Transhumanism is Meaningless
One of the many post-modern, post-structuralist,”globalist” schools of thought is Transhumanism, i.e. the notion that humanity should strive towards overcoming the human form as physical form, thereby transcending humanity and evolving into something else.
Science fiction as a genre is a most noble one, with incredibly gifted authors that have had significant impact on the fields of philosophy, ethics, science, mathematics, etc. – from Jules Verne to Stanislav Lem. However, making some of the fantasies explored into these artpieces into an actual political ideology is something to be analysed with caution.
There is no commonly accepted opinion as to what extent the “Trans-human” condition is defined – some approach the matter on an entirely technological/physical level, i.e. they mainly envision a Transhuman world where everyone would be a Cyborg in some form or another (through enhancing prostheses); others advocate the radical transformation of humanity not only on the physical plane, but also ethically and emotionally – such as those who envision an entirely digital (post-)humanity through processes like mind uploading.
Starting from the latter, i see absolutely nothing that would justify relinquishing our physical form to become entirely abstract entities; I may be an idealist, but I consider everything that makes us humans what we are as inherently beautiful: our artistic tendencies, our emotions (love, hate, ambition etc.), the way we physically interact with our surroundings, and of course sexuality and the capability to reproduce. The prospect of immortality itself pales when compared to just one of these human qualities, let alone all together. As Seneca, one of the greatest souls to have ever lived, wrote in his Epistulae that we should consider life as a banquet, which we are required to leave after sating ourselves, so that others (future generations) may enjoy it after us. In this sense, even wishing for immortality is incredibly arrogant. Lucretius describes something similar in his De Rerum Naturae.
To lose one’s human condition, all things considered, would appear to be one of the most atrocious tortures; if it were up to me, I wouldn’t sentence even the most brutal criminals to a virtual, eternal limbo where everything is expressed in binary code. Is it really worth it?
Another argument that is apparently more sensible is the advocacy for human engineering through mechanical technology, i.e. improving the human body through prosthetic, mechanical limbs and/or organs. Nonetheless, if we carefully think about, this proposition, too, barely makes any sense.
First of all, how we define a cyborg? People that have enhanced abilities due to artificial implants in their bodies? But then, are we not all cyborgs? At the end of the day, how is a pair of glasses conceptually different from a mechanical arm? They both improve the natural abilities of a person beyond what nature has endowed them with, do they not?
Clothing itself makes us all “cyborgs”, since it makes up for the human body’s inadequacy in dealing with colder climates.
But even then, how could a mechanical arm ever be superior to a natural human arm? If i had a mechanical limb, would i need to grease it every day to ensure it works properly? That does not seem practical; in addition to that, if i only think at how often i hurt myself over the course of one year, how would that not-self-repairing damage1 impact a mechanical limb’s functionality? Would i need to have it checked every few months by a specialist? How preposterous!
Lastly, our human bodies basically need just an average of 2000 kilocalories a day, and we can do whatever we want; if you think about it, down to the biochemical level, everything humans have ever accomplished was simply a combination of glucose and water. Would cyborgs need to charge their prostheses everyday? Would they need a battery? What if you ran out of energy in the middle of something? You would end up as de facto mutilated person, with a piece of useless metal hanging somewhere off your body – and could you imagine something going awry in a mechanical internal organ? That’d be interesting for sure!
As you can see, if we all were cyborgs, what you would have is a humanity of part-time cripples and greatly inefficient energetic-cost/output ratio.
The only sensible way we can physically improve humanity, in my opinion, is developing technology that would allow us to grow in vitro human body parts using the patient’s DNA screened for defective genes, so that we may replace failing/defective organs with a functioning”copy-paste” replica of the original, grown in vitro – ranging from eyes with perfect vision to entire limbs for amputees.
Thus, the future of humanity does not go through bypassing our biological/physical form, but through embracing it and working on it to replace defective elements.
1As it has been repeatedly proven regarding the “grey goo” scenario, the laws of thermodynamics prevent non-biological matter from replicating itself