Consider, if you will, a future where technology is unbound. In this environment, human beings are capable of reaching beyond the limits that nature imposes upon them, not just through the use of external technological apparatuses, but also through the merging of the human organism with cybernetic devices.
We can, quite literally, build a better person. Life can become something that is not just a voyage where you are the passenger, at the whim of your DNA and the vagaries of an imperfect, random biology. Life can be what we wish it to be, and our minds and bodies the canvas on which we can draw our own future.
We can build wings if we wish to, and leave the cradle behind. The only limitations to where our flight will take us are our will and our intellect.
Building Wings: A Better Tomorrow, by David Sarif
3-4 years ago, I could have thought long and hard which one of the Deus Ex Human Revolution endings to choose. Now, however, I made up my mind long before the end. The world portrayed by the game is cyberpunky all right, with countless homeless living on the streets while mega-corporations’ high-ranking staff sit on polished furniture in penthouses high above them. And yet, it is somehow brighter than many, because at the core of it is a dream - a dream for a truly better future.
I think advocating transhumanism has a lot to do with the ability to embrace change and to believe that it will be ultimately good. We are and always will be changing; we are redefining what it means to be human constantly, bit by bit, with our internet and cellphones, with wi-fi and tablets, with huge metal machines that can fly across the world in hours; but we haven’t destroyed ourselves yet - on the contrary, we improved the average quality of life all over the place. We also managed to raise our moral standards and are evolving not only technologically but ethically. So why not keep trusting each other? The stakes will keep raising, no doubt, but so will our abilities and wisdom as a race. We’re up to the challenge.
Now that I think of it, a lot of my favorite recent big RPG titles had something to do with change. In Dragon Age, two wittiest (and, in some sense, central) characters, Flemeth and Morrigan, talked a lot about the necessity and inevitability of change. In Mass Effect, the world got caught in an endless vicious circle of destruction in order to cap biological beings’ power, because an AI calculated it as the only long-term risk-free solution for them to avoid self-destruction (and the best solution to this “solution” was also transhumanism).
And yes, an augmented fetus on a picture above may be creepy, but that’s what change is all about: stepping out of a comfort zone and sticking with it for awhile, until the advantages become apparent. Why should they always be advantages and not disadvantages? Because they are new and unpredictable, if nothing else. They will enrich the life with more diverse experience.
So I will second David Sarif here: imagine a world where blind people can see again. Where people without legs can walk. Where cancer, AIDS and other plagues are beaten. A world with not only racial and sexual, but genetic equality. It absolutely doesn’t mean we will be gods; there are still countless ways in which the wide ever-expanding universe can make a total mockery of our plans. But the degree of control matters, and so does every moment of happiness when you think you can really make a difference. The illusion of control will remain an illusion - but it’s such a nice illusion to have.