COMMITMENT TO SCIENCE: Why do we want to kill ourselves? (23/04/2017 by Esther Lence)

Why do we want to kill ourselves?

Transhumanism is one of the major bets in the science world

Almost everyone has ever seen a film where robots or clones get the control of the world. Or maybe a series where technological items are part of people’s body, which seem to improve their lives. However, that improvement must be revised when those changes in our world start to become real.

Those realities are called nowadays transhumanism. The professor Jean Michel Besnier of the Sorbonne University defines it as “a movement that wants to improve men, increase them, thanks to the power of sciences and techniques. Transhumanists have the ambition of transcend biological human limits, end with diseases, suffering, chance of birth and also aging and death”.

It believes that human condition, which has always supposed to be constant, is not: humanity is just a chapter of evolution and it needs to be improved. This will be achieved using the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) as tools to become post-humans.

Which are the changes?

Scientists affirm that approximately by 2080 new possibilities will have been achieved. One of the most important ones is superintelligence: it will be based in self-learning and Nick Bostrom, founder of the World Transhumanist Association, believes that superintelligence will be able to express the real human will, getting ethics out; one way would be the fusion of human mind and computers. Besides, bring people that are nowadays in cryonics back to life or lengthen life expectancy through therapies to stop aging and increase rejuvenation would be possible. Other creation would be drugs that help, for example, to surpass shyness or increase creativity.

Investment exists

All this projects are actually been carried out by some of the major personalities and companies of the world. Ray Kurzweill, Google investigation director, has confirmed that by 2045, singularity will be real and humans and machines will not be differentiated. In 2014, Google invested 1.5 billion dollars in transhumanist projects. It is followed by Apple, Facebook, Amazon… or even PayPal: its creator, Peter Thiel, has criticized European immobilization for these projects. Big companies have already invested 1.000 million dollars in OpenAI, an initiative to get those changes in a democratic environment.

The consequences

Taking all those things into account, now the question is: are they the best things to promote? At first, all those changes may seem impossible to reject for anyone. However, even Bostrom admits at his TEDx lecture that transhumanist doubts are scaring.  Firstly, an important transhumanist objective is to improve society functioning but anybody can guarantee that those tools will not be used by dangerous governments or groups. Secondly, does it make sense to be an improved you if you stop being yourself? Transhumanism means forgetting about human experience, comprehension, critical reflection and communication, it means killing humanity, killing ourselves.

How have we got here? Spanish sociologist Javier Elzo explains that economic prosperity goes through technological innovation and XX century history has made humans hate themselves. Men are moved by a depression and lack of self-esteem that lead them to get closer to machines. The Spanish philosopher José Antonio Marina emphasizes at El Confidencial that it is important to have clear goals and to add educative plans that reaffirm humanism above transhumanism. Lots of ethics experts of all the spheres all over the world reject without doubts transhumanism: a part of the world still screams to save ourselves.

April 23, 2017

Esther Lence

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