From the last time I wrote about this topic, there were people who did not understand my points. This is understandable, as the concept required some revisions and proper thinking. Since then, I have fleshed out the concept of cishumanism and have made it easier to understand. From some of the people who feel that the concept is “light transhumanism” can now see the distinctive differences and similarities between the two philosophies.
The concept of cishumanism can summed up in one simple term: pragmatism. With cishumanism, the intrinsic values of ideas and concepts are measured by their practicality. When deeming a concept as cishumanistic, one must ask this question: how can it be used? This casts aside most fringe topics within transhumanism due to their impracticality. Without a working prototype or substantial evidence to demonstrate the validity of a specific topic, the subject at hand has no intrinsic value and is cast aside. Concepts, like Kurtzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, lack empirical evidence to support their claims and are considered to be neither proven nor disproven. Because of this, they hold no validity and cannot be used to solve actual problems.
From this, one could ask if any relevant theories can be considered cishumanist. The only theories that can be considered cishumanist are the ones that have practical application. For example, suspended hibernation and warp drives are concepts that can be considered cishumanistic. These technologies have practical applications for interstellar travel, which is practical as well. AGI can be considered a cishumanist concept, but within reason. The idea of an intelligent agent that can assist with scientific or engineering issues has intrinsic value. On the other hand, an AGI with superintelligence that can assist with bestowing humanity with godlike powers is something short of fantasy. Immortalism is another topic that is excluded from cishumanism. In order to be immortal, one must outlive the universe. Because the individual will live indefinitely and the universe will exist within a definite timescale, the situation creates a philosophical loophole that doesn’t solve any existing problems.
Like transhumanism, cishumanism follows the NBIC rubric for technologies of interest. Unlike transhumanism, cishumanism only focuses on technologies that solve problems and improves current inefficiencies. For example, bioprinters can be considered both. As the cishumanist argues that bioprinters solves the problem of having less organs available to those who need them, the transhumanist agrees with this but also believes that constantly replacing aged and diseased organs could make someone immortal. The interaction between the two creates a dichotomy between the idealist and pragmatist mindsets, the philosopher and the engineer.
Here, it is made clear that cishumanism is a concept that completely eliminates the philosophical and utopian ideologies within transhumanism and replaces it with the goal of creating solutions for real-world problems. This replaces the idea of cishumanism being “light transhumanism” or “conservative transhumanism” to being the “engineer’s transhumanism” and “transhumanism made practical.” Between the utopian idealism of transhumanism and realist pragmatism of cishumanism, which side do you choose?
*hero image used from: