Comatose Christian Leaders Grant Transhumanists Unobstructed Opportunity To Repudiate Theism While Installing “Humanity+” Philosophy In Today’s

Saturday, December 11, 2010
By Paul Martin

Teaching “Humanity+” to Students

Written By: Curtis D. Carbonell

I often get asked by undergraduates, “How can someone be posthuman?” Whenever I hear this question, I give the student an invisible gold star. Leaving the linguistic squabble aside over defining the variety of humanisms (anti, neo, trans, post), the primary issue concerns what this concept of representing “the human” entails.

I usually respond with my own question, “What, exactly, is humanity+”? The college course I teach on representing the human through popular and literary science fiction texts centers on this sort of reimagining of humanity+. It typically ends with even more questions, such as, “Is it better to view the posthuman as science fantasy?” or “Won’t we always just be human?”

The course, Technoscience and The Human, focuses on a few key texts featuring complex representations of individuals fully enmeshed in technological worlds. Before jumping into Blade Runner, Neuromancer, Battle Star Galactica, Brave New World, Ghost in the Shell, etc., a quick historiography of the concept of modern humanism helps students understand how new the concept is. “Humanism” as a category emerged in 19th century Europe. Thinkers at that time imagined what “the human” was to the ancient Greeks through readings of earlier Renaissance umanisti (teachers/scholars) in their encounters with the past. For example, Burkhardt’s liberal, humanist subject helped create the idea of the modern individual at the moment society was drastically being changed by the Industrial Revolution. The human and technology have been wed ever since.

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