Talk:Transhumanism

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Former featured article Transhumanism is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 2, 2006.

Remove original research template from June 2012?[edit]

I think it may be time to remove the original research template? Thoughts?

Debate section[edit]

The debate section is excessively large compared to the rest of the article. Also it doesn't tell us about any debate but simply a lot about people and ideas criticizing transhumanism. Furthermore the subsections of this section contain words such as threat, spectre and trivialization which are clearly POV. I hope I can make some time to clean this up. Any help would be greatly appreciated since I'm writing my thesis! AlwaysUnite (talk) 20:49, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

+1 I made a minor edit, and am looking at working on this, but frankly I think the best route would be a full rewrite. Although, come to think of it, perhaps working it into a "Criticisms of Transhumanism" (or something similar; rather than debate) section would be a decent solution. UniversityofPi (talk) 19:38, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

I didn't see it was that huge, only looked at the overall portion. Perhaps this is something that could be a separate article that's referenced here with a general overview of the debate. UniversityofPi (talk) 19:46, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

"Criticisms of" would be a step back - such sections should be avoided. I would like to see the topics become headings in their own right and in each one both sides of the issue can be examined. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:12, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Well, what they can't make up for in quality, they make up for in quantity. ;) 46.239.250.137 (talk) 18:03, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

I agree, the debate section is way to large, and additionally seems to present a negative outlook. This seems strongly biased, so I would suggesting either making a new page ("Critisims of Transhumanism") and moving some content there or strongly cutting the content anyways HeadphoneG (talk) 23:19, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

careful there - splitting most criticism off to a separate article is usually considered POV forking, per WP:NPOV. You can't just keep the advocacy and send the criticism off somewhere else - David Gerard (talk) 00:04, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Relation to Posthumanism[edit]

This edit by Fixuture removed Posthumanism from the hatnote. Transhumanism is mentioned in the Posthumanism article, which may be an indication that readers may easily confuse the two, which would be a sufficient reason for leaving this hatnote in place.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 22:52, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

