What makes a human… human?

This is the game trailer that starts me writing this post. Deus Ex is a series of games that depicts a dystopian future in cyberbunk setting, originally created by the legendary game designer Warren Spector. One of the central themes of the game is cybernetics, in particular biological cybernetics in which human fuses technology to augment their abilities beyond normal human limit.

What makes us human? How much “stuff” can we remove and replace from our body until we can’t be called human anymore, either by biology or philosophy? Are our existing laws, regulations and customs enough to cover all the grounds?

Ask yourself a question: how far are you willing to go to enhance your ability? Or to solve your imperfection? For example, a hearing aid is not uncommon among us to help listen more clearly. How about a hearing device that boosts our hearing range? On another case, a prosthetic limb helps disabled regain some movement ability, but a pair of robotic legs that runs at 80km/h may make us think twice. If the purpose of technology is to help the society, shouldn’t we go all in? If it is not, then why do we spend effort researching the technology?

 

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