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(Moral) Transhumanism

(Moral) Transhumanism
January 09, 2012, 08:46:55 PM
A new and exciting field in applied ethics and an addition to the 'transhumanism' movement, which is current mostly preoccupied by anthropocentric concerns like extending lifespans, reducing suffering in sentient beings, etc. Here is my primitive and hasty outline of moral transhumanism followed by a small database of the publications (accessible for free) that currently exist in the field.

1. Human moral intuitions are reducable to the physical processes in the brain, and they evolved (they are evolutionary adaptations)
2. Like all adaptations, our moral intutions are responses to selection pressures inherent in the environment in which they evolved
3. The environment in which our moral intuitions evolved was the Pleistocene
4. The moral issues facing humans, today, are very different, individually and categorically, from those faced by humans in the pleistocene (we are ill-equipped to respond to current moral dilemmas) (this is where the detail is, read into it for more)
5. To respond adaptively to the moral issues human beings face today, we must tinker with our moral capacities, i.e. with the physical basis of our moral intuitions (the brain)

http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/uehiro/moralenhancement2

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Issue: If it is indeed the case that the intuitive basis for our moral intutions is ill-equipped to deal with modern challenges involving long timelines, massive scales, and other counterintuitive factors, how come some few elite people, like the ones writing papers on moral transhumanism, are able to trasncend their evolutionary origins?

Hasty answer: Human cogitive abilities have BOTH an intutitive and a reflective element. Different people are divided by how much reflective control they have over innate thinking dispositions (most of the brain's processing occurs below the level of conscious awareness, as a side note). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_process_theory)

Implication: moral enhancement is necessary for parts of the population if humans are going to adapt to long term survival challanges:

Re: (Moral) Transhumanism
January 09, 2012, 08:54:26 PM
Remarkably similar to the case for psychoactive medication, and my issue with it is also similar. Drugging the opposition into agreement is a very under-handed method of advocating the dominance of one's moral philosophy.

Phoenix

Re: (Moral) Transhumanism
January 16, 2012, 11:31:11 AM
Thanks for sharing this, Sidereal.

Re: (Moral) Transhumanism
January 16, 2012, 11:34:15 AM
4. The moral issues facing humans, today, are very different, individually and categorically, from those faced by humans in the pleistocene (we are ill-equipped to respond to current moral dilemmas) (this is where the detail is, read into it for more)

Progressivism/leftism under another name.

Re: (Moral) Transhumanism
January 18, 2012, 05:43:47 PM
Issue: If it is indeed the case that the intuitive basis for our moral intutions is ill-equipped to deal with modern challenges involving long timelines, massive scales, and other counterintuitive factors, how come some few elite people, like the ones writing papers on moral transhumanism, are able to trasncend their evolutionary origins?

I believe the problem statement or proposition itself is questionable. This is a case of misinterpreting modern moral challenges because we have (been convinced to) falsely nested them in a symbolic layer atop the eternal ones. Briefly, these modern moral challenges are those we have always had. They are not modern. The ethical strategy for us is therefore the same: promotion of the fit so the fittest genes are those perpetuated.

The transhumanist people are building a case for themselves in order to sell/take uninhibited advantage of products and services they expect to be available in the near future. They're attempting to expedite their self interested pursuit by circumventing or nullifying whatever ethical and thus legal questions may come to impede the pursuit of transhumanist technologies presently in development.