Bush Administration Fears Transhumanists

nym | 09:05 AM

Illu_YouOnlyBetter2.jpgThe Transhumanist right to be better than human (>H) is already under attack from those fearful of such potential. The Bush Administration's bioethics council has come out against people who want to upgrade themselves. It's one thing to become a cyborg if you've lost or were born without some core functionality, but to want to improve upon who we are as humans, is somehow unethical.

Transhumanism is being taken seriously by an increasing number of scholars. The fact that Stanford’s respected legal bioethics program hosted the 150 or so attendees from Europe, Asia, New Zealand and North America to discuss issues raised by human enhancement is testimony to how far transhumanism has come in from the fringe.

Even the government has taken a position — against — in the second report out of President Bush’s bioethics council. Titled “Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness,” the 2003 report suggested the need for regulations to prevent the use of biotech to give people powers they did not have naturally.

It's a shame that they wish to regulate what people do to themselves, but that's in line with much of the conservative agenda, like gay marrage, right to die, etc. My only hope is that like most tech law, it will lag beyond the technology itself, so all the laws will be regulating, is the past.

[ Link via Transhumanist Tribe. Image from MSNBC. ]


dude, is it just me, or is the US getting more and more like a totalitarian dictatorship (all be it, with better PR) everyday?

you guys should either rise up and fight (isn't this what that whole anti-gun-control bollocks is about) or move to the (laughs) more liberally minded europe.

having just seen the likes of ann coulter (right wing neo fascist from the US) on our tv screens over here in sunny brittain, i would certainly be getting a little more worried about it.


ps- or it could just burn out, either way, religous fundementalism does seem to be on the up and up, over on this side of the pond and that.

Posted by: Ivan Kocienski at June 21, 2006 02:19 PM

Do you think this is a topic that is going to be a democratic issue too since many people from all over the political spectrum have issues with body modification?

Posted by: nym at June 21, 2006 02:34 PM

I suspect the democrats, being the only political party in the history of the US actually *giving* people freedoms, that if the dems where in power they'd probably let people do it and say it 'fosters inovation'. how would the powers that be square this with the military, which we all know would jump at the cyborg technology? if another, more liberal place (like chiba, japan. lol) started doing this kind of technology would then the US admin turn around it and lift the ban as, lets face it, this is going to be popular? its a bit like renewable energy. by having bush say no one needs it, your openning up a weak flank for countries who need it to develop (and patent) the technology first.

i think the root problem is that in the US (and in the UK albeit delayed by a few years) there is a distint flavour of 'anti-intellectualism'. it is politically convenient as it sits well with the unwashed masses. but given that every superpower in history was built on superior technology, how long can this go on for before it starts to damage the country irreperably?


Posted by: Ivan Kocienski at June 22, 2006 01:54 AM

Reminds me of the Jonathan Coulton song, Better:

Posted by: Chirs at June 23, 2006 09:19 AM
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