Transhumanism: Man’s new quest for immortality

New book: It may be possible, but is it the right thing to do?

Originally Published: 09/21/2014 at 9:09 PM
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“You will eat food by the sweat of your brow until you’re buried in the ground, because you were taken from it. You’re made from dust and you’ll return to dust.” (Genesis 3:19, ISV)

Immortality is a condition that has been sought by man ever since the Fall.

Today’s technology, however, would seem to be on the verge of making the dream of immortality a reality. Lifespans have increased over the last century and now medicines hold the promise of making those lifespans even longer. Even now, research is being done to produce nanobots that will heal the body from the inside, correcting defects in the body as they occur, leading to longer, disease-free lives.

Even with these advances, conventional wisdom holds that the mortal body itself can only be kept alive a finite number of years, frustrating the dream of immortality. To try to overcome this obstacle, people are researching the idea of melding man and machine to keep one’s consciousness alive in perpetuity. This concept is called transhumanism.

Transhumanism has been defined as “a cultural and intellectual movement that believes we can, and should, improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies.” The transhumanism school of thought is decried by most Christians as a dangerous, perverse, technology that would dehumanize mankind while trying to immortalize him.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2014/09/virtually-human-190.jpg

virtually-human-190A new book, “Virtually Human: The Promise – and the Peril – of Digital Immortality,” explores the concept oftranshumanism. The book, written by MartineRothblatt, delves into the implications of the advent ofcyberconsciousness and what it will mean for the future of humanity. The book explores the implications oftranshumanism on the law, relationships and religion.The material covered in the book originated from a series of meetings Rothblatt hosted between 2003 and 2011 with what was described as some of the top minds in the field. The meetings were also augmented with personal research Rothblatt had done as a human-rights lawyer, medical ethicist, and creator of IT and life-science companies. The notes from the meetings were compiled into a blog titled, “Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones.”

From the blog came the book.

The book does not look as much at the technological side of transhumanism, as it does at the implications of the ethical side.

For example, if a person’s mind is uploaded, where is the identity of that person? What are the legal rights of the uploaded consciousness? What happens when the organic person dies?

Rothblatt breaks down these implications as follows:

  • 1. Ethics will dictate that cyberconsciousness with human values and morality be accorded human rights and obligations – lack of a body is differently abled, not sub-human,
  • 2. Techno-immortality will result from the human rights of mindclones – concepts of identity will change,
  • 3. The next demographic transition is toward majority cyberconscious societies – 10 billion is not the ultimate human cyberconscious population, and
  • 4. Two of the most popular professions in the near future will be cyber-psychology and cyberconsciousness law as they will be on the frontlines of society’s effort to separate cyberconscious beings into human and non-human categories, with differential privileges to each.

The main thrust of the book explores the legal aspects of cyberconsciousness: and the legal rights of a mindclone. (A mindclone is a “functional replica [of] yourself that is comprised of all of the digital information you have uploaded into a ‘mindfile,’” for example, information you have uploaded into Facebook, Dropbox, videos, chats, and any other digital reflections you have uploaded into the Cloud or offline onto a hard drive.)

Based on Rothblatt’s research, software will be available within the next 10 to 20 years that will be able to draw out the “consciousness” that is contained within this information. That mindware will then be able to “think and behave” and interact with people very similarly to your natural mind. This mindware would get better as time goes on and more information is uploaded to the file until it is almost indistinguishable from the person.

Rothblatt believes that as the mindclone progresses, it will want to do the same things that organics do; read books, watch videos, and experience things that humans do.

If a mindclone becomes that sophisticated, several legal questions arise: Is the human is responsible for its actions? Could a mindclone hire a lawyer to sue for a distinct identity from the original? Could it become a citizen? Could a mindclone vote and participate in the political process as humans do?

The second ethical issue is that sooner or later the person from whom the mindclone will derive will die. The mindclone may argue that the person did not die; that its consciousness still resides in the clone. Some would argue that the rights of the original person would devolve to the clone.

The third issue Rothblatt sees is one of reproduction. If mindclones do mature and become “sentient,” they will want to reproduce as other life forms do. These mindclones will want to replicate themselves. (The concept of self-replicating machines was made popular in the late 1940s in a series of lectures given by mathematician John von Neumann as a thought experiment.)

