Pro-Death and Deep In Denial

The pro-death and suffering Canutes continue to shake their fists at the advancing tides of technological progress and societal change. The world is moving past them now, and their zeitgeist is one of deep denial.

Wesley J. Smith:

Transhumanism is mostly an intellectual game, a fantasy. The technological breakthroughs necessary to create a true post-humanity will almost surely never come.

...

All of the fantasizing about living forever and morphing into "post-biological units" won't change the hard fact that we are born to die. Far better, then, to embrace our fully human lives than to seek in vain for a post-human future that will never come.

Albert Mohler:

The problem with transhumanism is not merely in the details, or even in the likelihood that many of these technologies will never see the light of day. Indeed, the real problem is that the very urge and desire to eclipse human limitations is an act of defiance grounded in profound ingratitude. At the core of transhumanism is a basic hatred of humanity. The true humanists are those who accept with gratitude the gift of true humanity.

Arrant nonsense, of course. We are within striking distance - likely a couple of decades, given the right levels of funding - of medical technologies capable of significantly extending the healthy human life span by repairing the root causes of age-related degeneration. Turning cancer and Alzheimer's into manageable chronic conditions will happen on the same timescale. All other related science - materials science, nanoscale engineering, bioinformatics, computational capabilities - is speeding up at a great rate. To deny that we will be able to overcome the worst limitations of the human condition is to deny what is right in front of your face, day after day.

Personally, I see the ability to justify and enact almost any degree of cruelty, suffering and death to be a major flaw in the human condition. Those who embrace this flaw are in no position to preach on the topic of humanism. As above: two supposedly intelligent people who, presumably, are generally pleasant to work or live with, desire to sacrifice the lives and health of billions - fifty million each and every year - to make them feel more comfortable in their own views.

Fortunately, neither Smith nor Mohler are in any great position of power, the better to ensure you suffer, decay and die on their schedule. The advance of science and technology will rapidly render their views irrelevant, given freedom of research. Unfortunately, many people in positions of power share their views, and denial can be turned to suppression. In this world of expansive, intrusive government, in which tens of thousands of lives can be lost through uncaring socialization of medicine it is all to easy to envisage a far worse future.

By all means laugh at the foolishness and cruelty of those who advocate your death and suffering, or seek to use the power of the state to enforce suppression and relinquishment of healthy life extension research. But point out their true nature wherever they occur; we don't want to see a future in which these people are taken seriously.

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Comments

Those guys are very defiant, I can't stand people like that. It is human nature to change things that we don't like, in this case aging. My salutes to the contributers and scientists who are making the future brighter with the curing of aging.

Posted by: Sean Wojcik at July 4th, 2006 11:41 AM

Note that Smith is affiliated with the Discovery Institute, so he willingly hangs out with creationists.

Posted by: passerby at July 4th, 2006 12:06 PM

I think these guys are twisted. Not only do they oppose efforts to understand and eliminate the aging process. The also oppose any ability of individuals to choose the means of their own death when they get old. They are against both extended healthy life as well as suicide. One can only conclude that they have some sick obsession with making people suffer for no reason at all.

This is twisted and sick, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Kurt at July 4th, 2006 12:56 PM

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