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Transhumanism

What is Transhumanism ?

Transhumanism is the belief that we should

• Trust in our ability to make the world better.
• Use technology for the benefit of humanity.
• Engage in reflection and act on knowledge.

Transhumanism is definitely more than a philosophy, philosophy as we know it today exists only in the theoretical minds of academia. Likewise, Transhumanism is not quite a religion, it is an open system of belief to change and challenges.

Transhuman

What's its ultimate goal?

History is like a flowing stream: it's hard to define a beginning and end. For us to define a concrete end to Transhumanism is not possible, but there are current goals that are important: solving the social issues of today, such as war and poverty, or the elimination of disease in its current forms. Transhumanism is not about leaps: it is about taking steps.

For each issue solved, others will arise. This has been the nature of human history; who could have imagined, a hundred years ago, how big of an issue obesity will have become as a result of technological advancement? Such a trend is neither a curse nor a blessing- history is merely teaching us lessons, and it is up to humanity to heed them.

Why is it important?

• Because the necessary questions are not being asked:
• How do we address social inequity?
• Can we create world peace?
• What is the answer to fossil fuels?
• How much power should future governments have?
• What is human? What is life?
• Because it believes that actions speak louder than words.

Why Transhumanism and not something else?

Because Transhumanism is a down-to-earth, realistic endeavor to better humanity; it is not a belief in an abstract deity or philosophy- it is the active pursuit of the betterment of humanity and the human condition. This is done through education, scientific research, and the careful analysis of technologies and their consequences. Transhumanism is also flexible and reflective: it is open to debate, to a diversity of opinions. Transhumanism is not a belief that can thrive in academia or in a church. It is a movement that is built upon the passion of its supporters from all walks of life; it is a belief that is tempered through constant challenge.

How?

It has become standard practice today to address a problem by creating a solution to its symptoms. Though simple, it has become unsuitable for the issues that trouble us today. Once again, the example of obesity will be used: the popular technological solution today is in the form of metabolism altering drugs, through the suppression of the appetite, or increasing the metabolic rate.

The real issue, however has not been addressed: why have people chosen to become obese? Though genetics may play a small part, the most important reason lies in their choices: if the obese had practiced healthy living habits, what need would we have for obesity treatments, such as diets, pills, and potential technologies such as gene therapy?

Obesity is not some disease of the body; it is the symptom of a greater condition. It is a sign that humanity has been unable to adapt to the technological leaps that have taken place in the last few decades. It is a sign that instead of engaging in self reflection and positive action, many have taken the easy way out; pills have replaced character and will as the solution to many problems of our modern times. Such an application is not self improvement- it is self delusion.

It is necessary to spend the previous three paragraphs illustrating how not to tackle issues. As we understand poor decisions and accept the need for improvement, the feasible, long-term methods of dealing with a problem become clearer. Yet at the same time, we complicate the problem when we deal with the cause itself rather than the mere symptoms. Continuing with the obesity example, when we realize that modern working conditions, the erosion of close social support, and a culture of consumerism are all part of the problem, solutions suddenly become much more complex.

If we want to go still deeper, is obesity a symptom of the 'sudden' change in the relationship between man and his environment? We no longer need to burn thousands of calories a day hunting or harvesting food but our inherent biological processes developed over thousands of years for survival have not yet adapted to the sudden abundance of basic necessities. Our bodies, left to their natural course, will not adapt to this new reality for another thousand years. Transhuman philosophy supports our taking personal responsibility now for decisions while understanding it is necessary to enhance the biological adaptive process to meet the ever increasing rate of change between man and his environment.

Where we start in addressing an issue determines the entire course of an action. By analyzing the causes and their connections to a problem: eating too much comes from not enough exercise an antiquated biological system that tells us we need to eat and store food when we do not; exercise is one manual adaptation we can make, but the lack of exercise is due to not enough time and social support, and from there we can go on until we reach a grand picture, which will allow us to see the full impact of any attempt to solve the issue. To address the root cause, we need a method for altering our ancient biological processes to keep up with the exponential changes in our relationship to the universe.

Transhumanism is still new, and such a detailed analysis of the world's problems is still yet incomplete. We already know some the tools we can use to deal with the issues; it is merely the "how" that is the greater question. Yet "how" cannot be addressed without "why" being answered first, which is what Transhumanism is currently tackling and what we will be exploring on these pages.


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