Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ch. 5 Discussion Question: Transhumanism

Toward a Transhumanist Future

The transhumanist movement finds itself at the "extreme end of the quest for human perfectibility," looking forward to a future of perfected post-humans. Some transhumanists foresee post-humans extending their lives to eternity by downloading their minds onto computers.

An episode of the science fiction television series Black Mirror (available on Netflix), entitled "San Junipero" explores such a future. In this episode, "In the present-day real world of the 2040s, the consciousness of the dead or dying can be uploaded into a simulated reality system, where they can live in the fantasy town of San Junipero as their younger selves forever. Living people can visit San Junipero for trial periods but are limited to five hours a week." Forbidden lovers have to make the moral decision of whether or not to spend eternity together, despite lost family members.

Though the post-human future is still a matter of science fiction, I would like to pose the following discussion question:

Would you upload your mind to a place like San Junipero after your death? How far is too far in the effort to extend human life through biotechnology? When does the effort become playing God?

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