"People of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your biological chains."
"Where humanism freed us from the chains of superstition, let Transhumanism free us from our biological chains."
Francis Fukuyama (author of The End of History) calls Transhumanism "The world's most dangerous idea." The London Financial Times declares: "The ethics of transhumanism have shot up the political agenda," in an article entitled "The Most Dangerous Idea on Earth."
What's happening here?
The ethical questions concerning biotechnology and genetics ("Superbiology") are part of a wider philosophical debate about humanity's place and purpose in the universe: should we accept the fate that some believe Nature and others contend that God "intended," or should we strive to take control of our own evolutionary destiny through science? The emerging philosophical movement known as Transhumanism is at the forefront of this debate.
Transhumanism supports the emerging Superbiology, yet the public knows little about this vital emerging philosophy.
Transhumanism declares unequivocal support for the attempt to eliminate disease, defeat death, and enhance both body and mind beyond the limitations of the human condition.
In this groundbreaking book, Simon Young presents a compelling case for transhumanist philosophy, a trenchant response to its critics, the "bio-Luddites," and for the first time, a comprehensive outline of Transhumanism as a totalized philosophical system in the Western tradition, including chapters on metaphilosophy, epistemology, psychology, ethics, politics, aesthetics, and metaphysics.
Defining Transhumanism as "the belief in overcoming human limitations through reason, science, and technology," the author introduces a host of new concepts, including Nurethics (Sensible Self-Interest and the Benevolent Gene), Neuromotive Psychology (the Prometheus and Orpheus Drives for Individuation and Integration transcending the Freudian-Darwinian drives of Eros/Thanatos), Agnoskepticism (a rational alternative to theism, atheism, and agnosticism), "Mind of God" Theology (Netaphysics, or the New Music of the Spheres: a "scientific spirituality"), and the Will to Evolve.
In a fascinating volume guaranteed to challenge theists, liberals, conservatives, therapists, ecoists, New Agers, postmodern relativists, contemporary artists, neo-Darwinists and doom mongers alike, Young rejects premodern superstition and postmodern nihilism, calling for a renewed belief in human progress through scientific rationality, and predicting the emergence of twenty-first-century technoromanticism-a passionate belief in human transcendence, not through religion or politics, but through science.
Refuting theistic metaphysics for biopsychology, the author declares "'the soul is dead'-not because we do not believe in love-quite the opposite-but because we no longer need to believe there is an immortal ghost living inside us in order to appreciate its value. For we recognize both the neurochemical basis and the logic of love. 'Goodwill to all men' is a rational tactic for mutual survival and well-being. We no longer need God in order to be good-though a suicide bomber needs him to be bad."
In an age when cynicism, fatalism, and nihilism are rife, Designer Evolution will rekindle a feeling of optimism about the future of our species.
Written in a breezy, populist, quotable style, this reader-friendly introduction to a vitally important philosophy will be difficult to ignore as advances in biotechnology increasingly claim the headlines in the years ahead. It is vital reading for all who care about our place and purpose in the world at a time of rapid change at the dawn of the twenty-first century.