Transhumanism: Human Perfection or Human Objectification?

Hello everyone, 

Thank you for your patience during the recent Meetup service outage and the subsequent website malfunctions. Looks like the problem has finally been resolved and we are up and running again. 

I have taken into consideration a few suggestions that were made at the last meeting, including the provision of a working definition of each selected topic and a more traditional approach to philosophical matters. Please be aware that FPF is foremost a social group designed to bring together individuals with an interest in sharing ideas and gaining new insights into a variety of issues. We are not focused on historical thinkers and their recognized theories; rather, this group is intended to explore contemporary issues from a philosophical—that is, theoretical, thoughtful, truth-seeking—angle. For those who are interested in a more formal and purist philosophy group, I would recommend you try Socrates Café, which meets every second and last Tuesday of the month at the Fauquier library (link below). 

I think the best meeting format would be to have a 2-hour discussion on the selected topic at a suitable (i.e., quiet, affordable) location and then, for those who are interested in continuing the meeting, switch to a more relaxed and conversational dialogue, related or not to the chosen theme. I welcome ideas but hope this approach is the most satisfactory for everyone. 

Since Tuesday seems to be the day that works best for regular members, I propose that we start meeting on the third Tuesday of every month so that our schedule does not conflict with that of Socrates Café. Therefore, our next meeting would be 3/18 at the usual time (6 pm). Thank you to Jack for the suggestion that we tackle transhumanism during our next meeting. As this is a rather complicated and technical topic, I suggest we focus more on the benefits and implications (moral, cultural, medical, psychological, etc.) than the specific mechanics of transforming humans—and humanity as a whole—through technology. 

 

Working definition of transhumanism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism

Posthumanism vs. transhumanism:

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Posthumanism.html

Transhumanism: The Most Dangerous Idea?:

http://reason.com/archives/2004/08/25/transhumanism-the-most-dangero

In Pursuit of Human Augmentation:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/408686/in-pursuit-of-human-augmentation/

Ray Kurzweil: Accelerating Intelligence:

http://www.kurzweilai.net/

Fauquier Library/Socrates Café:

http://www.fauquiercounty.gov/government/departments/library/



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    • Maria

      Thanks for the link, Jon. That “cognitive divide” is what jumps out more than any other corollary of human enhancement, the manufacture of neurological haves and have-nots in an already divided and disparate society. Would like to think that this kind of technology would help those who need it, but the potential for misuse—particularly the advancement of those who already have the upper hand—seems a more likely scenario.

      March 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was OMN, and you can hear his music on www.soundcloud.com. I really like Renew, Between Us Now and From Nowhere.

    J

    1 · March 20, 2014

    • Maria

      Yeah, I really dig this stuff. Beautiful, soulful electronica.

      March 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    http://www.amazon.com/Zenith-2016-Something-Begin-Reach/dp/0984825657

    This is the book I was quoting from at the meeting.

    J

    March 19, 2014

    • Maria

      Thank you Jack. Can you also remind me the name of that classical musician you lauded at an earlier meeting? I thought it was something like OMD. I’m in the mood for something inspiring.

      March 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm 50/50 on being able to go, it'll depend on how swamped I am with work!

    March 13, 2014

  • Terry

    Delighted with the format described, Maria. A 2-hour discussion on topic followed by a more relaxed and conversational dialogue accomplishes both the social and intellectual objectives. Regretfully, will be out of town for a few weeks around March 18th. Will plan for 3rd Tuesday in April.

    March 6, 2014

    • Maria

      Thanks for the feedback, Terry. Sorry we’ll miss you this month. Hope to see you in April.

      March 7, 2014

4 went

  • Maria
    Organizer
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member

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