If you have ever before seen Muppet or visited a theater, you know that puppets are personified by the actor into rational subjects with often a whole written story behind them, as well as hilarious or dramatic, complex personalities and story plots. As well as humans.
Seeing all that, would it not be fun to try and compare that concept with human existence? Would it not be fun to imagine an invisible hand guiding you through an already written plot, where your thoughts are voiced by a professional actor – analogue to that, the actor is the little voice in your head that you hear when you think?
It is very attractive to elaborate such ideas through different aspects and versions of approach.
But something is always missing from those tiny excursions into mind-space of ours, there is an even higher pitched voice in our heads saying that something isn’t right about the idea of biological puppets – that there is more to us than that. Now, that might be only our ego trying to protect itself, or it could actually be true. Until now, there was no way of proving that. Many scientific disciplines have tried different approaches, in particular cases even extreme, such as the Nazis in the World War II with their psychiatric experiments, as well as the Soviets. So have tried the philosophers and priests, the ordinary people and the special ones to prove that there is something more. But none of them succeed.
So what is it that makes us human, except of a chain of biochemical reactions and some flesh and bones?
When you compare the human species to the animals, there is one biggest non-physical difference: consciousness. We are aware of our actions, we have our perception of the good and the bad and we can freely choose between the two. So if we were to take away the possibility of choice, would we still be human?
On the other hand, if we were to biologically induce happiness and alternate the mind, the way we think and conceive our surroundings and reality, what would the high-pitched voice in our heads say to explain that?
All this might seem to you like too surreal, sci-fi and dystopian, but actual philosophical and transhumanism debates have been going on about these subjects in the academic society for decades now, for they have been expecting the technology to advance this far and even further.
And every day it is only getting faster, so it is not a –will it happen, it is a –when.
Transhumanism is represented by people who believe that alternating the human concept does not mean we would stop being human, but that we would start being improved humans. Evolution had us changed in many different sorts of ways, and that was all in service of progress and adaptation – some body parts were lost, some were gained, some emotions emerged while the others are non-consciously maintained. Transhumanism idea is that speeding up the process and adapting it to what we think is right is by itself a process of a mind evolved enough to develop the technology needed for that.
This direction manifests through many already adopted ideas, such as prosthetics or transplantation – these were the beginnings.
Today, the ideas in development are life extension – through organ cloning, nanotechnology, genetic engineering that would reverse or stop the aging process – the idea of immortality has been fabled through history and it might become possible soon before long.
There even exists something called Transcranial direct current stimulation (IDCS) that uses a very weak electric current to speed up the reaction times and learning speed by being released through the brain.
The Hollywood movies such as Transcendence for example, cope with the idea of transhumanism and mind-uploading, taking a step into thinking what would happen if humans merged with the machine, the computer – what would happen if there was a self-conscious computer, if an event occurred which is in expert terminology called Technological singularity.