Scott Badger (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:26:33 -0500

On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Nick Bostrom wrote:

> I'm too tired right now to come up with any proposals for how to
> answer the following questions. Anybody got any rethorical ideas?
> Why do transhumanists want to live longer?

Who among us wants life to end? Perhaps the suicidal because they suffer from acute depression, and perhaps the elderly or diseased because their bodies have become overly burdensome, and perhaps those who die attempting to save the lives of others. But what if you didn't grow old, and what if depression was easily treatable? As long as life continued to give you pleasure, what reason could you ever give for choosing to end it? Our most intense emotions are associated with our fear of death and our grief over the deaths of others. The most natural and powerful of all motivations is the motivation to live.

Consider also that by the time you get really good at your chosen profession, learn how to love and to be loved, and develop wisdom, patience, and tolerance, you've got maybe twenty years to take advantage of it before you become too old and have to retire. Meanwhile, you've passed on only a small fraction of the information you spent a lifetime accruing to the next generation who must retrace your steps all over again. This is a terribly inefficient and tragically wasteful system.

> Isn't transhumanism tampering with nature?

We have done very well for ourselves tampering with nature so far (e.g. medicine, heating & air-conditioning, books).

> Won't transhuman technologies make us inhuman?

The extropian ideal is to become more than human, to enhance those qualities than make us human. Becoming inhuman is just the opposite, becoming less than human.