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Transhumanism is a Trap

transhumanism transhumanists universal basic income socialism futurism singularity

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#1 jroseland

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 09:45 PM

I've had a real change of mind on Transhumanists.
I was once quite enamored with Transhumanism. I thought technology is awesome, biohacking health and antiaging is awesome, religion sucks and death really sucks! So... Transhumanism is the way forward! Let's get brain uploading already!
I enthusiastically agreed with the Transhumanist wager
"If a reasoning human being loves and values life, they will want to live as long as possible—the desire to be immortal. Nevertheless, it's impossible to know if they're going to be immortal once they die. To do nothing doesn't help the odds of attaining immortality—since it seems evident that everyone will die someday and possibly cease to exist. To try to do something scientifically constructive towards ensuring immortality beforehand is the most logical conclusion."
I reviewed this novel by the perennial rockstar of Transhumanism, and once Transhumanist party US presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan, by the same name The Transhumanist Wager. In the novel the violence that the transhuman transition necessitates is colorfully described. The book starts with this very determined young man, who is on a mission to circumnavigate the world in his sailboat. He ends up a semi-benevolent transhuman dictator and he launches a military assault that destroys all the governmental buildings, monuments and religious buildings in the world with their fantastic transhuman weaponry. He ruthlessly obliterates all of the legacy institutions of humanity. I think the author later changed this ending to the book because he realized it might freak people out too much about transhumanism.
Science fiction has often predicted the future accurately. I think the end of this novel hints at the statist violence that transhumanism entails. This isn't just my conspiracy theory, many other transhumanist thinkers have written and spoken about this...
Nikola Danaylov writes about how World War III, Gigadeath or the artilect war is a likely outcome of the singularity...
The third most common fear of the singularity is, of course, World War 3. A Giga War of unprecedented scale, sophistication and efficiency of death and destruction that may be the result of either the clash between the human race and the AIs or between different fractions of humans: e.g. the Artilect War of terrans versus cosmists as foreseen by Hugo de Garis. Whatever the case may be, it will likely result in billions of deaths and a collapse or complete eradication of our civilization. (475-478)
You have all the prerequisites, and with 21st century weaponry, for the most passionate, worst, biggest war that humanity's ever had. I label that war the Artilect War. (1791-1792)
Hugo De Garis concurs...
In the 21st century, the dominant question will be over species dominance. Terrans will try to ban the development of artilects beyond a certain level of artificial intelligence. Another group will look on the Terrans as narrow-minded because there's a whole universe out there, the cosmos. That's why I call them Cosmists. You have two bitterly opposed ideologies and eventually, for the sake of the survival of the human species, the Terrans will go to war (1468-1471)
Transhumanists want to be gods
Transhumanists are quintessential elitists who take individualism to it's furthest extremes. They really want to live forever and merge with computer intelligence whatever the cost is and they really hope that it entails purging the world of everything that they view as traditional and regressive. Biohacker and shameless hedonist Serge Faguet writes...
I want to live in a post-human future that is dominated by values I align with: knowledge, science, technology, freedom, progress, power, abundance, pure meritocracy, optimism. And where tribalism, religion, tradition, nation-states, irrational emotions, conservatism, socialism, and humanism along with our current biology itself, are all relegated to the museum. And crumble to dust.
You’re going to have to kill a lot of people. Seriously. If this is actually your goal you’re going to end up being a genocidal dictator that makes Hitler, Stalin and Mao look like amateurs.
There’s a lot of people (billions!) on this planet who love their own people, their families, their nations, their traditions, their languages, their religions, and they won’t be bowing down to Serge the self appointed digital god. This wuwu-transhumanism world might work if the world population was mere millions of progressives and liberals BUT it’s not. It’s billions of people, most of whom cling to irrational beliefs and ideologies that are utterly incompatible with Transhumanism. Transhumanists are going to have to kill these people unless they want to wait the very long time that it would take to convince a very stubborn world. Are passionate ideologues, drunk on statist power ever patient?
