Transexuals Pave the Way for Transhumanists


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Powerpoint presentation given at International Humanist and Ethical Union conference in New York City on the topic of Technological Self-Determination

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  • Transexuals Pave the Way for Transhumanists

    1. 1. Technological Transexualism as a Torchbearer for Technological Self-Determination By: Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A. Human Rights for the 21st Century: Rights of the Person to Technological Self-Determination IHEU – Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
    2. 2. <ul><li>Technological Transexualism </li></ul><ul><li>Technological Self-Determination </li></ul><ul><li>Similar Challenges Faced </li></ul>
    3. 3. Technological Transexualism
    4. 4. What is Technological Transexualism? <ul><li>The use of products or processes to alter the phenotype from that generally associated with either male or female genotype to its alternative. </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>“No absolute ‘male or female brain’ indicators have been found because they don’t exist. Instead the human mind is arrayed across a broad continuum of sexual identity…” </li></ul>Professor Anne Fausto-Sterling; Professor of Biology & Gender Studies at Brown University
    6. 6. Research by Eric Vilain MD of UCLA & Peter Goodfellow of Cambridge <ul><li>1/4500 birthed genitals are ambiguous </li></ul><ul><li>1/100 are non-dimorphic, eg undescended </li></ul><ul><li>SRY gene, discovered 1990, blocks antitestes gene (DAX1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single base pair can change sex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XX + SRY yields range from M to androgeny </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DAX1 gene starts up female pathway </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XY + too much DAX1 makes F </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Billions of Possible Sexual & Gender Identities <ul><li>Sex emerges out of a delicate dance of pro-male, anti-male & pro-female genes. </li></ul><ul><li>Genes as much as hormones shape neurogender -- 7 sex differential genes affect neural tissue before gonads form. </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-Female Genes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DAX1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WNT4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dozens candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pro-Male Genes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SRY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dozens candidates </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Phenotypic Characteristics Associated With Gender <ul><li>Body Shape </li></ul><ul><li>Body Hair </li></ul><ul><li>Reproductive Organs </li></ul><ul><li>Genitalia </li></ul>
    9. 9. Strong Motivation For Technological Transexualism Despite: <ul><li>High costs </li></ul><ul><li>Painful surgery and recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive mental evaluation and invasion of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of death </li></ul>Renee Richards Christine Jorgenson
    10. 10. <ul><li>Recently, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest federal court in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, acknowledged that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects transexuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual identity. </li></ul>Laws Are Slowly Changing Barnes v. City of Cincinnati, 401 F.3d 729, 95 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 994, 85 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 41,893, 66 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 999, 2005 Fed.App. 0142P  6th Cir.(Ohio) Mar 22, 2005 
    11. 11. The district court did not err by instructing the jury it could find discrimination based on “sexual stereotype.” <ul><li>OPINION OF DAVID W. McKEAGUE, District Judge. </li></ul><ul><li>… the Equal Protection Clause (EPC) “prohibits discrimination against public employees on the basis of an employee’s perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, transsexuality, or failure to conform to sex stereotypes.” </li></ul><ul><li>… this court held that the district court erred in granting a motion to dismiss by holding that transsexuals, as a class, are not entitled to Title VII protections… </li></ul><ul><li>The City’s argument that Barnes lacked standing because he was not a member of a protected class fails, as Barnes is a member of a protected class as defined in Title VII. Smith , 378 F.3d at 575. The City’s claim that Barnes did not have standing to bring an equal protection claim based on his status as a transsexual also fails, as Barnes is a member of a protected class – whether as a man or a woman. </li></ul>Barnes v. City of Cincinnati, 401 F.3d 729, 95 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 994, 85 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 41,893, 66 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 999, 2005 Fed.App. 0142P  6th Cir.(Ohio) Mar 22, 2005 
    12. 12. Legal Recognition Is Still Challenged <ul><li>U.K. and the State of Florida still refuse to legally recognize transexuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Many transexuals are legally denied: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Travel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Families </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Defining Technological Self-Determination <ul><li>The use of scientifically derived products and processes to alter the phenotype of an individual from that which is genetically associated with Homo Sapiens to something else. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Lesser Stages Of Technological Self-Determination Could Include: <ul><li>Neuro-Electronic Interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Bionic Eyes, Ears, Muscles or Glands </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Lenses or Bone Replacement </li></ul>
