[extropy-chat] Transhumanism: menace or threat?

Lifespan Pharma Inc. megao at sasktel.net
Sat May 28 19:28:25 UTC 2005

The case to date is that when leaders of religeon or politics view 
something as undesireable they make an edict,
law or regulation which the masses dutifully obey.

So indeed a worldview by leaders to not change the human condition, but 
to let the majority of the population
die off of natural causes...and ageing  might indeed forstall whole 
populations from taking the
risks/unknowns that go with life-extension technology.

There of course will be some who disobey and use the technology.
As we have seen with Stem Cell Technology.
Will this be a lesson to the population... not yet it seems....?

All the while those who feel strongly and pay the price to access the 
technology become the pioneers
to use, benefit from and likely commercialize the technology.

This might mark the single greatest event in the natural selection the 
human species
has experienced since cro-magnons and such were eliminated from the gene 

I wonder if any opinion polling has been done that might indicate
under what conditions the general population might break from the
mould and commit civil disobedience to better individual each
person's individual circumstance?

Terry W. Colvin wrote:

> http://news.ft.com/cms/s/c7eb8502-cda3-11d9-9a8a-00000e2511c8.html
> The most dangerous idea on earth?
> By Stephen Cave and Friederike von Tiesenhausen Cave
> Published: May 27 2005 12:42 | Last updated: May 27 2005 12:42
> It is easy to see how you could be tempted. It might start with 
> genetically screening your children for a lower risk of a hereditary 
> cancer. Or perhaps with a pill that promised to keep your memory fresh 
> and clear into old age.
> But what if, while you were having your future children engineered to 
> be cancer-free, you were offered the chance to make them musically 
> gifted? Or, if instead of taking a memory-enhancing pill, you were 
> offered a neural implant that would instantly make you fluent in all 
> the world’s languages? Or cleverer by half? Wouldn’t it be difficult 
> to say no? And what if you were offered a whole new body - one that 
> would never decay or grow old?
> A growing number of people believe these will be the fruits of the 
> revolutions in biotechnology expected this century. And they consider 
> it every individual’s right to take advantage of these changes. They 
> think it will soon be within our reach to become something more than 
> human - healthier, stronger, cleverer. All we have to do is live long 
> enough to be around when science makes these advances. If we are, then 
> we may just live forever.
> This idea, known as transhumanism, is steadily spreading from a 
> handful of cranks and Star Trek fans into the mainstream and across 
> the Atlantic. But it is an idea that Francis Fukuyama, famed for 
> proclaiming the end of history when US-style liberal democracy 
> triumphed in the cold war, has described as the most dangerous in the 
> world.
> ...
> Fukuyama’s answer to the threat of transhumanism is straightforward: 
> stringent regulation. Despite the current deregulatory mood in 
> America, his views chime with those of the anti-abortion right, a core 
> constituency of the Bush administration. When President George W. Bush 
> first came to power, he set up his Council on Bioethics to, as he put 
> it, “help people like me understand what the terms mean and how to 
> come to grips with how medicine and science interface with the dignity 
> of the issue of life and the dignity of life, and the notion that life 
> is - you know, that there is a Creator”.
> Members of the president’s Council on Bioethics, on which Fukuyama 
> sits, are widely credited with crafting Bush’s stem cell policy, which 
> saw a ban on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines. This 
> propelled the question of regulating biotechnology to the top of the 
> political agenda. During the Democratic Party Convention last year, 
> presidential candidate John Kerry mentioned stem cell research more 
> often than unemployment.
> ...

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