Re: Defining Transhumanism
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 14:08:55 EDT

In a message dated 98-10-20 13:32:20 EDT, (Robin Hanson)write:

> Transhumanism is the idea that new technologies are likely
> to change the world so much in the few centuries that we or
> our descendants will in many ways no longer be "human,"
> and that that's probably a not a bad thing.

>Again, I'm not proposing this for anything official - just
>thinking out loud.

I'd prefer saying it as "our descendants will be profoundly different from ourselves" rather than as 'no longer be "human"' Technically "human" would mean all characteristics of modern humans, including the bad ones like limited lifespan, characteristic cognitive errors, and tendencies to violence. But it carries a strong connotation of being only the good things about humans. Genocide is frequently described as "inhuman" even though its distressingly frequent occurance demonstrates that a tendency to commit genocide in particular circumstances is very much a "human" trait. To most people, intelligent but "not human" means "monster".