Directions for next four questions : Answer the following questions on the basis of the following reading selection.
Sanders Sandberg is a Swedish transhumanist. The term refers to a person who is committed to increasing the complexity of the universe by transforming himself or herself, achieving longevity or immortality, conquering disease, amplifying intelligence and extending the physical body into computers in a post-biological existence. In other words, believing that the survival of our species no longer depends on blind Darwinian evolution but on people capable of
wilfully exploiting opportunities. In this connection he has expounded on something called a ‘breakeven point’ thus:
“As medicine and life extension advances, the life expectancy of the population increases somewhat each year, and this process may accelerate, given new technologies or new knowledge. The longer you live, the more medical advances will occur during your lifetime which extend your life expectancy. During this extra time more medical advances can occur, and so on. If the increase of life expectancy becomes larger than one year longer life/ year lived, the breakeven point is reached after the fusion (physics term for the point where more energy is produced than is used to drive the reactor) and individuals have a finite chance of living indefinitely.”
Quite naturally the breakeven point presupposes that medical advances never run into any firm barriers and that they can be developed fast enough. Sure, in unfounded models of medical thought like bloodletting, homoeopathy, etc, dead-ends are to be expected but given the history of coherent medicine, such barriers have never been encountered as yet. By this precedent, therefore, they will in all likelihood never be encountered in the future either.
Simultaneously, as developments in the field are only becoming increasingly rapid – for example, the unravelling of the genetic code leading to so many much-awaited treatments and management procedures of’ intractable afflictions like, say, cancer – the breakeven point may not be that far ahead now. When the point gets finally breached a new type of humanity will have been reached where the sole purpose of evolution will no longer be to produce replicates of its genetic material but to strike out in full strength towards what society, culture and civilisation is all about. Perhaps then we’ll find the next step is about free will.
A trans-humanist changes his existential pattern by
I. Achieving a longer life
II. Gaining higher intelligence
III. Achieving super-computer abilities