It is rare in today’s politically correct society that someone says what they really feel. So I applaud transhumanist Steven Fuller for telling it like it is. Unfortunately, his ideas are terrifying.
Fuller has a written a post, titled “We May Look Crazy to Them, But They Look Like Zombies to Us: Transhumanism as a Political Challenge” where he calls everyone who is not on the transhumanist train a “zombie”:
So let’s be clear about who these naysayers are. They hold the following views:
1) They believe that they will live no more than 100 years and quite possibly much less.
2) They believe that this limited longevity is not only natural but also desirable, both for themselves and everyone else.
3) They believe that the bigger the change, the more likely the resulting harms will outweigh the benefits.
Now suppose they’re wrong on all three counts. How are we to think about such beings who think this way? Aren’t they the living dead? Indeed. These are people who live in the space of their largely self-imposed limitations, which function as a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are programmed for destruction – not genetically but intellectually. Someone of a more dramatic turn of mind would say that they are suicide bombers trying to manufacture a climate of terror in humanity’s existential horizons. They roam the Earth as death-waiting-to-happen.
This much is clear: If you’re a transhumanist, ordinary people are zombies.
And just like in any good zombie flick there are different approaches to dealing with the undead:
So how does one deal with zombies, especially when they are the majority of the population? There are three general options:
1) You kill them, once and for all.
2) You avoid them.
3) You enable them to be fully alive.
Now you would think at this point Fuller would unequivocally denounce option 1. Nope. Here is what he says about killing us “once and for all”:
The decision here is not as straightforward as it might seem because the prima facie easiest option (2) requires that there are no resource implications. But of course, zombies require living humans (i.e. potential transhumans) in order to exist in the manner they do, which in turn makes the zombies dangerous; hence (1) has always proved such an attractive option for dealing with zombies. After all, it is difficult to dedicate the resources needed to secure the transhumanist goal of indefinite longevity, if there are zombies trying to anchor your existential horizons in the present to make their own lives as easy as possible. [my emphasis]
Make no mistake, transhumanists see regular humans as a drain on their “possibilities” and a threat to their “horizons.” Fuller has called everyone who does not share in his dream of becoming an immortal post-human “dangerous zombies.”
I don’t think this is just some handy metaphor where he doesn’t really mean what he says. I think Fuller imagines himself to be like a Brad Pitt nobly fighting off the pestilence that is the rest of the walking dead, meaning us. I have no doubt other transhumanists share his view. Elitists making judgements about the unwashed and ignorant masses.
Have I said before how transhumanism has its roots in eugenics? We have tried transhumanism already, only it was called eugenics then. Eugenics, in its attempt to control the direction of human evolution, did in fact create a world where the lesser humans were second-class citizens whose rights and lives were forfeit to the “greater good” determined by the elite.
My favorite modern fiction writer, Dean Koontz, truly understands transhumanism and its ramifications:
“We live in hubristic age, when politicians imagine themselves to be messiahs and when many in the sciences frankly discuss their dreams of creating a “post-human” civilization of genetically engineered supermen, ignorant of the fact that like minds have often come before them and have left no legacy but death, destruction, and despair.”
Fuller concludes that transhumanism has a “public relations” problem. They need to convince us that we want to be post-human too:
The lesson for us lies in the question: How can we persuade people that extending their lives is qualitatively different from simply extending their zombiehood?
I think not belittling the naturally beautiful human experience by calling the majority of the population in their unenhanced state “dangerous zombies” and then hinting at mass genocide might be a good place to start.
Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly