It is October 2013 and we as a species rely entirely on the use of enhancing objects, environments, and ourselves. There are many forms of human enhancement that already exists within the realms of medicine, religion, athletic performance, surgery, prosthetics , cryonics, etc. This aspect of our daily lives will continue to increase its percentage of enhancements in addition to the biology which we are born with. Man has always been seeking methods to augment his/her abilities for reasons both pure and disgusting. Here is the explanation of what human enhancement is:
Human enhancement refers to any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means. The term is sometimes applied to the use of technological means to select or alter human characterisitcs and capacities, whether or not the alteration results in characteristics and capacities that lie beyond the existing human range. Here, the test is whether the technology is used for non-therapeutic purposes. Some bioethicists restrict the term to the non-therapeutic application of specific technologies–neuro-, cyber-, gene-, and nano-technologies–to human biology.
Human enhancement technologies (HET), are techniques that can be used not simply for treating illness and disability, but also for enhancing human characteristics and capacities. In some circles the expression “human enhancement technologies” is synonymous with emerging technologies or converging technologies. In other circles, the expression “human enhancement” is roughly synonymous with human genetic engineering, it is used most often to refer to the general application of the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science to improve human performance. (p., 112-13).*
- Reproductive technology
- Embryo selection by preimplantation genetic diagnosis
- Performance-enhancing drugs
- Plastic Surgery
- Powered Exoskeleton
- Human genetic engineering
- Neural implants
- Mind uploading
- Augmented Reality
- Full-Immersion Virtual Reality
- Body organ replacements
- Brain-computer interfaces
- (many others!!!!)
We must not be afraid of the coming changes to how we live our daily lives. The technologies today may seem too far ahead, but with how spending and loaning occurs, the increase for the market or enhancement, rejuvination, and replacement of body parts will be more enormous that we can comprehend to this point. Old modes of industry and production will be giving way to new modes where the individual is more control of pricing and amount of DIY work. Enhancement is what actually defines us as a species. It determines those of us are who are moving onto the next stage of evolution by providing a means for us to alter, increase, expand, deplete chracteristics, habits. Sadly, there are still those, who do not want to enhance themselves, but alas they are lead by bronze age folklore.
The next article will be discussing a few of the major topics on the ethics of human enhancement.
*(Transhumanism, Hephaestus Books, 2012)