Descartes once described the human body as a “fleshy machine” and today’s transhumanists would likely agree.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom writes that as we seek to peer farther into posthumanity our ability to concretely imagine what it might be like to have such augmented thoughts and experiences cannot be though or experienced with our current capacities.
Today’s advances in science and technology will profoundly change what we understand as human. According to transhumanist philosophy humanity until this point has been a story of development for the survival and reproduction, but today thanks to advances in science we are entering a new phase where human beings are masters of their destiny. Therefore the Transhumanist movement envisions a future full of possibilities by broadening our potential as species by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth.
Until today nothing in biology made sense except in the light of evolution, but maybe it’s time to reconsider that in a near future nothing in evolution might make sense except under the influence of biotechnologies and the design of self-augmentated bodies. For us, transhumanists, the body is a biological machine we’re chanced to be born into, and there’s nothing to keep us from redesigning it. The liberation of humanity of biological repression and restrictions through technological and scientific improvement means that freedom is ultimately a matter of expanding our ability and opportunities to relate and expand ourselves in the world around us.
The human desire to expand the boundaries of our existence, be it socially, geographically, or mentally is as ancient as our species itself. And after Charles Darwin’s discoveries it became increasingly plausible to view the current version of humanity not as the endpoint of evolution but rather as an early phase. For feminist author Rosi Braidotti for example the primary goal of posthumanism is as an effort to reject individualism and forge a wholly new understanding of a non-unitary subject who is inherently embedded within a planetary whole.
Let’s start augmenting and customizing human bodies with technology in order to build a new grasp of our place in the universe!
*(Pictures: kernelmag.dailydot.com & Rosi Braidotti).