I have wanted to introduce Creative Minority readers to transhumanism for awhile now. It is, in my personal opinion, the most dangerous movement that no one knows about. When it showed up on a new Disney Channel series, I decided the time is now.
What is transhumanism? Transhumanism is a philosophy that advocates using technologies like genetic engineering, drugs, and nanotechnology to go beyond treating or preventing disease and use them to enhance otherwise healthy humans beyond natural capabilities. They envision a world where you can leave your “sick and stupid” existence behind and enhance your way to being super-smart, super-strong, super-happy, basically super-human. Transhumanists want to take man’s evolution into their own hands creating a race of “post-humans.”
An example of transhumanism would be removing a perfectly healthy limb and replacing it with an artificial one that performs “better” than the original. Or to use genetic engineering to go beyond curing genetic disease with gene therapy and use it to genetically enhance ourselves or our children.
The transhumanist will often set a trap where they say that the technology used to treat and cure disease is transhumanism. They often present the scenario that in accepting medical progress for treating disease or disability, one must also accept technology to enhance man beyond what can be accomplished by nature. Opposing transhumanism means “opposing medical and scientific progress.” They insist that rejecting enhancement means taking away Grandma’s hip replacement and Grandpa’s defibrillator and only the angry, hate-filled Luddites of the world would want that.
In reality, technologies like genetic engineering, artificial limbs and pharmacology are not all or nothing. We can make the decision to limit these technology for therapeutic uses only. Which is what the Catholic Church teaches specifically about human genetic engineering (and which is now considered good medical practice.)
There are many flaws in transhumanist utopian ideas. Flaws that they find hard to address. Most notably that transhumanism will result in a world where the enhanced super-humans will naturally rule over the “stupid and weak” unenhanced. Those that can afford or have access to enhancements will be the elite and those who do not or cannot be enhanced will be second class citizens.
The transhumanist also contends that enhancements will always be a matter of choice. But in a world where enhancements are commonplace, average people will be compelled to have invasive modifications on their brains and bodies just to keep up. At this point, I contend that we will become slaves to the technology we created.
Transhumanism is philosophically flawed as well, assuming that our nature needs enhancing. That we must take the evolution of our species in our own hands and go beyond being simply human. We have tried to take human evolution into our own hands before. It was called eugenics. Not surprisingly the term transhumanism was coined by a well known eugenicist back in 1957. (And we all how the eugenics movement ended.)
Now you may believe that transhumanism is nothing you and your family need to worry about. It is the stuff of science fiction and you are not being exposed to transhumanist ideas. Except you and your children are slowing being boiled in the transhumanist pot.
Consider Captain America, a super-hero not born of an accident or natural genetic mutation, but of enhancement experiments performed by the United States Army. Consider also the TV series Chuck where an unsuspecting computer nerd is cognitively enhanced by the CIA.
And consider the brand new Disney series Lab Rats where three of the main characters are teenagers that, according to the promotional material, are super-human kids genetically engineered with enhancements by a billionaire inventor to “save the world.”
The message is getting louder and louder and your children are listening. (I know because mine are.) To be a super hero you need to be enhanced and it is OK (and even cool) to let the government or scientists experiment on you. It is time to have a conversation with your children. Tell them enhancements, while fun to watch on TV or in the movies, are morally wrong and that their faith says so. Even if the intentions are good, experimenting on otherwise healthy people is wrong. Enhancing humans will create a an unfair world where those that are enhanced will rule over those that aren’t. And enhancing children, like the Lab Rats, who cannot give informed consent is super wrong.
If we are not successful in educating ourselves and our children, I fear transhumanism with widespread human enhancements is our future. This was a simple introduction. There is so much more to know about the transhumanism movement. If you want to go more in depth please visit Mary Meets Dolly and read on!