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A Transhumanist Manifesto [Redux]

A Transhumanist Manifesto

Preamble

Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains. It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.

Biology mandates not only very limited durability, death and poor memory retention, but also limited speed of communication, transportation, learning, interaction and evolution.

Part I: Biology (w)as Destiny

Biology is not the essence of humanity.

Human is a step in evolution, not the culmination.

Existence precedes essence. Human is a process, not an entity. One is not simply born human, but becomes one. That process of becoming is ongoing and thus the meaning of human is re-defined in every one of us.

Part II: Hacking Destiny – The Transhuman Cyborg

Biological evolution is perpetual but slow, inefficient, blind and dangerous. Technological evolution is fast, efficient, accelerating and better by design. To ensure the best chances of survival, take control of our own destiny and to be free, we must master evolution.

Evolution is a journey, not a destination. In an endless universe, it is unlikely that it will ever reach an ultimate point.

Consciousness is a function of intelligence, not the brain. It is not necessarily limited to the substrate(biology).

There is nothing inherently wrong in speeding up evolution and becoming true masters of our destiny, though this may be simultaneously the greatest promise and peril humanity has ever faced.

Part III: Disembodied Augmented Intelligence

Intelligence is a process, not an entity.

Embodied (human) intelligence is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.

Intelligence ought to be free — to move, to interact and to evolve, unhindered by the limits of biology and scarcity.

Digital, disembodied and augmented intelligence is free (and perhaps infinite).

Conditions:

Although all progress is change, not all change is progress. Thus, certain conditions must be met to ensure that it is indeed progress, and not mere change, that has been accomplished.

Non-discrimination with regard to substrate

Substrate is morally irrelevant. Whether somebody is implemented on silicon or biological tissue, if it does not affect functionality or consciousness, is of no moral significance. Carbon-chauvinism, in the form of anthropomorphism, speciesism, bioism or even fundamentalist humanism, is objectionable on the same grounds as racism.

We must all respect autonomy and individual rights of all sentience throughout the universe, including humans, non-human animals, and any future AI, modified life forms, or other intelligences.

Emotional Intelligence

Intelligence is more than the mere exercise of perfect logic and pure reasoning. Intelligence devoid of emotional intelligence is meaningless. It must exhibit empathy, compassion, love, sense of humor and artistic creativity such as music and poetry.

Minimize Suffering

Compassion is the ultimate measure of intelligence. The minimization of suffering and avoidance of causing suffering to others, even less intelligent beings, is the essence of enlightened intelligence.

Conclusion:

Transhumanists of the world unite – we have immortality to gain and only biology to lose. Together, we can break through the chains of biology and transcend scarcity, sex, age, ethnicity, race, death and even time and space.

In short, transhumanists everywhere must support the revolutionary movement against death and the existing biological order of things. Transhumanists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the overthrow of all existing biological limitations and, most of all, death.

Let death tremble at the revolution of science and technology. Transhumanists have nothing to lose but their biology. We have immortality and the universe to gain.

 

Author’s note:

This manifesto is a work in progress. It may and probably will change as my thoughts and feelings about transhumanism evolve.

In the meantime, feel free to contribute your thoughts and feelings on the subject… or simply to criticize mercilessly the above proposal.

 

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  • Quite a bold manifesto!

    We’re on the cusp of the transhuman culture and soon we must make a radical leap in our frames of reference. The line between “human” and “machine” will blur and eventually disappear. The line between “artificial intelligence” and “non-artificial intelligence” will blur and disappear. Eventually the line between the physical “here” and physical “there” will become irrelevant. Our methods of processing and understanding information will be radically different. Humans (and other life as we know it) of today will eventually be viewed as we now view the the elements of the periodic table.

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  • I stopped reading after Preamble: “Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains. It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.”I would go for something that’s more humanizing. “In order to form a more perfect universe… “We hold these truths to be self evident that all intelligence is entitled to define and redefine its own claim on freedom.” Just something more inspiring and recognizable.

