TRANS·HU·MAN·ISM (TRANZˈHYO͞OMƏNIZM) / NOUN / – THE BELIEF OR THEORY THAT THE HUMAN RACE CAN EVOLVE BEYOND ITS CURRENT PHYSICAL AND MENTAL LIMITATIONS, ESPECIALLY BY MEANS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
It sounds like science fiction, but many believe there is a real chance we will evolve with technology – giving ourselves cybernetic implants and supersonic body parts allowing us to become bionic versions of ourselves. With the help of technology, we’d overcome many of our physical limitations.
Some people love this idea, but many find it horrifying and unnatural. Putting aside what may be possible, is the idea of improving ourselves significantly with technology really so bad?
Consider how common glasses , contacts , or even hearing aids are at present. No one would genuinely argue that these aids are unnatural. Yet even in this simple form, they are technological improvements to our physical abilities.
What about other advancements. Is a person with an artificial limb less human? Would it make any difference if these limbs were regrown from cells or built to offer more range and strength than our natural limbs?
What about knee and hip replacements. These clearly represent the blending of technology and humanity, and they are perfectly acceptable.
We may scoff at the idea of a future where we improve ourselves with computers, but who among us would refuse a pacemaker to extend our lives? We can argue that tweaking our bodies to live longer is unnatural, but would we turn down an artificial heart or lung if it would save our lives?
To someone 100 years ago, many of the technological improvements we have available today would seem like science fiction – as much as implanting chips in our heads feels that way to us now. Some believe that is where things are headed. If the process happens slowly, who knows what will be commonplace and acceptable in the future.
Most people don’t consider the extent that technology already is a large part of our lives and bodies. Is improving upon this really so bad?
What do you think. Is this something to fear or embrace?