I concur. Also, it involves a ton of very frindge (at best) science. Also, the quiet removal of the Mormon Transhumanist Association seems odd - David Gerard (talk) 05:54, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Not sure what happened. The word Mormon was left behind at the very top of the article by Fixture's edit. I got rid of it as a stray word. But I see that the paragraph about the Mormon Transhumanist Association was taken out by the same edit that clobbered the hatnote.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 09:37, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Fixuture just blindly reverted. I have pointed them at this discussion so that they may defend their proposed changes - David Gerard (talk) 11:42, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't take notice of this talk page entry. For some reason I didn't get a notification even though my username was mentioned.
Anyway - I did make 3 changes and below is my rationale for each of them:
  1. Removal of the posthumanism hatnote: posthumanism isn't just a critique of humanism so the hatnote is somewhere between false and misleading. Also this article is ALSO about posthumanism which makes it even more misleading. E.g. transhumanism can be seen as part of posthumanism or posthumanism as a part of transhumanism or both mostly overlapping - hence it is, once again, misleading to attempt to sharply distinguish both unecessarily in the hatnote. I suggest to set both into relation and distinguish them in proper text length in the article if that isn't the case yet.
  2. Removal of the fringe science link in the see also section: transhumanism does not inherently involve fringe scince (transhumanism is just an ideology/philosophy that the human condition can and should be improved via technology - no fringe science needed for that). That's a non-neutral opinion of an editor and if anything belongs to a criticism section.
  3. Removal of the sentence "Since 2006, the Mormon Transhumanist Association sponsors conferences and lectures on the intersection of technology and religion": there already is information on the MTA in the article. Even more of it is undue weight. Also it just has sloppy youtube reference and is obvious Mormon advocacy. The main reason I removed it however is because "lectures on the intersection of technology and religion" aren't relevant to an article about transhumanism - why should this info stay in the article?
--Fixuture (talk) 12:14, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
It's pretty darned unlikely you'd have most of present-day transhumanism if you took away the fringe science; even if you can philosophically construct a version of transhumanism that doesn't include fringe science, the version we actually have is suffsed with it. And I don't see how anyone can really claim otherwise - David Gerard (talk) 13:19, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
@David Gerard: Well that's your opinion and nothing more. And why the heck wouldn't it be possible to be convinced that the human condition can and should be improved via technology without technology? I really doubt that you have an answer for that. That's not some "strange constructed version" of transhumanism - it's just the core transhumanist ideology/philosophy. Things that go much further aren't the core values. The "version" you're talking about is actually your (biased) conception of it. The connection to fringe science isn't evident (that there are some transhumanist individuals and sub-groups that might engage in such doesn't make it see-also-link worthy nor would such a link be properly interpreted by the readers) and (just) your opinion - if anything you need consensus to add it.
--Fixuture (talk) 19:13, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
Cryonics, the Singularity, immortality ... you can try to argue definitions, but the prominent stuff, that gets column inches, is the stuff that's fringe science at best and pseudoscience at worst. It's not just my opinion - David Gerard (talk) 20:32, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
@David Gerard: All of these are not required for the transhumanist ideology/philosophy. These are topics quite a count of transhumanists are interested about / transhumanist topics but again: they're not in any way part of the core thought. Add the fringe science link to the articles about these topics and not here.
There are many transhumanists who think those issues are bunk. (As a sidenote: speculation and science fiction about the future and its potentials that presents itself as such isn't fringe science and as far as I can tell the majority of sources discussing these issues present themselves as such and not as scientific studies or alike.) --Fixuture (talk) 21:33, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
My take:
  1. That hatnote should stay. While Transhumanism and Posthumanism are sometimes used as synonyms, Posthumanism is used for a variety of subjects, some of which are indeed criticisms of Humanism. The two terms may easily be confused by readers, therefore justifying a hatnote and, indeed, a hatnote worded the way this one was – to emphasize the non-synonymous usage.
  2. The Fringe science link should stay in See also. It's not a label saying the main topic is crazy; interpret it to mean that some aspects are decidedly not mainstream.
  3. The Mormon Transhumanist Association is mentioned in the sidebar, and at two different places in the article. Perhaps it has been given undue weight. I would be in favor of consolidating or rationalizing the two mentions, if that makes sense. A mention does not need to be in the lead.
Will anyone else care to weigh in?  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 21:25, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
@Jmcgnh:
  1. Might be - but not all of them (and afaik "criticisms of humanism" isn't even the major one). As said I think the short hatnote only causes more confusion as there are overlaps between the two terms and because the description isn't even nearly correct (in scope etc). As said I'd favor properly informing about the relationship of the two terms in a separate section/paragraph or maybe even sentence in the lead. If the hatnote stays it needs to be extended. I'd say we should have a vote on what to do about it here.
  2. It is as people will conceive it so. Not sure which aspects of the core transhumanist ideology/philosophy can be considered "fringe science" but if you think that this is the case add this wikilink with a reference to the places where these aspects are issued or properly with description to the criticism section.
  3. I'd favor consolidating it in the "Spirituality" section.
Also hoping for more people to weigh in.
--Fixuture (talk) 19:13, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
The whole point of hatnotes is to link confusable terms that aren't related. Wikipedia:Hatnote says: "Hatnotes help readers locate a different article they might be seeking. Readers may have arrived at the article containing the hatnote because they were redirected, because the sought article uses a more specific, disambiguated title, or because the sought article and the article with the hatnote have similar names." You arguing that they're not related is an argument for the hatnote - David Gerard (talk) 20:32, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
@David Gerard: No I was arguing that those two concepts are highly related (e.g. I said that this article is also about posthumanism and that they're overlapping much etc.). So thanks for underscoring my point. --Fixuture (talk) 21:33, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Per Fixuture above, noted on WP:FTN and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Transhumanism to get more eyes - David Gerard (talk) 22:42, 4 August 2016 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── On the "see also" question, there is a common misconception that "see also" entries categorize an article's topic. They don't - that is what our categories do. See also entries are in part "to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics" WP:ALSO. Alexbrn (talk) 09:29, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. There should be a posthumanism hatnote, but it could be reworded. If posthumanism and transhumanism are easily confused terms (and they are), a hatnote is sensible.
  2. If transhumanism is based in large part on fringe science, that should be part of the article, and thus linked from there. If the article doesn't make the case that it's fringe science, in so many words, why would we say that it's a related or tangential concept? In other words, I support removing this, but wouldn't object at all to it being linked from a sourced statement in the article.
  3. This is an easy one. Why would we include any organization based on its existence, cited only to itself? Include reliable sources independent of the subject and I'm indifferent. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:48, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Content/citation dump from cleaned debate section[edit]