  • Natasha

    The more the merrier. But you might want to recognize the manifestos that you are building on. Er…. my Transhuman Manifesto written in 1983 and my Transhumanist Statement written in 1997, and my Extropic Manifesto … so many others by transhumansits. Again, congratulations on this one but let’s not forget that there are a collection of them …

  • Hi Natasha and thank you for your contribution. You are absolutely right to point out that I am sitting on the shoulders of giants. Thus regardless of the fact that I haven’t read your latter 2 articles, I am sure that I am indebted to both you and others from Jean-Jacques Rousseau on to Ray Kurzweil, Nick Bostrom, Alan Turing, Vernor Vinge, Max More, you, Ben Goerzel, Aubrey de Grey, Kevin Kelly, Kevin Warwick, Arthur C Clarke, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, Michael Anissimov, Eliezer Yudkowsky and many, many othres. Quite frankly, and not surprisingly, since ideas do not arise into a vacuum, it is perhaps fair to say that there is not a single original idea in the piece above. All I am trying to do is synthesize the gist of what in my view are the most relevant ones and put them together in a relatively short form…

  • Books Msantini

    I believe that a manifesto should contain in more detail the principles and operative rules crucial for decision making in the next decades. The problem of Transhumanism is its present elitist nature, it should rather transform into a people movement able to influence policies and decisions of governments and corporations.

    For example, in Part II, I would point out that genetic engineering policies should not be influenced by dogma, but only by the advantages and threats of using it. The principles should specify that it can be used for both therapeutics and enhancement purposes, that it should be safe and freely available when necessary to maintain a stated degree of uniformity within the population. Simple and transparent laws should be enforced and updated according to technical and social progress. Also the laws could guarantee a certain level of accelerating progress according to economic trends. For example it would be nice advanced countries put among the objectives of their financial plans an increase of average life of 10 years every 10 years… or to maintain the Moore’s law over time.

    All this because biology will still remain fundamental for a few hundred years…

    Besides, should be better stated the ultimate goals. Victory against death, non-discrimination, survival of different type of intelligence, suffering minimization are nice.
    What else: happiness? Survival of species? Knowledge by itself? Scientific progress by itself? Perhaps reversing the fate of the universe?
    What the means? Longer lives? Health? Wealth? Knowledge? Scientific progress? Diffuse scholarship all over the world? More population in the advanced countries? Friendly AI? Expanding into the Universe fast?
    What levels? How fast? What’s possible?

    I think it would be useful to imagine how a transhumanist state would write its constitution…

    Just ideas!

  • Books Msantini

    I believe that a manifesto should contain in more detail the principles and operative rules crucial for decision making in the next decades. The problem of Transhumanism is its present elitist nature, it should rather transform into a peopl…e movement able to influence policies and decisions of governments and corporations.

    For example, in Part II, I would point out that genetic engineering policies should not be influenced by dogma, but only by the advantages and threats of using it. The principles should specify that it can be used for both therapeutics and enhancement purposes, that it should be safe and freely available when necessary to maintain a stated degree of uniformity within the population. Simple and transparent laws should be enforced and updated according to technical and social progress. Also the laws could guarantee a certain level of accelerating progress according to economic trends. For example it would be nice advanced countries put among the objectives of their financial plans an increase of average life of 10 years every 10 years… or to maintain the Moore’s law over time, or even to issue minimum friendly intelligence requirements.

    All this because biology will still remain fundamental for a few hundred years…

    Besides, should be better stated the ultimate goals. Victory against death, non-discrimination, survival of different type of intelligence, suffering minimization are nice.
    What else: happiness? Survival of species? Knowledge by itself? Scientific progress by itself? Perhaps reversing the fate of the universe?
    What the means? Longer lives? Health? Wealth? Knowledge? Scientific progress? Diffuse scholarship all over the world? More population in the advanced countries? Friendly AI? Expanding into the Universe fast?
    What levels and when?

    I think it would be useful to imagine how a transhumanist state would write its constitution…

    Just ideas!

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  • EmR6

    I take issue with the use of “existence precedes essence”. This is ontologically too extreme and unempirical. It carries a lot of (unnecessary) weight with it as a phrase, and has radical implications that don’t benefit the Transhumanist philosophy (nor do they necessarily accommodate it), and, has the propensity to be misinterpreted, read as statement regarding responsibility on the ‘individual’ level, leading to the ‘nature vs nurture’ debate, which was not really what Sarte was getting at in ‘Existentialism is a Humanism’.

