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What is the Objectivist view on transhumanism?

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How do objectivists perceive transhumanism? They are mostly compatible, especially in the degree realism is assumed, except in their ethics and the magnitude of respectability the human mind deserves.

Where objectivists generally believe that humankind’s basic virtue is irreconcilable with altruism, transhumanists tend to believe this is a false dichotomy. According to transhumanists, anything possessing sentient properties deserves to be optimized with adaptive qualities primed for nature’s default without a prerequisite that any form of suffering is necessary. Since emphasis is placed on the development of recursive self-enhancing transhuman intelligence, presuming the subsequent emergence of superintelligence and posthumanity, there is no reason to think that ultra-advanced technology or smarter-than-human, kinder-than-human intelligence can’t richly accommodate all behaviors, even the behaviors of those who opt not to become augmented. Hence, transhumanism subsumes altruism while transiently holding human rationality in higher regard, just not, while in procession, at the expense of sentient-kind and qualified skepticism.

Also, while objectivists seem to be totally confident that human minds are optimal volition containers indefinitely, transhumanists perceive human minds as primordial on a minds-in-general continuum and human bodies as vulnerable, mortal entities requiring extensive augmentation if it is assumed that life is preferred over death and, by extension, extreme longevity, if not physical immortality, preferred over mortality. Some transhumanists, as they learn more, are even beginning to abandon libertarianism since this doctrine assumes a high degree of free will. It simply doesn’t exist at the level it’s inclined to be fatuously presumed, i.e., far-reaching originations are conscious-independent and volition a negligible, subservient manifestation.

In regards to the original question, would objectivists be at odds with transhumanists? Is the fabric of objectivism being challenged by a worldview that appears to be much more sophisticated?

Related reading:

The Transhumanist FAQ

Staring into the Singularity

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you are joking right? I think that babble doesnt deserve consideration. And one more thing:

as they learn more, are even beginning to abandon libertarianism
please tell me you dont associate libertarianism with objectivism. Because that would be a false assumption.
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you are joking right? I think that babble doesnt deserve consideration.
No, transhumanism is not a joke. There are many rational and scientific people who consider transhumanism.

please tell me you dont associate libertarianism with objectivism. Because that would be a false assumption.

You're right, it is a false assumption if one definition was inferred instead of the other. In this case, however, libertarianism is the belief of free will. Undoubtedly there is a lot of controversy surrounding FW's actual meaning. It can be extrapolated how objectivists think about FW, and from this it is an appropriate assumption.

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Is the fabric of objectivism being challenged by a worldview that appears to be much more sophisticated?

Reality challenged by sophistication? Since when did sophistication supplant reality? A refined inaccuracy is still inaccurate.

VES

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I don't really understand the initial post after a casual read-through. My advice to June is to read Ayn Rand and make up your own mind about how her philosophy relates to transhumanism. Based on my ignorant assessment, it seems that transhumanism meshes together both scientific and philosophic issues. Objectivism would not comment on the former. To the extent that it is philosophy, it seems to grab on to scientific goals as ethical goals. But ethics is more fundamental than science. So without the more fundamental ethics, I don't see where transhumanism is coming from.

But once again, I'm ignorant and don't really feel capable of discussing this.

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To the extent that it is philosophy, it seems to grab on to scientific goals as ethical goals. But ethics is more fundamental than science.

Yes, ethics are more fundamental than science, but they can’t be so detached that anthropocentric conceits are held onto for dear life in the face of super-high rationality and Bayesian reasoning. What follows are a philosophy and actual practice demonstrating a supreme—on the subscale of human minds—syncretist, memetic structure.

Is it agreeable with the status quo? Can we afford to abandon absolute, self-interested behavior by shifting efforts, resources, and smug mind-sets toward accelerating the emergence of recursive self-improvers, which fortunately happens to be driven by both self-interest and compassion toward sentient-kind? For some, probably no—some simply can’t afford to abandon the perceived pragmatic power of a core, objectivist value system.

It’s refreshing and comforting to view the human mind as having boundless potential. But it doesn’t. Neither do “man qua man” heuristic propellers have any bearing on humankind’s diligent push toward smarter-than-human, kinder-than-human intelligence and their bootstrapping using nanotechnology and seed-AI. However, the tensional sentiments in other responses are respectfully understood, just unexpected in ways that could have alternatively shown curiosity and engagement, especially since the transhumanist epistemology exhibits forward stepping and an honesty with ourselves rather than a regression.

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Yes, ethics are more fundamental than science, but they can’t be so detached that anthropocentric conceits are held onto for dear life in the face of super-high rationality and Bayesian reasoning. What follows are a philosophy and actual practice demonstrating a supreme—on the subscale of human minds—syncretist, memetic structure.

Is it agreeable with the status quo? Can we afford to abandon absolute, self-interested behavior by shifting efforts, resources, and smug mind-sets toward accelerating the emergence of recursive self-improvers, which fortunately happens to be driven by both self-interest and compassion toward sentient-kind? For some, probably no—some simply can’t afford to abandon the perceived pragmatic power of a core, objectivist value system.

It’s refreshing and comforting to view the human mind as having boundless potential. But it doesn’t. Neither do “man qua man” heuristic propellers have any bearing on humankind’s diligent push toward smarter-than-human, kinder-than-human intelligence and their bootstrapping using nanotechnology and seed-AI. However, the tensional sentiments in other responses are respectfully understood, just unexpected in ways that could have alternatively shown curiosity and engagement, especially since the transhumanist epistemology exhibits forward stepping and an honesty with ourselves rather than a regression.

I think you might like to get in touch with Chris Matthew Sciabarra, an academic at NYU who has written several books on his interpretation of Objectivism. You can reach Sciabarra at [email protected] or you can first see his web site at http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/

I think you will find that you and Sciabbara have a lot in common. I'm sure that he will be better able than anyone here to explain the connections between "objectivism" and "transhumanism."

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June, no offense, but your posts sound like they were generated using one of those gag websites that auto-generates a nonsense email and then emails it to everyone you know just to annoy and confuse them.

If you really want people to give you some honest opinions about 'transhumanism', then drop your first-year psychology and philosophy class jargon and ask some questions in straight-up language. It's hard enough to discuss philosophy in simple terms on this board - complex pseudo-intellectual-speak doesn't make it any better.

Cheers!

:)

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How do objectivists perceive transhumanism?

We perceive it as a bunch of nutjobs coming over to our forum every now and then and posting their garbage.

I can only repeat Daniel's advice to June: Read Ayn Rand. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about the specific issues as long as you remain rational and respectful. And please note that questioning our "sophistication" is NOT something we consider respectful behavior.

I am locking the thread.

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