The relationship between human beings and technology is important and over the years it has taken on a special relevance. Many think that man today could not obtain any achievement if it were not thanks to the development of technology or technological applications. It is here that what is known as transhumanism comes to play an important role , a cultural and intellectual movement that is based on available technologies and on the individual as such.
What is transhumanism?
The transhumanism is a project whose main object is to increase and improve every faculty physical and cognitive having the individual through the use of all technologies innovative of today in order to improve humanity.
- Definition of transhumanism
- Characteristics of transhumanism
- Advantages of transhumanism
- How it differs from posthumanism
- Main managers
- Transhumanism in popular culture
Definition of transhumanism
Transhumanism is a movement of a social and philosophical nature that is completely dedicated to the promotion of research and the development of the different types of technologies that currently exist in order to improve the condition of the human being. It is a type of thinking that is based on affirming that technologies have the great capacity to increase the sensory reception of the human being, to improve the emotional capacity of individuals as well as the cognitive capacity .
It is a philosophy that states that the human being can be subjected to all kinds of modifications using technology and that these can be implanted in the human body permanently to basically improve the human race.
The origin of transhumanism was given thanks to the English biologist and philosopher Julian Huxley , in one of his essays entitled with the same name, in this one, he made reference to the way in which the human being could be improved through social and cultural change However, his writing and its name was adopted by the transhumanist movement that focused more on material technology.
The true development of transhumanism began during the last years of the 20th century. In 1960 , FM Esfandiary , a futuristic man, was in charge of giving several lessons related to the new ways of conceiving the human being in New York , and here he began to observe that the individuals who decided to adopt technology and include it in their styles of life they sought to take the step from post-humanity to transhumanity .
It was in the early 1980s that the first transhumanists began to meet at the University of California , a place that became one of the main nerve centers of this type of thinking. In this way, many philosophers and scientists began to support the theory. In 1986 , Eric Drexler published the book known as ” Creation Machines : The Future Era of Nanotechnology ” in which the different points of view related to nanotechnology and molecular assembly were discussed in order to give more importance to all emerging technologies.
In 1998 , Nick Bostrom and David Pearce were in charge of founding the World Transhumanist Association , an organization that managed to unite the main promoters of transhumanism and in 2008, the group changed its name to “Humanity” , a non-profit group that I was looking for a way to improve the human condition.
Characteristics of transhumanism
Among the main characteristics of this movement are the following:
- They are based on the belief that the human being must evolve through technology
- The movement focuses on the use of technological advances such as nanotechnology, genetic engineering, cybernetics, artificial intelligence and the fusion between the machine and the human mind.
- It does not propose limits of any kind.
- It considers that the distinction that exists between the human being and other living beings is only a gradual difference .
- It allows an arbitrary choice to be made regarding the morphology of the human body, because for them, the transhuman has the ability to change their body shape by choosing between several options for procreation.
- It is a thought that only focuses and cares about the future .
- Try to overcome human aspects such as social skills , memory , concentration , intelligence and all the capabilities of the human brain .
The main objective of transhumanity is to be able to improve , increase and enhance all the capacities that human beings have related to cognitive and intelligence skills in order to prolong life, even avoid death. It is a theory that tries to carry out a series of biophysical modifications in individuals to basically turn them into “ cyborgs ” by giving them tools and extensions of a technological type incorporated into the human body.
With this type of movement, several dangers or consequences can arise, among which we find:
- Creation of technologies that can become dangerous to human health while they are being developed and put into practice. As an example we can mention several stem cell transplants that, when misapplied, produced several cases of cancer patients.
- Cosmetic technologies that do not produce any type of benefit for the human being and that on the contrary damage the skin.
- With its application, a great social inequality can be produced , since transhumanism would be a procedure only for the richest. In addition, the application of his theories would mean a great expense of economic resources .
- There could be a significant overpopulation on earth since, if the human being manages to improve physically , emotionally, morally and cognitively, it could also reach high percentages of life.
- Creation of genetic or technological racism since experts consider that the first victim of this movement would undoubtedly be equality.
- Displacement of the human being by machines, since combining man with the machine would significantly modify the human genome through the use of genetic engineering.
Advantages of transhumanism
Some of its most considerable possible advantages are:
- Development of human beings more intelligent and with a capacity of learning faster.
- Elimination of defects perfecting the human being.
- Increased resistance to diseases thus prolonging the life of the human being.
- Decreased aging of human cells.
- Sharpening of the senses and cognitive ability .
Many experts, scientists and philosophers affirm that the disadvantages of transhumanism are many, and among them they mention the following:
- Loss of human identity that would produce great integration problems.
- Situations of conflict between religion and ethnicity caused by evolutionary differences.
- Elimination of moral , judicial and ethical laws in humanity.
- It would be very confusing to understand if man continued to be a human being .
- Creation of megacorporations that would impoverish small businesses.
The main controversy that exists with respect to this movement is the point that treats the human being as an individual , since many affirm that with the application of transhumanism, human beings would lose all moral and legal concept so that humanity itself would be seen extremely affected. Men would no longer think before acting because their brains would be practically dominated by machines , feelings would disappear from the world and situations could arise that would affect humanity.
How it differs from posthumanism
The difference is that posthumanism is a philosophical current that aspires to find the overcoming of humanism in order to open spaces for discussion where it is possible to talk about the concept of human being following the historical and cultural contexts that exist today. From the transhuman point of view, posthumanism is understood as the final stage of it that does not imply the disappearance of man but rather displacement .
Among its main representatives are the following:
- Aldous Huxley creator of the term transhumanism.
- Nick Bostrom who studied the risks of transhumanism.
- Raymond Kurzweil.
- Aubrey De Gray.
- James J. Hughes
Some examples of transhumanism are mentioned below:
- Substitution of limbs for bionic arms or legs.
- Neural modifications to increase human intelligence.
- Neural programming through software that would be installed in human brains to increase knowledge.
Transhumanism in popular culture
Today, thousands of people dream of fulfilling the dream of transforming their bodies into machines capable of basically controlling the world. Many books , narrated stories, television series and movies have been created that address the subject by encouraging the desire to level up. The big screen has been responsible for increasing this desire through great movies such as The Matrix, Avatar, RoboCop, Terminator and many more.