Wednesday, February 22, 2012

T, 5:40pm

23 comments:

Mitchell Holder said...

The term transhumanism seems to go a bit beyond Kyle Munkittrick’s idea of “my body my choice” as a way to address your thoughts on the most controversial of social issues. Per my limited research, transhumanism means not only being able to do with your body what you want so long as no others are harmed, but also its being an advocate of developing technologies which have the ability to enhance human existence physically, mentally and psychologically to possibly even developing into a post human state. It could be argued that this definition of transhumanism (being an advocate of these sciences) may actually infringe upon other people’s ability to live their lives the way they would like. Having said that, I am a transhumanist, I do believe in science and I believe it is the way to advance the human existence. I also believe in the notion of “my body my choice” (Perhaps more vehemently that transhumanism). As the article states, those tied to religion may have an issue with allowing people their somatic rights. Luckily I am not religious, therefore I lack the asshole trait which religious zealots carry which makes them believe they know what’s best for you, even if you don’t.

Andy Westbrook said...

I’m for transhumanism up to a certain point. Bionic limbs, sonar eyesight, improved artificial organs, these are all good things that can improve peoples lives for the better. I start to sway from transhumanism when we start talking about artificial intelligence or trying to reach a state of post human. I guess I should say that I’m glad I will be long gone before this is a possibility and I won’t have the temptation of becoming a super brain or more likely becoming a super computer. I do believe way into the future human kind will eventually evolve into a robotic formed species of superior intellect. The part about being a robotic species of mega intelligence does not seem so bad. To be so evolved that you can only relate to feelings or emotions from interpreting data, live in a perfect ultra smart brainiac society filled with unlimited knowledge and limitless possibilities. The ability to communicate through the mind, without having to speak or gesture. This part sounds great. No real emotion, no real feeling, just interpretations of what those things are like. Interpretations of what is was like to be human, a long extinct species by this point.

It’s the process of slowly evolving into this robotic form that freaks me out. The idea of computer chips being implanted into brains to make people more intelligent in theory seems like a good thing. Until those chips are being designed by people with objectives, people with power and wealth whose goal could be to have a programed society. The idea that technology like this would be readily available for everyone is ridiculous, as usual the elite will have all the access and the common people will have nothing, or what they are “allowed” to have. I think this begins laying the ground work for some mad scientist controlling entire societies like a computer. If we all start turning into computer chips, whats to stop the developers from commanding us the way we command our basic computers or gadgets? Then we become things trapped in a computerized machine with no way out. If were aren’t there already.

I think mankind will eventually destroy itself, most likely accidentally, somehow in a way of trying further evolve as a species, and achieving what transhumanists try to become, post human. I don’t think there is any moral issue with transhumanism at all, I firmly believe in the “my body, my choice” for what ever is the case. If I were offered to have a chip implanted in my brain tomorrow that would make me super intelligent, I would seriously consider it. I would also be very fearful of what might become of me afterwards. “No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. ~ Aristotle” It could be possible that being post human is the same as the idea that we have about aliens or other life forms out in the universe, maybe they were humans, long ago, from another universe in time and we are the next batch in line to continue the process. We are all on our way to becoming a bunch of crazed geniuses exploring the universe with our uber minds. I fully support the furthering of our species through means of science and technology. I think our desire to evolve and push ourselves into new cycles of evolution through science and technology will ultimately be our downfall as a species.

“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.”  ~Albert Camus

Tara Tona said...

My view of trans-humanism aligns more with Huxley, in that I don't believe all advances (evolutions) in human biology are or will be necessarily positive. Particularly when it comes to the idea of artificial intelligence within a natural human. I really feel that we humans get so excited about and enthralled by science fiction-type advances that we forget to look at (or refuse to see) all the possible effects, both good and bad. Like petroleum-burning machines, cell phones, and TV-- does the good truly outweigh the bad on such advances? Or is it merely the CONVENIENCE that trumps all else?

Regarding "My body, my choice", I am in complete agreement with this philosophy. However, I don't think we will ever see the day that all humans agree on this point. Religion is the biggest hurdle, in my opinion. Because when we talk about abortion, certain religious beliefs clearly delineate a line between a mother and child. Therefore, the mother has no right to "murder" her child. A debate which I don't believe will ever see a closed case.

Ultimately, I think the best approach to evaluate both trans-humanism and "my body, my choice" is to view each individual element or case (considering each in its own context!) using reason, logic, and great caution. A bit of empathy and open-mindedness couldn't hurt either.

Robert said...

