to make people’s lives essentially better off. In fact, these inventions evolved the human race and society beyond what nature has provided in our own bodies. What if instead of changing what we have, we could essentially enhance ourselves? In his book, In New Bottles for New Wine, Julian Huxley, founder of UNESCO, he coins the term “Transhumanism” the idea that, “Man must, while remaining man, must transcend himself by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.” He argues humans must seize the opportunity to make themselves smarter, faster, stronger, less prone to violence, and better off by enhancing his nature through the technology available to them. With new discoveries and innovations arising every day in the fields of Genetic Engineering, Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence, Cryonics and Nano technology, it isn’t difficult to realize that Transhumanism is at, and should be at the forefront of every bioethicist’s mind. One of the critics of Transhumanism is Francis Fukuyama, an American political scientist and economist, who describes it as “the world’s most dangerous idea.” He argues that the “first victim of Transhumanism is equality, where we have drawn the lines where by simply being human entitles a person to political and legal equality, and that by making ourselves posthuman, into something superior… what rights will these enhanced creatures claim, and what rights will they possess when compared to those left behind?” He also then adds in the implications it will have in poor societies who could not afford to follow such feats and that there is a need to develop a certain respect for human nature that must not be defaced as much as we

Fukuyama has good points. For Fukuyama. Transhumanism must be front and center when discussion bioethics and the future that it holds. If anything. He also misses the main point of Huxley’s definition of Transhumanism. Because it introduces a very imminent reality to biotechnology and society. his end of equality scenario lacks much proof and is reminiscent to the “slippery slope” arguments made for in-vitro fertilization. for almost every time we introduce “enhancements” to our lives. the future holds no promises for the consequences of our actions. and their negative effects on Earth. Plus. and prolong human life. In fact. Transhumanism was born with the idea that all humans must move towards a posthuman existence. which promotes the curing of disability ailments. It is not difficult to realize the excitement of what the future holds for human beings as a species.developed respect for those in nonhuman nature. However. and plastics. and that there is a possibility that post-humans might think that each are more superior to humans. But let us heed Fukuyama’s warning because it is foolish to travel unprepared. and because it introduces so many different controversial factors that may very well shatter or reconstruct our current views of what it means to be human. Transhumanism frightens him because of the upcoming attitudes that post-humans might have on the “lesser” species and the chaos that it might ensue on human/post-human society. Take into account our dealings with industry. However. it is morally wrong to sacrifice human equality. Transhumanism touches so many different enhancements that one must not overgeneralize these advancements critical to what makes us human. . manufacturing. Transhumanism must be allowed in cases where people can become better off with making other worse off. we often find that the consequences we face in the aftermath are difficult to tackle.

com/articles/2004/09/01/transhumanism>.foreignpolicy." FP (2004): 1-2. London: Chatto & Windus. 2012.References Fukuyama. "Transhumanism. <http://www. Francis. Huxley. Julian. 1957. In New Bottles for New Wine. .