Of all ideas mankind has ever deigned to fathom, which would be the most dangerous to bring to life? The answer lies in a topic only ever brought to life within stories told by authors such as Margaret Atwood and characters from the X-men. Transhumanism is defined as a “philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology,” which essentially pushes the human body beyond disease and disability by developing technology that is accessible by most, if not all. Although the idea of transhumanism appears to be a good idea on the surface, the improbability and unethical aspects presents transhumanism as a concept that can escalate and turn dangerous.
Everywhere we look, there appears to be new, almost radical, technology being created and available–albeit to a very niche crowd. Cochlear implants allow the deaf to hear, Tesla’s autopilot will eradicate the need for drivers. There is; however, a risk to each of these technologies. Despite being able to improve the quality of living and having positive impacts, there is a line that must be drawn.
Robots, software, AI, etc. will soon advance far more than it already has. Within a few decades, the hundreds of thousands of people who die unnecessary deaths will have technology that exists to help them. The basic aim, of course, appears to be to improve to human condition. However, we do have to consider the fact that transhumanism doesn’t extrapolate from current technology and trends, it fulfills the wants of human desires. People have always looked into immortality, of super strength, etc. but technology can only go wrong from that concept–we have seen this from almost every sci-fi movie ever. Anyone would love to cure blindness, Alzheimers, dementia, but gaining research opportunities and resources is only getting more difficult. There is nothing to point out that death or aging can ever get abolished.
To begin with, it is getting harder for the feasibility of these cures to be developed. Socially, it is unacceptable to have these concepts brought to life. If we look at genetic engineering, many places have different ideologies and acceptance levels than others. We inherently pass judgement on things, we do not want to see things as wholly acceptable. Discourse is always a thing; it is especially prevalent in our society.
What constitutes as improvement anyways? Culture in a set community of people is already a thing–it makes sense for everyone to want to be completely healthy–but what constitutes a “perfect” or “ideal” person? It is all up to perspective. What may be considered a negative trait to one person may be construed as a positive one to someone else. How do we know these technologies will even be dispersed fairly–even at all? How will we know that new technologies will lead to abundance for everyone, rather than leading to more polarization between those with money and power and those without? Equality and equity does not exist in this state, when people have the opportunity to have power, they take it.
People already have their own ideas of who they are as people, what it means to have a community and what it means to have their own ways of going through life. Many ideas of transhumanism are improbable–in creation and distributing, the technology is unreliable and cannot be expected to end up even existing, and is damaging to the way we consider technology.