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The philosophy of transhumanism is closely related to technoself studies , an interdisciplinary domain of scholarly research dealing with all aspects of human identity in a technological society and focusing on the changing nature of relationships between humans and technology. While many transhumanist theorists and advocates seek to apply reason , science and technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability and malnutrition around the globe, [33] transhumanism is distinctive in its particular focus on the applications of technologies to the improvement of human bodies at the individual level.

Many transhumanists actively assess the potential for future technologies and innovative social systems to improve the quality of all life , while seeking to make the material reality of the human condition fulfill the promise of legal and political equality by eliminating congenital mental and physical barriers.

Transhumanist philosophers argue that there not only exists a perfectionist ethical imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition, but that it is possible and desirable for humanity to enter a transhuman phase of existence in which humans enhance themselves beyond what is naturally human.

In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced with deliberate participatory or directed evolution. Some theorists such as Ray Kurzweil think that the pace of technological innovation is accelerating and that the next 50 years may yield not only radical technological advances, but possibly a technological singularity , which may fundamentally change the nature of human beings.

However, some are also concerned with the possible dangers of extremely rapid technological change and propose options for ensuring that advanced technology is used responsibly. For example, Bostrom has written extensively on existential risks to humanity's future welfare, including ones that could be created by emerging technologies. While many people believe that all transhumanists are striving for immortality, it is not necessarily true. Hank Pellissier, managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies — , surveyed transhumanists.

He found that, of the respondents, Certain transhumanist philosophers hold that since all assumptions about what others experience are fallible , and that therefore all attempts to help or protect beings that are not capable of correcting what others assume about them no matter how well-intentioned are in danger of actually hurting them, all sentient beings deserve to be sapient.

These thinkers argue that the ability to discuss in a falsification-based way constitutes a threshold that is not arbitrary at which it becomes possible for an individual to speak for themself in a way that is not dependent on exterior assumptions. They also argue that all beings capable of experiencing something deserve to be elevated to this threshold if they are not at it, typically stating that the underlying change that leads to the threshold is an increase in the preciseness of the brain 's ability to discriminate.

This includes increasing the neuron count and connectivity in animals as well as accelerating the development of connectivity in order to shorten or ideally skip non-sapient childhood incapable of independently deciding for oneself. Transhumanists of this description stress that the genetic engineering that they advocate is general insertion into both the somatic cells of living beings and in germ cells, and not purging of individuals without the modifications, deeming the latter not only unethical but also unnecessary due to the possibilities of efficient genetic engineering.

Transhumanists engage in interdisciplinary approaches to understand and evaluate possibilities for overcoming biological limitations by drawing on futurology and various fields of ethics. A belief of counter-transhumanism is that transhumanism can cause unfair human enhancement in many areas of life, but specifically on the social plane. This can be compared to steroid use, where athletes who use steroids in sports have an advantage over those who do not.

The same scenario happens when people have certain neural implants that give them an advantage in the work place and in educational aspects. There is a variety of opinions within transhumanist thought.

Many of the leading transhumanist thinkers hold views that are under constant revision and development. Some transhumanists believe in the compatibility between the human mind and computer hardware, with the theoretical implication that human consciousness may someday be transferred to alternative media a speculative technique commonly known as mind uploading.

Drawing upon ideas in digitalism , Tipler has advanced the notion that the collapse of the Universe billions of years hence could create the conditions for the perpetuation of humanity in a simulated reality within a megacomputer and thus achieve a form of " posthuman godhood ".

Tipler's thought was inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin , a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw an evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere , a global consciousness. Viewed from the perspective of some Christian thinkers, the idea of mind uploading is asserted to represent a denigration of the human body , characteristic of gnostic manichaean belief. The first dialogue between transhumanism and faith was a one-day conference held at the University of Toronto in They commented that a philosophy bereft of these beliefs leaves humanity adrift in a foggy sea of postmodern cynicism and anomie.

Transhumanists responded that such criticisms reflect a failure to look at the actual content of the transhumanist philosophy, which, far from being cynical, is rooted in optimistic , idealistic attitudes that trace back to the Enlightenment. Since , the Mormon Transhumanist Association sponsors conferences and lectures on the intersection of technology and religion.

