Re: humanism vs. transhumanism?

GBurch1 (
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 14:03:22 EST

Here are some things I've previously written on the relationship of humanism
and transhumanism:

"The word transhumanism consciously evokes the tradition of humanism, i.e. the
secular view of man as the "center" of the moral universe. However,
transhumanism goes beyond humanism, because it does not accept some immutable,
fundamental "human nature" as a given, but rather looks to continuing -- and
accelerating -- the process of recursively expanding and improving the very
nature of human beings themselves."


"In its embrace of humanity's self-transforming and world-transforming use of
technology, transhumanism rejects the pessimism and more or less explicit
moral guilt of modern humanistic thinking. ... With the development of tools
to explore and manipulate the fundamental elements of matter and
consciousness, we now stand at the brink of a new shift to an even greater
level of complexity and consciousness. Seeing and embracing this new
challenge, the transhumanist world view is a redemption of the optimism of the
Enlightenment of the 18th Century, a New Enlightenment reinvigorated by a
deeper understanding of consciousness as an integral part of natural

-- from my essay entitled "Transhumanism" at:

Greg Burch <>----<>
Attorney ::: Director, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
"Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must
be driven into practice with courageous impatience."
-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover