How Transhumanism Works

The Downsides to Transhumanism

The transhumanist philosophy sounds really great on the surface. You get to live a long time. You get to be happy and completely healthy. Maybe you can even have a virtual reality programmed where you wake up to an ocean view everyday. Not bad. But digging a little deeper, this philosophy may bring about several societal problems.

First, implementation of many of these technologies will be expensive. For example, preserving the body through cryonics currently costs several hundred thousand dollars [source: Alcor]. Huge potential exists to create an even greater divide in society between the have and have-nots, where the rich and powerful have the resources to afford these vast life improvements and the rest of society lags even further behind.

Second, increased population growth comes along with the increased life span that transhumanist technologies would provide. Earth already is straining to provide resources to the billions of people currently living on our planet. If everyone were to live longer, the human population would skyrocket. The response that transhumanism advocates give is that we then must expand into space, colonizing the moon and other planets. Easier said than done.

And then there are the risks. Some of the technologies that transhumanists tout are only in their early stages. Transhumanists support a full exploration of the hazards behind each technology before it becomes implemented; however, there will always be greater risk for the early adopters of any new technology.

Perhaps the biggest risk associated with these technologies is what we might do with them. Deliberate and destructive uses of nanotechnology and biotechnology, as well as development of "evil" artificially intelligent machines, are doors that may be opened if proper regulations are not in place.