The Society met on October 27 to consider the question Resolved: Transhumanism is Immoral.
Mr. Jonathan Berryman spoke on the affirmation making his induction, and Mr. Jesse Whitfield spoke on the negation.
Mr. Berryman began by submitting a very specific definition of transhumanism, the use of technology to surpass the species homo sapien. He then went on to argue that transhumanism is immoral for both deistic and non-deistic theorists. He then addressed the health concerns of scientific developments and issues surrounding wealth and transhumanistic advancements. Mr. Whitfield proceeded to address religious arguments in favor of transhumanism, bringing biblical texts and other theological reasoning to the debate.
Mr. Lim launched the Society into floor debate by bringing biblical examples to counter Mr. Whitfield, arguing that Augustine’s thesis was correct: we cannot form the City of God on earth. Mr. Garosshen brought more theoretical issues to the floor, discussing the role of population growth on the future of humanity. Mr. Rinaldi countered previous arguments by examining the role of Social Darwinism in the debate. Ms. Green proceeded to discuss the reality of transhumanism, arguing that we cannot say it is moral or immoral because we have not experienced it. Mr. Stromeyer submitted that life’s greatest invention is death, echoing Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, and that transhumanism hinders our ability to die, and thus is immoral.
The best speakers of the evening, as selected by the keynoters, were Mr. Soper and President Iacono.
The Society voted 32-23-3 to affirm the resolution.
The Society then joyously inducted Mr. Berryman.
Peter A. Prindiville
Join us next week on Thursday, November 3, as we debate:
Resolved: Wall Street, and not its occupiers, better represent American values.
The Philodemic Room, Second Floor, Healy Hall