Title: Transhumanism: Fools Gold
Author: Potash
Date: 2024

On its face, transhumanism appears very appealing. It offers to end all hunger, disease, disabilities, poverty, inequality, pain, old age, and even death itself. And on top of all of that, it allows us to become stronger and smarter than our ancestors could have ever dreamt of being. How could anyone oppose these changes? Who wouldn’t want to end hunger, or disease, or pain, or old age? It would sound almost nonsensical to oppose ending suffering. Why tolerate these discontents when there’s an obvious way to end them?

But the most obvious answer is not always the right one. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

The logical conclusion of transhumanism is the complete replacement of the human body, either through extensive genetic engineering, outright replacement of the human body with machinery, or through uploading one's consciousness to the internet. Of course, not every transhumanist will want to take it that far. There are many “moderate” transhumanists, who want to use genetic engineering sparingly, perhaps only to prevent disease and disabilities. But this will not last. Sure, it might be introduced as a compromise at first, but this will be temporary. Sooner or later it is inevitable that transhumanism will be used beyond that. After all, if technological advancements benefit the system, the power of it will inevitably be harnessed. The temptations offered by transhumanism are simply too grand to be ignored. And eventually, it will be inevitable that the human body will be replaced entirely. Looking at Kaczynki’s model of self-prop systems, transhumanism will be propagated by elites and the system for the primary motive of control over the human being, which at that point will be a shell of its former self.

The transhumanists want to abolish death itself. The idea of death can be quite scary. No one likes the thought that one day they will have to say goodbye to everything they’ve ever known. But the solution is not to end death. Life and Death are Yin and Yang, living forever is not living at all. The fact that we have a limited amount of time on earth drives us to achieve as much as possible within the time we have. And nonetheless death is a fundamental aspect of nature, hence the term natural causes. The less time you have, the more you strive to make the most out of the time you have. Quite commonly you will hear people talk about how they want to make their lives valuable so that they have something to remember on their deathbeds. Of course, we don’t always do everything we set our minds to but we still feel a need to make something out of our lives in some way. But if we were to live forever, all of that would be gone. We would always be thinking to ourselves “why do it now, I have all the time in the world, who cares.” We would have little motivation to try to make value out of our lives. After all, we could always just do it another time. There would be no vision, or passion to life. The most probable result of living forever is eternal hedonism. Hedonism is simple and easy, the short term pleasure it offers is highly addictive. It is harder to reject hedonism then it is to embrace it. And so without an underlying purpose to life and reasons to accomplish things, it is quite inevitable that one will devote himself to short-term pleasure. The less of something there is, the more value it holds. The more of something there is, the less value it holds. After long enough, everything loses its value. After thousands of years, life itself would lose any meaning it once had. The solution to death is not to eliminate it, but to accept it and to make it motivate you to make the most out of the time that you do have. It’s Better to live one day as a lion then an eternity as a sheep.

Without sadness, there is no meaning in happiness. In order to understand what it means to be happy, you must understand what it is like to not be happy. If all you had ever known was happiness, then happiness itself would lose its purpose. Life would become a never ending stream of blandness. It would be boring, uneventful and meaningless. The unpleasant parts of life may not be fun, but they give us valuable experiences which have defined the human experience for millions of years. These unpleasant moments teach us valuable lessons, and add depth and complexity to our lives. Imagine what it would be like to go through life never having a bad day, never getting hurt, never feeling pain, never feeling too cold and never feeling too hot, spending every day in a state of torpor “happiness”. This would leave humans as an empty shell, with only more transhumanism as the cure, but this only leading to the further destruction of the human being. However, this will not be how transhumanism will be framed, people will think only in the narrow point of view set forth by the system, that suffering must be abolished, without thinking of the long term consequences. And because transhumanism is introduced in this way, people will generally accept it without a major pushback, and eventually it will become unthinkable to live without such “enhancements”.