    That Socrates would use this phrase in this ‘manifesto’ is problematic. I see they are trying to do. They are trying to use established, ‘respected’ existentialist philosophy in order to support or explain the idea that Transhumanists think it is part of our nature to ‘take control’ of our own evolution; both in the personal sense and in the collective sense. There are other ways to state this and motivate for this without using outdated and extreme philosophy that is, for all intents and purposes, too similar to religious thought.

    “I am myself, I make myself”–The implications of ‘existence precedes essence’ for Sartre. Yes. With genetics engineering, more so. But the phrase is still too simple and extreme. And is no one troubled by the ‘modernist’ shortcomings of such an ontology? Either essence or existence, first. Forget that this ‘excludes’ the gray area, but when you are dealing with a theory meant to explain the whole meaning of a species, you should also be worried that the phrase eliminates all the other colors in the spectrum.

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  • von Ende

    So write then. Critics are a dime a dozen. What have you done lately?

  • Succinct but mercilessly effective reasoning!

  • Simple1248

    What is human? Definitions are a slippery slope. Meaning is as plastic as neurons. It is hard enough to pin down a meaning for what human is, let alone extrapolate a transhumanist manifesto. I applaud your effort Socrates.

    Now, on to a couple points:

    1) The brain is the mind machine of humans today. In the brain lie the structures that produce meaning. Even computer software is encoded on a medium, or “body”. Disembodied intelligence is a misleading term.

    2) Immortality is not reality within the parameters of this universe, unless this universe turns out to be flat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe. Don’t forget about entropy. A preferable term is “indefinite life span”.

  • Happy you like my vain attempt Simple1248!

    as per your points: 1. You make a valid point. 2. “Indefinite life span” or “super-longevity” just doesn’t seem to ring well in poetry. Plus, I’m no Shakespeare anyway 😉

  • Excellent.

  • Thanks Eric,
    Happy you like it! It is a work in progress though 😉

  • Jonathap

    I mostly agree with this, but the section on Emotional Intelligence seems to me to be an example of “anthropomorphism, speciesism, bioism or even fundamentalist humanism.” I do not see why all intelligences MUST exhibit the particular human/animal emotions (love, sense of humor, creativity) listed in your manifesto in order to be meaningful.

  • Hi Jonathan, you might be correct in observing that the “emotional intelligence” might be only a human/animal feature and a rather anthropomorphical one at that… My concern is though that if that is indeed the case, then I can’t see how are we to avoid inter-speacies warfare and specism. Thus, I concluded that if different types of intelligent species are supposed to peacefully co-exist then the only solution is a peace based on mutual respect and empathy based on the common goal of avoiding to cause suffering to others…

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  • I agree with you Socrates…i believe that empathy and emotions (love specifically) are the fundamental forces that connects atoms or energy to form something, the universe, inteligence or life…this is why we gonna make something bigger than us…because we believe subconsciously in the evolution of the universe because we’re part of it ;)…i’m seeing the future of transumanism as a stronger self-realization for the universe and humanity..i imagine neoshamanism with technology to evolve together and the archaic revival (search for terence mckenna about this) and compining the past with the present, the result is FUTURE ! fibonacci sequence of evolution and exponential growth  of the universe’s inteligence :)….

    sorry for my bad english i’m greek !

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  • I’m tired of the immortality thing. Why is everyone so desperate to live forever? That’d give you more time and what not, but cognitive enhancement is probably more transhumanistic (Emphasis on the ‘trans’) than living forever. Also,

    “Compassion is the ultimate measure of intelligence.”

    Why?

  • I agree with CMStewart on the periodic table concept

  • Dave Pearce

    I love the emphasis on minimising suffering.
    I’d just like to ask a couple of questions.

    First, how strong is the supporting evidence for the claim that consciousness is a function of intelligence? After all, our most intense experiences, notably raw agony or blind panic, are mediated by primitive and evolutionarily ancient brain structures. By contrast, the kinds of neocortical  consciousness implicated in our most intelligent behaviour, e.g. the production and comprehension of novel sentences permitted by our generative syntax, or our mathematical problem solving abilities , or our introspective  self-awareness, are phenomenally thin and extraordinarily subtle. I think we need to take seriously the possibility that cognitively humble  creatures, whether human babies or nonhuman animals, may be intensely conscious. 

