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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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