42. Progress and Relinquishment

  1. Max More and
  2. Natasha Vita-More
  1. Ray Kurzweil

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch42

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

How to Cite

Kurzweil, R. (2013) Progress and Relinquishment, in The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future (eds M. More and N. Vita-More), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch42

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118334294

Online ISBN: 9781118555927

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • defensive technologies;
  • progress;
  • relinquishment

Summary

In this chapter, Ray Kurzweil explains how technology empowers both our creative and destructive natures. For instance, genetic engineering is in the early stages of enormous strides in reversing disease and aging processes. Ubiquitous nanotechnology, now about two decades away, will continue an exponential expansion of these benefits. Yet, there are also salient dangers. The means and knowledge exist in a routine college bioengineering lab to create unfriendly pathogens more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Awareness of these dangers has resulted in calls for broad relinquishment. However, sweeping strokes of relinquishment are equally untenable. The author briefly explains that we need to realize the profound promise of accelerating technologies, while managing the peril.