    Second, if it transpires digital computers made of silicon (etc) can support conscious minds, then carbon chauvinism is indeed obnoxious. But how strong is the evidence this is the case? It’s at least possible that substrate-independent phenomenal minds [better, substrate-neutral phenomenal minds] are impossible for the same reason that substrate-neutral chemical valence structure is impossible i.e. what we naively suppose are low-level implementation details, mere “substrate”, may turn out to be functionally relevant to unitary conscious mind – not least the functionally unique quantum-mechanical valence properties of the carbon atom and liquid water.  If not, when, why and how is consciousness going to “switch on” in our digital computers?

  • Mary

    These are some stirring notions, but I agree with Eudoxia. What’s so attractive about immortality? Our bio bodies place limits on essence / intelligence / consciousness, but won’t machinery do the same, but just change the look of the chains? I think technology is just another container for consciousness, with it’s own set of limitations. In fact! these limits are required for immortality. How else do you define an immortal consciousness without parameters to define it?

  • Who is the artist of that picture with the man/robot flexing? I would like to use it in a project.

  • This is a stock, royalty free image that I purchased some time ago either from:

    http://us.fotolia.com/

    http://www.dreamstime.com/

    or

    http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php

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  • Much appreciated.

  • No problems Michael, happy to be of help.

  • “Intelligence devoid of emotional intelligence is meaningless. It must exhibit empathy, compassion, love, sense of humor and artistic creativity such as music and poetry.”
    All those emotions are things that are important to humans today, but how can we assume posthumans of the future we share the same value systems? I would say this section should read that posthumans will take for themselves the freedom, means and opportunity to express themselves as they see fit, and to interpret society and reality in a way meaningful to them, which may not be meaningful or even comprehensible to humans of today.

  • That latter part I agree with. The thing is I believe that emotional intelligence is very important both for creativity and for freedom. It was Einstein who said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Machines have tons of facts and data but to use it creatively sometimes it takes not only intelligence, but imagination which stems often from feeling your way around a problem i.e. emotional intelligence…

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  • I disagree that previous manifestos should be mentioned. For example do we need to mention Ray Kurzweil or Vernor Vinge every time we mention the Singularity? I say “no.” If previous documents have something modern to impart or if we are directly quoting from them we should of course mention them but if they are outdated then no mention is needed. Or look at it another way, do we need to mention Tim Berners-Lee or Vint Cerf every time we mention the Internet? Or maybe we need to mention Hippocrates every time we refer to a modern example of medicine? Yes there have been many influential people in the futurist scene but there is no need to mention them if there is no purpose the mention other than some misguided notion of mere credit for past achievements. Our intelligent future should be concise, straight to the point, with only essential up-to-date info.

  • We want to live forever because we are not suicidal, or least we don’t succumb to our suicidal urges. Survival, the desire to live, it is an evolutionary trait which has made humans what we are. A willingness to embrace death is anti-evolutionary, I imagine your genes will not survive natural selection if you readily embrace death while others embrace immortality thereby procreating more than the dead people can procreate.

  • If we wish to calculate the volume of a cube we don’t need to mention Pitagora, we all know who he is and just use the formula to build upon it.

  • Just imagine how much knowledge and improvement you could accumulate by living much longer and therefore acquiring cognitive enhancement. On the note of compassion – its one of basic traits that differs us from animals. Without it we are beasts.

  • Lu Lu

    Before the researchers create the first AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), the only General Intelligences available on Earth are Human Beings. I mean, even the smartest chimpanzee is mentally less versatile than a slightly mentally-challenged human being.
    We should work hard to devise ways to “channel” that enormous computing power of human brains and optimize ourselves on a species-wide scale.

  • Lu Lu

    I see the similar over-optimism (or at least over-ambition of wanting to utopia-nize the world) of many self-labelled Singularitarians. The best example is found on Eliezer Yudkowsky’s personal website and his concept of a “Friendly AI”.

    How can you ensure an AI is friendly if it decides to change its mind, after it grows beyond the human level? (Yudkowsky and his SingInst researchers used the “Seed AI” approach, which involves growing an less-than-human AI (in an at most semi-supervised process) to superhumanity) .

    it would be great if the nobel goal can eventually be accomplished, but what Yudkowsky is trying to “package (for selling)” his idea with sounds quite unrealistic.
    (He is supported by Ray Kurzweil, an inventor I do respect (RK actually invented a great amount, achieved greatly both in quality and quantity), so that adds to my trust toward EY himself.)

