We live in the future, that much is clear. Images from long-lost science fiction books and movies are becoming a rapid reality: robotic prosthetics, body enhancements, augmented interpretations of the world around us----it's all here now. And for some reason, watching the new trailer for Paramount's Halo tv-series earlier this week, I couldn't help but ponder about the duality behind the possibilities we have in front of us. Are we still human? Or are we all turning into potential weapons? Let's take a deep dive into the subject...
Transhumanism VS Bioconcervatism
Transhumanism: a social and philosophical movement devoted to promoting the research and development of robust human-enhancement technologies. Such technologies would augment or increase human sensory reception, emotive ability, or cognitive capacity as well as radically improve human health and extend human life spans.
Everything about transhumanism is real. The movement stepped into the light of dawn in 1957 when Julian Huxley released his famous essay. I'll spare you the entire read, but the bottom line of the document was this: although humanity has naturally evolved, it is now possible for social institutions to supplant evolution in refining and improving the species. Considering the era this was written in, saying anything like this was like saying it's high time to start making friends with aliens. However, if we look at this subject today, it's hard to imagine our lives without said augmentations and the artificial evolution that has been set in motion since then.
Bioconservatism is a stance of hesitancy and skepticism regarding radical technological advances, especially those that seek to modify or enhance the human condition.
With every movement, a counter-movement is born. It should be no surprise that against the fundamentals of transhumanism, something equally large and outspoken rose up from the deep, uniting the people to form a front against everything that would drive humanity further away from its origin. Bioconservatives are against the use of human enhancement technologies. They stand against the idea of these technologies having the power to radically change the interpretation of what it means to be a human being, and that they are necessary for future human development.
Humanities best weapon... Masterchief was trained and enhanced for one purpose: to win the war. He and the other Spartans are our only effective weapons against the Covenant. He is lethal, upgradable, and most importantly: controlable.
You see where I'm going with this, right? Don't get me wrong, I'm here from the perspective of a sci-fi author, not as a scientist. But you have to agree with me that with everything I explained in this article, and considering the modern-day possibilities within technology, the words quoted directly from Halo's trailer are frighteningly close to us. How long will it take before we start creating super soldiers? How long will it take before, rather than getting a tattoo, we stroll into a body enhancement shop to have some "new mods" installed. Which reminds me... Have you ever heard of Deus Ex - Mankind Divided? Have look and let it be proof that I'm not the only one concerned about the consequences of said technology.
The real question here though, appears to be "how long will bioconservatism stand against transhumanism?" In a way, I think both are keeping the other alive. The more abundantly transhumanism prospers, the harder bioconservatism will fight and visa versa. If the artificial evolution comes to a halt, transhumanism will be the first to set it back in motion. It makes you wonder how "artificial" any of it is, doesn't it?
The Singularian - Transhumanist or Bioconservatist?
What an excellent question! The whole idea of the book series started at the core of this article. I was exploring the different arguments from both parties and played around with the idea of the two facing each other throughout eternity. Singularians are human minds put into machines. That's about as transhumanistic as it can get. At the same time, there are the Splices who are the result of DNA-splicing; half-human, half-animal, and trained kill. In the middle of it all, we find what remains of humanity torn between those who seek the destroy every evidence of artificial evolution and those who embrace it as a source of income. So, you see, despite my books and stories being fiction, the truth behind the conversation that lies at the core doesn't go that far from the reality we live in. If given the chance, we would do it all: we would experiment on human subjects to see how far we can push the limits. We would split up between lovers and haters, looking to turn back the consequences or trying to make money from it.
In season 1 of The Singularian Grimoire Anthologies, the discussion between transhumanism and bioconservatism takes the center stage. As a reader, you get to explore the morality behind both and hopefully find that this conversation is, to the day, far from over. I'm curious to know what your opinion on any of this is. Feel free to leave a comment down below and get the conversation going.
Tags: #Halo #paramount #DeusEx #MankindDivided #scifi #transhumanism #bioconservatism #discussion #science #evolution #artificial #ArtificialIntelligence #robots #humanity #HumanEvolution #conversation #TheSingularian #BlackWhite #equality #futuristic