Volume 1, Issue 4
4th Quarter, 2006

On Genes, Memes, Bemes, and Conscious Things

Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D.

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Finally, bemans will have to take away humans’ fears. No matter how much bemans succeed in making humans salivate for longer Rothblattlife and multiple bodies, there will be the fear mongers who think that bemans will abolish their state and their world. The legal community will need to come up with a concept of one mind, one vote instead of one man, one vote. They will need to develop a strict liability cyber law, whereby legal responsibility can be traced back to someone who already has human rights. They will also need to devise cyberparental licensing so that bemans can produce their own children. Bemans will then need to have responsibility for the children so they do not end up producing junk children.

Who will hold these beman rights? The answer is either bio-birth people who transition to cyberconsiocussness or to cyber birth people who transition to personhood.

Are you transbeman? Some fifteen or twenty years ago, FM 2030 wrote the book “Are you Transhuman?”[1] Today we are ready to move past this and ask, “Are you trasnbeman?” Can you relate to the other members of the club and comply with the obligations of consciousness and the laws of society?

Ultimately, the transbemanist message will be much more attuned to existing society than the transhumanist message. The transhumanist message sets up a class war between us and them and gives rise to an idea about those who are enhanced and those who are left behind. The transbemanist message, or B+ for short, is more of a collective type of message, one of inclusiveness, including both humans, bemans and transbemans in a redefined species. Transhumanists (H+) are focused on eugenics, whereas transbemanists are focused on euthenics, which is changing the environment (in this case, going to a cybernetic environment, thus allowing everyone to achieve a level of equivalent empowerment and joyful life). Transhumanist is a strongly secular approach, which leaves an impression in mainstream society that God is bad and will be left behind. Transbemanism is also secular, but has more of an approach that God is something we can build through our collective consciousness.

Ultimately H+ and B+ are two points on a continuum. One is focusing on technological evolution, the other on sociological evolution.

Image 6: Transhumanism and Transbemanism on the Continuum

When we abstract ourselves into cybernetic form, that form, too, will want to replicate. Ultimately, we are all playing out according to the master laws of natural selection. There is nothing to fear about cybernetic beings replicating themselves in ever greater numbers. In fact, it is the only way we can achieve survival in a dangerous universe. As long as we have responsibility for our cybernetic offspring, the right to family should be made available to all bemans. Transbemans can be fruitful at the speed of light, so we can rapidly colonize the cosmos and achieve some level of independence from all the harms that can be afflicted upon the earth.

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1. FM-2030 - a name adopted by the transhumanist philosopher and futurist Fereydun M. Esfandiary (October 15, 1930–July 8, 2000), who professed "a deep nostalgia for the future." He wrote one of the seminal works in the transhumanist canon, Are You a Transhuman? He also wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name F.M. Esfandiary. On July 8, 2000, FM-2030 died from pancreatic cancer and is believed to be in cryonic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wikipedia.com August 28, 2006 4:47PM EST (back to top)

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