I consider myself a Munkkitrick allied since I’m totally in favor of the four words, “my body, my choice.” I don’t think that anyone but me should have the right to decide what I want to do with my body whether it is morally acceptable or not. The only point that could be questionable for me is abortion and that is only when the pregnancy is passed the first trimester because of the damage he could be caused to the mother and because after 3 month the fetus starts developing and another person rights could be violated. Other than that is a decision that only affects the person who makes it that is why I strongly believe that that decision should only be made by the person whom that body belongs. Why would they have to make a decision based on other people beliefs? They are the one who are going to pay the price of it so the right to make whatever decision they want is theirs and only theirs.

Yisleny Vazquez said...

Trans-humanism definitely looks like a good opportunity to improve our race (humans). Scientifics involve in this movements will be able to find the cure for diseases that have no cure in the present. They would be able to find a way to implant robotics prosthesis to those who have lost part of their body. It could be also possible to remove damage genes in order to improve human capacity. Some will use it for real needs; others will start making transformations because they just want it to do it. “My body, my choice” because we should have the right do with our bodies what we want, as long as we don’t affect others. The point is, Are we going to be able to predict what will affect or what no other people life. Because technology can take us to a point where with all the transformation will past the condition of being human to something else. If we can successfully achieve to use trans-humanism to improve our mental, physical and social condition, I will say with no doubt that I am a pro of trans-humanism, as we don’t lose our human conditions.

Elaine Reinoso said...

Trans-humanism in some aspects seems to be a positive but also a negative approach to better the human life. In the article by Kyle Munkittrick he states these 7 conditions that will lead us to become transhuman. One cannot be all for this and/or against it because given a situation some conditions can help improve someones life or destroy it. If my leg needs to be amputated and I would like to have a prosthetic leg I am for it, but in the case that I just want to chop of my hand to get a cybernetic one, then that I would not do. Now, thats MY own decision, it all counteracts with each situation because "my body, my choice," is a statement that I respect. You want to go cut off your hand and have the money to purchase a cybernetic hand go do so, it is your body and you do as you please, your are responsible for yourself. There are plenty of things that I would not do, yet others I would- as long as it doesn't affect my health and happiness I will do it to certain extents. I can't sit here and say that trans-human evolution is going to destroy the human race or take over, we have all been told years from now our world will be based on technology and nothing more- those traditional will be considered outsiders. Technology is evolving and not matter how hard we try to stop it- we cant. Everything in life has its pros and cons. Whatever we do with ourselves we must be educated and know the outcome of our actions whether it be assisted suicide, abortion, enhancers, etc. we must be careful.

Krystal Diaz said...

I completely agree with Munkkitrick's philosophy when it comes to "my body, my choice." Everyone should be able to make their own choice regarding cosmetic surgery, abortion, tattoos,etc. Of course the problems most people have with this philosophy derives mostly from religion, but the truth is, times have changed. Although all mankind may never come together on the topic of "my body, my choice," it is very important that we all have this freedom. After all, if anything in this world belongs solely to us, it is our body and we should be able to do as we please with it. As long as the decision being made only effects the person making it, I don't think it should be a problem.

Now as far as transhumanism, I'm a little lost. It seems to me, "my body, my choice" is just one topic touched by transhumanism. The one topic in which I do agree. As far as the rest, which as I understand is to enhance humans through technology, whether physically and mentally, I'm not too sure about that subject. Of course everyone would and should have their choice, but in my opinion, technology is getting too advanced and I believe it can eventually be the downfall of the entire human race.

Daniel Acero said...

I support trans humanism as long as you are mentally capable of making important decisions about your body. In the case that you are not for example mentally crazy, someone should have the right to make it for you.
Also we need to consider other factors like age; I believe that having the right age is very important when you make decisions about your body.
So the words “my body, my choice” I support them only if have the right age and you are not crazy. It doesn’t bother me when people have surgery to either improve their body or their physical appearance, some people take it to the extreme but I am to judge.
Also I don’t believe that mankind eventually will destroy it self. We can only improve, we obviously have made mistakes in the process but that is what evolution is all about.

Brittany Lamb said...

I agree one hundred percent with Munktrick's philosophy especially when "my body, my choice" is discussed. I believe everyone should be able to make their own decisions. The only disagreement I have towards "my body, my choice" is if the individual is not mentally stable. In this case, they should have a responsible adult appointed to them that would be able to make the best possible decisions for that person. On the other hand, if someone wants to get breast implants, tattoo's all over their bodies, a million piercing or even have an abortion that should be totally up to the person that is going to have to deal with it for the rest of their life. That should not have any impact on us because we are not living "their life". With that said, whatever we do with our body shouldn't matter to anyone but ourselves!

Carlos Arbucias said...