Since , the American Academy of Religion holds a "Transhumanism and Religion" consultation during its annual meeting, where scholars in the field of religious studies seek to identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs that might underlie key transhumanist claims and assumptions; consider how transhumanism challenges religious traditions to develop their own ideas of the human future, in particular the prospect of human transformation, whether by technological or other means; and provide critical and constructive assessments of an envisioned future that place greater confidence in nanotechnology, robotics and information technology to achieve virtual immortality and create a superior posthuman species.

The physicist and transhumanist thinker Giulio Prisco states that "cosmist religions based on science, might be our best protection from reckless pursuit of superintelligence and other risky technologies. While some transhumanists [ who? Transhumanists are often concerned with methods of enhancing the human nervous system. Though some, such as Kevin Warwick , propose modification of the peripheral nervous system , the brain is considered the common denominator of personhood and is thus a primary focus of transhumanist ambitions.

In fact Warwick has gone a lot further than merely making a proposal. In he had a electrode array surgically implanted into the median nerves of his left arm in order to link his nervous system directly with a computer and thus to also connect with the internet. As a consequence, he carried out a series of experiments. He was able to directly control a robot hand using his neural signals and to feel the force applied by the hand through feedback from the fingertips.

He also experienced a form of ultrasonic sensory input and conducted the first purely electronic communication between his own nervous system and that of his wife who also had electrodes implanted. As proponents of self-improvement and body modification , including gender transitioning , transhumanists tend to use existing technologies and techniques that supposedly improve cognitive and physical performance, while engaging in routines and lifestyles designed to improve health and longevity.

However, many have a great interest in life extension strategies and in funding research in cryonics in order to make the latter a viable option of last resort, rather than remaining an unproven method. Transhumanists support the emergence and convergence of technologies including nanotechnology , biotechnology , information technology and cognitive science NBIC , as well as hypothetical future technologies like simulated reality , artificial intelligence , superintelligence , 3D bioprinting , mind uploading , chemical brain preservation and cryonics.

They believe that humans can and should use these technologies to become more than human. Kurzweil's book The Singularity is Near and Michio Kaku's book Physics of the Future outline various human enhancement technologies and give insight on how these technologies may impact the human race.

Some reports on the converging technologies and NBIC concepts have criticised their transhumanist orientation and alleged science fictional character. Department of Defense , which is interested in the battlefield advantages they would provide to the supersoldiers of the United States and its allies. Neuroscientist Anders Sandberg has been practicing on the method of scanning ultra-thin sections of the brain. This method is being used to help better understand the architecture of the brain.

As of now, this method is currently being used on mice. This is the first step towards uploading contents of the human brain, including memories and emotions, onto a computer. Transhumanist themes have become increasingly prominent in various literary forms during the period in which the movement itself has emerged.

Contemporary science fiction often contains positive renditions of technologically enhanced human life set in utopian especially techno-utopian societies. However, science fiction's depictions of enhanced humans or other posthuman beings frequently come with a cautionary twist. The more pessimistic scenarios include many horrific or dystopian tales of human bioengineering gone wrong.

In the decades immediately before transhumanism emerged as an explicit movement, many transhumanist concepts and themes began appearing in the speculative fiction of authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction such as Robert A. Heinlein Lazarus Long series, —87 , A.

Lewis ' That Hideous Strength contains an early critique of transhumanism. In a series of science fiction novels by Neal Asher , the protagonist is an augmented human who carries out missions for "Earth Central Security", an artificial intelligence and superhuman coalition.

The author portrays a variety of augmentations in addition to the copying of memory and human minds into crystals and the presence of both benevolent and malevolent artificial intelligences.

The cyberpunk genre, exemplified by William Gibson 's Neuromancer and Bruce Sterling 's Schismatrix , has particularly been concerned with the modification of human bodies. Sawyer ; the Commonwealth Saga —10 , by Peter F. Hamilton ; and Glasshouse , by Charles Stross. Some of these works are considered part of the cyberpunk genre or its postcyberpunk offshoot.

Dan Brown 's novel Inferno focuses on the theme of transhumanism. In an interview with Today , Dan Brown said "Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using things like biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make us a more powerful species".

Fictional transhumanist scenarios have also become popular in other media during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Such treatments are found in comic books Captain America , ; Iron Man ; Transmetropolitan , ; The Surrogates , , films Human Revolution ; ; [99] Deus Ex: Mankind Divided , and role-playing games.

Carnal Art, a form of sculpture originated by French artist Orlan , uses the body as its medium and plastic surgery as its method. Judith Nicogossian also works on representations of the hybrid body. The very notion and prospect of human enhancement and related issues arouse public controversy. Critics and opponents often see transhumanists' goals as posing threats to human values. Some of the most widely known critiques of the transhumanist program are novels and fictional films.

