Study Guide for Transhumanism and Religion

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  • Topic: Transhumanism, Human, Human enhancement
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Transhumanism – Exam II
Calvin Mercer

Synthesize all this into a fabulous essay. When you take the test, label each essay with CAPITAL TITLE I have given. Write only on the front side of your paper.

HUGHES. Name and give a 2-3 sentence summary of the various players that Hughes identifies in the biopolitical landscape. Then, give a full presentation of his vision for a democratic transhumanism. Then, critique this.

FEMINISM. State clearly and discuss a feminist argument for and against H+.

MAX MORE. Who is Max More. Detail his role in H+.

PERSONHOOD. What are the issues and possibilities regarding personhood and H+.

GOOD AND EVIL. Are human beings as a species basically good or evil and what are the implications of the answer for H+. Personal!

CONSIDER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS FROM THE MAHER-MERCER BOOK AS A POSSIBLE SEPARATE ESSAY QUESTION. IN EACH ESSAY MAKE SURE YOU WEAVE IN WHATEVER PETERS SAID IN THE “AFTERWORD” AND ONE NON-RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE.

REFORMED PROTESTANT—CAMERON/DEBAET
PROGRESSIVE PROTESTANT—COLE-TURNER
JAINISM—FOHR
DAOISM—KOHN
TANTRA—LIDKE/DIRNBERGER
BUDDHISM—MAHER
ISLAM—MUSA
ROMAN CATHOLICISM—NICHOLS

SOMA. Summary and discuss Mercer’s thesis about H+ and soma.

BODY BOOK. Describe the Mercer/Maher proposal for a book of original articles from various religions about the role of the body in H+.

CRYONICS THE BIBLE. Present and critique Mercer’s article, “Cryonics and Religion: Friends or Foes?”

Hughes Democratic Transhumanism
Bioluddites (critics/opposers of transhumanism)

Belinda: Many other disciplines have had ongoing discourse and debates on how to address enhancement technologies. On one end of the spectrum we have the bioluddites, which consists of religious conservatives, feminists, environmentalist, disability rights supporters and activists who oppose genetically engineered food, cloning, nanotechnology, embryonic stem cell research, invitro fertilization and human enhancement. Some believe that we should ban all the technology, and stick to traditional ways of natural law and order. Many believe that we should not be allowed to control our bodies and become more than human. All bioluddites have varying degrees to what technologies they feel are right and wrong. Those affiliated with the Center for Genetics and Society are primarily about cloning and inheritable genetic modifications but see no problem with adult who use nanotechnology and genetics to enhance themselves. Fukuyama and Kass want to distinguish between medical therapy and enhancements. They feel that some enhancements, such as artificial intelligence will make us less than human and degrade our dignity. Mckibben and Joy are worried that these technologies will destroy the human race. Christian bioluddites believe that scientists are playing God and that these technologies are sinful. Bioluddites can be left-wing or right-wing. Left wing bioluddites believe that the corporations are in favor of these technologies only for the financial gains and that these technologies will hurt women, the disabled and the poor. Other bioluddites feel that we are wasting money on these technologies when we should be concentrating on present-day social reforms. Right-wing bioconservatives are generally motivated by pre-Enlightenment values of religious authority, ingroup solidarity and fear of spiritual pollution, while left bioconservatives are motivated by concerns about equality, liberty and the public good.

Transhumanist (supporters of tech. to enhance ourselves)
On the other end of the spectrum we have libertarians which consists of transhumanists, atheist, medical doctors and scientists from a vast number of fields, such as biology, physiology, pharmacology, nanotechnology, microbiology, gerontology and embryology. They believe that everyone has the right to do whatever they wish with their minds and bodies, including becoming more than human. Many argue against...
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