Morality’s Collapse: Antinatalism, Transhumanism and the Future of Humankind

Paper by Jeroen Robbert Zandbergen, published on December 9, 2021 in Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies

In the present work I explore the unignorably momentous responsibility of contemporary philosophy to conclude the project of humanism as inherited from Enlightenment-era thinking. I argue that there are presently two avenues open to us. On the one hand there is antinatalism, according to which humankind must be gestured towards self-imposed extinction and thereby overcome. On the other hand, there is transhumanism which inspires the hope that we may transcend any limitations to our being and flourish as a result of radical enhancement, thereby also overcoming humankind. On both accounts, the ‘human’ is something to be overcome, either negatively (antinatalism) or positively (transhumanism). As both have a common ancestor in radical Enlightenment-era humanism, this choice between radical resignation and affirmation becomes all the more pertinent now that we find ourselves in modernity’s wake and in the ruins of morality’s collapse.

Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies 31/1 (2021), 1–16