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Transhumanism is the solution to all problems?

  • In the Global Digital Humanities (HDG) degree of Mondragon Unibertsitatea, reflection on the future is a daily issue in which transhumanism cannot be avoided.

16 May 2024 - 12:07

Transhumanism considers that the mortality assumed by human nature makes it aware of suffering, so we must change phase to improve our life expectancy and quality. The only way to do that is to apply technology to humans. Today there are people and organizations that drive this kind of change, such as Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas, the first renowned cyborg and founders of the Cyborg Foundation, or Neurali, company of Elon Muskiz.

The desire to overcome the limits imposed by nature is not new, the human being has always had a passion for immortality and perfection, from ancient Greece to the cultures of the Far East. Modernity, besides the promise of unlimited development, made the fascination and mystery of nature disappear. Descartes, Bacon and other mechanistic philosophers turned animals into soulless machines and defined the human body as an instrument similar to the machine. Nature lost its vitality and became an object to satisfy human desires.

If our body is nothing more than a machine, it is very easy to impose the idea of perfection associated with it and make it a universal goal. These canons and ideas become tools of alienation. The person, while physically staying, does not spend so much time working internally and is more manipulable.

Technology will bring serenity to the questions of the world, but the problems we have are very complex and will generate another kind of crisis, because it directly influences our perception of life.

We believe that the meaning of life is often to achieve happiness and that happiness will reach “perfection”. It must be said beforehand that perfection does not exist, that it is nothing more than a mixture of concepts of characteristics that move between parameters conceived as a society, that we will never reach perfection, but our obsession has become perfect beings. Not reaching “perfection” generates an inner void, because our desires and reality are at different levels. There are people who decide to dig right into this void, but it's a difficult decision because it's much easier to make changes on a physical level.

Technology will give us serenity to the questions of the world, but the problems we have are very complex and will generate another kind of crisis.

Technology brings these physical changes to another level, because it introduces changes that directly affect our humanity. But these external changes do not guarantee that our emptiness will be filled, and there will be some time when we can no longer avoid that emptiness, and the crisis that will generate us will be greater. So I don't think that those external changes through the technology that drives transhumanism can replace internal work. Science cannot solve existential doubts and, furthermore, it is not its job because it wants it.

With a view to the future, the importance of transhumanism cannot be denied, since today much is being invested in applying it in different areas. Among these areas is nature, since transhumanism aims not only to improve the human situation, but also to avoid the climate crisis. But its objective in this field is not to seek a balanced relationship with nature, but to continue to exploit nature itself.

As for the human being, transhumanism will again raise questions about our existence. Once transhumanists have multiplied and become commonplace, the boundary between technology and human beings is blurred and we may not be able to define “man” as such. In parallel, the creation of a “new” version of the human being will increase inequalities between human beings and increase distribution.

When it comes to demanding the rights of transhumanists, new questions and gaps arise, but if we are able to redefine the human being, solving the previous problem and setting limits, we will come to solve the problem of rights and duties organically.

The goal of this technology is to fill our gaps, to enter our center and to give peace. But leaving this void in the hands of something else can generate dependence, because we are in the hands of an external element, which also occupies us only on a physical level. Modernity has put us on this crazy and fast wheel, and it's everybody's responsibility to stop, so we have to ask ourselves uncomfortable questions and maybe we don't like the answers that come out, but the first step to move forward is to recognize the problem. But how can we do it if not all humans are on the same page? Can we start looking for a solution if a large part of the population does not identify the problem?

Nahikari Inchausti, Global Digital Humanities student at Mondragon Unibertsitatea

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