Transhumanism is a poorly misunderstood topic. I simply hoped to share some information on it so that it may be understood, as I believe it has similar wants and goals as to what people look for in magick. Whether you believe in it or not, it's a fascinating subject.
Defined roughly as a philosophy of life that encourages humans to seek development of higher selfs, to pursuee evolution of intelligent life beyong the limitations it currently stands at using rational thinking, technology and science . It holds root in not defining what 'human' is, and overcoming the physical and mental restrictions and limitations set forth upon humanity as a whole. It requires open-thinking, as it is an intellectual movement moreso than anything else.It isn't about turning humans into robots or something rediculous. Transhumanism goal's are to change some aspects of human limitation and fix 'quirks' in the body and mind. It seeks to rid humans of certain things in order to prompt a higher self. It aims to rid things such as disabilities, disease, malnutrition, mental blocks and other leading problems to encourage a better quality of life. It hopes to increase the human capacity to learn, and eventually change human intellectual capacities. Increasing sensory organs and their productivity is another looked at aspect. Animals have the capabilites of keen smell and sight, that transhumanists hope for humans to reach.
'Biological immortality' is one of the goals, which they hope to be achievable. No, it does not hope to increase the lifespan of humans so that they live forever. As previously mentioned, it uses science and rational thought. The idea behind this is that eventually humans should be able to maintain a static rate of mortality. They pose the idea that death occurs from chronological aging, and the deteration and lack of cellular life. The Hayflick Phenomenon , discovered back in the early 1960s, is the number of times a cell population can expand and divide before eventually ceasing in creation and causing the cells to die off. The idea is that eventually, once able to determine what causes the cease of production, the body would no longer deterorate and death would only be caused by injury and disease destroying the cells. Some organisms have nearly achieved this. Types of bacteria in colony levels, water bears. hydras, and surprisingly the Turritopsis nutricula (a species of jellyfish) .
Human improvement is a hot topic that is generally frowned upon under most set religions, though many transhumanists have their own set beliefs. Some accuse transhumanists of 'playing God', saying that they lack in moral principals, ethics and values. The Vatican stated in the year 2002 that " changing the genetic identity of man as a human person through the production of an infra-human being is radically immoral" since it is believed under their religion that improvement of the human condition can only occur through religion. The values and ethics of transhumanists range far in wide. In many ways human individuality and choice are still promoted. They believe that nature was intended to be messed with, and that it is not 'playing god' to simply mold what has already been given.
It's still fairly new, but there's the gist of it. Like those who come seeking what magick has to offer, science too has spawned ideas relating to reaching a higher self through other means. This article was merely meant to inform, not reject any other beliefs.
The Prospect of Immortality
The Politics of Transhumanism