Transhumanism might be evil. This is a grave concern. The idea is that the implementation of exponentially advancing technologies might be evil. Some here seem to argue this idea, but I am seeing it argued elsewhere as well. Thinking about it this makes sense. Transhumanism might be misconstrued as an ideological movement, or at the very least an ‘invasive’ technocratic movement. Transhumanism at the very least seems to imply sweeping and overwhelming change. I the past some people have argued (paraphrasing) that Transhumanism stands for the new fascism, and that this ‘movement’ is (and they do not apply any shades of gray here) sponsored by evil corporate forces.
I just attended the far radical fringe of transhumanism, sponsored by Martine Rothblatt – the Transvisionb 2010 ‘conference’. Despite impeccable organisation it was a disaster. There is barely a transhumanist movement. Some few dozen people attended, and those attending were only interested in presenting their own talk on things, well into to the ridiculous ranges, well into the unfalsifiable, unscientific, spiritualist ranges, or well into the far cosmological scales. While all positions taken at Transvision 2010 were valid and will probably be quoted for centuries (oh yes, I am very serious with that), there was nothing like a monolithical movement presented at this event. I’d argue ‘transhumanism’ as fractured, internally deeply inconsistent and a bit rivalrous. Actually – I can even argue with an ironic smile, that some transhumanists fuck each other over a little, and not always with a nice kiss beforehand.
Transhumanism is not a movement. It is a bunch of likeminded people with good pattern recognition skills calling what is happening in the world, and trying to get noticed, for their own motives. By and large these motives they would all quantify as ‘hatred of evil’.
This is dangerous. In the past the vague compelling urge of ‘hatred of evil’ gave rise to the horrors of Neo-Conservatism, Maoism, Stalinism, Fascism, National Socialism and Inquistion. The addition of complex bureaucracies, immunity to consequences and industrial warfare gives some humans the ability to conduct pseudo-Bibllical smiting of neighboring tribes. What humans did on a ‘mom&pop‘ scale has now evolved into potential and actual genocide infrastructure.
And all that because ‘they hate our freedoms’.
However there is a flip-side to this. Humans are by their nature intensely evil. I’d go as far as argue (and you may disagree at your peril) that the human state is at a genetic level evil, that humans have evolved instincts to literally predate on their fellow human beings, that tribal extermination is a default genetic imperative in the human animal, and that humans are all ‘children of caine’.
If left to our own devices, and fed a steady diety of scarcity and abundance, opportunity for population growth and tragedy of the commons, humans will by default seek to eventually systematically murder competing humans.
Seen in this light you can’t win as a human. Seen in this light we are a vile, contemptible species that only ‘get’s lucky’ if it does any good but mostly leans towards evil. This is certainly my position. Being a human, I must say I don’t really like humans. That is why the identity I have assimilated is one of ‘post-human’, and I have often called myself ‘a half demoness’, because one thing I can’t stop doing is to accuse humanity.
My position is that the human state is something to actively overcome. And in stating this, those criticizing transhumanism have some big problem. A critic of Transhumanist ideas can argue either of two things : (1) Transhumanism is a silly, deceitful or exploitative idea that should be denounced, mocked or dissuaded, or (2) we should as a society use force to disallow Transhumanism.
That creates a big problem. I have not that big a problem with outspoken criticism, but I will have a problem with the given that some time in the future certain transhumanist technologies will be disallowed to me by political ideologies, especially if this limitation of my freedoms is based on arguments I don’t agree with. Guess what will happen next – I’ll give these people a big fat finger and do it anyway. Try and stop me if I can access to life extension or credible mind uploading technologies. I’d get downright mean, and I wouldn’t be the only one. And I can give you probably over a hundred ideas for ‘transhumanist’ utilities, treatments or tools I’d want to have access to, and other people might very well disallow me to have access to.
Calling something evil generally works. So yes, if I call ‘humans’ by the epitheth ‘evil’ than maybe I am not being smart. But maybe I am being intentionally dense about it to prove a point. Because – if something is to be regarded as ‘evil’ then what does that imply? If I call wolves as being ‘evil’ does that warrant exterminating them to the last one? This is particularly relevant since I live with one. I live with a wolf in the real world. I couldn’t, say, freely emigrate to Sweden or Iceland, because people there might actually actively try to kill my pet.
Is ‘evil’ nothing but yet another tribal scream for blood?
So I might rather state that the human state is itself an afflicted state. Considering the considerable personal pains and misery I experience just because I am human (not even talking about the indignities other humans do onto me) I’d so I have no love for what I’d term ‘the status quo’.
So when you want to go against a movement that wants to get rid of the limitations and pathologies of the human state ask yourself – is this a demon you care to raise up, and are you sure this won’t bite you in the ass?
I’ll say you what will happen if you do – posthumans won’t go and exterminate you, a century from now. Because posthumans will exist, and they will be far more capable to compete with baseline humans. There is no two ways about it, and you can never hope to stop the emergence of the uebermensch, and as things are going, it will emerge this century. The world is too big too disallow it to emerge, technology is progressing too rapidly, and laws never were successful at stopping anything. A war on transhumanism will be just as much a miserable failure as a war on drugs or a war on ‘terrists‘.
I’ll say what will happen to you. I say that posthumans will be far more humane than humans – we won’t exterminate you. But we will lock you up. So expect that as soon as posthumans take over, we’ll all lock you in cages. Reservations if you will. Psychiatric institutions if you insist. We will take care of you, feed and clothe you and give you toys to play with – but as soon as posthumans take charge, the era of humanity is over, except for as a museum exhibit. And you will be happy there, but you won’t even be free again to indiscriminately inflict suffering ever again.