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How do we know that Transhumanism and singularity are worth pursuing?

I think Transhumanism and singularity are a beautiful vision of a society but I believe it requires a level of enlightenment we humans are yet to be shown capable of. But hey in the end it’s a dream worth chasing isn’t it ?

Well I’ve been having doubts about it …

First of all

1 my biggest doubt is the possibility.

How do we know that even if those things are physically possible, they aren’t impractical to achieve and that we won’t find out that there are limitations on what we can do as our knowledge improves ? Is betting on something like this safe ?

2 lack of ethics discussions. Many Transhumanists and singularitarians I’ve come across really come off as either extremely privileged and completely oblivious to the social effects of such technologies. Besides the lack of minority participation in itself really shows a lot. I don’t think it’s useful to say “minorities don’t participate in this because they don’t know about Transhumanism” there might be other reasons as well.

3 the outright denialistic behaviour and the amount of people in fragile mental states joining Transhumanism. Constantly looking for validation of one’s worldview , avoiding anything that challenges one’s views really anxiously. Besides many people who are overly invested into Transhumanism seem to be in fragile mental conditions and seem to really be looking for a hope or in denial of their condition. Is it actually ethical ? To get people involved in a non safe bet ?

I’ve seen many actual academics say that people should appreciate Transhumanists should stop the immortality or bust mentality and appreciate the practical stuff for current period , all repeated this same thing

4 I admit I’ve been and still am in all 3 categories but I would very much like to be proven wrong and would still like to believe that Transhumanism is still worth it and not just a false hope for people in Denial or fragile emotional states …

…is it worth pursuing? That depends on who is going to define and implement transhumanism:

First of all, welcome to the Fractal Future Forum!

Requires enlightenment for what? What do you hope for? What possible outcomes do you fear? You should also consider the possibility that we will become more enlightened along the way as we are confronted with the implications of transhumanist technologies. Of course, foresight is usually preferable to hindsight. But any kind of progress is still better than not making any progress out of fear.

We continue working on the technical problems until be find a solution – or give up.

That may be true for many “old school” transhumanist of the libertarian mindset. Many newer transhumanists do think about the social and societal consequences of transhumanism. Take James Hughes from the IEET, or David Wood from London Futurists, or Nicola Danaylow of Singularity Weblog fame for example.

The lack of minority participation is present in nearly all kinds of tech heavy or “nerdy” topics. I’m not sure why, but one guess of mine is that while males are more “safe” to explore fringe topics. Perhaps it’s a kind of invisible privilege.

As opposed to what? Mainstream religions? Small religious cults? Political ideologies? Secular humanist groups? Humans are pretty crazy overall. Maybe transhumanists aren’t particularly motivated to hide their own kinds of craziness, as opposed to other groups which care a lot more about their public image.

What is the alternative? A safe bet? How would that actually look like?

What kind of argument would you accept for “proving your wrong”?

Whether hope is false or not depends on the possibility of a positive outcome. There sure exist positive transhumanist outcomes, but those may be hard to achieve. Even if we happen to end up in a dystopia, that would not prove the hope of transhumanism wrong. It would just mean that our efforts at turning that hope into a reality would have proven to be insufficient – so far.

Hello I’m new to Transhumanism so I would like it if you could answer some of those queries if you don’t mind of course :slight_smile: Do you believe that people joining the Transhumanist movement or following research in hopes for bettering their own condition rather than accepting it is ethical ? I’ve seen many depressed and people with issues joining Transhumanism and on one hand it’s great but on the other I’ve begun to wonder how ethical it is to have a dependancy on technology… I’ve had a lot of problems in my life that I really depend on Transhumanism to fix … And if it’s not possible then I don’t know what that would mean for my identity that I formed around it . I do believe that minority and disadvantaged group activist groups are far better and fulfilling and more attention worthy goals than something that might only initially benefit the privileged (though I hope that’s not the case). Right now we are socially and economically nowhere near there.

One of the biggest motivators for me to even think of Transhumanism as possible is because I believe that as long as it’s physically possible , it’ll eventually one day happen even if not in this lifetime. But honestly seeing many professionals and academics on various science subreddits showing skepticism about even achieving this in the far future or even in principle is concerning

My final questions are the following

Are the following

Transhumanist technologies like Biological immortality , being able to change physical(merging with machines, changing physical gender and other biological enhancements) and mental (modification of personality, feelings , emotions , attractions , sexuality,gender identity and enhancements of things like intelligence) traits and other space technologies and artificial superintelligence , smeddley molecular nanomachines, full dive VR and cryonics , all those modifications in un pre genetically altered human adults

1 physically possible

2 And that we won’t find as our knowledge of physics grows that these are impossible ?

3 if something is physically possible is it practically possible too ?

4 how do we know it’s physically and practically possible

5 would any of these be so hard to achieve that it would require the entire universe or more than the entire universe’s resources ?

6 are the comments on this post true ?
I don’t know if this a good view to have but in my opinion if something is fundamentally and physically possible then it’s worth pursuing in general. Lettuce_field_theory seems to be really skeptical of Transhumanism along with other stuff as I linked in that comment. It’s scary physicists thinking Transhumanism is impossible. As for weather or not we know that the possibility of achieving all this would be stable. My main goal is to be bisexual and get rid of some of my mental conditions. Very few people seem to talk about this because of it being a controversial issue. I do wonder how much we know to be able to change that . where do you lean politically and which field are you from ? Most people in Transhumanism seem to be liberals or right wingers and I haven’t met many actual left wingers there.
I wonder how emergent properties might be altered like consciousness. I remember I used to want the laws of physics to not exist as a kid , now I’m hoping they don’t change to be more limited lol.

