Ian M. Doherty, Center for Global Health Ethics
This paper investigates and evaluates the implications of nudging someone toward transhumanism. Transhumanism offers a path to alleviate suffering and transcend our physical and mental limitations. Transhumanist technologies consist of alterations like genetic modification, neural implants, and molecular nanotechnology. These technologies are meant to give people full morphological freedom over their bodies. Although transhumanism remains a largely unknown movement, this is where nudge theory can help raise its prominence. Nudge theory aims to help people make better choices, and aid them in making better decisions related to their health and lifestyle. If paired correctly, transhumanism seems to be a perfect option to live a life free of suffering and physical ailments. However, we should be cautious about this union. This partnership would nudge people toward an ideal body that further condemns conditions like physical and mental disabilities. Further, epistemological concerns arise from the perspective of whether a proposed nudge will actually address an individual’s true need. Instead, the individual may need psychological counseling or a behavioral change. Transhumanism and nudging raise questions about our obligations to one another. Each of them challenges our deep-seated interdependent nature, in favor of elevating the individual above the community. We ought to consider what nudging someone toward transhumanism says about what we, as a society, value. The nudge itself may rob an individual of the opportunity to undergo self-interpretation to understand what they value and need in life.
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Dr. Gerard Magill
The Hermeneutics of Nudging: The Reciprocity Between Transhumanism and Nudging