What is transhumanism and why many say it is an inevitable future

What is transhumanism and why many say it is an inevitable future

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Although electronic devices are increasingly an integral part of our lives, few of us stop to consider how the convergence of technological elements will transform humanity.

Some say that this transformation will be disorderly, complex and, at times, terrifying, but there are already signs that point to a future that will blur our identities.

For the BBC, the philosopher Julian Baggini explains the radical vision of transhumanism.

torn line

Most of us would consider the end of the human race as a catastrophe. But there are those who not only rejoice but want to hurry the day in which it occurs.

Transhumanists anxiously await the day when Homo apiens will be replaced by a better, more intelligent model in better conditions …

Humans do indeed need to improve urgently.

Any species that causes such enormous damage to the environment, that can not be fed despite having enough food and struggles countless wars that claim millions of lives can surely benefit from an intelligence system update.

Famine, destruction, war, conflict.

In addition, our lifespan is short, our last years are usually characterized by waning health and vitality often accompanied by a decrease in cognitive ability.

One out of every three people born in 2015 will suffer from dementia.

Is this really the best we can hope for?

Transhumanists think that the answer is ‘No’.

Aging could stop and even reverse.

Some improvements could dramatically raise our IQ and make us stronger.

brain with apparatus
Image caption Our brain can be improved with devices …

We may be able to leave our fragile bodies behind, carrying what we are in a computer and live forever in virtual worlds.

Improving humanity through science and technology can radically change us.

It would be a new beginning that would begin with the end of humanity as we know it.

Many transhumanists believe that this is not only desirable but inevitable.

The scientist and futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that we are getting closer to what he calls the “singularity”, the moment when computers become smart enough to learn by themselves.

From then on, and very quickly, they will become more and more intelligent.

Ray Kurzweil
Image caption Ray Kurzweil says that uniqueness is imminent.

The future belongs to artificial intelligence.

The only way for humans to survive is to welcome it and become – we ourselves – partially or completely artificial.

The idea of being replaced by a new form of humans is disturbing.

But the transhumanists think that it would be wrong to regret the end of humanity as we know it if what will replace it will be much better.

It would be like wishing that children would never grow up, they say, or that the Homo rectus would never have evolved to become Homo apiens .

If the transhumanists are right, we could be one of the last generations of humans to roam the planet .

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