The great philosopher Aristotle believed that humans had a fixed nature and should not be tampered with, although the 19th century philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre believed “existence precedes essence” which humans have their own freedom to choose to do what they wish. These two philosophical theories clash against one another about whether humans should alter our natural human nature and the issue of cyborgs. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary a cyborgs is defined as “a person whose body contains mechanical or electrical devices and whose abilities are greater than the abilities or normal humans. Due to the increase in technology, today we are able to create artificial chips, organs, implants and other “life-like” body parts which can greatly enhance humans’ lives. The ethical debate that we have today is whether it is morally right to artificially implant object in humans and create cyborgs.
Donna Haraway’s 1984 “A Cyborg Manifesto” is an enduring essay unceasingly analyzed, critiqued, and adored by scholars and students. The piece, in which Haraway uses the cyborg as a metaphor to scrutinize hegemonic problems and refuse the binary, claims that “the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.” In other words, like the cyborg who cannot distinguish whether it is a machine or an organism, in society there is no difference between male and female; rich and poor; black and white. There is only gray, and there are countless shades of it. “A Cyborg Manifesto” is an influential essay that has been relevant to the past and is still relevant to the present. Hence, it is no surprise that it has inspired
Bodies have instead become cyborgs. We, as humans, are a mix of organic and technological/scientific enhancement. She argues that “The cyborg is text, machine, body, and metaphor, all theorized and engaged in practice in terms of communications.” (212) Joseph Schneider, a professor of sociology at Drake University and a writer of many books about Donna Haraway, argues in his article that indeed, Haraway’s ideas were a radical redefinition of humanity, especially our relationships with other living beings. He does, however, reemphasis the limitations of the human body, and its susceptibleness to disease. His viral analysis calls into question the use of this manifesto to further the idea of human exceptionalism based on the improvement of technology. He warns that Haraway’s ideals were to keep the human “in the game” as an important being, even if not the most important or the most capable. (Schneider 300) The idea of the cyborg is profound, and has the potential to the change the construction of identity in a divided and inconsistent world. Our relations with new technologies and living beings are deviations from original expectations, jobs, and cultural needs. We should instead be aiming to change for the new requirements emerging in
Another possible positive ramification is that we can develop enhanced senses and cognitive function by the merging of biological (brains) and mechanical (robots) systems in cyborgs (6). Even though this sounds far-fetched and extraordinary, it has some serious drawbacks. For example, we as human beings are able to feel and experience things in life, such as love, through our senses (touch, taste, smell, etc.). If we are stripped of those senses via mechanical systems, then do we destroy this ability? And could these mechanical systems produce super human strength and possibly become destructive? I think so, as the movie “Iron Man” comes to mind. Where do we draw the line between what is a benefit verses what is a risk when it comes to cyborgs? Only time will tell.
Throughout the development of science fiction literature and cinema different writers and directors have woven technology and humanity together in sometimes radical and provocative ways. One corner stone of the science fiction genre is the idea of a cyborg, a part-human part-machine being who, usually, is either the hero or villain in the work. Many authors have interpreted what constitutes a cyborg in drastically different ways, with some only having mechanical appendages and others almost wholly machine. This makes defining what exactly a cyborg is nearly impossible. The definition of a cyborg is dependent on what the definition of being a human means.
In many popular science fiction novels, people can read about a future full of fantastic gadgets, advanced artificial intelligences, and superhuman cyborgs. Although some of these things may seem far-fetched, with recent scientific advancements, it may soon be possible for people to enjoy some the amazing technologies that they read about, such as life-extension therapies or cybernetic implants. A new philosophy known as Transhumanism has emerged in response to these innovations and has embraced this vision of a death-free future populated by enhanced posthumans. However, although many of these technologies have an enormous potential to improve the human condition, it is essential that we as a species practice discretion and moderation as these techniques and devices are implemented if we hope to avoid many of the terrifying consequences of misuse.
The possibility of dangerous cyborgs in society all leads down to a matter of choice. Cyborgs are not programmed to do as they are told, they were full human that decided to enhance their ability with technology. They still hold human characteristics such as emotions, choice, a ghost, and identity. So in response to the question, “are cyborgs dangers to humanity?”, is yes. Cyborgs are a danger to humanity but likewise humans are a danger to themselves. The choice one has to be good or bad is the same choice a cyborg has. So what is the difference between humans and cyborgs? One may say the danger of cyborgs is more threatening, but weren't humans the ones that created cyborgs? So would not the responsibility of any cyborg damage fall on the laps of humans?
For Kafer, she believes that how one understands disability, is the way we are going to imagine disability in the future. In this book Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Throughout her book she challenged the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been positioned in the service of compulsory of either able-bodiedness or able-mindedness. However, Kafer rejects the idea of disability seen as a “pre-determined” limit. She uses a lot of different theories, movements, and identities such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, transgender politics, and disability to better support her envisions that there is a new future for the crip. Kafer’s book goes against normalization and
People love to read stories and watch movies of a science-fictional society that include robots with artificial intelligence. People are intrigued with the ability of the robots that seem to demonstrate what we humans consider morality. Eando Binder’s and Isaac Asimov’s short stories, as well as the 2004 Hollywood movie, all carry the title “I, Robot” and introduce possible futuristic worlds where robots are created and integrated within society. These stories challenge our perceptions about robots themselves, and could perhaps become an everyday commodity, or even valued assistants to human society. The different generations of “I, Robot” seem to set out the principles of robot behavior and showcase robots to people in both different and similar ways. How does the Robot view itself? More importantly, how does society judge these creations? The concepts discussed in these three stories covers almost 75 years of storytelling. Why has this theme stayed so relevant for so long?
Mark Weiser coined the phrase "ubiquitous computing" in 1988 as he envisioned computers embedded in walls, tabletops, and in everyday objects. While using, technology, makes us notional Cyborgs in that it allows us to extend our human ability – through information appliances (Benyon, D. Turner, P., & Turner, S., 2005) the evolution in Cyborgs is related to the human and animal rather than the devices that they can learn to use per se.