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The Technoprogressive Intervention James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Lecturer, Public Policy Studies,

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Presentation on theme: "The Technoprogressive Intervention James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Lecturer, Public Policy Studies,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Technoprogressive Intervention James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Lecturer, Public Policy Studies, Trinity College, Hartford CT Nov 20, 2014 – Transvision 2014 – Paris, France

2 Ancient Aspirations Perfect Body Holy City Abstract thought -> imagining radical improvement to the human condition Medicines and magical practices to improve health and grant wisdom Myths of times and places without toil, conflict, or injustice, a more perfect world Radically improved social and corporeal life possible in the immediate future

3 The Enlightenment Secular Progress 1. Autonomy of reason from faith and authority 2. Human perfectibility and social progress 3. Empirical optimism: sapere aude! 4. Legitimacy of government based on free association 5. Tolerance of diversity, freedom of thought 6. Ethical universalism – beyond nationalism, racism, sexism Descartes, Locke, Pascal, Bayle, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Condorcet, Rousseau

4 Technoprogressive Core Human emancipation requires scientific and technological progress, as well as social progress Left-liberal, egalitarian wing of the Enlightenment Rationalism Techno-Optimism Liberte Egalite Fraternite TP

5 Marquis de Condorcet Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind Reason liberates from us church, authoritarianism, nature Women’s suffrage Opposed to slavery Radical life extension Freedom from work Marquis de Condorcet

6 Other Proto-Transhumanists HG Wells and Olaf Stapledon – portrayed future evolution of humanity JBS Haldane, 1923, "Daedalus: Science and the Future“ – in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering JD Bernal, 1929, "The World, the Flesh and the Devil” – first projection of cybernetic implants JBS Haldane

7 20 th Century Politics Progressives Conservatives Conservatives Progressives Populists Libertarians Right Social Democrats Cultural Politics Economic Politics Populists Libertarians Social Democrats 20 th century politics shaped by the ongoing battles for/against Enlightenment values, or between various interpretations of Enlightenment values

8 From Bioethics to Biopolitics Public health and universal insurance Access to contraception Rights to refuse treatment, confinement Roe v. Wade, fetal rights Stem cells Brain death, PVS

9 Biopolitical Battlefronts Who is a citizen with a right to life?: abortion, stem cells, great ape rights, brain death, chimeras Control of Reproduction: contraception, abortion, fertility treatments, genetic testing, germline gene therapies, cloning Fixing Disabilities to “Human Enhancement”: cochlear implants, prosthetics, eye and brain chips, gene therapies, cosmetic procedures Extending Life: from treatments for aging-related diseases, to anti-aging drugs and therapies Control of the Brain: Ritalin and Prozac, psychoactive drugs, brain chips

10 21 st Century Politics Economic Politics Biopolitics Progressive Conservative Progressive Conservative Cultural Politics Bioconservatism Transhumanism

11 90s: Libertarian H+ & Extropians Extropy Institute Extropian Principles Max More Ron Bailey

12 2002-3: BioPolitical Landmark Leon Kass appointed Chair of President’s Council on Bioethics Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future (2002) Greg Stock’s Redesigning Humans (2002) Christian Right’s Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity (2002) Vatican’s "Human Persons Created in the Image of God“ (2002) Bill McKibben Enough (2003) PCB’s Beyond Therapy (2003) Leon Kass Chair, President’s Council on Bioethics

13 BioConservatives Religious Right Deep Ecologists, Romantic Luddites Left-wing/Feminist Critics of Biotech Human-Exceptionalists Pro-Disability Extremists

14 TranshumanistsBioConservatives Personhood, cyborg citizenship Human-Exceptionalism: Humanness more important than personhood Humanism, reason, individual liberty, progress, limits are just status quo bias Sacred taboos, obvious red lines, “the natural”, yuck factor, romanticism Risks are manageableRisks are unknowable; Punishment for hubris inevitable; Tech should be banned Central Biopolitical Disputes

15 Beyond Human-exceptionalism… Humanness as basis of rights-bearing Humans have souls or crypto-spiritual “human dignity” Fetus to cremation Embryonic citizens?

16 …to Personhood Persons: “conscious beings, aware of themselves, with intents and purposes over time” You can be human and not persons: fetus, braindead You can be a person and not human: great apes, AI, posthumans

17 Christian Right BioCon Network Millions of dollars poured into “conservative bioethics” Center for Bioethics and Culture (Jennifer Lahl, Nigel Cameron, Prison Ministries, etc.) Trinity International University/Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity Discovery Institute (Wesley J. Smith) Ethics & Public Policy Center’s BAD (Eric Cohen, New Atlantis) American Enterprise Institute (Leon Kass, J.Q. Wilson) National Catholic Bioethics Center (John Haas) Hudson Institute (Michael Fumento)

18 Leftist Opponents of H+ Leftist, feminist and anti-racist opponents of “technoeugenics” Marcy Darnovsky, Michael Sandel, George Annas, Lori Andrews, Jurgen Habermas

19 Deep Ecologists & Luddites Bill McKibben Enough (2003) Jeremy Rifkin’s FOET Andrew Kimbrell ETC Foundation on Deep Ecology Anti-GM food groups

20 Radical Disability Rights E.g. Not Dead Yet Opposed to: Efforts to “cure” or “fix” disabilities Prenatal selection Refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment Human enhancement medicine

