Transhumanism purifies human misery

June 18, 2019

Pär SegerdahlThe human is a miserable being. Although we are pleased about the new and better-paid job, we soon acquire more costly habits, richer friends, and madder professional duties. We are back to square one, dissatisfied with life and uncomfortable with ourselves. Why can life never be perfect?

Discontent makes us want to escape to better futures. We want to run away from worries, from boredom, from disease, from aging, from all the limitations of life, preferably even from death. We always rush to what we imagine will be a better place. As often as we find ourselves back to square one.

The eternal return of discontent thus characterizes the human condition. We imagine that everything will be perfect, if only we could escape from the present situation, which we believe limits us and causes our discontent. The result is an endless stream of whims, which again make us feel imprisoned.

Always this square one.

Transhumanism is an intellectual revivalist movement that promises that AT LAST everything will be perfect. How? Through escaping from the human herself, from this deficient creature, trapped in a biological body that is limited by disease, aging and death.

How can we escape from all human limitations? By having new technology renew us, making us perfect, no longer suffering from any of the biological limitations of life. A brave new limitless cyborg.

Who buys the salvation doctrine? Literally some of the richest technology entrepreneurs in the world. They have already pushed the boundaries as far as possible. They have tried all the escape routes, but the feeling of limitation always returns. They see no other way out than escaping from EVERYTHING. They invest in space technology to escape the planet. They invest in artificial intelligence and in the deep-freezing of their bodies, to escape the body in the future, into supercomputers that AT LAST will save them from ALL life’s limitations, including disease, aging and death.

Do you recognize the pattern? Transhumanism is human misery. Transhumanism is the escapism that always leads back to square one. It is the dream of a high-tech quantum leap from dissatisfaction. What does paradise look like? Like a high-tech return to square one.

We need new technology to solve problems in the world. When coupled with human discontent, however, technology reinforces the pattern. Only you can free yourself from the pattern. By no longer escaping to an ideal future. It does not work. Running to the future is the pattern of your misery.

Transhumanism is the intellectual purification of human misery, not the way out of it.

Pär Segerdahl

This post in Swedish

We challenge habits of thought : the Ethics Blog


The debate about after-birth abortion continues

May 8, 2013

Last year the Journal of Medical Ethics published an article by two philosophers claiming that the same arguments that support abortion also support abortion of newborns.

The article provoked strong reactions and I too felt I had to comment on the article here on The Ethics Blog.

What’s so provocative? I’m not so sure it is the conclusion that if we allow abortion we also should allow abortion of newborns. The two philosophers actually never concluded with any practical recommendations. They only wanted to theoretically explore the logic in the arguments for abortion.

And maybe this is what’s so provocative, or rather tragi-comical: the spirit in which one approaches questions of life and death as an entrepreneur might use the annual report to consider his reasons for terminating a project that can become a burden for the company.

Recently, the same journal reissued the article; this time with two editorials and a number of comments by ethicists (here).

The reissuing of the article reaffirms the attitude that the burning hot questions of life and death should be discussed as a rational entrepreneur manages his firm.

Should we allow infanticide? We’ll have to postpone decision until we’ve received the annual report from the neuroscientists on neonates’ capacity for thought.

Pär Segerdahl

We follow debates : The Ethics Blog


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