Friday, June 17, 2005

Taking back language...

Secular bioconservatives are often heard warning that biotechnology and, by extention, transhumanism can become or is a threat to human dignity. But what does this notion mean? How do we define it? By using it to condemn artificial insemination, Pope Benedict XVI is consistant with Catholic Church dogma but secular intellectuals cannot refer to this dogma. So what are they refering to? An absolute and unchanging moral value... That's Kant's categorical imperative. They may not be aware of the fact that the expression « human dignity » was used for the first time in the 16th century by humanist philosopher Jean Pic de La Mirandole to say that the dignity of man is that of a being who is never satisfied with the place he occupies. And who is always moving forward on the road to knowledge and creativity! If this is the real definition of human dignity, then it is transhumanists that are its greatest defenders and not bioconservatives. Spread the word...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Know your enemy…

From (of all places) Maxim magazine:

Unpopular Mechanics

Dr. Dale Layman runs "human rights" Web site robowatch.org. And he could be the only thing standing between us and the reign of the Terminators.

MAXIM: Dr. Layman, what dangers are we facing?

Dr. Dale Layman: There are two major forces. One is penetration of the natural body, with the replacement of artificial organs and computer chips in our brains, until we will no longer be a biologically human species. We'll become a cyborgian species. The second threat is external, from artificial intelligence.

M: How are the robots a threat?

DL: Do you think they're going to want to be our slaves forever? They're going to have their own rights. How are we supposed to interact with a machine that's walking around our house carrying Grandma around? One of these machines is going to go berserk and kill someone. We're laying the groundwork for our own extinction!

M: Are there people conspiring to bring this fate upon us right now?

DL: One is the human cyborg, Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. He implanted a computer chip in his forearm. He's part of a transhumanist movement. The transhumanist goal is to evolve into cyborgs. He basically said, "The cyborgs will be running the show in the future. If you want to be a chimpazee, remain a human being."

M: How do you intend to fight the robots?

DL: I'm here to educate. I made a presentation in Cambridge, England several years ago. I dressep up as Darth Vader. I showed them the face of evil.

M: So you see this as a struggle between good and evil?

DL: This is the great mother of all battles, as predicted by the Bible. It's going to be the fight between man and machine, between humanoid robots and their cyborgs, and human soldiers. That's what it's going to come down to.