"Suppose in the near future
humans are able to reverse the
aging process. Imagine a world
in which we are free from the
ravages of mental disease,
physical decrepitude, and natural
death. Consider what life
would be like if--through applied
sciences like genomics, robotics,
nanotechnology, and artificial
intelligence--we were able to
dramatically increase our
intellectual capacity and control
our emotional and mental states.
Envision parents choosing the
""nature"" of their children
before they are born.
This is the future celebrated by
the transhumanists. They claim
that the scientific know-how is
not far off. As a philosophical
proposition, transhumanism is
as an outgrowth of the Enlightenment
and secular humanism.
It is an increasingly influential
worldview that is gaining momentum
and garnering criticism.
Transhumanism has been called "" the
world's most dangerous idea.""
Previously imaginable only in the
realm of science fiction, the
reality of transhumanism may soon
be upon us.
Humanity: Transhumanism and
Its Critics brings together sixteen
of the foremost advocates and critics
of transhumanism to debate the
promises and the perils of
bioengineering an improved humanity.
As it turns out, transhumanism is
a catalyst for profound philosophical
and theological inquiry. If the idea
of a fixed human nature no longer
applied, can we still speak of
humane dignities and essential
human rights? Should we try to
limit the development of certain
technologies? Is it even possible?
Are the new sciences and technologies
hailed by transhumanists just
wishful thinking? And which
utopic and dystopic visions have
the power to motivate us to build
a more wholesome, just, and
sustainable tomorrow? This volume
does much to advance critical
dialogue on the future course of
our species and our planet."