Re: Defining Transhumanism

maxm (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 21:38:13 +0200

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Hanson <>

>Nick Bostrom suggested that he & I take public our private
>conversation about definitions of transhumanism. I proposed:
> Transhumanism is the idea that new technologies are likely
> to change the world so much in the next century or two that
> our descendants will in many ways no longer be "human."

My personal definition is, Transhumans: People who consciously seeks the advancement of the individual and the society through technology and Culture.

I know that it is a pretty open definition but I think it has to be, as not to lock people, who are positively biased toward transhumanism, up in beliefs they cannot agree with. Not to force them out by their own beliefs so to speak.

>Why do there seem to be so few people who share
>our positive beliefs but not our normative beliefs

I think that it is caused by Hypocrisy and the schism there is today between reality and peoples perception of it caused by media and education.

We all want better, cheaper, healthier and longer lasting farming goods. This we get from the supermarket, and as consumers it is our birthright. We are told constantly.

We don't want pesticides, hormones, irrigation, Mad Cow Diseases etc. This we get from the farmers, the industry and the business.

You could basically say the same things for a lot of industries: Automobile, computer, chemical, power etc. etc.

People are told that the problems are caused by technology and science.

The benefits most people just take for granted.

More or less.

The funny thing is that the snafu's of science and technology is described and reported systematically and vigorously by media, as it should be, while most of the snafu's of the lack of critical thinking is only described when something goes really wrong. Like religious mass suicides etc.

Most people want to make their life better through technology. And they are already doing it actively. They just don't think of it that way because they are conditioned to think about it in a much more convoluted way.


Max M Rasmussen
New Media Director Denmark