Transhumanism via Libertarianism

Contemporary libertarianism has to consider the fundamental elements and quandaries of transhumanism as it relates to freedom in the next robotic revolution. The two schools share many of the same philosophic principles, and if you identify with one, chances are you can find solace in the other.

Transhumanism in its most inclusive capacity is best described as an intellectual reaction to the burgeoning advancements in biotech. To proclaim transhumanism a movement (its common definition) would be to overestimate the current technological landscape, particularly since its more pivotal concerns assess neural uploading and robotic and organic alloying. (Ray Kurzweil predicts mind uploading will not be possible until the late 2030’s. I’m personally skeptical of anything remotely demonstrative before the 40’s.) The ideology has numerous cultural and online manifestations vying for the scientific alteration of human beings, now and in the future, but for its presidential party and organization campaigners to receive national attention, the foreign world of future robotics will need to start materializing in everyday life.

But when has the momentary lack of observational ruminative infrastructure ever stopped or even hampered philosophy? In the 21st century an in-depth discussion of libertarianism cannot progress to a presently or futuristically valuable extent without at least contemplating transhumanism, and in turn transhumanism’s most natural political philosophy is libertarianism. Many transhumanist libertarians move that the free market would best protect the idiosyncratic “right to human advancement,” as most introductions to the ideology simplistically put. The goal, then, is to greatly enhance the human condition and protect that enhancement while overseeing technology’s influence on liberty and individuality, individuality which should be able to reach unprecedented levels once posthuman modifications go commercial.

The transhumanist party has more responsibilities than simple advocacy of body augmentation. It asks about the economics of a post-scarcity society and explores philosophy often parallel to objectivism. One of its most burdening issues is its implicit alignment with robotic growth of all ostensible varieties. To paraphrase Matt Gaylord: when Stephen Hawking, Marc Goodman of Singularity University and Bill Gates raise concerns about the existential threats posed by scientific advancements leading to strong artificial intelligence, virus bioengineering and like prophetic consequences – it’s time to pay attention. When transhumanism addresses these concerns, it’s progressing cautiously and intelligently. When it doesn’t address these, it’s being too optimistic and entirely neglectful.

This critical factor in all futuristic anticipations has led to branch-offs along the transhumanist ideological lineage, with distinct schools of thought focusing on, essentially, the loss prevention of human life. Libertarianism, itself concerned with the fullest potential of human dignity through individual choices, cooperates smoothly with transhumanism where freedom and potential meet. Caring about humans, or indeed allowing humans to care for themselves unimpeded, is the common principle. Transhumanism deserves libertarian attention, and in fact may be libertarian in nature.


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