These works of art, despite presenting imagined worlds rather than philosophical analyses, are used as touchstones for some of the more formal arguments. On another front, some authors consider that humanity would already be transhuman, because medical advances in recent centuries have significantly altered our species. However, it would not be in a conscious and therefore transhumanistic way. In a book, sociologist Max Dublin pointed to many past failed predictions of technological progress and argued that modern futurist predictions would prove similarly inaccurate.

He also objected to what he saw as scientism , fanaticism and nihilism by a few in advancing transhumanist causes. Dublin also said that historical parallels existed between Millenarian religions and Communist doctrines. Although generally sympathetic to transhumanism, public health professor Gregory Stock is skeptical of the technical feasibility and mass appeal of the cyborgization of humanity predicted by Raymond Kurzweil, Hans Moravec and Kevin Warwick.

He said that, throughout the 21st century, many humans would find themselves deeply integrated into systems of machines, but would remain biological. Primary changes to their own form and character would arise not from cyberware , but from the direct manipulation of their genetics , metabolism and biochemistry.

In her book Science as Salvation , philosopher Mary Midgley traces the notion of achieving immortality by transcendence of the material human body echoed in the transhumanist tenet of mind uploading to a group of male scientific thinkers of the early 20th century, including J. Haldane and members of his circle. She characterizes these ideas as "quasi-scientific dreams and prophesies" involving visions of escape from the body coupled with "self-indulgent, uncontrolled power-fantasies".

Her argument focuses on what she perceives as the pseudoscientific speculations and irrational, fear-of-death-driven fantasies of these thinkers, their disregard for laymen and the remoteness of their eschatological visions. Another critique is aimed mainly at " algeny " a portmanteau of alchemy and genetics , which Jeremy Rifkin defined as "the upgrading of existing organisms and the design of wholly new ones with the intent of 'perfecting' their performance".

This argument, elaborated in particular by the biologist Stuart Newman , is based on the recognition that cloning and germline genetic engineering of animals are error-prone and inherently disruptive of embryonic development.

Accordingly, so it is argued, it would create unacceptable risks to use such methods on human embryos. Performing experiments, particularly ones with permanent biological consequences, on developing humans would thus be in violation of accepted principles governing research on human subjects see the Declaration of Helsinki. Moreover, because improvements in experimental outcomes in one species are not automatically transferable to a new species without further experimentation, it is claimed that there is no ethical route to genetic manipulation of humans at early developmental stages.

As a practical matter, however, international protocols on human subject research may not present a legal obstacle to attempts by transhumanists and others to improve their offspring by germinal choice technology. According to legal scholar Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, existing laws would protect parents who choose to enhance their child's genome from future liability arising from adverse outcomes of the procedure.

Transhumanists and other supporters of human genetic engineering do not dismiss practical concerns out of hand, insofar as there is a high degree of uncertainty about the timelines and likely outcomes of genetic modification experiments in humans.

However, bioethicist James Hughes suggests that one possible ethical route to the genetic manipulation of humans at early developmental stages is the building of computer models of the human genome , the proteins it specifies and the tissue engineering he argues that it also codes for. With the exponential progress in bioinformatics , Hughes believes that a virtual model of genetic expression in the human body will not be far behind and that it will soon be possible to accelerate approval of genetic modifications by simulating their effects on virtual humans.

Kurzweil developed this position in his book The Singularity Is Near. It has been argued that, in transhumanist thought, humans attempt to substitute themselves for God. The Vatican statement Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God, [] stated that "changing the genetic identity of man as a human person through the production of an infrahuman being is radically immoral", implying, that "man has full right of disposal over his own biological nature".

The statement also argues that creation of a superhuman or spiritually superior being is "unthinkable", since true improvement can come only through religious experience and " realizing more fully the image of God ".

Christian theologians and lay activists of several churches and denominations have expressed similar objections to transhumanism and claimed that Christians attain in the afterlife what radical transhumanism promises, such as indefinite life extension or the abolition of suffering. In this view, transhumanism is just another representative of the long line of utopian movements which seek to create "heaven on earth". Other critics target what they claim to be an instrumental conception of the human body in the writings of Marvin Minsky, Hans Moravec and some other transhumanists.

