Russian young people about biotechnology projects to “improve” the human


Lukov V.A.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Director of the Center for social design and thesaurus concepts of the Institute of fundamental and applied research of the same University, Moscow, Russia v-kukov@list.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518040086
ID of the Article: 7142


For citation:

Lukov V.A. Russian young people about biotechnology projects to “improve” the human . Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 4. P. 73-81




Abstract

The article discusses the projects of “human enhancement” as seen by young Russians. Projects of “human enhancement” using the biological and medical technologies are based on approved transhumanism values – immortalism (or the theory of unlimited longevity), artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, which form the basis for alterating the person into the “transhuman” and then “Posthuman”. Transhumanism, formed in the 1970–1980s by its founders F.M. Esfandiary, who wrote under the alias FM-2030, R. Ettinger, K.E. Drexler, M. Minsky and other writers and scientists, primarily futurologists, has grown up in an intellectual movement and philosophical concept originating from the fact that technological advances have made it possible today and in the future to overcome imperfect biological nature of man in his suffering from incurable diseases and death, and the price of these imperfections to deliver human, intellectual and physical potential is incomparably higher than now, but life is not only longer, but also lasts forever, the immortal man. Empirical research conducted in 2016–2017 in 10 Russian cities, shows that the assumption of a greater commitment of youth to the ideas of the “Posthuman” (physical perfection at the expense of cyborgization, asexual, artificial reproduction, and distributed identity, unlimited longevity, etc.) is not confirmed: only about half (53 and 46%) boys in the total number of surveyed young men are in favor of improving body implants (cyborgization) and unlimited longevity, a different perspective of “Posthuman” are supported by approximately 1/4 of respondents, and asexual is welcome by about 10% of boys and 12% girls, while a negative attitude to this change of human nature is typical for 76 and 73% of boys and girls in relation to persons of the same sex participated in the study. Comparison of subgroups of youth, one of which is composed of young (and future) biologists and medical doctors, and the other including the young members of other professions shows that questions about the prospects of a man in relation to his nature, display no big differences. A special role in this process is acquired by the youth’s social subjectivity. Assessment of the prospects of man are not based on young people acquired professional qualities and socio-cultural settings of the society.


Keywords
“human enhancement”; social subjectivity; transhumanism; youth

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Content No 4, 2018