Der Tod und seine Leugnung im Transhumanismus

Came, Daniel (2018) Der Tod und seine Leugnung im Transhumanismus. In: Designobjekt Mensch: die Agenda des Transhumanismus auf dem Prüfstand. Herder Verlag Gmbh. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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In this paper, I present an account of the nature of death-denial as a form of motivated reasoning—that is, a form of reasoning that functions as a method of emotion regulation in which the subject converges on judgments that minimize negative and maximize positive affective states associated with a perceived threat. I then construe some of our everyday attitudes towards death, some of the traditional immortality myths, and philosophical arguments which purport to demonstrate that the rational attitude towards death is indifference (that ‘death is nothing to us’), as an expression of death-denial. I then argue that the growing contemporary belief among so-called transhumanists that science can deliver a technological surrogate for immortality is just the most recent manifestation of death-denial. Finally, I raise a normative question about the rationality of denial: under what conditions (if any), should we be in denial? I argue that when a problem is intractable, denial is a reasonable strategy to deal with it. Indeed, denial can be an optimal strategy both in the short and in the long term: when an intractable problem is permanent, then denial is entirely rational as a way for an agent to evade the discomfort of acknowledging the predicament in which he is caught.

Keywords:death, immortality, mortality, death denial, transhumanism, Epicurus
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:30424
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 13:15

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