In short, what is the ethical and legal status of these new, unique cyberconscious beings?
Rothblatt says that this, too, is not a new condition. Rothblatt postulates “every kind of human that is deprived of human rights eventually agitates for what is rightfully theirs, natural rights. Slaves did. Women did. The paralyzed, paraplegic, and disabled did. Gay people did.” Mindclones would be a natural extension of this struggle.

Many of the rights given to these groups were given by judicial fiat. Rothblatt believes rights for mindclones would need to be codified in law, rather than in the judicial process because, “What a judge giveth, a judge can taketh away. That is a big danger with any rights associated with mindclones.”

The idea of giving non-humans “person status” isn’t a new idea either.

Within the law there are now two definitions of a person. There is the human-born person, and there is now also the legal definition of a corporation as a person. While a corporation cannot vote, it does have other rights accorded to human beings. A corporation can own property and it has First Amendment rights, among other things. It is a person by statue rather than biology with its rights expanded upon by the courts.

What prevents a cyberconsciousness from being declared a person just as a corporation has? Once a statue is in place, the definition and rights of “personhood” given to a mindclone could also be expanded on by the courts.

This concept is not as far off into the future as one would think. As Rothblatt writes: “Websites such as Lifenaut.com (as in astronaut, but exploring life instead of space) already offer tens of thousands of people uploaded images of their faces displaying a variety of emotions, and the software system behind the website morphs the images into mannerisms.” The software would present “the voice tones and visual representations of the facial mannerisms of humans, whether it’s a high-def human face on a computer screen or an actual 3D-printed replica of a human person like BINA48.”

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2014/09/bina48-350.jpg

bina48-350BINA48 is a “proof of concept” prototype that gives a glimpse into what amindclone would look and act like. While some writers have called this device “sentient”Rothblatt says that “Bina48 is close to a sentient being as the thirteen second flight of the Wright Brothers is to a jumbo jet.” After spending three hours with Bina48 in 2011, GQ writer JonRonson described his experience in interacting with themindclone as “not unlike interviewing an intellectually precocious but emotionally andexperientially limited three-year-old.”BINA48 represents the start of a technology that is part of a logical progression of man-machine interfaces that goes back to at least the industrial revolution.

Biblical scholar William Welty disagrees with the very premise of cyberconsciousness. He believes that Rothblatt is confusing hardware and software with an operating system.

A computer consists of hardware, software and the operating system that runs it. In a man, Paul called the components of man, the body, soul, and spirit or the tri-part nature of man. The body is a man’s hardware formed the “dust of the earth,” the soul is his software and the spirit, the breath of life, is his operating system.

Man can replicate the body and soul, but not the spirit, not the operating system. That is in the province of God alone. Ultimately, God is sovereign over Man; we are not sovereign over ourselves. Once a person takes the view that they can re-create themselves, they place themselves in an unrealistic spiritual position and usurp the prerogatives of God. Man’s knowledge, power and ability simply cannot compare to that of the Creator (Job 38:2–5).

Aldous Huxley noted “what science has actually done is to introduce us to improved means in order to obtain hitherto unimproved or rather deteriorated ends.”

The book also states, “The Enlightenment occasioned a redefinition of ‘soul’ from the most enduring part of a person to the most enduring part of the consciousness of a person.” One question it does not answer is if a consciousness can be cloned, can the soul be cloned as well?

To say that a cyberconscious has a soul also begs the questions, “Can a mindclone be saved?” “If it can be saved, then what is heaven and hell, if they exist at all?”

The basic idea of improving the human condition is perfectly compatible with the Bible. In fact, it’s one of the purposes of a Christian lifestyle (“… I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, ISV)). Transhumanism contradicts the Bible when it assumes that humanity is completely sovereign and capable of self-directed change without the need for God.

There are some admirable motivations behind transhumanism. For some, the intent is to reduce suffering or improve quality of life. One of the chapters of the book, “G-d and Mindclones” addresses this issue. Rothblatt says “transhumanism is bad no more than a sword is bad or fire is bad … I believe that they are tools. Transhumanism is a whole other set of tools. … In the book, I implore people to get ready for mindclones by being better people right now.”