  • Lu Lu

    That is right, Singularity Utopia. I consider the worst form of torture to be better than death (oblivion).
    “Rage, rage against the dying of light.” Rage on.

  • Lu Lu

    “… think it would be useful to imagine how a transhumanist state would write its constitution…”
    Any laws of such a state will probably be hard-wired into the citizens’ brains.
    But, of course, there is still some plasticity despite the hardwiring, as transhumanists are usually also libertarians who cannot accept thorough, intact wiring (brain-washing).

  • Lu Lu

    Is not discovering (for science) and inventing (for technology) sufficient expression of human nature (namely overcoming our own natural-imposed limits)?

    I consider music and poetry to be just a few of many possible art forms.

    Actually, if one studies the history of art, one finds out that the dominating artform of an era depends on the peak-technology of the era.

    Applying that line of reasoning, the dominating artform of today, I conclude, is video games: complex problem structures, photorealistic graphics, online cooperation.
    What more can you ask for?
    You don’t have to go to museums to appreciate such arts. These arts actually make people voluntarily appreciate them (and buy them).

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  • A bit ambiguous. A few phrases here and there might be applicable for religious, non-transhumanists philosophies and spiritual systems. Maybe try to pidgeon-hole it sharper on core H+ values.

    The next few decades are critical for the debate between people who internalize transhumanist values one the one hand and people who’ll feel reasons to denounce transhumanism on the other. It is important not to alienate people who find themselves “neutral” in this discourse as to invite many of the undecided over.

    A somewhat more “in focus” and “descriptive” set of ideas and slogans might do better to facilitate the gentlest seduction.

  • I understand your point friend, but in my understanding manifesto’s are rarely specific – they are supposed to be broad, inspiring, moving and motivational, not specific step-by-step guides…

  • Terrence Lee Reed

    Intelligence wants to be free but everywhere is in chains.(Start by defining intelligence) It is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.(This is like saying text is imprisoned by the printing press, there are only so many books you can print)

    Biology mandates not only very limited durability, death and poor memory retention (I would not say very limited durability, your DNA will last much longer than any storage device in your computer, death and poor memory retention is not mandated, it is merely the status quo), but also limited speed of communication, transportation, learning, interaction and evolution (here is the part that biology is not so good at).

    Existence precedes essence. Human is a process, not an entity. One is not simply born human, but becomes one. That process of becoming is ongoing and thus the meaning of human is re-defined in every one of us (moment by moment). (I like your use of ‘Human’ much more than post-human)

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  • Stephen Kagan

    And where might I find a copy of your Transhuman Manifesto, Natasha? And your Extropic Manifesto for that matter…
    They er.. seem to be buried somewhere deep in the strata of the technium that I cannot excavate.

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  • I do not expect perfection from Socrates, but I at least expect some rationality and consistency; neither of which is displayed in this manifesto. This manifesto is flawed for many reasons (some of which I can forgive), but there are couple issues that must be addressed.

    SCARCITY IS AN INHERENT PROPERTY OF THE UNIVERSE, NOT A BIOLOGICAL PROPERTY

    ‘There is nothing inherently wrong in speeding up evolution and becoming true masters of our destiny…’

    ‘Embodied (human) intelligence is imprisoned by biology and its inevitable scarcity.’

    ‘Intelligence ought to be free — to move, to interact and to evolve, unhindered by the limits of biology and scarcity.’

    ‘Digital, disembodied and augmented intelligence is free (and perhaps infinite).’

    All of these statements are false. Intelligence and sentience require scarce resources to exist, as per the laws of thermodynamics. Unless our understanding of the universe is severely flawed, then it is safe to say that scarcity is a property of the universe, not biology. It will still be present in a posthuman world. We will not be ‘true masters of our destiny…unhindered by the limits of biology and scarcity…with free (and perhaps infinite)
    intelligence.’ Could the threat of scarcity be reduced to a negligible amount in a posthuman world? Perhaps, but then again maybe not. We do not know. But it will be present. To deny this is pseudoscientific.

    CONFLICTING VALUES-FREEDOM VS MEANING VS UTILITARIANISM

    ‘We must all respect autonomy and individual rights of all sentience throughout the universe, including humans, non-human animals, and any future AI, modified life forms, or other intelligences.’

