OCTOBER 28, 2013
HUMAN NATURE, THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL CRISES AND GLOBAL FUTURE

Dr. David Dubrovsky

Chief scientist since 1988 at the Cognition Theory Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Philosophy. Co-chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Scientific Council for the Methodology of Artificial Intelligence. Authored 7 books and 280 articles.

 

Abstract: The continual escalation in the ecological crisis and other global problems of our civilization are the path to an anthropological catastrophe. In order to avoid this, the consciousness of the mass person must be changed. And this is equivalent to a change in what is called human nature. It is a set of stable qualities of the social individual, which is reproduced in all eras and among all peoples, which shows its biological causality. The main issue is how to change its negative qualities: unbridled consumption, aggression towards fellow human beings, excessively selfish aspirations. I examine the main features of the anthropological crisis, and against this background, issues of transhuman evolution as a process of the transformation of corporality and consciousness, the formation of a human of a new type, which has overcome its biological nature and earthly limitation. 

 

Transcript

 

The constant worsening of the ecological crisis and other global problems shows that our consumer society is approaching a dead end.

 

Many people are talking and writing about this. But no decisive actions can be seen.

 

In order to change the perilous trajectory of the development of the world’s civilization, we must change mainstream consciousness.

 

This is equivalent to changing human nature.

 

The concept of human nature expresses a complex of stable qualities of the social individual, which are reproduced in all eras and among all peoples, which shows that they are conditioned by our biological nature.

 

The main issue is how to change the negative qualities of human nature:

      unbridled consumerism

      aggression towards one’s fellow human beings

      excessive egotistical strivings

 

The source of our global problems reside in these things.

 

We do not have a definite answer.

 

There are probably only two possible options:

 

we must either change man’s biological nature by reconstructing the genome, to change the human psyche and vital functions.

 

or take the path of transferring the mind and personality of an individual to a non-biological cybernetic system, i.e. by anthropo-technological transformations, which is the path of evolutionary transhumanism.

 

Theoretically, both these options are possible.

 

But the first path seems more complex and risky, and may cause an uncontrolled chain reaction of mutations, as well as the arrival of new living beings which will not leave humans a place on Earth.

 

The second path is more preferable because of the following reasons:

 

1) It avoids radical interference in the human genome, and allows us to keep a relative level of control of the results of the digital modeling and emulation of the brain;

 

2) it relies on a comparatively well-developed theoretical base of information technology, cybernetics and robotics, and can make use of achievements in socio-humanitarian disciplines, psychology, genetics and neuroscience in the field of studying phenomena of consciousness and personal self-organization;

 

3) it falls within the realm of the convergent development of NBICS: Nanotechnologies, Biotechnologies, Information, Cognitive and Social technologies and corresponding bodies of scientific knowledge.

 

It is particularly important to emphasize this, as it is the NBCIS convergence which now determines the construction of fundamentally new integrated objects, which combine psychological, biological and physical elements, and the development of cybernetic systems on non-biological substrates.

 

At the same time, we must see that the main role in the NBICS system goes to the socio-humanitarian component, which is designed to solve ethical and legal problems; to develop effective methods for predicting and sanctioning technological innovations; and to combat the risks and threats that come with anthropo-technological transformations;

 

4) it creates the prospect of radical life extension, to the point of cybernetic immortality, and therefore a new anthropological prospect, and forms a system of meanings and values which expands the horizon of our limited mentality and spirituality;

 

5) it opens up real possibilities for replacing material and energy consumption with information consumption, which can fundamentally change society’s relationship with the environment, and stop destroying it.

 

6) it promotes parallel processes in studying biological systems and supporting conditions for preserving life on Earth;

 

7) it has a strategic advantage that creates favorable conditions for exploring space, and guarantees the preservation and development of the human mind.

 

Biological life is subject to constant threats, and may be destroyed not only by causes of a social nature such as wars, but also as a result of a cataclysm caused by factors from outer space, or physical changes on the Earth itself.

 

Along with life, the human mind could also be destroyed.

 

These are the provisions — in general terms — that determine the tasks set out in the project of the 2045 Initiative social movement.

 

In the words of the organizer of the movement, the president of our congress Dmitry Itskov, it sets a super-task which corresponds to the most treasured dreams of humanity, stimulates a fundamentally new type of human life in the world in theory and practice.

 

This is the essence of evolutionary transhumanism.

 

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize once more that:

 

- Our civilization is running out of time.

 

- An anthropological catastrophe is swiftly approaching.

 

- We should not have any illusions about this.

 

- We need decisive action.

 

Otherwise it will be too late.

 

The time has come to unite thoughtful passionate individuals concerned with the fate of world civilization, the fate of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 

The number of such people is increasing rapidly.

 

We need a powerful social movement with decisiveness and will-power which is capable of concentrating spiritual, intellectual, financial and organizational resources, in order to make a breakthrough.

 

The 2045 Initiative movement aims to be the catalyst of this international movement, which undoubtedly also needs political resources and state support.

 

But so far, the thinking of political leaders of powerful countries is not focused on this vital problem.

 

They are immersed in current events and tasks, political games and score-settling.

 

They are too dependent on the mass psychology of the voter and their own bureaucracy.

 

But the most surprising thing is that this serious, fateful problem of the mid-century does not concern the United Nations at all.

 

One would think that the UN should long ago – 10 or 20 years ago – have become the initiator of strategically important studies of the global crisis of world civilization, the causes of it, and most importantly the means to overcome it.

 

It should have become the initiator for creating real forces to combat the approaching anthropological catastrophe.

 

But so far this topic has not even been mentioned.

 

So, from this tribune, I would like to make a request to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.

 

Mr. Secretary General, do you accept the scientific justification that by the middle of the century, world civilization will enter a phase of drastic escalation of the general global crisis, which may lead to the decline and destruction of this civilization?

 

If you do not accept this, then on what basis?

 

If you do accept it, then why is the UN avoiding this issue?

 

And is the UN prepared to support the social initiatives presented at our congress?

 

Apart from everything else, highlighting the urgency of this problem and organizing corresponding work is an important resource for the true unification of nations, states, ethnic groups and members of different religions: unification around the common goals of saving ourselves from destruction.

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