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QFAC: Stance on Cybernetics, Genetic Enhancement and other Transhumanist Topics

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posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 09:45 PM
Alright, since I know there are a few Transhumanists on ATS, myself
included, I figure that it would be good to get the candidates stance
on the topic.

Transhumanist focuses on many different technologies, but the most
controversial of these are cybernetics, genetic enhancement and
modification and augmentations.

So, what is your stance on these?

posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 09:50 PM
My stance.

As a Transhumanist, and beyond that a social libertarian, I believe that
these technologies should be further developed, and that anyone who
wants them should have the opportunity to have them.

That said, I also believe in total consent, which means that you could
not create designer babies, or give them cybernetic or genetic
enhancements, unless they are born with a deficiency that cybernetics
or GM could fix.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 08:37 AM
While I do believe that research in these areas should be conducted. I do not believe that these advances should be used as to create a perfect human. Didnt Hitler think of this? I am against creating a perfect human. Although I would support any research aimed at curing disease.

The great thing about being a human is our imperfections that make us stronger as a species.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 04:21 PM
Hitler wanted to create his idea of a perfect 'aryan' race, blue eyes,
blond hair, northern-western stock, and German.

You can not create a perfect human, as different people have different
ideas of perfect.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 05:05 PM
No one is perfect, although people can be "built upon" artifically. I do not like the idea that someone can be intelligently designed. If we can do it now someone must have done it before or have had the idea then.

I don't see the government allowing the technology to come to the public within 40 years into the future.

Then, they will let it out gradually. They haven't gotten that far into the experimental stages. They have to make sure that this technology won't go into the wrong hands.

Hitler brainwashed his soldiers and drugged them to become super soldiers, if I am not mistakened.

I want it to happen, but I don't know if it is physically possible to do so within our lifetime, and if I put the plans for them to make this tech, they would scrap it when it doesn't seem feasable.

posted on Apr, 17 2007 @ 01:12 AM
I don't see any moral problem with using technology to augment human potential.

I wear glasses; it would be at least a mild exercise in hypocrisy for me to oppose the use of technology to elevate us beyond our natural capabilities.

The test, in my mind, is simple: is it detrimental to the humanity of the user?

Historical attempts to improve on the human baseline have yielded mixed results. Methamphetamine... ooops. and Hearing Aids... cool.

I believe that research and testing need to be extensive; if we make a gene therapy that deters or prevents diabetes part of the standard battery of innoculations, give it to every school kid in America, then find out that the designer gene just happens to create a greater risk of pancreatic cancer, I'm going to be somewhat perturbed.

I also believe that the US government simply isn't in a position right now to give this field the kind of money it probably deserves. We have more pressing priorities. The future of humanity depends on the discovery of a large, renewable, efficient, clean supply of energy, because our long-term water needs, the protection of the environoment, and our economic power depend upon that.

To the extent that private or commericial efforts are being made though, my administration would support them by providing for the safety precautions necessary to check any fear of the unknown that might raise a barrier to that field of research.

I would also not allow this technology to be classified, nor for commercial control of it to be centralized by any one entity. I think the population has a right to know what science is introducing to the world. If there's a neural networking technology in the future that will essentially provide for "telepathy", the people have a right to know how it works and how its being used so that they can be assured of continued respect for their privacy and freedom of thought and choice.

In a nutshell, I'm for it, I believe we have to approach it carefully- much more carefully than the substandard vetting of medications at present would lead us to expect- and I believe that the government can support it but not carry it alone at the moment.

All of that being said... I wouldn't call myself a transhumanist. I don't know if I'd take any upgrades personally. If I was going to upgrade myself, I'd start by eliminating cocacola from my diet and being more physically active... not by installing hydrolics. They'd have to be some dead-sexy hydrolics to do me any good at the beach afterall.

And as for the perfect human, not only is there no such thing but that simply should not be the goal. The tools we equip ourselves with should be functional. Human accomplishment is removed from the equation when you give a marathon runner nanites to improve cardiovascular strength or when you graft artificial muscle tissue onto a body builder. I don't see the point there at all. If the technology were ever economical enough to proliferate widely, anti-discrimination laws would be necessary.

