TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


This conversation is closed.

Aren't transhumanists committing the Jurassic Park fallacy?

Given that even the smallest disruption or perturbation in a complex system can be amplified, and given that there are still so many important aspects of the mind-body interaction in human medicine, it seems like moving forward with the technological enhancement of human beings—ranging from putting computers inside us to putting us inside computers—is to court the same kind of disasters we always get when we tinker with things we don't yet understand.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 3 2011: I think transhumanists are mislead people. It is a kind of religion because one places his or her faith into a potential future which is not actualized through fact. It denies the facticity of our current existence and replaces it with fabricated ambitions.

    If such a future indeed comes to pass that would be great, maybe technology can solve all our problems. But maybe we need to work on actualizing such a future now as oppossed to placing our faith in it!!
    • thumb
      May 3 2011: Budimir,

      although they are mislead you find it great if those ideals were taking place?

      Calling transhumanism a religion is like calling humanitarianism a religion. They are systems in which you can put faith but in no way are they misguided. Our current existence is what transhumanism wants to improve through technology and understanding. How can we get to point B from A without understanding B first?

      The actual work to get us to point B is vast, one must consider what is preventing such before performing. Perhaps if these methods were more publicized they would gain more support and interest. Faith is not a bad thing, it keeps you on a course. The faith is only bad if the source in which faith is coming from is poor.

      Putting transhumanism on any plateau with an Abrahamic Religion is ridiculous to do.

      Eastern religions accept science to only benefit their faith systems, so there faith systems inspire science. these are not counter points nor opponents. They have nothing to do with one another. Except faith can drive great things if focused properly, when it isn't focused properly comes fundamentalism not acceptance of change.

      I think you need to read more into transhumanism because that is going to be one of the sources in which truly get us to point B in the world.
      • thumb
        May 7 2011: Transhumanism hasn't come to pass, and no one knows whether it will ever come to pass. We may never be able to transcend our physical bodies.

        And yes I wouldn't mind those ideals coming to pass, as long this technology for enhancing humans is accesible to all people.

        I would also find the ideal of heaven great if it were true. A place of eternal happiness awaiting all of us after death.
        • thumb
          May 8 2011: All tranhumanism is not about transcending out body, it is about using technology to enhance ourselves to immorality.

          The idea to upload ourselves on the internet is just a theory, but imagine being able to load yourself into new bodies.

          Heaven on earth comes when everyone needs are met and can live to express oneself, thinking in that direction gets us there eventually.
      • thumb
        May 10 2011: Well human immortality is also just a theory. Currently we need to deal with cancer, over population and other issues.
        • thumb
          May 10 2011: Only issues because of no greater consensuses but individual nations.
    • thumb
      May 8 2011: How can you have a fabricated ambition? Ambition is by definition something you want to get done in the future. Besides, our current facilities are acknowledged, but are not considered end state. Is self-improvement wrong because you're not perfect at the moment?

      None of us are perfect, but if we become better, is that not an improvement? And didn't this discussion start by assuming improvements are wrong because we have an imperfect understanding of potential risks and benefits involved? That sounds like an implicit perfect solution fallacy.
      • thumb
        May 10 2011: Yes the future is a fabricated idea. It is not something that which is factual. Self improvement is not right or wrong, I don't wanna make any moral judgements on this topic. I'm just saying that ideas about our future can be authenric or misleading.

        If we currently think and behave like humans it's not authentic to posit that one day we will somehow surpass our own body and minds. Nicholas talked about immortality, how would immortals survive in a world with limited resources? This is our facticity that limits our capacity to make certain futures plausible.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.