The following text is a proposal written by me, Khannea Suntzu. This text has no status or claims beyond that of a proposal. This text may be freely quoted and commented on, and is made available for the IEET, Humanity+, Transhumanity web site and other similar platforms of debate. The original “transhumanist Declaration was published here. A critical note towards this (argued to be outdated) declaration can be found here. I may opt to edit this text at a later date after today’s publication. Repostings are invited to link back to the original article here.
(1) Humanity exists in a transitional phase between animal and something yet undefined. The engine of this mostly irreversible transition is technology and science. That we will change is certain, transhumanism is about agreeing that there will be change and that this change can be really good. Transhumanism regards the use of technology to change the current state of humanity, argued to be flawed, in to something better. Transhumanism envisions that this would be done by ending natural aging, making humans think better, generate and be free to use new technological tools, decrease born states of nonconstructive unhappiness and create wise states of bliss, to help the human species create bridgeheads of development and growth in space beyond the pull of Earth gravity, experiment with free internet and virtual simulations – but Transhumanism affirms there may be many unforeseen or emergent other means to this end.
(2) Transhumanism proudly asserts that the human state is a germinating seed and the end result of this germination is something objectively better than ‘we’ are today. Transhumanism asserts that where we are now today is deeply flawed and we can direct our development to something everyone would agree to be vastly better.
(3) We assert the natural state of life and humanity on this world is riddled with dangers, many dangers we started unwittingly creating since ever since we tamed fire. The more technology and science we are able to use, the more dangers we’ll have to contend with. There is real danger for humanity that we’ll perish in negative change, and we’ll be unable to direct our species to real progress. Although all progress is change, not all change is progress.
(4) Most of humanity is consciously disinterested in the risks the species faces, or regard any warning to this effect as alarmist or politicized. Even inside the transhuman community there is disagreement on what developments are good, as opposed to potentially catastrophic. Hence we need research to charting out new solutions to problems, both old and emerging, and we need careful deliberation on how to mitigate risks and expedite the right tools for these challenges. We need to engage as many people as possible in a constructive debate on the challenges humanity faces, without coming across as a bunch of alarmist intellectual elitist nerds. We may have to decide on political means as a transhumanist community that help to evolve or displace existing outdated political or social structures, careful in not exerting compulsion. Transhumanism affirms democracy as a core value to create a better world, but insists current forms of democracy are inadequate.
(5) The end result of positive change and damage mitigation should be to increase resilience of human civilization, as well as the objective quality of human civilization, is necessary to face dangers both small and subtle, as well as so-called existential risks. Transhumanism insists that for a rational, sane and ambitious human species we need to increase general well-being in all humans, instill substantially better health, preserve life, increase material as well as spiritual abundance, further the growth of wisdom and foresight. We must make personal sacrifices to make sure these goals are furthered in acts and investments, and not just in words.
(6) Humans have dualistic need for personal freedom and just and humane governance. Transhumanists insist that our current governments are neither respectful of personal freedom, instilled with a sufficient respect for justice and are lacking in humanity and dignity. Transhumanism urges for a study in a wide spectrum of answers to moral quandaries, where disagreement and discourse is welcomed over unilateralism and authoritarian edicts. Transhumanism seeks to secure the interests of those alive today and insists on creating a world that gets better, rather than risks getting gradually worse, for those who are alive as well as those generations who are certain to come after us.
(7) Transhumanism affirms consciousness as an expression of the ability to suffer, and as such advocates the objective well-being of all sentient beings, including humans, non-human animals, future artificial Intelligences, as well as forms of sapience we can not yet foresee.
(8) Transhumanism celebrates the ability of individuals to self-direct their own existence, free from the edicts of others. As such Transhumanism expresses tolerance to the freedom of all individuals to determine their own mental state, to artificially extend their own life, to engineer means as to function cognitively different or better, to self-determine the means and form of reproduction, to secure their body for states of suspended animation, hibernation or cryonic suspension during states of ‘legal’ death, or to self-modify or collectively engineer different or enhanced states of transhuman human existence. While doing so transhumanists affirm that none of these attempts to create a better personal state of existence should lead to the unintended, explicit or implicit displacement of those that do not wish to realize any of such ambitions.