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H +/-: Transhumanism and its Critics

Metanexus Institute
Place of Publication: 
San Francisco, CA

This book brings together sixteen of the world’s foremost thinkers on the prospects of a radical reshaping of human nature through biotechnologies and artificial intelligence. The often heated debate about transhumanism is an extremely fruitful field for philosophical and theological inquiry.

The last hundred years of human evolution have seen remarkable scientific and technological transformations. If the pace of change continues and indeed accelerates in the twenty-first century, then in short order we will be a much-transformed species on a much-transformed planet. The idea of some fixed human nature, a human essence from which we derive notions of humane dignities and essential human rights, no longer applies in this brave new world of free market evolution.

On what basis then do we make moral judgments and pursue pragmatic ends. Should we try to limit the development of certain sciences and technologies? How would we do so? Is it even possible? Are either traditional religious or Enlightenment values adequate at a speciation horizon between humans and posthumans? Is the ideology of transhumanism dangerous independent of the technology? Is the ideology of the bioconservatives, those who oppose transhumanism, also dangerous and how? Are the new sciences and technologies celebrated by transhumanists realistic or just another form of wishful thinking? (Publisher)