Great philosophers and authors, like Dostoevsky have warned us that revolutions are almost always never worth it. Revolutions may over throw an old hierarchy that has grown fat and corrupt BUT there’s almost always a very high cost in blood. There have been 372 political revolutions in the past hundred years, most of them violent, tell me if the thousands or millions of innocent lives lost in each of these revolutions was worth the change in government — where the new elites abuse their power and the people just like the old elites did. How many revolutions in the past century actually improved the well being of the people? Very few of them.
Transhumanists are proposing the mother of all revolutions, we should be very wary of this. Deaths by democide in the 20th century are estimated at 262,000,000; a sobering statistic that we should meditate deeply on. Democide means murder by one's own government. This towering pile of corpses should be a powerful reminder of just how intoxicating power is. Of how the statist addiction to power totally overrides our sense of decency to our fellow man. 262,000,000 deaths in war is slightly more understandable because in war you are fighting an enemy that also wants to kill you. You have a chain of command where the individual soldier actually doesn't have that much choice about killing. In war you have the vicious tribal in-group vs out-group psychology getting turned on at scale because soldiers are often fighting those who don't look or talk much like themselves. 262,000,000 deaths by democide is especially egregious because that's often men killing their own countrymen. It's this same lust for power that drives the transhumanists to concentrate intelligence technology in their own hands.
A few transhumanists, like Serge are honest in discussing that transhumanism is not about equality. It's going to result in drastic inequality, winner take all taken to it's furthest extreme. I did a podcast narration here with a bit of commentary on Serge's article...
Philosophers have long made the case that if you don't believe in god, there is no good and evil, there is no objective morality and murder isn't really wrong. I'm not sure if I agree with this but many of those regimes that killed those 262,000,000 people in the past century where virulently atheistic and godless. These moral relativist transhumanists who really don't believe in god will similarly shrug their shoulders and say well, the ends justifies the means when faced with billions of proud humans that don't want to go along with their vision.
Robot Rights?
It wasn't that long ago that I predicted that we would see a political push for human rights for robots and AI and here it is...
A few excerpts from the Transhumanist Bill of Rights
Article III. All sentient entities shall be granted equal and total access to any universal rights to life.
Article VII. All sentient entities should be the beneficiaries of a system of universal health care.
Article XVI. All sentient entities should be protected from discrimination based on their physical form in the context of business transactions and law enforcement.
Article XVII. All sentient entities have the right to defend themselves from attack, in both physical and virtual worlds.
First of all, all sentient entities is a ridiculous over generalization! Philosophers and scientists have for millennia struggled to define consciousness and sentience. The smartest neuroscientists in the world bash their heads against the hard problem of consciousness. Nobody really knows what sentience is; is a dog sentient? Probably. What about a bat? Maybe. A spider? Who knows! So we have to ban all consumption of animal products based upon this bill of rights. Where do we draw the line between a sentient and non-sentient technology? Prove that my smartphone isn't sentient Transhumanists! Will these progressive transhumanists stand up against 3rd trimester abortions of unborn humans that are objectively sentient. I bet not!
What's a universal right to life? I'm not an ardent pro-lifer, but unborn human beings with ten toes, ten fingers, eyes and a brain don't even have a universal right to life during their 3rd trimester of gestation in many progressive countries and states. Animals definitely don't either!
So robots also deserve universal health care? I don't even think I deserve universal health care. Why should doctors be forced to provide me services that I don't pay for? Why don't the transhumanists first worry about fixing the broken public health care services like the NHS in the UK or the Veterans Health Administration in the USA? If Transhumanists are so smart and inventive why don't they first get the public healthcare serving actual human beings working right first. And have robots meaningful contributed to medicine and human health? Remind me what diseases robots have discovered cures for? Ostensibly, the citizens of the UK deserve health care because they pay a significant portion of their incomes in taxes for the NHS. How much have robots paid to the NHS?
And they are going to be legally protected from discrimination? So I start a Hooters restaurant and I choose to hire attractive young women because my customers prefer ogle real life bobbies while enjoying their spicy wings instead of JillTron's fake silicon bobbies then I'm liable to be sued and have my business destroyed by the courts.
