[ExI] The Manifesto of Italian Transhumanists

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 21:54:40 UTC 2008

On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 8:17 PM, John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com>
> India?  Interesting.  And so you believe this is in large part due to
> Hinduism, which is a polytheistic religion?  Are the dieties of India
> "jealous gods?"  Please explain further your view on this.  I admit that
> India has been a popular background for Western writers who enjoy doing
> transhumanistically-bent science fiction.

In fact, buddhism seems hardly incompatible with transhumanism if one
accepts that James Hughes qualifies as both a buddhist and a  transhumanist.

But yes, my reference was more to the remnants of the indoeuropean culture
in contemporary India, which may have little to do with the kind of
devotional or mystical hinduism that betrays obvious muslim - if not
christian - influences.

Besides anedoctical evidence or personal inferences, and speaking of
statistics, for instance, already in 1993, an international poll conducted
by Daryl Macer<http://research.arc2.ucla.edu/pmts/Germline/Biography/cbdn.htm>,
manager in Japan of the Eubios Ethics
verified that the percentage of the general population in favour of the
general availability of genetic engineering technology aimed at both
preventing diseases and increasing physical and mental abilities inherited
by their offspring ranged, if I am not mistaken,  from 22% in Israel to 43%
in the US to *83%* (!) in India. See Daryl
al., "International
Perceptions and Approval of Gene
in *Human Gene Therapy*<http://www.liebertpub.com/publication.aspx?pub_id=19>n.
6, pp. 791-803. This may or may not be mentioned in Rifkin's
*The Biotech Century*<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000CDG8LA/qid=1135473833/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0708899-0276623?v=glance&s=books>,
I am not sure.

But this general mentality is also well reflected at a political level. See
for instance the well-known 2006 speech of Indian President
Kalam<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Kalam>on the occasion of the
opening of the International Institute of Information
Technology in Bhubaneswar, which is still available at
http://pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page1.asp?relid=22519. If anybody knows
of a more transhumanist-friendly statement by a head of State, I would be
curious to hear about it...

Stefano Vaj
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