Rothblatt has now gone on to ventures other than cyberconsciousness, the primary interest now being a project to develop a source of unlimited supply of transplantable lungs.

One of United Therapeutics’ goals is to bring to market a drug to combat the effects of pulmonary hypertension (PH) which manifests itself as an abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart work harder than normal. Rothblatt’s daughter Jenesis was born with this condition and United Therapeutics was formed to bring an already developed “orphan drug” to market to make it available to the sufferers of the disease.

United Therapeutics was successful in bringing the drug to market, but the only real cure for PH is a lung transplant. No one who has received a lung transplant has ever suffered from a reoccurrence of the disease. However, a severe lack of lung donors is preventing a cure for PH (only about 2,000 per year are available) and those who do get one have to contend with the chronic rejection of the lung.

Given the number of people who need lung transplants, those suffering from PH, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, to name a few, UT is working to provide an unlimited supply of transplantable lungs. One of the ways they are working to develop these lungs is to modify the pig genome so that the aspects of the pig lung that give rise to rejection in humans would be eliminated.

It is Rothblatt’s hope that the work being done with pig lungs could be extended to their hearts, kidneys and livers.

Some of these issues were dealt with recently in the movie “Transcendence.” A plethora of other books have begun exploring transhumanism as actual lab work continues without much concern to the rightness or wrongness.

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American Medical Association opposes mandatory vaccines

(NaturalNews) According to the “Informed Consent” section of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics posted at the American Medical Association website, the AMA is fundamentally and unambiguously opposed to mandatory vaccine programs in America. Read the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics statement here.A mandatory vaccination policy — forced vaccination of unwilling recipients — is, by definition, a medical intervention carried out without the consent of the patient or the patient’s parents. This directly violates the very clear language in the Informed Consent section of the AMA Code of Medical Ethics which states:The patient should make his or her own determination about treatment… Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor, unless the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent.

“Physicians must honor” informed consent

The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics statement is very clear: “physicians must honor” the policy of informed consent. In fact, the AMA describes this as “a basic policy in both ethics and law” and only makes exception if the patient “is unconscious” or if harm from failure to treat “is imminent.”

Mandatory vaccine interventions are conducted in total violation of this code of ethics. Most unvaccinated children are in a state of perfect health, with no symptoms and no active disease. There is no “imminent” risk of harm from “failure to treat.”

Because the mainstream media is desperately trying to confuse the public about the very definition of “medical consent,” here is the Dictionary.com definition of “consent”:

verb – to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield (often followed by to or an infinitive)
He consented to the proposal. We asked her permission, and she consented.

Patients deserve an “informed choice”
The AMA’s Code of Ethics statement furthermore says that patients possess a “right of self-decision” and that this right can only be effectively exercised “if the patient possesses enough information to enable an informed choice.”

Nearly all vaccinations are carried out in direct violation of this medical code of ethics because patients are almost never handed vaccine insert sheets, and the very real risks of vaccination are almost never explained to anyone. In fact, virtually the entire medical establishment operates in a state of total denial that any vaccine risks exist at all. This, too, is a striking violation of the AMA’s code of ethics.

It is also an outright abandonment of all logic and medical reality, as every medical intervention comes with some level of risk, even if that risk is small. It is not zero, as is routinely and repeatedly claimed by vaccine fanatics.

Doctors should “respectfully” explain treatment options to patients
The AMA’s Code of Ethics further states “Physicians should sensitively and respectfully disclose all relevant medical information to patients.”

Instead, what we actually see in America today is:

• Belligerent doctors verbally berating patients for asking intelligent, informed questions about vaccine ingredients and vaccine side effects.

• Arrogant doctors threatening to cut off all medical treatment from patients unless they agree to a coerced medical intervention (vaccinations).

• Doctors and hospitals calling law enforcement authorities on families, then staging the state seizure of children while threatening parents with arrest and imprisonment (medical kidnapping).

These actions are so far removed from the AMA’s Code of Ethics that they call into question the very real question of whether the entire medical system has utterly abandoned any shred of medical ethics at all.

A campaign of intellectual bigotry carried out in the name of science
Today, medical obedience to mandatory vaccines is being aggressively demanded by rage-filled doctors, health authorities and media outlets. A vicious campaign of intellectual bigotry has been unleashed against all vaccine skeptics, with malicious tactics such as equating skeptical thinkers who seek to avoid mercury with people who still think the Earth is flat.

