A Jewish technohistorian believes that human beings are destined to become gods, and soon.
Professor Yuval Noah Harari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem claims that humanity is on the verge of a major evolutionary leap, where we will overcome the confines of the human condition by integrating computers and robotics into our very being.
Speaking at the Hay Festival in Wales, Harari said he believes human beings will ‘upgrade themselves’ into god-like beings in the next 200 years:
“I think it is likely in the next 200 years or so homo-sapiens will upgrade themselves into some idea of a divine being, either through biological manipulation or genetic engineering of by the creation of cyborgs, part organic part non-organic.”
“It will be the greatest evolution in biology since the appearance of life. Nothing really has changed in four billion years biologically speaking. But we will be as different from today’s humans as chimps are now from us."
Harari believes we will eventually be able to overcome death itself, through innovative life extension technologies.
He is, however, wary of the risk of exacerbated social inequalities. He warned that the 'cyborg' technology would be restricted to the wealthiest in society, widening the gap between rich and poor in society. In the future the rich may be able to live forever while the poor would die out.
Harari sees religion and human rights as a ‘nice ideas’ that have now become obselete.
“Religion is the most important invention of humans. As long as humans believed they relied more and more on these gods they were controllable…
“But what we see in the last few centuries is humans becoming more powerful and they no longer need the crutches of the Gods. Now we are saying we do not need God just technology…”
“Most legal systems are based on human rights but it is all in our imagination.”
Prof Harari most recent book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has been translated in to more than 30 languages.
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