Regarding you working on nanotechnology
, What is your opinion on cryonics and molecular nanotechnology , what exactly are the problems with it ? Personally I view it as more valuable ageing research

And also when you said “physical stuff” did you mean technological singularity as well ? Is that possible too ?

And are the physical and mental traits like intelligence , personality , emotions , sexuality, gender identity ? I mentioned are possible to change in adults as well ? Most of the time people talk about it being only possible in embryos

What is a concern is weather one could maintain their identity and memories while living for large period of times or weather people getting defrost back from cryonics would maintain their identity or not. Or if someone.

My stance on those issues is pretty bleak. I’ve been reading a lot of critiques of Transhumanism on Reddit on r/badscience and r/fururologyinaction and their critiques of things like the “immortality or bust mentality” etc.

Which is really concerning.

Not to mention many high karma people in this field on Reddit in physics explaining their skepticsm on Reddit is really pretty disheartening

Edit : as side questions , what is your field of study ? And how can I know that your response to this is credible ?

Let me ask you first about how you found out about transhumanism. Was it some movie, series, game, book, site, or person? I’m asking you, because your first contact with transhumanism shapes your first impression of it. Transhumanism is a relatively wide field with a large spectrum of opinions. If you are really interested in the topic, it is advisable at some point to start reading some of the books about it. But where to start depends on your main fields of interest.

Yes, because of the principle of morphological freedom. People should be able to decide how they are shaped, and how they want to live their lives (as long as that doesn’t limit the freedoms of others to do the same).

The industrial world is actually vitally dependent on technology. If the power grid suddenly failed for some months, the majority of people would starve, because our whole society depends on that baseline technology so much that almost all regular economic activity would cease to work without reliable access to energy. So, let me ask you this: If your life already depends on technology, how does adding more and better technology change the situation?

The naysayers about the possibilities of new technologies have always been the majority, no matter in what field of study or what level of expertise. That many people claim certain things are not possible is mostly only a statement about their lack of imagination.

People Who Say It Cannot Be Done Should Not Interrupt Those Who Are Doing It

If you want to examine some potential transhumanist technology, then seek for the transhumanist researchers working on such technology. They will usually give you good reasons for believing that what they want to achieve is actually possible.

Where have you been looking? In what country? In Europe there are certainly a lot of left wing transhumanists.

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Well my field of interest is all of those ! And I came across Transhumanism when I read about CRISPR then I went to other places as well where I found out about the other manifesto.

And well I’ve often found in the popular Transhumanist subreddits and discords seem to have a really privileged mindset. That I’m afraid is way too harmful for social change and theyb seem to think that as long as there is tech any problem can be solved without taking a look at the social construct our society is.
Usually the reactionary “anti SJW” and “anti PC” types of teenagers.

Honestly many of the people I’ve met seem to also have been depressed or in a fragile mental state seem to depend on technological advancements. And I don’t know if this is a healthy mindset to have anymore.

I would say I am the same in that the things I want are really controversial. For example sexuality change (I want to be bi)

What worries me is finding out that there were others who passed their “Transhumanist phase”

Who believed even if something is physically possible means there aren’t any other limits or possibilities of physics changing.

Currently I’m struggling with weather or not the things we want are practically AND physically possible or not. And I’m wondering as our knowledge of physics and biophysics improves, we will find out that we won’t be able to do these things

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And then there are really convincing arguments against developing biological immortality and against techno optimism like these

Why is that? Humans are curious and we will find out, what is possible. We grow with challenges. We change our perception when we want to achieve something new, because our desire for progress forces us to acquire a deeper understanding of the world.

What is wrong with that? Do you think we should just stop trying and keep our level of progress fixed?

I agree. Every technology could be used in both ways: good or bad. We need discussions about ethics when we want to avoid a dystopian nightmare.

Did you watch the video?

Why is that? Humans are curious and we will find out, what is possible. We grow with challenges. We change our perception when we want to achieve something new, because our desire for progress forces us to acquire a deeper understanding of the world.

I meant in terms of fundamental possibility.

Do we know our goals are physically possible ?

Do we know our goals are practically possible ?

Does physically impossible mean there won’t be other limits ?

How do we know that as we learn further researching in science that our goals won’t turn out to be fundamentally impossible ?

And if this will be the case we will have been wasted our time and resources? I think we will have learned a lot by failing.

generally we are using our brain for that. and you?

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Then I’ve guess you’ve been mostly talking with young transhumanists. Those are typically more politically naive and don’t see the complex interrelations between technology and society. There are exceptions to that rule, though.

The problem is not that transhumanists “grow out of transhumanism”, but that many tend to become passive after being faced with a certain amount of disappointments.

Which convincing arguments? I find none of the arguments there convincing. If you do, maybe you are too easily convinced by random other people.

Perhaps some things turn out to be fundamentally possible. But then there may be more other tings that are indeed possible, which we couldn’t have even imagined before. On balance, I think the latter will outweigh the former by a large margin.

We are in troubling times worldwide. As the weaknesses of our societies have been shown during this virus disaster, more members of the public could be persuaded.

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obviously a war against a virus can not be won by the usual suspects :old_key:

The causes of the virus will be interrogated and transhumanism can be part of the answer to enable humanity to have a better relationship with nature and with ourselves.