    ‘Intelligence is more than the mere exercise of perfect logic and pure reasoning. Intelligence devoid of emotional intelligence is meaningless. It must exhibit empathy, compassion, love, sense of humor and artistic creativity such as music and poetry.’

    ‘Compassion is the ultimate measure of intelligence. The minimization of suffering and avoidance of causing suffering to others, even less intelligent beings, is the essence of
    enlightened intelligence.’

    There are three conflicting values present in these statements: freedom, meaning and utilitarianism. In the first statement, Socrates states that we must respect the autonomy and individual rights of all sentient beings. But then in the third statement, he states that reduction of suffering is the essence of enlightened intelligence. I assume he is referring
    to the utilitarian ethic that the proper course of action is that which reduces the suffering and enhances the pleasure of as many sentient beings as possible. What if someone is using their autonomy (as protected in his first statement) to make self-destructive decisions that cause suffering to themselves? Do we preserve their autonomy as sentient beings or do we override their autonomy to force them to be happy, even if it’s against their will? As for the second statement (meaning), what if the utility of humanity (or should I say transhumanity) is maximized, but it is done in a way where the sentient beings do not possess ‘empathy, compassion, love, sense of human and artistic creativity such as music or poetry’?

    My point is this: clearly freedom, meaning and the reduction of suffering are all noble goals. But is one of these goals more important than the other? Do we find a balance between these values, or is one to be valued over the other? Do we support freedom simply on the grounds that it increases the overall utility? What if utility is maximized, but all the beings are living totally meaningless lives devoid of meaning (i.e. violating Socrates’ second statement)? Finally, and most importantly, how is transhumanism going to facilitate these three conflicting values?

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  • sheila

    I would agree to your point, but believe then in evolving , but to be honest, we have pressured cooked our own selves and have questions as to why we are actually going to evolve to resolve to go back as to forward we will become once what we were once, maybe to live longer but the lifeline we do pursue will be non human, because human would be without any type of structure we are baseline to be what we are designed to be ,

    The only fault I have with the Human body now is that we die to soon, this is a mission I am going to find out how to fix this one…. And. Yes.. Machine will make this in some matter work, Frankenstein theory will maybe work but what I would want to do or see happen is become what we are afraid of , and that would diminish the Beauty of being Human in the first place,

    Yes this is prb disturbing, ….lol..

  • René Milan

    Once again Socrates honours his moniker by showing the depth of his thinking.

    Two remarks though.

    1. The usual semantic problems prevail. A statement like “Biology is not the essence of humanity” obviously depends on one’s definition of “humanity”. I agree with this but i anticipate many not to, merely because they hold different concepts of “humanity”.

    2. There is the same perhaps unresolvable tension underlying this manifesto as is the transhumanist ideology in the wider sense.

    “Evolution is a journey, not a destination” – absolutely; and this gives room to endless diversification and the coexistence of many different and at least locally even incompatible manifestions of intelligence (again depending on one’s definition, here of “intelligence”). Among many current transhumanists there appears to prevail a concept of a manifest destiny (most radically expressed by Tipler, if he even can be recognised as a transhumanist, but also by the cosmists, at least Fyodorov, who tend to talk about “perfection” and “utopia”), a notion that is in my view based solely on faith.

    Some of what he says is clearly tautological, such as “Non-discrimination with regard to substrate”, which is inherent in any acceptable definition of “intelligence”, but at this point unfortunately still needs to be pointed out.

    “In short, transhumanists everywhere must support the revolutionary movement against death and the existing biological order of things. Transhumanists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the overthrow of all existing biological limitations and, most of all, death.” – Again the aforementioned tension rears its head. What transhumanists are against is fairly obvious; the big debate, and one i do not expect to be resolved any time soon if ever, is about what they are for.

    But his definition of transhumanism as an ideology closely resembles my own, and i could not agree more: “To ensure the best chances of survival, take control of our own destiny and to be free, we must master evolution.”

  • Michaela Herrmann

    Whilst your response glimpses sincere effort to truthfulness, I’m thinking that perhaps it would have been wise to lay it out as a preamble to the manifesto so that the reader may get the full context right from the get go, if you will… And not as a response to some aleatory reactions from the public.

