For Max More, transhumanism seems to be a beautiful idea because it is about valuing the human (or transhuman) existence in this life rather than in some supernatural “afterlife”.
Wait: What is transhumanism?
Here is the definition from Humanity Plus’ FAQ:
Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.
(Humanity + is an organization that sets its role as a primary advocate for positive transhumanist values. It has most of the important transhumanists in it.)
Transhumanism is a movement that seeks to evolve humanity through science and technology. It’s about envisioning a future where humans are super capable and creating that future with technology.
Max More’s letter to Nature
The easiest way to make sense of transhumanism is through Max More’s letter to Nature where he satires nature, god, and proposes seven amendments to the human constitution.
He starts the letter by thanking nature for giving us (humans) slow and massive distributed intelligence with longer life span, bigger brain, capacity for language, reason, foresight, curiosity, creativity, self-understanding, and empathy.
He considers that nature did the best she could yet she did a poor job with human constitution. She made us vulnerable to disease and damage and compelled us to die just as we begin to reach wisdom. She was petty with her somatic, cognitive, and emotional processes.
He says nature made us glorious but flawed and she lost interest in our evolution some 100,000 years ago.
He speaks for humanity when he proposes amendments to the human constitution to be done cautiously, intelligently, and in pursuit of excellence. To make nature proud of us. In a tone as if the decision has already been made, he says humans will now pursue a series of changes to their constitution with biotech, guided by critical and creative thinking.