21 Progressive Pushback New willingness to defend enhancement on autonomy grounds Progressive Bioethics Network Art Caplan, Glenn McGee, Alta Charo, Hank Greely, Peter Singer, Maxwell Mehlman, Allen Buchanan Women’s Bioethics Network Center for American Progress European Bioliberals John Harris, Julian Savulescu, Jonathan Glover, Sarah Chan, Ingmar Persson, Nick Bostrom, Anders Sandberg, Stefan Sorgner, Rebecca Roache Liberal US bioethicists soften on H+

22 H+ Politics Left H+ outnumber libertarians 2 to 1 Conservatives only 2-4%

23 Technoprogressives Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies ieet.org Technoprog! (French Transhumanist Association) Dale Carrico

24 Politics of “Technoprogressives” 2013 survey of IEET community Strong support among technoprogrrssives for: H+ abortion rights environmentalism dignity in dying disability rights secular humanism drug legalization

25 2008: Biopolitical Fragmentation Economic crisis slows nascent biopolitics Re-assertion of libertopian hegemony within H+ Growing importance of technological unemployment Growth of Singularitarian subsect

26 Hegemony of Conservative H+ Singularity University Peter Diamandis Abundance Entrepreneurs’ summer camp Peter Thiel Christian libertarian & H+ Paypal, Facebook, Clarium Dominance in H+: SIAI, SENS, Seasteading Principal Backer of Ron & Rand Paul, Hoover Institution

27 The Singularity Millennialist sub-sect Elective affinity with libertarianism Disparages need for public policy to address catastrophic risks of emerging technologies

28 Grinders and “DIY H+” Libertarian orientation Distraction from social & political questions Hopefully will follow ACT- UP’s evolution from DIY AIDS drugs to promoting research on AIDS drugs

29 NeoReactionaries “Dark enlightenment” Rejection of democracy, libertarianism, egalitarianism Advocacy of monarchy and aristocracy, city-state separatism Defense of “traditional” racial, sexual differences and hierarchies

30 Zoltan Istvan: Ayn Rand * Dictatorship Radical individualism + totalitarian fantasy Manichean worldview Running for President with “Transhumanist Party” Some H+ have enthusiasm for project regardless of the politics

31 Biopolitical Polarization H+ BioCons A-Technoprogressives B-Libertarian transhumanists E-Neoreactionaries F-Religious H+ G-Singularitarians Economic Politics Biopolitics Progressive Conservative C A Progressive Conservative B E D Cultural Politics Bioconservatism Transhumanism C-Left bioconservatives D-Right bioconservatives F G

32 Biopolitical Crystallization What issues and conflicts will further crystallize mass biopolitical ideological formation? Life extension therapies and generational conflict? Cognitive enhancement and class conflict? Gene therapies and germinal choice opposed by religious? The Next Left

33 Massification of Biopolitics Pew Surveys of U.S H+BioCon Tech progress will improve most people’s lives 59% yes30% no Medical treatments that slow the aging process and allow the average person to live decades longer, to at least 120 years 38% want 41% good for society 56% don’t want 51% bad for society Parents can alter DNA of prospective children to produce smarter, healthier, or more athletic offspring? 26% positive 66% negative Would use a brain implant to improve memory or mental capacity 26% yes (37% of college graduates) 72% no Human cloning 13% OK83% Not OK

34 Ensuring Safety, Universal Access Majority of U.S. think life extension should be universal, even though pessimistic about safety, social/ecological effects and equal access Dems more positive about radical life extension than Republicans

35 Technoprogressive Intervention Framing the possibilities of technological empowerment with social movements Raising the “social question” with the futurists Helping to shape the emergent bio-ideological formations Technoprogressives Social Movements H+ Futurists Public Debates

36 Post-Genderism Feminists and LGBT Access to ARTs Right to germinal choice Right to body modification

37 Cognitive Liberty, Neurodiversity Drug law reform advocates supporting deregulated access to neurotechnologies Defending brain privacy and neurodiversity in era of brain transparency and moral enhancement

38 Disability Rights Billard: We are all disabled and needing tech enablement Research on and access to assistive and curative technologies Distinguishing enabling genomics from eugenics

39 Techno-gaians Tech-friendly ecologists Sustainable tech innovation GMOs for agriculture, climate remediation Nuclear power Geoengineering

40 Facilitate Innovation of HETs Right to research Defend safety & efficacy, oppose moral police Support funding of HET research initiatives Longevity Dividend Embryonic stem cell research NBIC Brain emulation and neural prosthetics

41 Secure the “Longevity Dividend” Governmental investment in anti-aging therapies to save the welfare state from old age dependency ratio Seniors as political constituency Delaying retirement or BIG? Aubrey de Grey Jay Olshansky MaleFemale Age

42 Universal Access to Enhancement Defend & expand universal health care Expand access in the developing world Example of anti- retroviral drugs

43 Tech Unemployment & BIG Tech unemployment inevitability Left, labor job-ism Technolibertarians Capitalism will always create jobs Post-scarcity will make redistribution unnecessary Neo-feudalism Basic income guarantee

44 E-Democracy Failure of the social democratic labor union + political party model New forms of organization and citizen empowerment

45 Technoprogressive Declaration

46 For more information Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies ieet.org Slides: TP.ppthttp://ieet.org/archive/ TP.ppt Me:


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