Giuseppe Vattino, a supporter of transhumanism elected as a member of Parliament in Italy, believes that, although transhumanism may make us less human, there are both positive and negative consequences. He believes that transhumanism will make people “less subject to the whims of nature, such as illness or climate extremes”.[1]

Fukuyama points out that, while the concept of being able to do away with negative emotions is appealing in theory, if we did not have the emotion of aggression then "we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves".[2]

Struck by a passage from Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski's anarcho-primitivist manifesto (quoted in Kurzweil's 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines[3]), computer scientist Bill Joy became a notable critic of emerging technologies. Joy's warning was seized upon by appropriate technology organizations such as the ETC Group. Related notions were also voiced by self-described neo-luddite Kalle Lasn, a culture jammer who co-authored a 2001 spoof of Donna Haraway's 1985 Cyborg Manifesto as a critique of the techno-utopianism he interpreted it as promoting.[4] Lasn argues that high technology development should be completely relinquished since it inevitably serves corporate interests with devastating consequences on society and the environment.[5] (looks to have been improperly classified as existential risk)

Some also argue that strong advocacy of a transhumanist approach to improving the human condition might divert attention and resources from social solutions.[6] Sometimes, however, there are strong disagreements about the very principles involved, with divergent views on humanity, human nature and the morality of transhumanist aspirations.[6]

[7]

Transhumanists, therefore, argue that parents have a moral responsibility called procreative beneficence to make use of these methods, if and when they are shown to be reasonably safe and effective, to have the healthiest children possible. They add that this responsibility is a moral judgment best left to individual conscience, rather than imposed by law, in all but extreme cases. In this context, the emphasis on freedom of choice is called procreative liberty.[6]

Artist and filmmaker Tim Holmes sees a similar but subtler danger in the devaluation of the body by the progress of civilization itself, which he says encourages mechanical values of expediency, rather than body values of quality of life, leading us to ever more mechanical, anti-flesh solutions. In his TEDx talk "The Erotic Crisis", he warns against abandoning the hidden wisdom of the flesh, which cannot be digitally comprehended.[8]

Sources discussing whether or not this is pseudoscience?[edit]

I see from here [1] that we have had some related discussion on whether or not transhumanism is pseudoscience (or if aspects of it are pseudoscience). Do we have some sources on this? Isambard Kingdom (talk) 22:44, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Nootropics[edit]

I see no mention of brain altering substances being used to enhance the human form?

--86.139.252.238 (talk) 23:14, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cartlidge, Edwin. "One Minute with... Giuseppe Vatinno." New Scientist 215.2882 (2012): 25-. Web.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Tucker.2C_Abigail_2012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Kurzweil_1999 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Walker, Ian (2001). "Cyborg Dreams: Beyond Human". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Hughes, James (2005). "Tech for People, not for Corporate Control: Interview with Kalle Lasn, founder of AdBusters". Retrieved June 12, 2006. 
  6. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference Hughes_2004 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Clark, Amanda C. R. (March 12, 2010). "Transhumanism and Posthumanism: Lifting Man Up or Pulling Him Down?". Ignatius Insight. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Erotic crisis: Tim Holmes at TEDxWhitefish". youtube.com. 2014-04-06. Retrieved 2016-06-23.