[sl4] Re: Transhumanism Rising: Interesting discussion on Humanity+

From: Eschatoon Magic (eschatoon@gmail.com)
Date: Fri Oct 24 2008 - 12:10:04 MDT

I was VERY happy to see this post in the Transhumanism 2 comment
thread. It validates all the time we spend defending our ideas in
public fora:

"Prior to reading this debate, I assumed, somewhat complacently, that
transhumanists were indeed a bunch of technophilic fanatics and

I have to say, however, that most of the posts from the transhumanists
in this debate were very impressive and well-reasoned. It was,
instead, the counter-posts which appeared to be largely abusive and

I remain in doubt about the wisdom of transhumanism, but I also wonder
about the honesty of those who attack them. As the transhumanists
point out, they are advocating meliorism, not utopianism, yet they
continue to be mis-represented as utopians. That type of
mis-representation sets the alarm bells ringing, and I wonder how many
of those who oppose transhumanism do so because they believe that the
only type of salvation is religious salvation."

On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 5:52 PM, Eschatoon Magic <eschatoon@gmail.com> wrote:
> Flooded by transhumanist-friendly comments to the first blog post,
> Appleyard has written a second blog post:
> http://www.bryanappleyard.com/blog/2008/10/transhumanism-2.php
> Let's show him that he will not run away from us so easily!
> My comments - links in
> http://transumanar.com/index.php/site/transhumanism_rising/
> In a very interesting blog post on Transhumanism Rising, author Bryan
> Appleyard (How to Live Forever or Die Trying) concedes that "What I
> like about transhumanists is their naked, unapologetic radicalism…
> they simply ask, what's so great about human life as it now is?…
> transhumanism is a coming thing, a future faith". But the tone of the
> article is mostly negative: "their technophilia is oppressive and
> naive. Much of the magazine [H+] is just gadgetry with attitude.".
> He also says: "What I don't like about transhumanists is the fact that
> they simply refuse to understand certain arguments of their
> opponents". He may have a point here, but I don't "refuse" to
> understand their arguments - I just don't understand them. I don't
> understand why disease should be better than health, and death should
> be better than life. I simply don't understand it. I have seen loved
> ones dying, and I can tell you that death is ugly. You know that too.
> It is understandable that previous generations, unable to imagine life
> extension and immortality technologies, forced themselves to accept
> death (if you cannot escape something, you'd better like it). But we
> are beginning to see that aging and death are engineering problems
> waiting for engineering solutions. In reply Appleyard quotes Leon
> Kass, Francis Fukuyama and Bill McKibben, who "have attacked this
> idea, arguing, in essence, that death is an essential aspect of our
> humanity". This is, to say it in good Latin, BULLSHIT. I consider
> curiosity, kindness and love for others, and appreciation of beauty
> and art, as essential aspects of our humanity. NOT DEATH.
> I have to say that Appleyard makes an effort to be as fair and
> objective as possible given his bias, and that the comment thread is
> surprisingly interesting, with a mix of declared transhumanists, rabid
> anti-transhumanists, and neutral interested observers. I especially
> liked the comment of the reader who, referring to Appleyard
> exhortation "It's time to burnish your best pro-death arguments",
> replied "Hey, didn't Auschwitz already make that argument about as
> convincingly as it can be made?".
> In a followup post on Transhumanism 2 Appleyard concedes that "Our
> accelerating power to transform the world will, inevitably, give us
> the power to transform ourselves. All sorts of enhancements will
> occur, not least enormously increased life span. This may not be
> possible but there are good reasons for thinking it will be.". But
> then, prehaps surprised by the transhumanist-friendly attidude of many
> readers of the first post, he repeats easy and dull non-arguments like
> "this is, in part, a consumerist idea - you buy medical immortality
> much as you would buy a pair of shoes.".
> Disgusting, isn't it. Buying life as easily and affordably like buying
> a pair of shoes. It this an outrageous insult to the holiness of
> suffering and the tragically beautiful mistery of death? Perhaps, but
> this is precisely what I want: to give everyone on the planet easy and
> affordable access to more health, more life and, why not, more
> happiness. This is what transhumanism is about.
> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 5:56 PM, Eschatoon Magic <eschatoon@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Transhumanism Rising
>> http://www.bryanappleyard.com/blog/2008/10/transhumanism-rising.php#links
>> This article triggered by the publication of Humanity+ is basically
>> fair, but more negative than positive. Interesting that some of the
>> comments are in our favor. Please leave comments.
>> --
>> Eschatoon Magic
>> http://cosmeng.org/index.php/Eschatoon
>> aka Giulio Prisco
>> http://cosmeng.org/index.php/Giulio_Prisco
> --
> Eschatoon Magic
> http://cosmeng.org/index.php/Eschatoon
> aka Giulio Prisco
> http://cosmeng.org/index.php/Giulio_Prisco

Eschatoon Magic
aka Giulio Prisco

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