The Beliefs of a Transhumanist
To avoid confusion — this is about my personal beliefs. Transhumanists come in every shape and size. There are extropians, singularitarians, grinders and a whole lot of other flavours. What theoretically connects these schools of thoughts under the flag of transhumanism is humanistic ideals and the belief that we can and must rise above the limitations of the human condition. I have two goals with this writing:
- Elaborate on why I consider myself a transhumanist
- Start a discourse where other transhumanists are encouraged to do the same.
Because as I have said before: Transhumanists are a diverse bunch, we have different backgrounds, different goals in life and I want to encourage everyone to share it. Human stories, beliefs and struggles are a central part of the human condition and we must get the widest possible perspective to call ourselves truly enlightened.
I also want to show the importance of beliefs, as transhumanism asks for a level of faith. The exact level differs from person to person. This might be the most obvious looking at singularitarians and their faith in the coming technological singularity, but believe me, every flavour has their own. And there is nothing wrong with that! Humans always needed ways to explain the world around them and to have something greater than human which they could turn in times of despair. Science is nicely building a rational system for the former, leaving many people of science without the latter.
And as I promised, here come my personal beliefs. As a transhumanist I am
Reaching Back to the Humanist Roots
I find humanism indispensable for understanding transhumanism and see transhumanism as a necessary next step for technologically oriented humanists of the 21st century. We, humans, are capable of rational reasoning and high levels of abstraction. We have gotten ourselves great power over nature through our tools and creativity. We can show compassion, have a sense of right and wrong and can act humane. Even when we will no longer be human in today’s sense of the word we must carry our humane heritage to create a better tomorrow. I believe that this is possible and that humane ideals can reach the post-scarcity age where they will truly bloom.
Embracing New Technologies
Not only because they remind us of the cunning of humanity but also for their value in abolishing human suffering. I believe that we must continue our march of technological development which started with the first stone tools, with fire and with the wheel. Progress carries dangers. But fearing progress is against the very essence of humans. We have conquered countless diseases that were deadly two centuries ago. We are discoverers of the lands, the seas and the stars and all these are possible through technology. From the fire through the astrolabe, vaccines to the computers, we have come a long way from being a simple sufferer of nature’s whims.
Actively Contributing to Science for a Better Tomorrow
Never forgetting that I must achieve my goals while staying within the rules of ethics and common sense. I am also trying to inspire others to do the same. I believe that alternative education which keeps alive the sense of wonder through middle and high school are an important step towards this. I support these as long as they can teach the important skills required to pursue a career in arts and science and be a better citizen of the world.
Encouraging Open Discourse
And the use of technologies, licenses, forums and legal frameworks that do the same. This includes open access academic journals and open databases. I write to inspire and empower.
All in all I am (in no particular order)
- A humanist (as I believe in the importance of the human specific high level skills and abstraction)
- An abolitionist (as I am against involuntary suffering)
- An extropian (as I am for expanding my senses, knowledge and capabilities and believe in our obligation of self-development)
- And a Transhumanist.
It’s your turn now! Why are you a transhumanist? What is your story? What do you believe in? Show your kind of transhumanism to the world!