But the transhumanists won’t stop there, they will not stop until they have sucked out every last drop of our humanity from us. The final goal of transhumanism is to essentially turn us into robotic gods, or to upload our consciousnesses to our own virtual universes so we are literal gods. We would be able to do anything we wanted, we could shapeshift to look like anything we could imagine, we could write up entire novels in seconds, we could build entire cities out of nothing, we would have no physical or mental limitations of any sort. We would be in a state of Omnipotence. Of course, this would be thrillingly exciting at first. Being able to achieve anything you could possibly dream of instantly would be a lot of fun. But after years of having everything you could ever want handed to you without ever having to work for it, wouldn’t it get boring? And after that, what would you have left? As Jocko says, a person's strengths can be their greatest weaknesses, and their weakness can be their greatest strengths. We need goals in life, and our goals need effort. If we could achieve any goal we liked with minimal effort, then life would become purposeless. It would be pointless, life would be nothing more than a never ending stream of endless hedonism with no meaning in sight. The entire concept of accomplishment would have vanished entirely, nothing you accomplished would be due to your own hard work and skill, but rather the robotic modifications you have been born with. And everyone else could just as easily do the same.

This isn’t a “live and let live” thing either. New technologies often appear optional when first introduced, but eventually society restructures itself in such a way that these technologies become necessary just to survive. Take the internet for example, it would be almost impossible to get by without using the internet. Even if one completely eliminates internet usage in his personal life, most jobs still require internet usage. There is simply no way of getting around the internet. The same would apply for transhumanism. Likely even moreso, since the changes brought by transhumanism are even greater than those which were brought by the internet. Even if in the highly unlikely scenario that transhumanism was optional, due to it increasing the efficiency of the human by such a large magnitude, individuals who embraced transhumanism will be propagandized as superior, with those remaining in their natural forms socially ostracized. We see this today as those without the newest belongings, especially those that are technological, as less than others.

The issue is, the goal for the system is absolute efficiency, and to do so propagandized the societal goal of the elimination of suffering. However in order to remove suffering, the human being must be violated and humanity taken out of it. We are already seeing this today with the treatment of disorders which aren’t really disorders.

There’s one part of transhumanism which you will never hear them talk about. Throughout history, there has been a tendency for technology to increase the power that large organizations hold over us. The more advanced technology becomes, the more powerful these organizations become. Take for example surveillance cameras, or facial recognition technology. The internet was a great step forwards in this regard. Now, the NSA has complete access to all of your text messages, calls, and emails, and corporations regularly sell your private data. But that is a drop of water in comparison to the Ocean of totalitarianism which could be achieved through transhumanism. Imagine what these organizations could do if they had direct access to your mind. There are no shortages of examples of totalitarianism throughout history, but transhumanism will cross a line which has never been crossed before. No matter how little freedom people have had, they have always had control over one thing. Their own mind. The truth is, the system works in a way which prioritizes maximum efficiency, and by eliminating free will, individuals will do what they are set out to do without questions. But if we were to have brain chips installed, then even our own mind would no longer be ours. The world of 1984 would look preferable to this.

The push for transhumanism is already affecting our society today. Scientists have already predicted that brain chips could be used to force Prisoners to serve a 1000 year sentence in eight hours. As these transhumanist-esque technologies develop in the near-future, we can expect to see far more debilitating ways to dehumanize people, whether they are prisoners or ordinary individuals.

Many people argue that transhumanism is a fantasy which would be impossible to create, and therefore that it should be ignored. Certainly, not every part of transhumanism is attainable, and it is possible that none of it will be achieved. But it would be naive to dismiss every part of transhumanism as impossible. “To those who think that all this sounds like science fiction, we point out that yesterday's science fiction is today's fact.” - Ted Kaczynski. If Transhumanism is to be prevented, then that will be a technical problem. It would be prevented not because we don’t want to invent it, but because we can’t. The truth is that our society is willing to accept transhumanism. Sure, maybe if everyone was told upfront about all of its consequences they might be persuaded against it. But transhumanism will not be introduced in this way, most people will only be aware of the good that transhumanism can provide for us, with the consequences being a minor afterthought if acknowledged at all. Transhumanism will be introduced slowly enough so that each incremental advancement will seem to be universally beneficial. By the time the consequences of transhumanism have become so dire that they could be widely recognized, it will be too late. They would already have arrived. Even if transhumanism is impossible, the fact that such a movement exists shows just how far the technophiles are willing to go in the pursuit of progress, and how we will accept it.