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
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.