Trans- vs. Non-human

Steve Witham (
Wed, 4 Dec 1996 22:41:52 -0500

>From: "Dr. Rich Artym" <>
>Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 02:50:04 +0000 (GMT)
>Subject: Re: Sex as obsolete and "hormone-driven"
>In message <>, banjo writes:
>> It seems to me that some people here want to become not so much Transhuman
>> as non-human.
>That may or may not be the case, depending on the individual. The only
>thing that is certain about a transhuman is that he or she or it will have
>gone "beyond" their humanity in a few or in many ways. To that smaller or
>larger extent, they will indeed be non-human, by definition.

Not if you understand what banjo meant by "non-human" (elaborated below),
I think.

>the other side of the coin is that unless the change has been 100% then
>a degree of humanity will remain. It's not black and white, but fuzzy.


>The other thing that perhaps should be said is that to point a finger
>at the non-human part of transhumans (frown implied) is rather speciest,
>or at least indicates some intolerance for those transcending their human
>limits. That sits very poorly alongside the self-transformation and
>acceptance of diversity that is at the very heart of transhumanism.

I disagree strongly but I think the use of the word "human" is a large
part of the problem. You are using it in a sort of clinical, species-
identifying way, where banjo is using it to mean the *best* qualities
of humans. I strongly don't want to live with extra-clever beings who
have *rejected* what I consider the most important parts of humanity.
I may "tolerate" them, in a wary way, if that day comes, but until then
I'll try hard to convince people not to create them or become them.

This is the main reason I'm an extropian: because the point is not just
to celebrate change, any old change, but to try to make change for the
better rather than the worse. Extropy rather than entropy.


"It just keeps going and going and therefore you yourself have to keep
 going and going." --Energizer Bunny researcher