Re: Mainstreaming

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 05:02:27 MDT

John Marlow writes:

>#Okay, here's the biggie for me--and maybe it's been covered in the
>dim and distant past: Loss of humanity. Impression given is, you (the
>collective you) don't know what the next step (toward posthumanism)
>is and you don't care; you just want to take it. Don't care what
>you'll be, just want to get there. Don't consider that when you do,
>you won't retain human values. That's reckless.

Okay. Good. Something to focus in on. The 'biggie' is Loss of Humanity.
Or, as you put it moments later, "you won't retain human values."

The words 'humanity' and 'human values' are code words for 'someone else's
idea of what constitutes humanity' and 'someone else's idea of what values
are 'right' values'. I'm not buying it. It's a veiled attempt to dictate
my choice of values for myself. Life is filled with uncertainty and risk.
How I choose to confront these realities is, for the most part, nobody's
business but my own. I say 'for the most part' because, clearly, choices I
make for myself will inevitably have some impact on others. However,
that's always been the case. But choosing transhumanism for myself, even
doing so 'recklessly', is not the same as forcing transhumanism on others.
Yet you, John, (and those 'others') don't hesitate for a moment to arrogate
the right, and presume the legitimacy, of forcing their 'correct' humanity
and their 'correct' values on me. I respect your right to choose your own
values and your own path. I'll take care of mine, thankyouverymuch,
perhaps recklessly, perhaps boldly.

Now, returning briefly to 'humanity' and 'human values', just what are
these? The tribal prejudices of some organized superstition (religion), or
the political platitudes of some governing ideology? Shall we offer for
the sake of comparison the FULL record--which is to say a truthful and
complete record of all the dark deeds of humans manifesting their
'humanity' and 'human values'-- not merely the sublime, the sanitized
historical apologism of the current cultural myth? Shall we then, in light
of this honest accounting, ask what of our 'humanity' and 'human values'
deserves preserving?

The question of loss of humanity is, at best, grounded in ignorance and
prejudice and primitive fear, and presumes, based on an historical fantasy,
the moral and rational correctness of the current state of affairs. At
worst it is a devious and deceitful ploy to maintain control, based on the
historically effective but lately tattered idea that God and Ceasar know
what's right and therefore you must obey.

Transhumanism is merely the current manifestation of the ancient quest to
understand and progress. That's 'progress' as in 'to make things better'.
(Are we likely to stumble along the way? Well, duh.) Thus, transhumanism
is FUNDAMENTALLY ethical. We are unsatisfied with, unimpressed by, and
unwilling to meekly accept the limitations on justice, freedom, ethics,
compassion, health, intelligence, and personal fullfillment, imposed on our
'humanity' by the accidents of biology. I welcome the criticism of my
critics. I celebrate their freedom to criticize. And I celebrate my
freedom to dismiss the strident protests of the misguided and misinformed
and to shrug off the looming umbrage of their masters. My mind is my own.
That is the heart of Transhumanism. That is what makes it unstoppable.


Then, in response to Greg's

>> Saying that you could hurt a group of people by picking out the least
>> appealing members of the group and then depicting them as representative
>> true but, with respect, so what?

  John writes,

>#I'm warning that someone will eventually do this--that some sort of
>etiquette is going to have be enforced on the public list or you're
>going to run into trouble. Yeah I know that flies in the face of the
>freedom-to-post-anything stance, but there it is.

Trouble is inevitable. It's practically a definition of the human
condition. What's the alternative, to huddle, trembling beneath your
bedclothes? Freedom has its price. If it's trouble, then BRING IT ON!
No other way to get past it.


                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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