I had an internal debate today about the difference between Secular Buddhism and Transhumanism. They really seem to be at opposite sides of a spectrum and yet they both appeal to me so I’d like to explore this idea a bit with your indulgence.
Secular Buddhism is a very Darwinian idea that we exist and indeed are a part of an indifferent universe. Nature created us, but only because that’s what nature does. This leads to a lot of suffering and fighting that suffering will only reinforce it like Chinese fingercuffs, while recognizing our place in the churn will bring us enlightenment and peace. To me, that makes a lot of sense. Our very bodies are made from the remains of exploded stars, and our evolution has progressed through competition in the dog-eat-dog world of natural selection through survival of the fittest.
Transhumanism, on the other hand, is the idea that through our evolved ape brains, we are capable of transcending the problems which face us, adapting our very bodies and minds through directed evolution, often with the use of advanced technologies. While the Buddhist may take the middle path and learn to tolerate a problem, the transhumanist sees no problem as insurmountable and sees fighting the challenges which bind our physical bodies to be a virtue.
I wonder what sort of middle path can exist between these two extremes. Could, or should, they be unified?