Problem of Dehumanization
Each student must write and turn in a thesis paper. In the paper the student must establish a philosophical understanding of the emergence of the problem of dehumanization from the development of GNR technologies, discuss a critical issue and argue a position within the discussion of transhumanist bioethics with regard to the problem of dehumanization. The student may examine and argue her position in relation to one or several dimensions of dehumanization such as genetic egalitarianism, distortion of the common human emotions, distortion of ethical and social forms and practices, distortion of cognitive capacities, distortion of species identity by immortality, loss of common historical self-understanding, instrumentalization of future generations, or loss of common aesthetic physical form. Students should consider one or more of the following questions regarding species self-transformation. Is reason (or language) alone sufficient to maintain a universal community of minds, human and superhuman alike? Why or why not? Is humanity intrinsically self-overcoming such that species self-transformation is continuous with human nature? Or, is species self-transformation discontinuous with human nature despite its dimensions of self-education and self-overcoming? What are the greatest threats to the loss of the species identity, in terms of beauty and physical form, and in terms of synthesis with other animals, in terms of immortality, and in terms of the emotions and the intellect? Is there a way to transhumanize while preserving the species self-understanding, given these concerns?