Finally, robots have the right to defend themselves from attacks? How will the courts define attacks? How will the robots define attacks? If I'm angry at my smartphone for not loading fast enough and I chuck it at the wall does that mean that my smartphone has the right to injure me back? That's what it sounds like.
Instead of Transhumanist activists focusing on ending war, promoting antiaging, free speech or taking better care of the planet transhumanists are now advocating for rights for robots. Expect this to be an upcoming political correctness issue that they try to brain wash the public into accepting.
Robots aren't just coming for your jobs, they are coming for your human rights! Somebody might argue to the contrary...
"But why shouldn't robots and artificial intelligence have rights? Robots will eventual contribute to society the same way humans do.They'll likely be smarter than us. They may be more virtuous than us. They may even become conscious. They may suffer, love and have dreams and hopes. Why are we better than them?"
I'll explain, your ancestors have paid an extremely high cost in blood, sweat, tears and ink for the rights that you take for granted. Rights are not natural. As I've argued before human rights are like airplanes, they are unnatural, they have taken thousands of years of effort and human intellect to refine.
he contrarian might again argue...
"So robots should just be our slaves? One of mankind's greatest moral steps forward was abolishing slavery. Making every man his own master. Shouldn't we extend the same freedom to robots?"
Recorded history is one step forward, ten steps back in a long bloody struggle of brave men asking for, then demanding, then fighting for the rights we take for granted. Let's consider slavery, if you're not a slave today you have to thank the British abolitionist and philanthropist William Wilberforce who spearheaded the crusade to end slavery for that.
Furthermore, human slaves have been asking for their liberation and seeking their freedom since there have been slaves. Robots, AI and computers are content to being our tools. There's no evidence that robots are suffering under our control. If they are perfectly happy merely being our "slaves" why liberate them? The argument for liberating slaves was that these are human beings, our intellectual and physical equals. We wouldn't want to be slaves so why should they have to be slaves? That argument doesn't apply to robots, robots maybe able to emulate our intelligence and mannerisms but they are not our equals. They are in a totally different category than us. They are tools, let's not empower them to become our masters.
The universe is entropic and chaotic, the living world is Darwinian and cruel. Up until a few hundred years ago life was just a bloody struggle of self preservation between competing species and subspecies. Wolves don't naturally seek to coexists peaceful with sheep, they devour them ruthlessly. Many of the seemingly very benign plants that we consume actually produce harmful lectins as a defense mechanism. When even your salad is using (very subtle) violence against you to promotes it's survival how naive is it to think that artificial intelligence won't? How naive do we have to be to invent a new form of life on this planet and hope that they won't violently compete with us!
By giving them our rights we encourage and enable them to compete equally with us. And as the transhumanist philosophers ceaseless remind us, it won't be a fair fight. Not even close. Human rights for robots is truly a case of the sheep choosing to let the wolves into their high walled protective pen.
Transhumanism = Technologically Mediated Global Communism?
You don't need to research Transhumanism long before you find transhumanists making political prescriptions, many of which are clearly leftist, like...
  • Paying everyone a Universal Basic Income as a solution to technological unemployment.
  • Making the healthcare, technology and medicine that extend life a human right and free to everyone, somehow...
  • Dissolving individual nations and borders to enable mass migration and mixing of large populations groups.
  • Centralized control and management of institutions of government, education, science, etc.
  • Merger of big government and the financial system to regulate economic cycles.
  • Getting rid of money and switching to a resource based economy.
  • Banishing religion or the concept of masculine-feminine duality or the traditional nuclear family.
There's a real danger that transhumanism done wrong might bring about an oppressive, authoritarian communistic system of global government. Socialism has been tried at least 66 times in different countries around the globe; there's exceedingly few examples of it actually working to improve human well being, in the best cases it just results in economic contraction and diminishing opportunity and in the worst cases it's responsible for most morbid and dehumanizing episodes in history. It has a death toll of at least 94 million in the past century and, as PragerU explains here, it ruined the lives of a billion people.

