TED Conversations

Ben McCann

Accountant, Brian E Nizette & Co

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At what point in modifying our bodies are we no longer human and when does it become taboo?

In a culture of body modification and surgical improvement at what point are we no longer human?

This covers not only thinks like having ears plugged and horns implanted under our skin but also plastic surgery, implanted RFID chips and modifying existing medical technology to improve our life in a non medical way!

What about the replacement of our limbs with robotic parts for non medical purposes? Would this create a separation in society between people with theses augmentations and those without?

Where does changing your body become taboo and when is it wrong to transgress the taboos?

How do you change the views of society to believe this taboo is correct and move them on to the path of progress?

Consider gaining a sixth sense (read link below) when you discuss this!



The magnet technology has been updated and there are now two forms of it being implanted without issues.


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  • May 4 2011: Someone is going to have to have a go at defining 'human' (lol, to have to have.... english, right?)
    What kind of human characteristics are you talking about? Mental capacity? physical appearance?

    Personally I think that anything done by humans to themselves is still human (that extends to robotic surgery and the like as well, as the robots were designed by humans, for humans).
    I recently watched a talk on TED by a man by the name of Harvey Fineberg detailing what he thinks the next step of human evolution is. It's definitely worth watching if you're interested in that sort of stuff. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/harvey_fineberg_are_we_ready_for_neo_evolution.html

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