A Moral Vision for Transhumanism

Patrick Hopkins
2008 Journal of Evolution and Technology   unpublished
All worldviews have some sort of moral vision for why and how they pursue their goals, though these moral visions may be more or less explicitly stated. Transhumanism is no different, though sometimes people forget that transhumanism is not the alien dream of a posthuman mind but is instead a very human ideology driven by very human interests and moral ideals. In this paper, I lay out some of those ideals in very general terms, advocating a high-minded moral vision for transhumanism that is
more » ... of and extends the desire for human flourishing. Though taken to new heights, transhumanism coheres with age-old views of ourselves as our own projects. What the end and direction and scope of those projects can be, however, is generated by, but not limited to, human nature. Changing ourselves. Transforming ourselves. Becoming something so different, the word "human" no longer clearly satisfies. Why do this? Why think this? What are we running towards? What are we running from? There is a tendency to forget that transhumanism is a human ideology, a human movement motivated by human desires, hopes, and dreams. There are as of yet, no significantly enough transformed humans to count as having a constitutionally different moral perspective than humans. So when we ask the question, What is the moral vision of transhumanism?, we are not asking, What is the moral vision of transhumans?, and certainly not, What is the moral vision of posthumans? Rather, we are asking, What is the moral vision of humans who have imagined transforming themselves? I. What we begin with then, in thinking clearly about transhumanism and posthumanity is, ironically, human nature and the natural world and the natural history in which we are embedded. Numerous ideas of what makes humans special have been proffered: the presence of souls, the use of language, the use of