'Body Hacking' Movement Rises Ahead Of Moral Answers


#1

*Graafstra had set up shop in a booth in the middle of an exhibit hall at the Austin Convention Center in Texas’ capital, where he gathered last month with several hundred others who call themselves “body hackers” — people who push the boundaries of implantable technology to improve the human body.

The movement evokes visceral reactions, brings up safety and ethical concerns and quickly veers into sci-fi questions about the line between human and cyborg. …

If there’s a rock star in the body-hacking movement, it’s Neil Harbisson, a colorblind artist from Barcelona who persuaded a doctor to implant a camera in the back of his head. The antenna, as he calls it, essentially lets Harbisson listen to colors by detecting the dominant color in front of him and translating it into musical notes.

Neil Harbisson, an artist from Barcelona, has a camera implanted in the back of his head, which he says allows him to listen to colors.

The way he tells it, a medical ethics committee in Europe had refused to sign off on the operation, but a doctor agreed to perform the surgery anonymously. From it, Harbisson emerged with a camera connected to a device on the back of his skull, its lens dangling in front of his face on a rod that arcs over his head.

As he walked the streets of Austin, he described how he perceived the world: the red traffic light sounded like an A note; the green grass sounded like an F.

In his keynote address at the conference, Harbisson said the first time he heard those colors in his sleep, he felt truly cyborg. Now, he no longer identifies as human but as a “cybernetic organism.”

“If we define ourselves as organisms, suddenly our group is wider,” he said. “We are on the same level as an insect, or as a cat, or as a plant.”*

Full story


#2

I’m more appalled by his hairstyle choice then by the camera implant :eek:


#3

Except that he IS human , because of something called genetics , whether humans get metal implants or not , changes nothing


#4

Exactly, people with hip replacements, metal plates in their heads, plastic eye lenses (like I have), surgically implanted hearing aids, and other such devices don’t think of themselves as cyborgs. It’s fine if his implantation allows him to better experience the world, but he’s still just a human being like the rest of us.


#5

Perhaps he’s a fan of The Office (UK).


#6

Or Andy Warhol. :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

I say it’s cool.

If I still lived there, or had got my Bilocational Body for Hannukah, I’d be whooping it up with them.

The Human Natural Body (Mark 1) does some pretty amazing things, like hold and express our life, and keep our minds alive. But the HNB has some very serious limitations; and if a weebit of mind-magic can work around them, bravo!

ICXC NIKA


#8

There’s nothing wrong with having implants to make living easier or to repair parts of the body that can’t be replaced with natural materials. I cited such things in my first post. And growing human body parts from blood cord cells or creating them via printing is fine, too. But to reclassify people as cyborgs and say that creates a new classification of beings, that’s simply goes too far, IMHO. Genetics and technology are useful to aid human wellbeing, but it can be all too easily be abused, and no doubt already is being abused by some. We have to keep tight control over such things so human beings aren’t reclassified right out of being who and what we are.


#9

Ive seen some absolutely crazy things people have done to their bodies, implanting gel or something in their forehead that makes them look like they have a bagel under the skin??!! LOL, Ive seen implanted horns, metal spikes, lace up ringlets, metal rings in the back (used for ‘suspension’).

I watched a lengthy Youtube video documenting this one guys journey to becoming a ‘demon’, he had large horns implanted on his forehead, had his tongue split (like a snake), he had his eyeballs tattooed black, so there was no white in his eyes at all, he had custom dentures made with rows of sharp fangs, he looked very scary at the end, he was even trying to figure out a way so he could get a tail that resembled a serpents tail… I could not imagine walking around in public like that, not to mention, how much all of that cost him, I got the impression he was a tattoo artist, so I guess this not would effect his job.

It makes you wonder what God thinks about such things too!

I have a feeling as computer technology progresses, people will get all kinds of electronic things implanted, maybe a USB, small actuators, etc. who knows where it lead.


closed #10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.