    15. 15. Ultimate Stages Of Technological Self-Determination Include: <ul><li>Downloading Your Mind </li></ul><ul><li>Dispensing With Your Body </li></ul><ul><li>Using Virtual Reality & Nanobot Swarms to Assume Any Phenotype </li></ul>
    16. 16. Transmetropolitan Described It In 1996
    17. 17. Bemes– A Way To Download Your Self <ul><li>Digital Samples Of: </li></ul><ul><li>Mannerisms </li></ul><ul><li>Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Recollections </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Values </li></ul>
    18. 18. Transbeman <ul><li>People who trans cend b iological and e lectronic hu man boundaries. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Replacing DNA-Driven Birth…
    20. 20. …with BNA-Driven Birth BNA= B eme N eural A rchitecture
    21. 21. Socio-Legal Acceptance Is In Inverse Proportion to the Degree Of Genome Abandonment. Chart for demonstration purposes only. High Modest Low None
    22. 22. There is the Worst Form of Discrimination Against Total Technological Self-Determination <ul><li>Suppose you download your entire essence into software; you achieve Cyber-Consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>Suppose then your body gives out; accident, Alzheimer’s, whatever. </li></ul><ul><li>No court, no country will give you ANY Human Rights. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Similar Challenges Faced By Technological Transexuals and Technological Self-Determiners <ul><li>Limited Access to Desired Transition </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Acceptance </li></ul>Suppose Technological Self-Determiners Try What is Working (Somewhat) for Technological Transexuals
    24. 24. The Henry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association <ul><li>International medical group organized by members of the healthcare community </li></ul><ul><li>Established ‘best practices’ and ‘standards of care’ for facilitating technological transexualism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If two psychiatrists agree, and you try it out first for a year, you can change your sex </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>The patient empowerment phrase is gender euphoria, which would map to geno euphoria – the ecstatic sense of freedom one has in transcending their genome. </li></ul>“ I’m a transbeman trapped in a human body.”
    26. 26. Examples of Geno Dysphoria <ul><li>Contact Lenses </li></ul><ul><li>Face Lifts </li></ul><ul><li>Mind Uploading </li></ul><ul><li>Because our DNA does not make plastic, but does make myopia </li></ul><ul><li>Because our DNA does not maintain facial structures </li></ul><ul><li>Because our DNA does not support an Ex Vivo mind </li></ul>
    27. 27. Benefits of Medicalizing Geno-Dysphoria <ul><li>Sex Change </li></ul><ul><li>Addictions </li></ul><ul><li>Gay </li></ul><ul><li>Obese </li></ul><ul><li>Technological </li></ul><ul><li>Therapeutic </li></ul><ul><li>Neurochem Imbalance </li></ul><ul><li>DNA </li></ul><ul><li>DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Therapeutic </li></ul><ul><li>Immoral </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Destructive </li></ul><ul><li>Immoral </li></ul><ul><li>Weak </li></ul><ul><li>Crazy </li></ul>Self- Determination Non- Medicalized Medicalized
    28. 28. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19 June - 22 July 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
    29. 29. Technological self-determination is, by definition, a personal quest for complete physical, mental and social well-being.
    30. 30. <ul><li>Global public health trailblazer Jonathan Mann observed: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The proposal that promoting and protecting human rights is inextricably linked to the challenge of promoting and protecting health derives in part from recognition that health and human rights are complementary approaches to the central problem of defining and advancing human well-being.” </li></ul>
    31. 31. Medicalization Leads to Social Acceptance <ul><li>Psychology Community Must: </li></ul><ul><li>Define geno dysphoria </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt diagnostic standards </li></ul><ul><li>Promote comfort with one’s techno-modified self as imperative to personal well-being (and therefore health) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Live one year as Cyber-Conscious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two psychologists agree Cyber-Conscious Analog is equivalent to you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorize Cyber-Conscious Analog to assume your legal identity upon bodily death </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Alternatives to Medicalization <ul><li>Expand Understanding of Diversity To Go Beyond Substrate </li></ul><ul><li>Expand Understanding of Solidarity To Go Beyond “Medically Necessary” Procedures </li></ul>
    33. 33. Y Y Y N N Y N N Suffer Suffer Suffer Within Healthcare Plan? Medical Condition? Within Solidarity? Within Diversity? Society Pays for Transition Techno- Self-Determiner
    34. 34. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Both Transexuals & Transbemans Need to Go Beyond Their DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Psychologists Can Serve As Protectors & Gatekeepers for the Necessary Procedures and Legal Identities </li></ul><ul><li>Society Should Pay for the Necessary Procedures Because Human Rights & Human Health are Social Contract Obligations </li></ul>