By Wesley J. Smith
Editor’s note. The following is excerpted from a post that ran today at nationalreview.com. I thought it particularly appropriate in that day is the opening for the new movie “The Giver,” which we talk about elsewhere.
Transhumanism is selfish, all about me-me, I-I. It’s goal is immortality for those currently alive, and the right to radically remake themselves and their progeny in their own image.
Zoltan Istvan is an up-and-comer transhumanist, who is very good at promoting himself and his ideas. (I met him at a transhumanist and religion conference, about which I will be opining elsewhere, and we got along fine.)
Istvan’s newest missive, in Wired, argues that transhumanism means we will have to limit what he crassly calls “human breeding.” From his piece:
The transhumanist age — where radical science and technology will revolutionise the human being and experience — will eventually bring us indefinite lifespans, cyborgization, cloning, and even ectogenesis, where people use artificial wombs outside of their bodies to raise foetuses.
Breeding controls and measures make more sense when you consider that some leading life extensionist scientists believe we will conquer human mortality in the next 20 years. Already, in 2010, scientists had some success with stopping and reversing ageing in mice. The obvious question is: In this transhumanist future, should everyone still be allowed to have unlimited children whenever they want?
Yea, well good luck with that. Sorry Z, but we are both going to die at some point, and within the scope of a normal human lifespan.
But let’s get to his blatant eugenics:
In an attempt to solve this problem and give hundreds of millions of future kids a better life, I cautiously endorse the idea of licensing parents, a process that would be little different than getting a driver’s licence. Parents who pass a series of basic tests qualify and get the green light to get pregnant and raise children.
Those applicants who are deemed unworthy — perhaps because they are homeless, or have drug problems, or are violent criminals, or have no resources to raise a child properly and keep it from going hungry — would not be allowed until they could demonstrate they were suitable parents.
How would you stop them? Forced abortion? Forced sterilization? Like all modern Malthusians, Istvan punts to avoid the brutal logic of his advocacy, basically saying let the World Health Organization figure it out.