What is Human Wisdom?: An Interrogation of Posthuman Futures in Transhuman Evolutionary Discourse

Deane-Drummond, C. (2009). What is Human Wisdom?: An Interrogation of Posthuman Futures in Transhuman Evolutionary Discourse. The Global Spiral, 10 (2).

 Excerpt: "Transhumanism is the view that humans should be permitted to use technology in order to re-make human nature, offered as the next stage in human evolution. It differs from posthumanism in as much as posthumanity is largely concerned with an ideal future where such transitions have already happened. Christian engagement with transhuman discourse has more often than not been situated in the context of ethical debates about the legitimacy of particular technologies championed by transhumanists in their goals to achieve a form of humanity that is not just freed from those mortal ills that weigh down ordinary human lives, but also aims towards additional ‘supra-human’ qualities deemed desirable to attain. Many see transhumanity as an intermediate stage on the way to a full-blown posthumanity, and as such, it draws on the scientific technologies currently available in order to justify its position. ...

"Nick Bostom and Anders Sandberg also believe that the starting point for interventions is one that reflects the ‘wisdom of nature’ by posing what they term is the evolutionary optimality challenge, namely, if the proposed intervention would lead to an enhancement, why have humans not evolved in this way? Bostrom and Sandberg believe that it is permissible to go beyond the fundamental limitations of evolution, caused either by physical incapability, such as diamond teeth, or by being ‘locked in’ through genetic processes such as heterozygote alleles giving an advantage to a homozygote lethal condition. In such cases, the human engineer has a specific aim in view, hence, working backwards in order to propose possible enhancements. This process of human engineering takes account of the evolutionary knowledge already gained, but is also able to override ignorance in that they believe that there may be some justification in making interventions where the evolutionary function is unknown. In the final analysis it seems that the goal towards transhuman evolution is simply made more palatable by the rhetorical use of the evolutionary and wisdom heuristic."

Source: The Global Spiral

Image by Masakazu Matsumoto

 



(Something interesting I found)Posted:May 01 2009, 12:00 AM by admin
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