The reason for getting into something like this is to create a cure for spinal injuries, give sight to the blind, enable any ordinary person at whatever age to go camping in the mountains without caughing up a lung, and, of course, my personal favorite...

to create a master force of uber highway patrolmen who don't need cars to chase down speeding motorists, and who can conduct a legally admissible BAC analysis by smell alone from a kilometer away... thus saving us millions of dollars on law enforcement... and almost certainly resulting in the arrest of my brother, who I swear is Billy Carter's evil clone.

posted on Apr, 18 2007 @ 09:05 PM
In a word "no".

As humans, we already have all we need to start fixing the kind of problems that seem to necessitate such invention.

Less materialistic is the way to go.

posted on Apr, 30 2007 @ 11:52 AM
I believe that as time goes on, "enhanced humans" are going to become the norm, and those without enhancements will face significant difficulties even attempting keep up with their enhanced counterparts. In a free-market economy, designer models will certainly be available, and the Wal-Mart baseline will be the standard.

In other words, I don't believe choice will even be considered as a factor, as one unenhanced who hopes to compete in the job market against someone who has the neural equivolent of ten more brains, an always-open internet connection behind their eyelids, and glandular modifications to stay awake and alert longer, will find themselves jobless or remaining so.

If the installation process is one that can wait until adulthood to install, then fine, but as technology progresses it will likely be capable of being installed via nanites, chemical DNA restructuring, or biological tissue, at birth. We may not see this for decades or even centuries, but such is likely to be the case eventually. When we have reached that stage, parents who do not allow their children this advantage would more likely to do them harm in the long run, rather than good. By the time a child in such an environment reaches adulthood, they would be so far behind their already enhanced peers that they would be suited for little more than menial labor.

posted on May, 6 2007 @ 12:53 AM
Well, being of the Hive, everyone should know my take on this one.

Anyway, I think, like almost everyone else here, that augmentation shouldn't be forced on anyone. Any additions should be purely consensual. There are a couple that I like more than others. One that I'll mention is the addition of two transceivers that are placed in the spinal cord on either side of a split. These would send the signal from the brain to the feet, and back again just as fast as if the break wasn't there. This would allow the currently paralyzed to walk again, and I admit, would be highly prized over other treatment measures.


posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 07:37 PM

Originally posted by iori_komei
Transhumanist focuses on many different technologies, but the most
controversial of these are cybernetics, genetic enhancement and
modification and augmentations.

So, what is your stance on these?

I'm soon going to be doing formal academic (for a degree) research on the issues of disabilities and how people use some of these technologies.

Because the subject is both broad and deep, it can't be addressed with a blanket statement like "I'm for 'em. Let the research start!" In addition to the ethical issues with each sector, factors like social acceptance and voluntary body modification crop up. What I'm gaining from some of the preliminary research reports I'm reading is that there needs to be some sort of guiding set of principles for each sector... and that the number of sectors may expand as our technology improves.

Who creates the guidelines? Frankly, we need the experts in the field doing this. I've seen any number of rather silly limits (AND permissions) set on technology by people who were basically administrators and who knew next to nothing about the subject.

Can scientists be trusted to create guidelines? Yes, and in fact many of the invisible guidelines for research in place are the result of packs of scientists sitting down and hammering out what's ethical. University research projects have to follow these guidelines, and there is a strict and tedious review process for any new university research.

That's the easy part... more difficult is the social part, and this is where I think more study needs to be done. I know one of the most heavily body modified persons on the planet ( ) and he'd be the first to tell you that these kinds of modifications are probably not a wise idea for everyone. There are many issues of acceptance (personally and by society) and these are issues any cyborged or transhumaized person would encounter. Additionally, these technologies could also be applied to animals... and you have the question of "what then" and "how can they give consent"?

No easy answers. I would like to see research go forward, but we do need ethical guidance.

posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 08:39 PM
Well my admin would support Stem Cell research and GE crops e.t.c as for enhancing humans with the likes of cybernetics I think certain measures would have to be put in place to ensure much like medical experiments people take part voluntary. The long term side effects of the likes of cybernetics would have to be monitored before such technology was put into use.

For now the focus should be on the likes of Stem Cell research where the possible road ahead is becoming much clearer.

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