Transhumanism is a utopian futuristic social movement that denies the intrinsic dignity of human beings in a quest for incorporeal immortality. At National Review, I profile transhumanism’s most energetic popularizer, and along the way, explain why transhumanism should make anyone who believes in human exceptionalism queasy. From, “A Transhumanist Runs for President:”
Why should we take any of this seriously? After all, transhumanism is hardly mainstream and Istvan doubts his candidacy — which is mostly self-funded — will last much beyond Super Tuesday (although, knowing him, he will find some other way to harness the centrifugal energy of the presidential contest to boost himself and his ideas).
Here’s why. Istvan is just the popularizer; behind him, some of the world’s richest and most powerful people fund transhumanism research and advocacy, including Google’s Ray Kurzweil and Tesla’s Elon Musk. Moreover, it isn’t the unlikely coming of the Singularity that makes transhumanism a perilous social force. I truly doubt we will ever “upload” our minds into computers to live forever in the Cloud, a core eschatological transhumanist belief. Rather, it is transhumanism’s explicit utopianism and denigration of human exceptionalism that cause one’s neck hair to stand on end.
Transhumanism is also a materialist religion, as this earlier article explains.
As we chuckle at Istvan’s eccentric campaigns, let us not lose sight of the fact that many people are being seduced by the radical values the movement fosters. And therein lies the rub. Transhumanism will never kill death. But it could be the death knell of human freedom.