RE: The Politics of Transhumanism

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 10:39:10 MST

Anders Sandberg [] wrote:

Again, as I tried to show in my paper, humanism is *not* a bolt on to
transhumanism in the same way a socialist transhumanism or a satanist
transhumanism would be.

### Satanist transhumanism really is an intriguing idea. I bet there are
people out there who would love to grow horns and hooves ;-)


### Just to comment on the "central meme" of transhumanism, the idea that
technology should and will be used to radically change human minds and
bodies - I do think that it is a significant ideological breakthrough, a
very large mental step for any human or society. As such it deserves a
suitably exalted name. While I sympathize with your interpretation of the
*natural* values which should underlie transhumanism, I think that we could
play the naming game differently.

As Fabio suggested, we could abandon the use of the word "transhumanism" to
signify a world-view, instead use it to describe the attitude towards
technology, the central meme in pure form. It's useful to have a term to
describe this attitude in separation from the ethical systems in which it
might be embedded, since it allows the formation of temporary goal-oriented
coalitions with groups which do not share a long-range outlook (you can
still exclude nazis, though, not because they are "un-transhuman" but
because they are nazi). Thus transhumanist goals could be better advanced by
appealing to a larger number of persons, and only later, as we get closer to
achieving our goals, could the specific flavors of transhumanism be sorted

The ethical and philosophical ideas which you advocate (and with which I
fully agree), could be referred to as extropianism (to a good
approximation), or humanist transhumanism.

In the end, we are not really arguing about ideas here but rather which
words should be used to describe which idea. The naming scheme which is
most intuitve and easiest to use without confusion, should win.


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