Re: Extropian bodies

Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 13:15:02 MDT

Helen wrote:

>"(snip)I hope that by posing reasonable simple questions to the people who are against engineering the human body through technology, then I won’t annoy them, and they will open up about what really scares them."<

This is a sensible concern. I've had to deal with it quite a bit when addressing the future of the human body. People get a little bent when they think someone is going to take their body away. And for a good cause. "My body, my life." It's our most fundamental property.

Rather than developing a reference guide of standardized questions for the average person, I ask questions that are individual-based. "You enjoy tennis a great deal, what would it be like if you didn't have to worry about tennis elbow?" Or, "As a CEO and a mother, how do you balance you hectic schedule? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have an implant communication device so that you could communiate feelings with your children just to let them know you love them while you are away?" For basics, most people wear glasses or contacts. Many people have had braces or have augmented their teeth with veneers, crowns or fillings. This type of engineered upgrade has modified a large percentage of humanity. It may seem silly at first blush to mention, but it helps people relax before stretching their imaginations about advanced augmentations.

>(snip)... I believe that what scares the ‘anti’ people is based in the fact that we ‘look’ human, and that our humanness is linked to our body image. This is a strong argument in that it suggests our identity as a person is linked very closely to how others, and we see the body. What they are suggesting is that by changing the appearance of the human body then we are consequently changing our human identity. This seems pretty logical, and it bypasses in some way, the argument that our ‘identity’, or rather our ‘human identity’ is just contained within the brain. They’d argue that although the information may be stored in the brain, it is still connected to how we see the body, therefore what effects the body effects the mind.<

There is a distinctive image-territoriality among humans to protect and patrol the human body in a fixed state. In that the human visual sense is an extremely strong component of our psychological make-up and identity, altering it drastically could cause a heck of a lot of resentment and fear. This is very understandable.

What you need to consider is that changes occur in steps. Alterations and modifications to the human body will surely alter visual perceptions of our identities and ourselves. Also consider that multiple personalities will also be an alternative with new body designs as well as multiple physical vehicles for transportation and communication. Be careful not to get stuck on one body and one identity. Alternatively, who says a posthuman will not resemble a human?

I’ll reply off list when I get my computer fixed this week.


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