There is no question that such malicious tactics against concerned moms are being conducted in total violation of the AMA’s own Code of Ethics, which also states that “The physician’s obligation is to present the medical facts accurately to the patient or to the individual responsible for the patient’s care and to make recommendations for management in accordance with good medical practice.”

This code of medical ethics means doctors may educate patients and even respectfully urge them to follow a particular course of action, but they may not coerce, threaten, intimidate or otherwise verbally berate patients who disagree with their suggested course of action.

Here’s the full statement from the AMA’s Code of Ethics page, section 8.08 – Informed Consent:

The patient’s right of self-decision can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an informed choice. The patient should make his or her own determination about treatment. The physician’s obligation is to present the medical facts accurately to the patient or to the individual responsible for the patient’s care and to make recommendations for management in accordance with good medical practice. The physician has an ethical obligation to help the patient make choices from among the therapeutic alternatives consistent with good medical practice. Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor, unless the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting and harm from failure to treat is imminent. In special circumstances, it may be appropriate to postpone disclosure of information, (see Opinion E-8.122, “Withholding Information from Patients”).

Physicians should sensitively and respectfully disclose all relevant medical information to patients. The quantity and specificity of this information should be tailored to meet the preferences and needs of individual patients. Physicians need not communicate all information at one time, but should assess the amount of information that patients are capable of receiving at a given time and present the remainder when appropriate. (I, II, V, VIII)

Because we believe the AMA will, after seeing this investigative story, attempt to alter or revoke this medical ethics document, we are also posting a screen shot of the AMA’s page sourced on February 9, 2015:

Entire mainstream media now urging total abandonment of the AMA’s own Code of Ethics
What else is fascinating about this finding is the realization that the entire mainstream media is almost fanatically screaming for the wholesale abandonment of the very principles of medical ethics endorsed by the AMA in its own words.Almost everywhere in the media, the public is now being berated and screamed at in the name of “SCIENCE!” while vaccine skeptics are being derided as “kooks” and “nut jobs” because they have questions about vaccines that the vaccine industry refuses to answer. Those reasonable, rational questions include inquiries concerning the toxic effects of vaccine ingredients, the history of faked vaccine research, the CDC scientist’s confession of a vaccine cover-up at the CDC, the admission that many current vaccines are backed by no clinical trials, and even questions about why the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has already paid out billions of dollars in proven vaccine damages at the same time the medical system claims vaccines have never harmed anyone and don’t cause dangerous side effects.

All of this activity carried out in witch hunt fashion by the mainstream media and vaccine fanatics posing as “scientists” is conducted in gross violation of the AMA’s own Code of Ethics, which calls for doctors to respectfully inform patients of their choices, then allow the patient to make their own informed choice.

Six questions for the AMA
Here are six important questions for the AMA:

#1) Will you now denounce the vaccine fanatics who are calling for vaccines to be forced onto people without their consent?

#2) If not, will you revoke the AMA’s Code of Ethics and abandon what have already called a fundamental “patient right” to be informed and make their own decision about medical interventions?

#3) Will you publicly condemn doctors who are using tactics of coercion, verbal abuse, intimidation and threats against patients who have reasonable questions about vaccine safety? If not, will you publicly endorse their tactics and encourage them to be used even more frequently?

#4) If, as you state on the AMA website, “Informed consent is a basic policy in both ethics and law that physicians must honor,” then will you insist that your own AMA members follow this policy? Or is it acceptable that they almost universally violate this policy as part of a “vaccine lynch mob” mentality that has now swept across the minds of the medical profession?

#5) If the AMA does not immediately denounce the widespread vaccine violations of its own Code of Ethics, then what medical ethics does the AMA actually stand for, if any? Are there any limits to the coercion tactics doctors may use against patients to force them into medical treatments demanded by doctors?

#6) If the AMA abandons its own code of medical ethics, then how can patients trust doctors who are AMA members to act with any sense of ethics at all?

Sources for this story include:
[1] http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion808.page

About the author:Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger”) is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet’s No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition…

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed “strange fibers” found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health “gurus,” dangerous “detox” products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

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