The avid skeptic in me is still choking on this being a factual intercourse but let us roll with it anyways. Maria Montessori possibly the greatest educator the world has ever known was told she could not become a Doctor, because she was a woman. After achieving this morally reprehensible act, she went on to create a system of education which is now known to be the most effective way of educating children. This is not an isolated incident. Many of the most critical advancements have been achieved by people who were out to prove the world wrong: Jesus Christ, Alexander Graham Bell, and Martin Luther King Jr… People who were told that they cannot achieve something because of the way they were born. The son in this discourse is no different. So what you were born mortal and mediocre, you want to become a super-human super hero, do it. That is what humanity is all about, the pursuit of a better existence.
Transhumanism in popular criticism is seen as the inherent evil of enhancement. The repeating meme being “what if” someone did something bad with it; I respond “what if” no one was able to something good with it in return? I don’t subscribe to Islam-Christian theology but enjoy using what little logic they incorporate against their own arguments. If God made us imperfect, and made the success of our eternal lives based on attaining a state of perfection, then did God mean for our lives to be a pursuit of enhancement. (Of course not good, bad, intent are attributes we assign, but flow with the logic of xenophobia.) Since God does clearly request that you pursue attaining the most good for others that you can with your own life, where is the line that transhumanism crosses and falls off the edge of our flat Earth? Don’t some people attempt great evil through the Holy Scriptures? Aren’t they only defeated by those choosing to use the same tools for good? Perhaps the triumph of good over evil is just a convenient perception?
The intent of good and evil are strictly human conceptions. Knowledge, technology, culture have no inherent moral standing. Are there evil plants? Is there a good type of predator? Whether or not transhumanism is good or evil is not a valid question. The real questions are: Whether good or bad humans will enter the singularity? What aspects of humanity will transhumanity emulate? Will transhumanity mirror humanity at all? Will transhumans still reflect upon themselves as being good or bad and pursue a better existence?
The short answer is we don’t know. We haven’t seen it, but we can extrapolate. Both decent and immoral are likely to enter the Singularity and transcend into transhumanity. Simply because nothing is two sided, everything is among a spectrum. Even if only good people enter, when you take this new subset some will be better and the less good become the new standard for evil. That being said what emerges through the Singularity will have a clean slate from which to be judged. There is no evidence to suggest that any level of transhumanism will fundamentally change the self reflective process of improvement that has brought us to the level of civility we enjoy in modern society. In fact it is exactly that charted growth of spiritual and physical enhancement that leads us to acknowledge and suggest transhumanism as a developed stage of our evolution.
Current studies tell us that much of who we are is determined at a young age, that being assumed, we can see transhumanism allowing deeper stronger pursuits of the pre-existing interests. However it is easily conceivable that being “reborn transhuman” will be like a second childhood. The massive expansion of mental capacity will trigger a childlike ability to learn and a radical redefinition of the self will commence. This is of course feeding from a xenophobic conception of what transhumanism means, one does not have to completely convert to the synthetic to be transhuman, or even make any neural adaptation. Transhumanism is already present and accepted within our daily lives. From shoes to sunglasses even the staunchest critics of transhumanism are literally up to their necks in enhancements to their “God-given” bodies. Is transhumanism good or evil? I don’t think so, but I’d be evil if I didn’t give you the freedom to decide for yourself