Transhumanism, Vulnerability and Human Dignity

Fernando H. Llano

Abstract


The transhumanist movement is much more than a simple utopia, a new school of thought or a fashionable ideology; as a matter of fact, it is a scientific and philosophical project that is already underway, and defends the use of the most advanced emerging new technologies —from biogenetics to computing, from nanotechnology to cognitive sciences, to robotics and Artificial Intelligence— with the clear goal to exponentially increase the physical, cognitive, sensory, moral and emotional capabilities of human beings. Transhumanism entails a change in the anthropocentric paradigm defended by humanism, and aims to break through the limits of nature, which until recently we deemed insurmountable, in order to create a new species that is more evolved than the Homo sapiens: the Homo excelsior, a posthuman species which is superior to ours, composed by exceptionally gifted beings that have been genetically selected, designed and improved and which —according to the transhumanist imaginary— will dominate the posthuman future and will be happier, more virtuous, long-lived and intelligent than us. In this article, we propose technological humanism as an intermediate formula in the doctrinal debate between bioprogressive and bioconservative legal philosophers, so as to make possible the development of scientific research and the advancement of new technologies, although without ever having to sacrifice dignity and liberty, which are inherent qualities of the human being (who has to be viewed, in Kantian terms, as an end in itself).

Received: 22 May 2019
Accepted: 10 September 2019
Published online: 20 December 2019


Keywords


transhumanism; human dignity; artificial intelligence; robotics; biogenetics; legal philosophy

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18543/djhr-4-2019pp39-58

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