Humanity+ is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization dedicated to elevating the human condition. We aim to deeply influence a new generation of thinkers who dare to envision humanity’s next steps. Our programs combine unique insights into the developments of emerging and speculative technologies that focus on the well-being of our species and the changes that we are and will be facing. Our programs are designed to produce outcomes that can be helpful to individuals and institutions. Since its inception as the World Transhumanist Association, along with the pioneering work of Extropy Institute, Humanity+ has contributed to advancing the public knowledge of how science and technology can and will affect our human future.
What is the Mission of Humanity+?
“Humanity+ is an international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. In other words, we want people to be better than well.”
Where does Humanity+ advocate the ethical use of technology? What are the human capacities to be expanded? How does Humanity+ foster people being better than well?
Ethical Use of Technology. Because these technologies, and their respective sciences, would take the human beyond the normal state of existence, society, including bioethicists and others who advocate the safe use of technology, have shown concern and uncertainties about the downside of these technologies and possible problematic and dangerous outcomes for our species.
Expand Human Capabilities. The human is a biological animal, which evolved approximately 200,000 years ago as the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans). The Western world’s consensus on what is “normal” for a human biology, life span, intelligence and psychology established certain precedents. Outside these precedents would mean that a human is subnormal or beyond normal. A person who is afflicted with a physical affliction, a mental condition, or degenerative disease would be considered to be outside the normal range. Likewise, a person who has increased physiological performance or cognitive abilities, or lives beyond the human maximum lifespan of 122-123 years, would be considered outside the normal range. This determination of “normal” has not kept up with the advances in technology or science.
Human enhancement. Both therapeutic and selective enhancement challenges the normal status and aim to expand human capabilities that further human physiological and cognitive functions and extends the maximum life span. External devices such as smart phones, smart watches, wearable bio monitors, Google glasses, etc. are all expanding human capabilities In the field of medical technology, the cochlear implant and bionic eyes have broken through the glass ceiling on biological determinism. Regenerative medicine, stem cell therapies, smart prosthetics, genetic engineering, nanomedicine, cryonics, nootropics, neuropharmacology, have already done this.
Better Than Well. Daily, medicine uncovers another way to make us better than well. Daily, medicine uncovers another way to make us better than well. People’s illnesses and injuries are not only being healed—they are also being improved. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with aiming to be better than well. However, there are evident concerns and this is where ethical use of technology plays a part. While extending the human maximum life span does not cross these lines, there are other concerns that could affect humanity. Humanity+’s focus is on the course of prompting good to great health. Many of our members practice physical fitness (aerobics and anaerobic exercise, Yoga, Pilates, Dance), participate in wellness diets (Paleo, Atkins, CR, vegetarian, vegan), and mental fitness (meditation, visualization, Zen, spirituality, Buddhism, and other practices). Our members also participate in projects such as Quantified Self (QS), entrepreneurial aims, and self-responsibility, paying it forward, and empathy as a way of life.
What is Humanity+’s Relation to Transhumanism?
Humanity+ adopted the Transhumanist Declaration. The Transhumanist Declaration was a a joint effort between members of Extropy Institute, World Transhumanist Association, and other transhumanist groups worldwide. The Transhumanist Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is located at Humanity+’s website and is a collection of contributions by numerous authors, later edited by Nick Bostrom, and is updated as necessary by others. There are other FAQs on transhumanism, such as The Transhumanist FAQ was developed by ExI and members of Humanity+ and earlier WTA.
Who Belongs to Humanity+?
Approximately 6000 people follow Humanity+ (including members and newsletter subscribers). Humanity+ followers come from more than 100 countries, from Afghanistan to Brazil to Egypt to the Philippines. Supporting and sustaining members elect the Board, and participate in Humanity+ leadership and decision-making. Humanity+ members also participate in more than four dozen chapters around the world.
What does Humanity+ Do?
Humanity+ has many different programs of activity, and we are adding more all the time!