Transgenderism As Transhumanism
Social conservatives have a habit of fighting at the moral level, when the real battle is metaphysical. Consider the question of transgender rights. What few people consider are the implications of legitimizing the principles behind transgenderism. A friend said to me recently, about the burgeoning number of trans kids, “I’m so glad that more and more kids are free to be who they are.”
Who they are? Implicit in that anodyne remark is a radical worldview, one that opens the door to a very, very dark future … one into which we, with our naive faith in Progress™, are obediently marching.
Libby Emmons warns that we are moving quickly along the road to abolishing man. I can’t possibly do justice to her essay by simply excerpting it. But here’s the gist:
The transhumanist perspective insists that humans have a distinctly separate mind and body, and that what happens to one need not affect the other. Understood in this way, apparently unrelated movements in biotech, tech, and social justice reveal themselves to be part of the same transhumanist project and aimed at the same objective: liberating the human being from the limitations of the body.
The transhumanist push towards a reimagining of the human, humanity, and our shared future is a primary component of three growing cultural trends: artificial intelligence, human augmentation, and the transgender phenomenon. The means of effecting these transformative developments are entirely technical, and promise liberation from reproduction, liberation from disease and mortality, and liberation from the body itself.
Emmons gets into details about what is happening now, and what is to come, but always in a readable, comprehensible way. What it amounts to is the totalitarian tyranny of the mind over the body, and of humanity’s will over nature.
What does the transgender movement have to do with this? Read on:
Transgender advocates will answer that we are more mind than body, and this is what makes transgender ideology an essential component of the drive toward transhumanist acceptance, whether transgender advocates realize this connection or not (a Twitter search reveals that many do). The ongoing effort to change language, and redefine ‘male’ and ‘female’ so they refer to something other than sexual dimorphism, is designed to establish a Cartesian mind-body dualism in which the mind can dominate body to such an extent that personal subjectivity can decisively contradict biological reality. Transgender practice is the ultimate biohack. The claim that one has been born into the ‘wrong’ body is a total rejection of mind-body unification, and a statement that mind and body can be so disparate that the body must be thoroughly altered to match the mind’s perception of how it ought to be.
Contrary to popular perception and much of the transgender movement’s own rhetoric, transgender activism is not about compassion and dignity. Although transgender advocacy is couched in the language of oppression and identity, the idea that it is merely the latest facet of an ongoing civil rights struggle is a misconception. In the current cultural climate, to question the concept of transgenderism is to question the right of trans individuals to exist. This is an extremely effective strategy that deters the skeptical from digging into an ideology by labelling them bigots for doing so. But the implications of transgenderism are so serious and far-reaching that questions must be asked. At issue is not simply societal acceptance of people with alternative views or lifestyles, but the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be human.
It is no anomaly that the movement is hitting its cultural stride in the debate over pronouns. The first step in changing how we think about our bodies and what it means to be human is to change how we speak about these things. Transgender speech codes demand that we renounce our bodies’ basis in biology, and instead consider them constructs of arbitrary (and somehow unjust) societal expectations. We are not to think about ‘mother’ and ‘father’ as reproductive terms, but as culturally specified relationships. This aggressive effort to change and police the use of language, and to redefine terms like ‘male’ and ‘female’ to deny the sexual difference characteristic of all mammals, is designed to uncouple mind from body and humans from evolutionary and reproductive logic. Instead, an ideology of emotion is to be given dominion over biological reality.
It’s a pitch-black shadow falling over us all. How can we resist? If we surrender to the efforts to police language, we will cease to be able to conceive of resistance. Again, this is not a matter of morality or ethics, but of physics and metaphysics — that is, the connection between matter and ultimate reality.