Sorgner on “Transhumanism, Human Perfection, and the Radical Plurality of Goodness” @ TEDxStuttgart October 19, 2015
Stuttgart, Germany

IEET Fellow Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is invited to give his second TED talk. http://www.tedxstuttgart.com

Title: Don’t we all wish to be Wonder Woman or Superman? – Transhumanism, Human Perfection, and the Radical Plurality of Goodness

Description: The standard way of representing transhumanism in the media is that of a movement which aims at human perfection. This is correct. However, the images of perfection associated with transhumanism all represent a type of Renaissance ideal, as if transhumanism can be identified solely with a superman ideal and identifies human beings with beings who permanently wish to be able to move faster, jump higher, and become stronger. This is a flawed view. Human perfection consists in the ability of living a good life. It is not the case that the Renaissance ideal is valid for all human beings. All human psychophysiologies are different, and by living in accord with our psychophysiological demands, needs and desires we can reach our own perfection. Even from an evolutionary perspective, diversity and plurality are in the human interest, as these qualities increase the likelihood of human fitness.

Biography: Dr. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network, and Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). He is author and editor of more than 10 books, e.g. “Menschenwürde nach Nietzsche” (WBG 2010). His main fields of research are Nietzsche, the philosophy of music, bioethics and meta-, post- and transhumanism: www.sorgner.de. In a booklet of the Phil.cologne festival, Prof. Dr. Rainer Zimmermann from the Identity foundation referred to him as “Germany’s leading post- and transhumanist philosopher”.

My challenge: Francis Fukuyama regards transhumanism as the most dangerous idea in the word. Transhumanism certainly represents a challenge for societies which are based on a dualistic Christian or Kantian anthropology, e.g. Germany where only human beings possess dignity and animals, plants and stones legally ought to be treated like objects. I am working on various suggestions concerning how to deal with the tension between transhumanism and encrusted traditional worlds views.