Post by The Great Devourer of All - Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:02 pm
For those of you who don't know, Transhumanists are people who believe that humans are imperfect and can be made better via the use of cybernetics, consciousness uploading, genetic engineering, or some other method. They have been a relatively small group until fairly recently, with advancements in prosthetics, virtual reality, and advanced gene editing techniques such as the use of CRISPR making many people believe that the human body and mind can be made better through science. Of course, many religious people are strongly opposed to this, as they often believe that their God or gods made humanity a certain way and that the human body is sacred.
So, my questions to you are as follows: Is Transhumanism a positive or negative thing? Is it likely to play a major role in our future? If so, how?
I personally believe that Transhumanism will become a more and more prevalent ideology in the coming decades, and the Transhumanist Party (yes, this is a thing) may even be able to challenge other major political parties in the US by the middle of the century. I feel certain that, unless the practice is banned, the modification of fetuses using CRISPR and CAS9 will become very widespread in the West, and even if it is banned, a significant black market for 'Mods' will pop up, much like the underground abortion clinics set up in states where abortion is tightly restricted. With the rise of genetic engineering, it is possible that many dangerous diseases, including everything from Alzheimer's and Cancer to Malaria and HIV/AIDS will disappear. Human lifespans may also increase exponentially, with people living hundreds or thousands of years. Unfortunately, the downside to all of this is that rogue states like North Korea may use genetic engineering and cloning to create massive armies of expendable but highly capable soldiers, and could engineer civilian babies in utero to reduce the likelihood of rebellions. Cybernetics may also become popular, with teenagers treating small implants like tattoos or piercings. Virtual reality is already gaining popularity, but I do not believe it will become a major Transhumanist alternative to normal life until later in the century, when it may be possible to upload human minds temporarily or even permanently into virtual reality programs. At this point, the wealthy elite may begin transferring their consciousnesses to different bodies as a way to get what they perceive as the 'perfect' body.
By 2200, I predict that more than half of the population in developed countries will be altered in some way, and a significant portion of both altered and unaltered people will have used virtual or augmented reality in their day-to-day lives.