Political scientist Klaus-Gerd Giesen, in particular, has asserted that transhumanism's concentration on altering the human body represents the logical yet tragic consequence of atomized individualism and body commodification within a consumer culture.

Nick Bostrom responds that the desire to regain youth , specifically, and transcend the natural limitations of the human body, in general, is pan-cultural and pan-historical, and is therefore not uniquely tied to the culture of the 20th century.

He argues that the transhumanist program is an attempt to channel that desire into a scientific project on par with the Human Genome Project and achieve humanity's oldest hope, rather than a puerile fantasy or social trend. In his book Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age , environmental ethicist Bill McKibben argued at length against many of the technologies that are postulated or supported by transhumanists, including germinal choice technology , nanomedicine and life extension strategies.

He claims that it would be morally wrong for humans to tamper with fundamental aspects of themselves or their children in an attempt to overcome universal human limitations, such as vulnerability to aging , maximum life span and biological constraints on physical and cognitive ability.

Attempts to "improve" themselves through such manipulation would remove limitations that provide a necessary context for the experience of meaningful human choice. He claims that human lives would no longer seem meaningful in a world where such limitations could be overcome technologically. Even the goal of using germinal choice technology for clearly therapeutic purposes should be relinquished, since it would inevitably produce temptations to tamper with such things as cognitive capacities.

He argues that it is possible for societies to benefit from renouncing particular technologies, using as examples Ming China , Tokugawa Japan and the contemporary Amish.

Biopolitical activist Jeremy Rifkin and biologist Stuart Newman accept that biotechnology has the power to make profound changes in organismal identity.

They argue against the genetic engineering of human beings because they fear the blurring of the boundary between human and artifact. The film Blade Runner and the novels The Boys From Brazil and The Island of Doctor Moreau depict elements of such scenarios, but Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is most often alluded to by critics who suggest that biotechnologies could create objectified and socially unmoored people as well as subhumans.

Such critics propose that strict measures be implemented to prevent what they portray as dehumanizing possibilities from ever happening, usually in the form of an international ban on human genetic engineering. Science journalist Ronald Bailey claims that McKibben's historical examples are flawed and support different conclusions when studied more closely.

Writing in Reason magazine, Bailey has accused opponents of research involving the modification of animals as indulging in alarmism when they speculate about the creation of subhuman creatures with human-like intelligence and brains resembling those of Homo sapiens. Bailey insists that the aim of conducting research on animals is simply to produce human health care benefits. A different response comes from transhumanist personhood theorists who object to what they characterize as the anthropomorphobia fueling some criticisms of this research, which science fiction writer Isaac Asimov termed the " Frankenstein complex ".

Deep Space Nine , Star Trek: Voyager , Star Trek: Enterprise , Star Trek: Discovery and 11 out of the 13 movies excluding Into Darkness and Beyond. Godzilla Godzilla vs. Biollante Howard the Duck It! Revenge of the Fallen. Knights of the Old Republic Star Wars: Air My Little Pony: Freelance Police Star Wars: The Clone Wars Titan A. Even Piggy who represents the rational, intellectual aspect of society and who offered the most helpful advice was discriminated against by the boys and was disregarded and shunned because of his appearances and differences.

These are warnings that in society people are quick to discriminate anyone different to the mainstream, even though they may be of greater importance then initially realized.

Cattle and Lord of the Flies both act as warnings to mankind which is exemplified through the theme of identity. The opening scene in Cattle emphasizes the restrictions on society expectations as shadows create a bar like pattern on Vincent body as he scrubs his body of excess DNA material.

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"The Film Gattaca Presents a World Destroyed by the pursuit of our perfection. Discuss." Andrew Niccol's film Gattaca does present a world where the world has been destroyed by human's pursuit of perfection. It is the characters in .

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Gattaca's plot and character portrayal asks the viewer this, showing us that unique genetic makeup wouldn't matter- infact, personal qualities would be scrutinised, pushed aside and unwanted. It is clear that director Andrew Niccol aims to inform the viewer of this through such examples as Irene's heart defect which doesn't allow her to pursue her dream, . Gattaca study guide contains a biography of director Andrew Niccol, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

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Gattaca Viewing Essay Themes in texts are what make them interesting and engaging. A text which has a number of intriguing themes is the feature film Gattaca, written and directed by Andrew Niccol, and released in Free Essays from Bartleby | Hollywood-esque "Gattaca" is a prophetic distopia concerning genetic discrimination in the early 21st Century. A true.