Is Transgenderism the First Wave of Transhumanism?
Transhumanism is a futuristic social movement that advocates harnessing the transformative powers of computer science, biotechnology, and medicine to create a “post-human species.”
Want to be immortal, merge your brain with AI intelligence, attain the eyesight of a hawk, grow a prehensile tail, or attain the physical capacities of comic book superheroes? Transhumanism promises adherents that, come “the Singularity”—an eschatological point in time when technological advances make the movement unstoppable—their lives will only be limited by the boundaries of imagination.
This goal is made clear in the “Transhumanist Bill of Rights.” Article X states in part, “Sentient entities agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence whatever one wants so long as it does not harm others.”
Transhumanists also want society to be on the financial hook for the high costs of their recreationist obsessions. Article XVIII states in part: “Societies of the present and future should afford all sentient entities sufficient basic access to wealth and resources to sustain the basic requirements of existence in a civilized society and function as the foundation for pursuits of self-improvement.”
Ok. Let’s get real. Most of the morphological transformations for which transhumanists yearn will almost surely never come to pass. For example, we’ll never upload our minds into computers and live forever in cyberspace. “Life” can’t be reduced to a series of zeros and ones in a computer program. And even if we could somehow transfer our thoughts into a software program, the result wouldn’t be us but merely a program capable of mimicking our reactions to external stimuli.
Still, just because transhumanism is a futuristic fantasy, that doesn’t mean the movement isn’t also a looming societal threat. By presuming the absolute right to remake human nature and radically modify bodies—while also requiring society to accept such “morphological freedom” as a fundamental right, and indeed pay for these alterations—the ideology attacks societal cohesion by elevating subjective desire over objective reality, worshipping, if you will, at the great maw of “I want!”.
This isn’t merely a theoretical peril. The first wave of transhumanist ideology has already shaken society to its core with the explosive growth of and support for transgenderism. Gender ideology—of which transgenderism is merely one part—is a baldly transhumanist belief system that claims the sex one is born is not innate, and, indeed, irrelevant to one’s true self. A person’s subjective perception of “gender”—which isn’t a biological but sociological concept—is all that really counts.
Thus, ludicrously oxymoronic phrases that only a few years ago would have been scorned derisively—such as “men giving birth” and “women with penises”—are now the preferred nomenclature within our most important social institutions—from the Democratic Party, to medical journals, K-12 schools, universities, the media, and the organs of popular culture. Moreover, true to transhumanist dogma, gender ideologists insist that transitioning is a fundamental right to which all of society must pay obeisance. Thus, using “dead names” or “mis-pronouning” a transgendered person is a firing offense and deemed akin to violence by gender ideologues. Girls and women are now forced to compete against biological males who claim to be female in sports, and even to share intimate spaces such as gym showers and restrooms.
How extreme has this ideological zealotry become? Children’s bodies are being mutilated with mastectomies, facial reconstructions, and potentially harmful hormone “therapies” that seek to prevent normal puberty. Transition surgeons make a mint performing transgender hysterectomies of healthy uteruses, and genital refashioning—some even performing a “nullectomy,” i.e., removing all external genitalia to create a smooth transition from the abdomen to the groin. There’s even advocacy to allow biological males who identify as women to have uterus transplants so they can gestate and give birth.
Gender ideology has become so ensconced among progressives that some “blue” states are passing laws making themselves transgender sanctuary states in which social workers are required to hide runaway gender dysphoric children from their parents or refuse to heed legal custody court rulings, while having Medicaid pay for underage transitions without parental consent.
Transgenderism wouldn’t be the end of this madness either. When I attended a transhumanist symposium at Stanford University some 10 years ago, presenters urgently supported the idea of removing healthy limbs or snipping spinal cords of people suffering from body identity integrity disorder (BIID), a mental illness in which able-bodied people believe obsessively that their “true selves” are disabled. BIID is now often called “transableism.” (Get it?) And advocacy is growing to permit these procedures in the same way transgender surgeries are performed now.
And why not? In a subjective-uber-alles culture, what’s the difference between removing a woman’s vagina from which to surgically fashion a faux penis and cutting the spinal cord of a person who wants to be disabled? The only distinction I perceive between the two is that gender ideology is backed by the LGBT political juggernaut and “transableism” is not. But give it time. Once transgenderism becomes just another lifestyle, transableism won’t be far behind.
Transhumanists like to say that their movement can’t be stopped, that we’re already on the slippery slope to the posthuman future, so we might as well relax and enjoy the ride. I reject that notion. While I don’t believe that transhumanists will ever design a post-human species, I do worry that the dangerous values the movement promotes are becoming predominant.
Indeed, if the current trends continue, we’ll see the triumph of a radical new moral order that can only be described as a symbiosis between social anarchy and fascistic statism, in which, to quote Nietzsche, “nothing is true, and everything is permitted.” That would be calamitous, because, as an even older wisdom has it, a house built on sand cannot stand.