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    well thought out; I miss our actual physical meetings. My only comment at the moment would be that your thinking would seem to be balancing on the fulcrum between transhumanism, and post humanism? While we, obviously represent actual “meat”; your thinking would seem to be already beyond biology. Are we using the suitable topic/subject heading?

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    Paul you are mistaking the term human for benevolent or good (almost as difficult to define, or fully grasp) Human can be shown in so many ways to be not inherently good or even positive.

  • Bruce Gavin Ward

    Sheila, you must be kidding; ” the only fault with the human body now is that we die too soon”!
    The human body is a mess, making it obvious in so many ways that it was not designed, but just happened via negative testing over eons.
    If I could replace mine with a suitable, biofree option – in a heartbeat! [or should that be “switch click”?]

  • Io Enigma

    “Biology is not the essence of humanity.”
    Well, it actually is. If you’re not 100% biological, you’re either a cyborg or robot.
    To be human means to live in a limited capability ship(body). If you have unlimited ( cloud ) memory, then there is no effort in remembering, there is no admiration for people remembering stuff, etc.

    To be honest, I would prefer if our civilization would first look to fix all health problems, instead of going on the ‘mind upload’ path. Just imagine the freedom in living without fear of disease, what fun would that bring.

  • Carlos Garcia Suarez

    I could not disagree more with some of your statements. You seem to indicate that inteligence is an end in itself and humans, humanity is just some sort of embodiment of inteligence, that we should be ready to drop to have inteligence progress.

    My view is exactly the opossite. Inteligence is a means to an end the end is to have what Aristotle would call a good life, which include a compasionate life. Emotions, humans emotions embeded the wisdom of milenia of evolution and they are as much part of what we are as intelligence.

    The feeling of embracing your son or daugther is what provide sense to life and that’s not attached to inteligence. Ingeligence can not be and end, and abandoning our human biological bodies to move into some kind of robot, it is something likely to happen, but it might not be for good.

    I would rather try to emphasize what makes us humans, inlcuding, love and death, and use technology to have a better life, but not to abandon life.

    Progress in the sense you point out, it is not necessarily a good thing. Cold, powerful inteligences, based on siicon or whatever, navigating the interestellar space is an interesting idea, but totally devoid of sense, less sense that living the lives we already have.

    Thanks, however, for the effort of collection your thoughts, I think it is a valuable starting point.

    Carlos from Madrid, Spain

  • Carlos Garcia Suarez

    I would rather spend my life with my dog and fell closer to him than to the most inteligent robot in the world. I recognize myself as a gregarian biological mamal, and I wish no other, but to have a good, limited human life, and see that also in others around me.

  • dirkbruere

    To answer your fist question: Intelligence is generalized problem solving ability

  • Carlos Garcia Suarez

    Ah! and one final thought. You indicate that you super inteligent silicon based being, will show empathy, because inteligence in empathic. That’s non sense. Inteligence is neutral as far as empathy is concerned. As Jereme Rifkin correctly points out, empathy is based in the acknowledgement of death and suffering. A non suffering, inmortal society, would feel no empathy at all. I will be even more purpose less that our own existence.

    There is a profound sense in being born out of the love of two human beings, and being grown up in the womb of a mother.

  • PontusLindblom

    I like it! I’m imagining a Martin Luther King Jr standing in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of people while he puts hearts and minds on fire delivering this speech. If you like that idea you cold make something like that as a YouTube video and probably reach a large audience and entice the minds and hearts of a lot of people.

  • Gabriel Nilsson

    We don’t know how consciousness is generated. Whether specific biological components are required or not, it seems very likely that the instance of consciousness, the self, is dependent on the particular physical base that generates it. Creating a copy, whether it’s biological or electronic, will most likely not preserve the particular instance of consciousness, i.e. the self. If the copy is conscious, it will have a separate self, only identical in content. Creating copies of ourselves therefore doesn’t seem like a valid way of seeking personal immortality, for those of us who are interested in that. Personally, I won’t abandon my biological base. If I cannot preserve my brain indefinitely, I’d be happy to create copies for the benefit of my living relatives and friends, but I won’t see it as a way to achieve immortality.

  • Galileo2

    Sorry, but biomorphs will always discriminate against synthmorphs. At least until the synthmorphs (aka ‘the Clanking Masses’) get the upper hand.

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