Human Exceptionalism

The Trouble With Transhumanism

Awhile back, I posted on a blog article written by Kyle Munkittrick for the Discovery magazine Website that informed us when the transhuman future had arrived.  It was an important piece because it clearly and succinctly illustrated the subversive values that undergird the movement.  So, I decided to expand upon what I could post here in the CBC Newsletter.

I describe some of the ideas presented, e.g., that prosthetic limbs would be preferred over natural, that reproduction would be separated from intimacy and placed wholly in the lab assembly line, and how transhumanists intend to destroy human exceptionalism in order to turn us into no more than sculpting clay.  And then I conclude with why such values would be deleterious to societal health.  From “The Trouble With Transhumanism:”

Needless to say, creating such a society foresees the destruction of human exceptionalism, which transhumanists disdain as limiting their genetic recreationist (in Leon Kass’s words) ambitions and establishing behavioral norms. Thus, being human in a transhumanist world would be morally irrelevant. Rather, Munkittrick writes, “Rights discourse will shift to personhood instead of common humanity.”

In such a world, the value of human life would cease to be intrinsic, but would become relative. “Animals (including humans),” he writes—deploying yet another human-diminishing sentiment—”will be granted rights based on varying degrees of personhood . . . When African grey parrots, gorillas, and dolphins have the same rights as a human toddler, a transhuman friendly rights system will be in place.” Indeed.

Transhumanism is a long way from being attained, and the world Munkittrick envisions will almost surely never come fully into being. But that doesn’t mean we won’t become crassly transhumanist in our personal and societal values. If we are going to preserve a culture founded on the Judeo/Christian ideal of equal human dignity and the obligation for individual behavioral restraint, transhumanism must be resisted intellectually and rejected, both in our public policies and the ways in which we lead our personal lives.

Transhumanism promotes social anarchy, but that is misleading. Like all Utopian movements that gain power, it would soon turn authoritarian (as in “parent licenses,” and it wouldn’t end there).  Any way you look at it, a philosophy that rejects human exceptionalism and embraces eugenic values would lead–as Huxley warned in Brave New World, and CS Lewis did in The Abolition of Man–to a society that would have lost its humanity.  Of course, when one’s goal is declared to be “post human,” what other outcome could we expect?


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