Matching Items (6)

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Human Nature, Improvement, and Destiny: A Comparison of Protestant Pietism and Transhumanism

Description

Transhumanist concepts and themes increasingly occupy a prominent place in contemporary visions of the future, particularly with regard to technology. A growing number of scholars, including some self-described transhumanists, see

Transhumanist concepts and themes increasingly occupy a prominent place in contemporary visions of the future, particularly with regard to technology. A growing number of scholars, including some self-described transhumanists, see transhumanism as functioning like a religion for secular people, in that it fulfills many of the same desires and impulses without reference to any supernatural forces. For this reason there is a growing discussion of transhumanism in comparison with major religious traditions, but one which has heretofore been underappreciated is Protestant pietism. Pietism grew out of a need among Protestants after the Reformation to realize a better Christian community and better prepare individual believers for the afterlife. It had a significant influence over the European Enlightenment, of which transhumanists claim to be the successors. In its understanding of human improvement, human nature, and ultimate human destiny in death and the end-point of history, pietism has multiple interesting points of comparison with transhumanism. Both ideologies begin by improving individual human beings as the primary means to the end of eliminating suffering, especially death and disease, and building the ideal human community. Transhumanism accomplishes its goals for humanity through the use of advanced technologies which enable human beings to transcend their natural limitations. Pietism focuses, as its name suggests, on moral and spiritual improvement according to practical guidelines that lead a Christian believer to take an active role in his or her own sanctification. This essay concludes that pietism reveals certain key limitations in transhumanism as a comprehensive life philosophy, especially in its ability to organize society according to its system of values.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Transhumanism Through the Lens of Comics

Description

This thesis aims to explore the limitations for the definition of ‘human’, through analyzing augmented superheroes. A diagnostic tool was developed to measure these superheroes’ humanness through the criteria of

This thesis aims to explore the limitations for the definition of ‘human’, through analyzing augmented superheroes. A diagnostic tool was developed to measure these superheroes’ humanness through the criteria of the biological, social, and metaphysical definition for human. Augmented superheroes were selected due to the rise of scientific/technological augmentations and their effect on our understanding of ‘human’ within the three criteria. A general consensus of traits that made up human within each criteria was determined and used to assess each superhero. The six, permanently augmented, non alien heroes chosen to be analyzed were Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Vision. Through their origin stories, their personal interactions with others, others reactions to them, and how they dealt with situations, the superheroes were judged on if they fit the current definition of human using the diagnostic tool. It was found that the Hulk and Vision failed to pass the definition using the tool while Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, and Wolverine all met the majority of the requirements and thus passed as human by the current definition.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Twisting DNA: The Ethical Questions of Human Genetic Engineering

Description

Human genetic engineering, the manipulation of genomic DNA, is an up and coming field in which soon we will no longer be asking if we can do it, but should

Human genetic engineering, the manipulation of genomic DNA, is an up and coming field in which soon we will no longer be asking if we can do it, but should we do it? It raises ethical questions regarding autonomy, the concept that an individual is capable of self-governance and making informed decisions, as well as consent of those who undergo genetic manipulation. Along with the ethical questions come issues of equality, equal opportunity of usage, and responsibility of those who use such technologies. The benefits and consequences of genetically engineering humans must be examined, such as the eradication of genetic diseases and the ability to alter ourselves as we desire, as well as the possible unintended outcomes, such as a two-class society and insurmountable inequality. Eugenics and the Transhumanism movement will also be examined, and how they could affect genetic engineering. Regulations will be needed, to limit parents on how they can modify their children and on how adults can modify themselves, to ensure the safe future of genetic engineering.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Ethics of Life Extension Technology

Description

The prospect of anti-aging or life extension technology is controversial in biogerentology but deemed even by skeptical experts to warrant discussion. I discuss the justifications that the probability of life

The prospect of anti-aging or life extension technology is controversial in biogerentology but deemed even by skeptical experts to warrant discussion. I discuss the justifications that the probability of life extension technology being developed in the near future is reasonably high and that this research justifies the time and money it receives. I investigate potential ethical and societal issues anti-aging technology might create. This paper addresses inequality of access, economic cost, changes in quality of life, the role of death in human life, if and how the technology should be regulated and how parties who choose not to undergo treatment can be fairly treated, even when they are a minority.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Futurist Scenarios Concerning Radical Life Extension

Description

A fundamental component of Transhumanism, radical life extension is the process of utilizing ever increasing technologies to further extend the average life span of humans. This iterative process has continued

A fundamental component of Transhumanism, radical life extension is the process of utilizing ever increasing technologies to further extend the average life span of humans. This iterative process has continued to increase in speed since the digital age. As society develops a larger knowledge base, and scientific fields combine their knowledge bases, the capability of medical professionals continues to increase at an exponential rate. Through an understanding of these technological trends the social, legal, logistical and economic implications can be better understood. Scenarios can be used to better categorize these implications based on the evolution of these technologies. By considering biological, non-biological and linear life extension technologies a broad analysis of the varied implications can be constructed. Based on these scenarios one can conclude radical life extension technologies will have significant impacts on the current social definitions of what it means to be human and how society organizes itself. Continued research towards radical life extension technologies comes with high social implications which must be considered in tandem.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Making better students: ADHD in higher education and the biopolitics of stimulant medication

Description

According to my 2016 survey of ASU undergraduate students, 33% have used stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall or Ritalin) without a prescription to study. I view this practice as a ste

According to my 2016 survey of ASU undergraduate students, 33% have used stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall or Ritalin) without a prescription to study. I view this practice as a step towards cognitive enhancement, which is the deliberate application of biotechnology to radically alter the human condition. From a foresight perspective, the ability to actively improve human beings, to take our evolutionary destiny into our own hands, may be a turning point on par with agriculture or the use of fossil fuels. The existential risks, however, may be greater than the benefits—and many of the most radical technologies have made little documented progress.

I turn to an actual example where people are trying to make themselves marginally better at academic tasks, as a guide to how future transformative development in human enhancement may be incorporated into everyday practice. This project examines the history and context that led to the widespread use of stimulant medication on college campuses. I describe how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), for which stimulant medication is prescribed and diverted, governs students, negotiates relationships between parents and school authorities, and manages anxieties resulting from a competitive neoliberal educational system. I extend this archeology of ADHD through the actions and ethical beliefs of college students, and the bioethical arguments for and against human enhancement. Through this work, I open a new space for an expanded role for universities as institutions capable of creating experimental communities supporting ethical cognitive enhancement.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016