Friday, April 04, 2008


Of recent I've become interested in transhumanism, the idea that humans will one day transition, through the use of technology. Many of them are technophiles in an extreme sense, but not all. I am not such a technophile, but neither do I wholly reject the possibilities provided by technology. I think that a transhmanist position is the only tenable position for views on technology, but I think it doubly important that we recognize the limitations and flaws our current technological program has.

As I have noted before, I do not see technology as an amoral force. I think that it is entirely possible to have immoral technologies, most weapons would fall in this category. I think that the majority of technologies that we do have are not necessarily moral, even those that seems to be on a cursory examination, such as medicines. I think it plausible to take this view on the grounds that many technologies are not liberatory, and by their nature tie people to the structure that creates them. Drugs used to treat diseases as opposed to cure them could be put in this category, not all them then necessarily, but at least some especially in the case of those that treat non-life threatening diseases.

There is a post over at Transhumanist Goodness on Moral Realism, Transhuman Goodness: Transhumanism and the need for realist ethics, that I generally disagree with. I reject the existence of objective moral facts altogether, and while I do accept that we might need to argue within a framework of moral realism to convince people of the Transhumanist project, we can't actually accept it as a moral framework. If the goal of the transhumanist project is to move past human capabilities then it seems that we must make a radical reevaluation of not only our physical and mental abilities, but also of our moral abilities. In fact, I would argue that we have already reached a point where we can have a true post-human, in theory if not in fact, based not on physical or mental changes but on philosophical and moral changes. I think that we can say that this is possible, though it is highly unlikely that there actually is a post-human existent.

I say it is possible because there exist possible environments, physical locations, for us to reside in where it would be possible to develop a post-human moral and philosophical outlook. This is not something that we can simply do, meaning I can't simply go somewhere and become post-human. In fact, anyone able to read and understand this is not able to undertake this task. But it is entirely possible that one could raise a child in such a way as to instill an understanding of the world that is based not on human understanding, but on a post-human philosophical and moral outlook.

There is a lot to unpack here and I'll do my best to do that in future posts, but this is a quick outline.


Brian said...

Hi Coathangrr. Trans humanism is something I'm new to. I can't see any reason why we shouldn't allow it. It seems a somewhat alien concept. But I'm sure IVF did when first mooted. I agree that technology can be put to immoral uses, but that's probably a side issue. I guess the question is when do I get my super-brain implant?

Roko said...

"I reject the existence of objective moral facts altogether"

- why?