09 Dec 2015
Rise of the Metahuman: Should We Enhance?
For thousands of years mankind has obsessed with overcoming our bodily limitations. As far back as ancient Sumeria, we have the story of Gilgamesh, a man who was more intelligent, stronger, and more handsome than most humans. Fast forward a few centuries and we have Hercules, strongest man in the world, performer of heroic deeds. Throughout our history we 've had heroes, villains, and gods that are able to so much more than mere mortals. Even if you look at our literature today, we still have heroes who can do so much more than us normal, unmodified humans can do. Humanity has an obsession with being more than human. Emerging technology such as bionic…show more content… Several of these tools are used not just for everyday use, but for treating disorders, injuries or disease, which is a very important distinction in this debate.
When dealing with the morality of making ourselves more than human we need to draw a line between therapy and enhancement. Several proponents of the human enhancement argument, or transhumanists, are rather loathe to separate the two for a few reasons. Currently, modern medicine practices several methods of treatment that can be considered enhancements, as there is nothing currently wrong with the patient so there is technically nothing to treat. This includes things like vaccines, preventative care, and cosmetic surgery. (Bostrom, Roache 1) Another is that we treat things that are intrinsic to the person, such as a genetic or mental disorder. We use things such as chemicals or surgery to bring the person to a level as close to “average” human as possible. Their personal baseline of their physiology is brought up to speed with humanity and they tend to live happier lives. However, even though the argument is quite sound, human nature is much more complex. While we hopefully like to celebrate others ' individuality, we still want to strengthen those we see as weak, while at the same time maintaining our own superiority. This is where the fundamental difference between therapy and enhancements lie. While we want everyone to be