Transhumanist Principles 2.1

Nick Bostrom (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 21:44:42 +0000

Hello everybody! On the WTA action list we have been discussing an
updated formulation of a set of transhumanist principles. The latest
version is as follows. Comments and suggestions are welcome...

Transhumanist Principles 2.1

(1) Humanity will be radically changed by technology in the future. We
foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition, including
such parameters as the inevitability of ageing, limitations on human
and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, suffering, and our
confinement to the planet earth.

(2) Serious effort should put into understanding these coming
developments and their long-term consequences.

(3) Transhumanists believe that by being generally open and embracing
of new technology we have a better chance of turning it to our
advantage than if we try to ban or prohibit it.

(4) Transhumanists advocate the moral right for those who so wish to
use technology to extend their mental and physical capacities and to
improve their control over nature. We seek personal growth beyond our
current biological limitations.

(5) In planning for the future, it is mandatory to take into account
the prospect of dramatic technological progress. It would be tragic if
the enormous potential benefits failed to materialize because of
ill-motivated technophobia and unnecessary prohibitions. On the other
hand, it would also be tragic if intelligent life went extinct because
of some disaster or war involving advanced technologies.

(6) We need to create forums where people can rationally debate what
needs to be done, and a social order where responsible decisions can
be implemented.

(7) Transhumanists support scientific humanism. Though as a matter of
fact most transhumanists believe in individual freedom, transhumanism
in itself is politically neutral.

The following people have contributed comments: Doug Bailey, Anders
Sandberg, Gustavo Alves, Max More, Holger Wagner, Natasha More, Eugene
Leitl, Doug Baily Jr., Berrie Staring, David Pearce, Bill Fantegrossi,
den Otter, Ralf Fletcher
Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics