Chains to the Future

The biggest threat to almost any cause one can name today is not any enemy; it is the lack of an enemy. Environmentalism must have its polluters, conservatism must have its liberal opponents, and the religious has the distinction between holiness and evil.

Unfortunately, the loudest voices in the Transhumanist movement today have also taken this route of a traditional organized system the devils of the movement are not Satan or Baal; they are the religious faithful, luddites, and those who question the sacrosanct of the Transhumanist movement. With demons come anathemas: the questioning of official lines concerning freedom, rights, and politics.

Freedom is a slippery term; it implies the availability and feasibility of options to its seekers. Freedom is also romanticized; limited sets of freedom are often sold as definitive manifestations of an absolutely desirable package. Ironically, every freedom has a price; the freedom to do x often comes against the freedom of y. So too with the espoused freedoms of Transhumanism for example, the enforcement of the freedom to marry anyone often comes at the price of the freedom to create a society that does not concern itself with non-traditional heterosexual marriage.

Freedom is not romantic; freedom is about the seizure of power from one group to another, an attempt disguised under a cloak of legitimacy and guilt inducement. Every fight for freedom is as such; even those who declare themselves to be defenders of free speech will, without hesitation, attempt to constrain the free speech of their opposition. It is human nature to do so; it is not necessarily good or bad, only that we should not delude ourselves into deifying the concept of freedom. The concept of rights as defined by the popular Transhumanist movement must also face scrutiny. Just as a cluster of rights commonly termed "human rights" are well defined in a document, the futile exercise of guaranteeing that these societal standards are upheld is in sore need of revision. Additionally, in a world of limited resources and in any example of a social triage, which of these rights does the Transhumanist hold to be the dearest? Is the right to marry as important as the right to freely practice religion? Even more important, are these proponents of Transhumanism attempting to create a universal system of rights, a one-size-fits-all solution based on premises comfortable to only its supporters?

Finally, the political stance, the sum of what the mainstream Transhumanist movement stands for, displays an obvious and exclusive bias. The creation of such an environment is self defeating by setting such assertive parameters, directly embracing causes at their root such as sexual freedom, human rights activism, free capitalistic enterprise, and liberal ecological concerns. Without deep examination and skepticism into the accepted notions and their opposition, Transhumanism cannot healthily and progressively grow; without constantly challenges, Transhumanism will doom itself to a mediocre, self-satisfying existence. Labeling those who question the veracity of technological progress as "luddites" and even more severe names carries with it an air of condescension. It would serve not only those actively working within the Transhumanist movement, but greater society as a whole, a great deal better if sincere dialogue is established, and a welcome hand is extended between an artificial gap of bitterness.

To conclude, Transhumanism is a noble goal, but the path has been skewed. To correct the course of this troubled ship, its representatives must take steps to end its isolationist and elitist tendencies, to no longer merely exchange one type of absolutism for another, to question everyone and everything, and the find it within themselves that there is no Transhumanism without truly working out its human aspect.

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