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Hayward et al., Gentle Bridges: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on the Sciences of Mind (Boston: Shambala Publications, 1992) Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984) Back Enhancements that have only positional advantages ought to be de-emphasized, while enhancements that create net benefits ought to be encouragedTheir minds may be not only more powerful than ours but may also employ different cognitive architectures or include new sensory modalities that enable greater participation in their virtual reality settingsThe fastest computer under construction is IBMs Blue Gene/L, which when it is ready in 2005 is expected to perform 2*1014 IPSSuch advantages lead to greater earnings later in life and serve to increase social inequalitiesFactors such as being a person, being sentient, having the capacity for autonomous moral choice, or perhaps even being a member of the same community as the evaluator, are among the criteria that may combine to determine the degree of somebodys moral status (Warren 1997)Nanotechnology will also make it cheaper to colonize spaceOther improvements may require wholesale reorganization of our cognitive architecture or the addition of new layers of cognition on top of the old onesRich parents send their kids to better schools and provide them with resources such as personal connections and information technology that may not be available to the less privileged
The amount of matter and energy that our civilization can lay its hands on before they recede forever beyond our reach (due to the universes expansion) is finite in the current most favored cosmological modelsWhat are the philosophical and cultural antecedents of transhumanism? The human desire to acquire posthuman attributes is as ancient as the human species itselfOne exception might be the basic laws of physics, but even there it is sometimes suggested that there may be undiscovered laws (for instance, we dont yet have an accepted theory of quantum gravity) or poorly understood consequences of known laws that could be exploited to enable things we would normally think of as physically impossible, such as creating traversable wormholes, spawning new basement universes, or traveling backward in timeIf it doesnt work, you would be dead anywayin his monumental work Nanomedicine, the first volume of which came out in 1999(See also Will posthumans or superintelligent machines pose a threat to humans who arent augmented?) Nuclear warWatching TV is typically a passive experienceTechnologies and ProjectionsNonetheless, the following seems to constitute a common core of agreement: According to transhumanists, the human condition has been improved if the conditions of individual humans have been improved.
If, for example, a would-be parent wished to undertake a genetic modification that would be clearly harmful to the child or would drastically curtail its options in life, then this prospective parent should be prevented by law from doing soAlthough any estimate inevitably includes a large subjective factor, it seems that to set the probability to less than 20% would be unduly optimistic, and the best estimate may be considerably higherIf one took seriously the idea of controlling population by limiting life span, why not be more active about it? Why not encourage suicide? Why not execute anyone reaching the age of 75? If slowing aging were unacceptable because it might lead to there being more people, what about efforts to cure cancer, reduce traffic deaths, or improve worker safety? Why use double standards? When transhumanists say they want to extend lifespans, what they mean is that they want to extend healthspansTranshumanism can be viewed as an extension of humanism, from which it is partially derivedIn order to give as many people as possible the chance of a posthuman existence or even just a decent human existence it is paramount that technological development, in at least some fields, is pursued with maximal speedSome artificial things are bad, such as DDT-poisoning, car accidents, and nuclear warA sufficiently long-lived human who didnt make any errors and had a sufficient stack of scrap paper at hand could in principle compute any Turing computable functionYou should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problemWe can all agree that there would be little point in living an extra ten years in a state of dementia 171bf2437f