The Nature Of Humanity Is To Change Nature

Illustration for article titled The Nature Of Humanity Is To Change Nature

Futurist Ray Kurzweil has a simple response to people concerned that technology gives us the chance to alter nature: Nature is inherently flawed, and it's our duty as human beings to use technology to fix it.

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Talking to the Independent newspaper to promote a screening of Transcendent Man, Kurzweil said,

The form of opposition [to technology] from fundamentalist humanists, and fundamentalist naturalists – that we should make no change to nature [or] to human beings – is directly contrary to the nature of human beings, because we are the species that goes beyond our limitations... And I think that's quite a destructive school of thought – you can show that hundreds of thousands of kids went blind in Africa due to the opposition to [genetically engineered] golden rice. The opposition to genetically modified organisms is just a blanket, reflexive opposition to the idea of changing nature. Nature, and the natural human condition, generates tremendous suffering. We have the means to overcome that, and we should deploy it.

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By 2040 you will be able to upload your brain... [Independent.co.uk]

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DISCUSSION

Anekanta
Anekanta - spoon denier

Wow, any slim bit of respect I had for Mr. Kurzweil just evaporated. Would it be fair to call him a fundamentalist transhumanist? He wouldn't like it, so why does he call all his opponents fundamentalists, just because they disagree with him?

Nature does involve suffering, but I don't see how science will cure that—for every bit of suffering it solves, it creates some new kind of suffering. The way to cure suffering lies in human understanding that nature isn't flawed—it's our belief that nature is flawed that leads to suffering.