Augumented mountain walks: thoughts and answers while hiking
As I was doing some hiking during the past weekend my mind was split between the breathtaking views of Carinthian's mountains and thoughts about how a body could be enhanced to make it even more enjoyable.
As I was doing some hiking during the past weekend my mind was split between the breathtaking views of Carinthian's mountains and thoughts about how a body could be enhanced to make it even more enjoyable. Not because I wasn't really able to walk, but because some could be, perhaps myself too. So from one thought to another, I started thinking about a set of augumentations that could help the human body to walk upwards to a mountain's top, and then get down.
But while the technical madness was going on my mind, a more philosophical idea came up. I've been reading a lot about transhumanism, augumentations and AIs lately: all topics are really interesting to me and I am not going to stop (just for the record). Yet the question has come to my mind. Is this kind of evolutionary process ethical? I mean... from (again) a philosophical point of view, would augumenting my body be acceptable. Well, after a long walk and few days of meditation myself, I did find an answer.
Since this is going to be the very first time I am writing about such a topic, I hope it will be clear enough (also because it will be written in English first, then - perhaps - translated to Italian). Here is how I did get my answer. (this is my very own opinion, I am glad if someone is able to share the thought and ideas, but I am not willing to declare it as an absolute truth).
Since the very early ages mankind has tried, and has actually done it, to augument himself. I came to this conclusion by watching the leader of my walk: heavy boots, backpack, clothing. Everything he was, and indeed I was too, wearing, is an augumentation of sort. So, man has always been augumenting himself. From the very beginning he started using tools like claws to overcome his weakness. Clothing to solve the issue of being cold during nights of winters. As time went through, he became building tools, more and more complex that allowed him to overcome new weaknesses and challenges. Knights wore armors and stronger weapons, clothing became more complex and also with an esthetical function. All of it had one main purpose: survival. All of it could be, at the time with the current knowledge, called "augumentation".
As technology has reached a "vertical" development outline, augumentation have not changed in their purpose. They are built and developed with surviving. More complex weapons and armors, more complex tools, robots, computers... you would not really consider someone wearing a prothesis a "freak". He or she is a survivor of a tragic event, that has not lost his or her will to survive, and technology gave a new dimension of living. Hope, meanings and tools to achiveve this goal.
And this it got worse. I've mentioned clothing being an augumentation of sort. It actually, in my meditation, is. It is a "social augumentation". It helps raising the individual social status by showing others wealth or power. Isn't that true? You wouldn't talk easily to someone who is standing naked in front of you: today you would probably blame him of being outrageous, which is ironic since, in this thought, it could be a discrimination of someone who is actually NOT augumented! But back to the topic. This kind of augumentation is also used by one of the societies that criticizes the whole augumentation topic. Doesn't the Church use the very same kind of "social augumentation" themselves? I don't want to enter a deeper topic about Faith and the idea of augumentation and/or transhumanism, not in this topic at least. But from a really narrow point of view, that is worth of a thought.
So while my mind was wandering through all those thoughts, split now between three topics (views/augumentations and technical applications, and the search of an answer) I have finally reached my answer. Yes, I think that if someone has the will of augumenting his or her own body, it goes not against laws of evolution or moral conflicts. It is within our nature to augument ourselves, evolving at DNA level or technical level, so we can survive this world and, perhaps, enjoy it more than we used to.