What Is Transhumanism, Or What Does It Mean To Be A Human?

Transhumanism is a movement of people who believe that various faculties of the human species can be improved through the use of modern scientific advances. Its adherents aim to enhance the psychological, physical and intellectual capabilities of humans through the use of cutting-edge technologies.

It is believed the movement was founded by the famous biologist Julian Huxley in 1957. It has now become a global movement with adherents in many nations. Several organizations, such as humanity+, founded by Nick Bostrom and David Pearce in 1998 also support it.

Areas especially targeted by transhumanists include the general functioning of the body, life expectancy, intelligence and emotions among others. It is envisaged that advances in robotics, cybernetics, cryonics, nanotechnology, gene therapy, etc. could be employed in enhancing the human species.

Some technologies already being used to enhance the functions of the human body include hearing aids, computer wearable gadgets, prosthetics, pacemakers, etc. However, futurists theorize the widespread use of digital implants, gene therapy and nanotechnology to significantly enhance the human capacity.

There is, however, a widespread opposition to transhumanism. It is stated that the concept obscures the essential value of the human being. It is feared that when carried to its logical conclusions, the concept of transhumanism could blur the distinction between humans and machines; thus raising a lot of confusion over what is really humane and what is not. It is generally acknowledged that some people may not choose to receive the benefits of improved technology and also that the advanced transhumanist enhancements may not be within the reach of everyone. This raises the fears of a possible caste system with enhanced humans as a superior class possibly tyrannizing the basic human groups.

However, Transhumanst views remain very strong and it is quite likely that the movement will become more widespread as the frontiers of science continue to advance.

Rajat CHAKRABORTY Written by:

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