Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Extinction Of The Pure Human

There is no such thing as the Human, only the Transhuman.
We are all transhuman. The transhumanism spectrum varies in magnitude, and so does the way that the transhuman philosophy is implemented in the lives of the common man. To help us better understand why we are all transhuman, and why most of the human species has already disposed of their pure human form, we need to understand the current working definition of transhumanism from Max More.
“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) (1).
According to this definition, we are using science and technology as a catalyst to accelerate human evolution and intelligence to exceed human limitations.  Furthermore, we are able to manipulate our environment, and enhance our genetic composition. Thus, by using any type of enhancement to improve the quality of life, pushing the boundaries of human limitations would ultimately fall into the transhumanism philosophical category.
By using this definition of Transhumanism, at what point do we make the transition from pre-programmed evolutionary mechanisms to the transhuman being? Do we become transhuman when our parents placed the first electronic gadget into our hands? Perhaps, when we received our first “life-promoting” vaccines such as the hepatitis A, B, or the influenza vaccine? My answer is no. We become transhuman much earlier.  We shed our pure human form and become transhuman in the womb; through the use of genetically engineered foods, iodized salt, and prenatal pills (2).
All of these standardized health procedures are all forms of technology that strip away our pure evolutionary form, and converts us into transhuman beings. Today, we only consider people transhuman if they carry some sort of advanced gadgetry or ingest advanced neural enhancing pills. However, those are all extreme cases of transhumanism, and as technology continues to merge with biological beings, the extreme spectrums of transhumanism will be pushed further out. Transhuman practices of today will become standard practices in future societies. This gives us the ability to take our evolutionary destiny into our own hands, creating a being that is conscious of it’s evolutionary development.
Even though the transition into worldwide transhumanism was a subtle metamorphosis, most people do not consider themselves transhuman. It is advisable to expect a similar evolution when contemplating the progression of posthumanism. As humans, it is natural to strive to improve the quality of life for ourselves and for our children. Survival is our most basic biological need. Because of this it is reasonable to suspect that the same subconscious actions will be take when moving from the transhuman state to the posthuman state.

(1) http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-faq/#answer_19
(2) http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/07/23/how-adding-iodine-to-salt-boosted-americans-iq/