Transhumanists and Gene Therapy

Transhumanists believe that gene therapy is an exponent of improvement for the capacities of humans. Gene therapy fits into the transhumanists’ goal to live for as long as possible and even reverse the course of death which is actually their ultimate goal.

What gene therapy does is it replaces the damaged or bad genes with good genes, thus resulting in the bad genes being taken out completely. Therefore, using gene therapy and RNA, a person can change their genetic code completely. The experiments that were done made it possible for scientists to change mice from gaining weight no matter what they ate. This will probably be extended to humans once all the necessary health risks have been tested and proven.

The gene technology is relatively new and this is what the transhumanists find exciting. However, there are still a lot of experiments that need to be carried out, like doing gene therapy through germline cells where it will change the genes of children born and not necessarily get genes from the parents through inheritance as it is now. The prospect of gene therapy to become affordable to most of the society will allow humans to overcome most diseases, and it remains to be seen if it will conquer all diseases.

Coupled with the prospect of overcoming old age, the prospect of changing the genetics of the next generation and create people designed to be perfect is the transhumanists’ dream. Even though there are good things that can come from genetic engineering, like disease eradication such as  Alzheimer’s, HIV and Huntington’s, it is feared that the technology can be abused.

The transhumanists could try to use this technology before being approved to be used in humans and could jeopardize other studies, like CRISPR/Cas9 which allows DNA editing. As the debate continues, one certain thing is that the genetic editing technology is right in line with the transhumanists’ way of thinking. It can be used to modify the human being to fit a certain genetic code and reverse the aging process which fall into the scope of their belief in post-human life.



Rajat Chakraborty Written by:

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