Monday, April 26, 2010
Although I hate to be the one to spoil your illusions...
And I hate to be that guy that pulls the chair out from under you as you are sitting down...
With every counterpoint, you prove my case.
Again, let's address them one-by-one:
Cheating death. Why delay the inevitable? Wasn't it you, or someone that signs your name, that championed the benefits of life, and old age? What would be the need of say...ten or twenty more plays or sonnets from Shakespeare? Or another Dostoevsky or Thomas Hardy novel, another Mozart concerto, or one more album from Billie Holiday, or Janis Joplin? And what if these gifts to humanity could be accomplished while the artists were in their prime...not afflicted by old age suffering?
The benefits are clear.
You miss one key point in my argument. Perhaps that is my fault for not making it more emphatically. When this movement beyond biology comes to fruition...we will ALL be the beneficiaries. You construct this post-human experience in a landscape of today, in which granted, we are little more than savages being "farmed" by which ever powers-that-be of the moment. However, stretch your imagination to include the world in which such a technological breakthrough will be welcomed. As these advancements in extra-biology slowly emerge, we will see a more and more sane approach to our new longevity.
The problems of the world are mainly(if not entirely) BECAUSE of our physical differences and requirements...not in spite of them. When it becomes an obvious choice to become a "transhuman" the major problems of the human world that we experience today will dissolve. Because our struggle in these bodies can be boiled down to who can acquire the most "creature comforts"... luxury not needed in our post human condition. It will take time for even these neo-humans to grasp this fact...but grasp it they will. Many concepts will fall away from our biological times. Of course there will be protests. Much of them founded in the same fears as yours. But I truly believe that since these changes of which I speak will be gradual, the acceptance will come. Whom do you know that would not gladly undergo the inplantation of an artificial heart-valve tomorrow, that would give them an extra 20 plus years on this planet? And yet this is cybernetics in it's infancy, when you look at it square-on. Transhumanism is just this.
You can't have it both ways, Persephone. Either you laud the human-ness of our existence as it is with all it's pain and suffering, no matter what...fearing death as you are told...clinging to this pain that you seem to require for your very identity. Or you view life as I stated originally, way, way down this page, in "Death". This being an experience from which you learn what you can in the time you can bear, disregarding longevity, then welcoming the "spiritual" next step, whatever it is.
Since I presume that you are somewhere in the middle, never having given the concept of transhumanism much thought, I must also assume that if you embrace the human experience, then why would you NOT embrace not only more of it, but more of it without the mental and physical pain which accompanies it as it is now? I am offering the concept of life-plus, and you are clinging to your fears and your suffering.
You speak of oral history. A point well-taken, however you are of a rare breed if you understand the value of learning from the lives of our elders. That, is unfortunately passe. Your points about the study of history are also well spoken. However I am sure that when the motives for changing the facts of recent history(again domination of human-over-fellow-human) are slowly removed, that practice will also end. These revolutionary changes of which I speak, will come about in spite of our sorry human condition. I am sure there will be a world-wide revolution long before anyone has the opportunity to push the button. This will NOT be the one on a final nuclear device, but the one that says "upload personality now".