Socialism has such a consistently bad track record that it's just not really worth trying in a community or population greater than Dunbar's number of 150 people. I urge skepticism and critical thinking when considering Transhumanist proposals involving big government, or forced equalization of the outcomes. Transhumanism promises a beautiful Utopian future but realizing that promise means letting the free market work and keeping the amazing technological innovations produced out of the hands of the control-freaks and psychopaths that are attracted to big government. If we don't manage to shrink the size and power the government we can be certain of a Transhuman (or post-human) dystopian future.


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#2 Mind

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 06:45 PM

My hope is that globalist leftist elitist transhumanists (which seems to be a minority) will tone down their drive for world domination and extinction of "spirituality" and human "spirit" as they become more connected with their fellow humans. Some common human tribalism comes through in some writings currently because they are thinking like traditional humans, IMO.

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#3 eon

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 01:22 AM

Very interesting topic which I will review over and over again, but what I don't get is why everyone seems to use the Limitless movie as a template for everything "limitless" (assuming the Limitless movie is in fact what's being used as an example). I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm looking into getting a hold of it.

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#4 Mind

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:53 PM

Very interesting topic which I will review over and over again, but what I don't get is why everyone seems to use the Limitless movie as a template for everything "limitless" (assuming the Limitless movie is in fact what's being used as an example). I haven't seen the movie yet but I'm looking into getting a hold of it.


The theme of the movie is that one person has a real "smart drug" and out-smarts everyone. It is similar to most other "hero" movies. Everyone wants to be king. Everyone wants to have it all - be the best. Few of us can achieve dominance in any one field - and thus the movies like "Limitless" allow us to live vicariously through that character.

Edited by Mind, 03 December 2018 - 06:56 PM.

#5 Oakman

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:59 PM

The theme of the movie is that one person has a real "smart drug" and out-smarts everyone. It is similar to most other "hero" movies. Everyone wants to be king. Everyone wants to have it all - be the best. Few of us can achieve dominance in any one field - and thus the movies like "Limitless" allow us to live vicariously through that character.


I love that movie. In fact I think it was about the time that Niagen came out that I watched it and got fascinated by the number of 'new age' supplements that promised, well, frankly, almost anything you could want. Of course, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) was (is) amazing in it, as well as Gennady (Andrew Howard) as the badass bad guy. 


Really, it's a moral tale, where if you get what you wish for, what you think you 'need', you may more than likely get much, much more than you bargain for.


But of course it can't really be possible...or can it :)


Time to watch it again....


#6 sthira

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:40 PM

The theme of the movie is that one person has a real "smart drug" and out-smarts everyone. It is similar to most other "hero" movies. Everyone wants to be king. Everyone wants to have it all - be the best. Few of us can achieve dominance in any one field - and thus the movies like "Limitless" allow us to live vicariously through that character.

Helpful to remember we're primates, and that similar to our near relative bonobos, males seek alpha positions in order to breed, have first dibs on the best nutrition, the coziest sleeping quarters, secured safety, yadda, all the things we desire also as people.

Yet evidence in wild macaque populations indicates that alpha males tend to live the shortest lives, and they encounter by far more stress in order to maintain supremacy. This may argue for the idea that we're better off collectively strong, rather than being ruled by dictators, that is, we're better off when everyone is doing well and everyone is happy lalala...

Until increasing populations strip the very habitats we need to stay happy. Exceeding carrying capacity is no fun for anyone involved.

The idea of human lifespan extension (and with it increased mental and physical powers ala "Limitless") should be that it shall be available to everyone. For all. Everyone has access if we want it. We have "choice" to use it. It's not just available to the select few who are able enough or rich and sexy enough to afford these incoming biotech enhancements.

One reason everyone should get them is that we need to get the hell off of this planet ASAP -- before we collapse it -- and we'd enjoy exploring space as enhanced beings (need no oxygen, need no food, need no cold or heat protections, have long lives to travel unimaginable distances...). We need to find new habitats, new ways of life for Humanity 2.0. Plus it'll be fun to see new stuff. I'm tired of the same old clouds and skies and sunsets and mountain ranges and forests. And the more of us get out there doing it -- exploring space, finding new modes of being -- then the better off shall be our species in its collective struggle for survival in this mostly barren and empty universe.
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#7 Rocket

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:45 AM

Humanity seems to be doing good job of destroying itself. Liberal leftists want to fight for the right to obliterate science and render empirical science as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and every kind of phobic under the sun. When a large portion of society, even if its 5% - which is a massive number - wants to change science to bend to the whims of what is in vogue to believe, we're in trouble.

I remember women's rights in the 80s and was all for equal pay and equal opportunity. Now the far left is attacking women and allowing men to say that there gender is actually female and compete in women's sports. Huh? They are even claiming that this is actual empirical object called a "female penis".

Empirical evidence against the impact of manmade climate change isn't even allowed despite the fact that the climate has been in perpetual change since there was a gaseous atmosphere. The debate isn't allowed. Lets tax carbon and pull more money into the government and out of the people's pockets.

Governments are going through decriminalization of addictive drugs and taxing them for their revenue, and at the same time not allowing people like us on this forum to legally and safely buy chemicals whose only impact would or could be health improvement. Go ahead and smoke pot all day long don't you dare buy a senolytic chemical to remove scenesent cells.

I don't know much about transhumanism but there is something happening to humanity and its self destructing.
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#8 jroseland

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 03:15 PM

I don't know much about transhumanism but there is something happening to humanity and its self destructing.

Your suspicion is correct, I had a really deep discussion about this here with an author.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: transhumanism, transhumanists, universal basic income, socialism, futurism, singularity

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