But with traditional religion waning in the West — and who can deny it? As long as humans believed they relied more and more on these gods, they were controllable. But humans will. The historian and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari, mentioned by Wesley, would make an exemplary prophet for the new faith. Ensconced at Hebrew University with its panoramic view over the Holy City of the three ancient monotheist religions, Dr.
Too perfect, almost. His Wikipedia bio goes on :. Harari is a vegan, and says this resulted from his research, including his view that the foundation of the dairy industry is breaking the bond between mother and calf cows. At some point, though, the realization dawns. Wesley Smith is pointing to such a dawn on the part of the Transhumanists.
Watch out, though. The gentle, meditative Dr. Harari aside, supposedly godless value constructions can be as intolerant and coercive as any old religion ever was. Skip to content In a sense, there are no atheists. An Exemplary Prophet The historian and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari, mentioned by Wesley, would make an exemplary prophet for the new faith.
Future Perfect: the transhumanist quest to defeat death
Instead, there are many incremental processes at play, which may work better or worse, faster or more slowly. With many potentially transforming technologies already available and others in the pipeline, it is clear that there will be a large scope for human augmentation. The more powerful transhuman technologies, such as machine-phase nanotechnology and superintelligence, can be reached through several independent paths.
Should we find one path to be blocked, we can try another one. The multiplicity of routes adds to the probability that our journey will not come to a premature halt. Could they even cause our extinction? Efforts to reduce existential risks are therefore a top priority. At present, there is no manner by which any human can become a posthuman. This is the primary reason for the strong interest in life extension and cryonics among transhumanists. Those of us who live long enough to witness currently foreseeable technologies come to fruition may get the chance to become posthuman.
Although there are no guarantees of success, there are some things that can be done on an individual level that will improve the odds a bit:. Live healthily and avoid unnecessary risks diet, exercise, etc. Keep abreast of current research and save some money so that you can afford future life-extension treatments when they become available;.
Join others to help promote transhumanism. Meanwhile, we can enjoy and make the most of the opportunities that exist today for living worthwhile and meaningful lives. In addition, we possess an unprecedented accumulation of cultural and intellectual treasures whereby we can enrich our experiences and broaden our horizons. There is considerable disagreement among transhumanists about what kind of perfection is attainable and desirable, either in theory or in practice.
Catalog Record: Designer evolution : a transhumanist manifesto | HathiTrust Digital Library
Would it be boring to live for an indefinitely long time in a greatly improved world? The world could surely be improved over the way it is now, including becoming less boring. Admittedly, material improvements to the environment may not, in themselves, be sufficient to bring about lasting happiness. If your accustomed fare is bread and water, then a box of cookies can be a feast.
But if every night you eat out at fancy restaurants, such fine fare will soon seem ordinary and normal; and any lesser feast, such as a box of cookies, would be insulting by comparison. There may be considerable truth to the folk wisdom that an expensive new car does not make you happier or rather, it makes you happier, but only temporarily. In some ways, human minds and brains are just not designed to be happy. Fortunately, there are several potential viewpoints from which to go about addressing this challenge.
- Catalog Record: Designer evolution : a transhumanist manifesto | HathiTrust Digital Library!
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Apes engage in activities that we, as humans, would find repetitive and dull. In the course of becoming smarter, we have become bored by things that would have interested our ancestors. But at the same time we have opened up a vast new space of possibilities for having fun — and the new space is much larger than the previous one. Humans are not simply apes who can obtain more bananas using our intelligence as a tool.
Our intelligence enables us to desire new things, such as art, science, and mathematics.
If at any point in your indefinitely long life you become bored with the greatly improved world, it may only indicate that the time has come to bump up your intelligence another increment. It would probably be unwise to eliminate boredom entirely, since boredom can serve to prevent us from wasting too much time on monotonous and meaningless activities. Present clinical mood-drugs are crude, but nonetheless they can sometimes restore interest and enthusiasm for life — sometimes tiredness and despair has no interesting reason behind it and is simply an imbalance of brain chemistry.
Only by compartmentalizing our thinking to a high degree can we imagine a world where there is mature molecular nanotechnology and superhuman artificial intelligence, but the means are still lacking to control the brain circuitry of boredom. Fundamentally, there is no reason why pleasure, excitement, profound well-being and simple joy at being alive could not become the natural, default state of mind for all who desire it. Ed Regis , p. If eternal life becomes boring, you will have the option of ending it at any time.
References: Pearce, D. The Hedonistic Imperative. Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition. Penguin Books: New York, It was founded in as an umbrella organization to publicize transhumanist ideas and to seek academic acceptance of transhumanism as a philosophical and cultural movement.
Your help is needed. If you want to study transhumanist ideas in more detail, you can find some syllabi and reading lists on the website to get you started. The coming technological transitions may be the most important challenge that humanity will ever face. The entire future of intelligent life on Earth may depend on how we handle it. If we do the right things, a wonderful posthuman future with limitless opportunities for growth and flourishing may lie ahead. If we handle it badly, intelligent life might go extinct.
From this site, links to local groups and affiliated organizations can also be found. One could make the case that the average citizen of a developed country today has a higher standard of living than any king five hundred years ago. The king might have had a court orchestra, but you can afford a CD player that lets you to listen to the best musicians any time you want. When the king got pneumonia he might well die, but you can take antibiotics. The king might have a carriage with six white horses, but you can have a car that is faster and more comfortable.
And you likely have television, Internet access, and a shower with warm water; you can talk with relatives who live in a different country over the phone; and you know more about the Earth, nature, and the cosmos than any medieval monarch. The typical pattern with new technologies is that they become cheaper as time goes by.
In the medical field, for example, experimental procedures are usually available only to research subjects and the very rich. As these procedures become routine, costs fall and more people can afford them. Even in the poorest countries, millions of people have benefited from vaccines and penicillin. In the field of consumer electronics, the price of computers and other devices that were cutting-edge only a couple of years ago drops precipitously as new models are introduced.
It is clear that everybody can benefit greatly from improved technology.
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- Designer evolution; a transhumanist manifesto..
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Initially, however, the greatest advantages will go to those who have the resources, the skills, and the willingness to learn to use new tools. One can speculate that some technologies may cause social inequalities to widen.