Although I may not know much about the matter, I gotta say that this is a very difficult topic for me to talk about. All I know is that some people are in for it and some may not. Some people think that it is for the better and some people may not see it that way. I (personally) think that up to some point, they can improve lives but I would go for it if it was my last resort. I personally can find this very difficult and frightening to undergo through such operation knowing that a part of my body could get amputated (If amputating a part of my body is involved) in order to receive bionic limbs. It can get freaky knowing that we could evolve into other forms of life other than humans. It can be a very frightening experience indeed. What really freaks me out is hearing rumors that there are devices that they can read people’s mind. Now here is one thing that makes me think of this as a double-edged sword. There might be computer chips that can increase intelligence, but is one free having a computer chip incorporated within them? Such device can also dictate your every move if you think about it. The idea of playing such evolution out makes me think a lot about it and makes me have mixed views about such society. But my question is, is it really worth undergoing through such change?

Minggui Yactayo said...

Trans-humanism is a very productive way to improve human life. Replaced body parts, cure to deadly diseases, and improving human intelligence are just some of the things that trans-humanism has to offer. I’ve seen many people benefit from the modern technology available to us. I agree with this idea and the fact that it has been put to good use. However, there are too many people that take advantage of these technologies for their own superficial reasons. Face lifts, botox, and implants demean the beauty of science and its provisions. I do understand the whole “my body, my choice” concept but I don’t agree with the idea of using to defy time. I personally don’t like seeing 50 year old women acting like 20 year olds and looking exactly like their daughters; it’s quite disturbing. I think we’re far from the technology that will stop aging (if it is ever to exist) but for right now, trans-humanism seems pretty helpful to those who need it in the public.

J.Ortiz said...

I agree with Kyle Munkittrick, I think people have the right to do with their bodies whatever they want. As technological progress, for the better or most likely for the worse, cannot be realistically prevented. Despite all unimaginable evils that it could unleash, this box of Pandora also holds hope: the eventual possibility to deactivate the craving for offspring and other behavior in allegiance to genes. I have to admit that I'm more interested in seeing what comes out than not, for, with the current human condition, we have nothing to lose that we won't lose eventually.

Georgette Dixon said...

I’m in favor Munkittrick’s philosophy of “my, body, my choice”. However, there are both positive and negative to the Trans-humanism concept. Since the beginning of time man has evolved; from being able to create their own tools for hunting to being able to explore space in their own natural state. With a concept of tampering with human genetics, through Science, we will create artificial intelligence and possibly a superior group of people that could oppress and enslave the mass because they deem them inferior. This can not benefit mankind. The positive side is this could be used to help us live longer by helping to find cures for the many diseases that threaten our society and also to help with moral and character building.

danny giraldo said...

The future is looking real near with the advances scientist are having. My opinion is that we are not that far from a Trans humanism future. Imagine a future were one can change an imperfection that you may have. I mean we all should have the right to do what we want with our bodies. There is something’s government and church should not get involved with, and should be left to our own discretion. I am up for Trans humanism as longest it does not hurt us physically or mentally
Imagine a future were one can replace an arm with an arm that’s way better than your original arm. Would not that be cool? The next question would be would it me fair for people who do not use prosthetics to compete with people who use prosthetics. It seems like a lot of work, but rules and regulations would have to change for everything. Imagine one day you hear a human being say I am getting an upgrade on my legs to run faster. Also where would the competition be if you are able to implant a chip in ones brain, and out of nowhere you are really intelligent. What would happen to school if this scenario ever became real? We must ask ourselves these types of question.
Next we all should have the right to choose what we do with our bodies as longest it does not involve hurting yourself. Government or church should not get involved in this type of issues. I mean government should worry about politics and that’s about it. Government should not care who I am marrying, or what sex is the person I am marrying. I think trans humanism is the future and we should support. Many positive things can come out of trans humanism.

Maria A Martinez said...

We have to be careful when interpreting the meaning of the words "my body, my choice" because it is sometimes not just as simple as it sounds! While part of me believes completely in the phrase another part of me understands that we live in a society that over time has created laws to protect innocent people !
I can accept the transhumanism position when an adult wants to perform elective surgery to enhance their body, when an accident victim decides to use artificial limbs or when someone decides to do something that in no way may harm another. However, when my body my choice interferes with the rights of an Innocent person then as a civilized society we need to accept the laws that were created to protect the innocent and those innocents may be the child that pro life supporters advocate for or it may be the person crossing the street and being run over by someone who took my body, my choice a bit too far. I feel that the words my body, my choice have to be used and practiced in a responsible way.

aa said...

I do not mind to walk on the street and see a 4 legged man, a man with breasts, a woman with horns on her head, or any other human with modifications on his body. If this been maintains his behavior neutral, it doesn't act against the rights of other people, doesn't affect the ecosystems more than we already do, then I don't see any problem with him or his changed physical condition. This also counts for abortion, recreational drug usage, surrogate pregnancy, assisted suicide, sex work and voluntary amputation. I support the somatic rights.

Zingg Alfredo said...

I do not mind to walk on the street and see a 4 legged man, a man with breasts, a woman with horns on her head, or any other human with modifications on his body. If this been maintains his behavior neutral, it doesn't act against the rights of other people, doesn't affect the ecosystems more than we already do, then I don't see any problem with him or his changed physical condition. This also counts for abortion, recreational drug usage, surrogate pregnancy, assisted suicide, sex work and voluntary amputation. I support the somatic rights.

Darnell Jean-Marie said...

I think that if someone what's to change their appearance then they should have the freedom to it. Its their choose let them live the kind of lives that they want. Yes when may say that god has made us all a certain way but those type of people might be athiest. Some people change their identify because they want to fit in with society or they feel that they are living a lie pretending to be happy with what is taught as acceptable. There are those procedures that are even risky and dangerous and yet some people will still risk it all for that perfect image they've been craving. Whether people change sex or body type they are still going to be the same person and have the same personality. God don't like ugly. The times we live in are full of surprises and change life would be to boring if people didn't do some of the things they did.

Daniel Saturno said...

I certainly am in favor of Kyle Munkittrick’s point of view. I believe that whatever one wants to do with his or her own body is alright and morally acceptable as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others. When reading the first discussion on transhumanism, I saw a fragment on one of the conditions that particularly caught my attention. One of the conditions of transhumanism that was discussed was that one of the shift to personhood as opposed to common humanity. I believe that this shift would be an incredible change and improvement in modern society. I think it is time for society to improve its sense of empathy, tolerance, and awareness towards everyone else. I believe that, taking into account the important role that religion plays in these discussions, it would be a remarkable improvement if people tried to change it’s perspective on the world. We live in a diverse universe: different people, different cultures, and different religions. It is time for people to start respecting the different points of views that there are towards religion and to start understanding and tolerating other views, and assimilating the fact that other people have the right to pursuit whatever they want to pursuit if only them are the ones being directly affected.

J. Pfister said...

Left with no other choice, I have to take a stand against the ideas of Munkittrick "somatic rights." Although I believe in freedom, and human rights. I also believe in boundaries/limitations—relative freedom, not absolute freedom.

All around us, before our births, a subliminal structured system has been active and effective. This system has significant purpose in the processes of nature, and our existence. Although we can’t see all the immediate/direct effects of this system, it has straight influences on our choices and “freedom.” Take breathing as an example. An individual consciously decides to stop breathing. During their attempt to stop the air flowing into and out of their body they uncontrollably pass out. The moment they become unconscious is the moment when breathing continues without the individual controlling it.
Although, this is an example using an involuntary organ, it is an example of relative freedom. If the individual who attempted to stop breathing was birthed with absolute freedom, then they would have simply stopped breathing and died.
And so there are some people who would say, “if the person wanted to stop breathing, so be it. Let them stop breathing.” Yes, the idea to do as we please is charming, but ultimately these effects can be destructive. What if the person simply wanted to stop breathing, but not die? What, or who, would keep them from dying if they had absolute freedom.

As somatic rights sound charming, there has to be limitations to what people are allowed to do to themselves. Because, there will come a time when a person simply wants to stop breathing but not die. As a result, they will die undesirably. Who’s at fault then? If a person is there the moment they die, will they be responsible for the individuals death? Would this be the ultimate result of absolute freedom? I think so. Questions, and moralistic issues, flourish from the idea of complete “somatic rights.” True sign of faulty ideas.

paola said...

What I understand by transhumanism is that one day we might be able to change or improve our body. Such as if any part of our body, let’s say a leg, could be replace for a healthy one (cybernetic?) if damage. Even if the reason is that we just don’t like it. Also we could enhance our brain functions. We would become something closer to a machine rather than a human being. When I think of this, I think how different life would be. In certain way, it could be very positive, because the world would be perhaps free of illness, and why not, no one would be consider a handicap. The possibility of getting implant a leg that works and looks like a real one would make life a lot easier, for example. But could this improvement become a threat for the human race? Could this get out of control? If yes, would this mean the end of the human species?

paola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Choices, more so, choices regarding that of the body[.] | Interestingly on the topic of choices... I wish to not chose whether or not my thoughts parallel those that the practice Transhumanism preach. I am not taking the easy way out - far from the truth actually - but... one could say I'm merely looking at the bigger picture, a sort of holistic one. After all, which man is to say what is right and what isn't right? Who is to say what you do with to your body doesn't involve others (for lack of a better example or shall I say the one most could easily relate to - abortion). Who is to say each woman's (or man's) excuse or explanation (or lack of explanation) as to why "my body, my choice" isn't sufficient a one (who cares if it is sufficient for you, it probably and is most likely sufficient for them). Some issues or societal concerns perhaps have no resolve and those too have their place!

Ben Dessalines -