NH+ – Charter of Principles – EN version

This document, adopted on May 23, 2015 by the assembly of supporting members of the Network of Italian Transhumanists, intends to clarify the reference values in which ethically attentive and aware transhumanists can recognize themselves.



1. Scientific and technological progress will revolutionize the human condition in the coming decades, enabling us to transcend our natural limits and enhance our physical and cognitive abilities: thanks to biotechnology and genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience, we will go beyond our biological-evolutionary constraints, emancipating ourselves from aging, disease, suffering, poverty, and ignorance.

2. Humanity has always shown a tendency to transcend its limits through the technical tools it generates, stemming from a self-improving, and not merely adaptive, intelligence. Technology is an ancient phenomenon, and humans have already been profoundly influenced by it, not only in cultural dimensions but also in biological ones. What has changed in recent decades is the speed at which we accumulate our transformative capacities, and the degree of intensity and effectiveness of them.

3. There is a growing awareness that humanity, through the tools of technology, is now able to redefine its biological condition. By controlling our own evolutionary process, we will be able to choose our destiny. This realization lies at the heart of transhumanist reflection.

4. The possibility emerges, and we strongly advocate the desirability, of overcoming evolution by natural selection, driven by blind chance, and moving towards a new type of evolution, self-directed and purposeful, guided by intelligence.

5. Transhumanism is not merely a chronicle of technological innovation, nor an uncritical praise of change for its own sake, but aims to ethically guide scientific and technological progress to be functional to the new phase of human evolution, characterized by the triad of superintelligence, superlongevity, and superabundance.

6. We are aware that the transition to self-directed evolution is not without risks,  which therefore need to be carefully considered and publicly discussed. In this regard, a scientific knowledge base, widely disseminated in society, is essential so that the discussion can be as informed as possible.

7. The possible risks must be assessed with extreme care and actively prevented (because not every change implies progress), but not in a paralyzing perspective (because every progress implies change). It is necessary to rely on a non-precautionary but proactionary approach, ethically responsible but not prohibitive, in order to best deal with the radical change ahead.

8. Transhumanism stands as a cultural bulwark against the neo-obscurantist attacks of ecological and religious fundamentalisms, which would see humans subjected to presumed limits imposed by the natural order or divine will.

9. Transhumanism represents the advanced front of Humanism – and therefore categorically rejects any anti-humanist tendencies, whether technophobic or technophilic – and is based on a fundamentally scientific and rational approach, open to dialogue with all those who care about the future of humanity.

10. The common belonging to the great human family – extended to enhanced human beings, artificial intelligences, potentially enhanced animals, etc.: all future offspring of human intelligence – far from being denied, must instead be emphasized, to preserve the moral unity of the New Humanity, even in the face of the inevitable eventual breakdown of biological unity.

11. Transhumanism, as ethically attentive to the principles of equality and solidarity, rejects a society of purely individualistic type, where access to new technologies depends on individual economic resources, and where the choice of whether and how to enhance oneself is derived, exclusively and without any kind of regulation, from an individual choice.

12. Transhumanism, as ethically attentive to the principles of freedom and self-determination, rejects a society of an organicist and hierarchical type, where decisions are entrusted to the top, roles are rigidly fixed on a biological basis, and where the individual, deprived of his intrinsic value, is reduced to a mere cog within the social mechanism.

13. Any scenario in which the individual is not recognized as a subject (end in themselves), and is again reduced to a mere object (means to something else), not only must be rejected for its consequences, but must also be considered as structurally incompatible with transhumanist principles.

14. We support a model of society that respects the dignity and autonomy of every form of self-conscious life and believe that universal access to the benefits deriving from technologies must be guaranteed.

15. Future interventions on the germline or techniques of human-machine hybridization cannot be left to the total discretion of the individual (based on extreme individualism) nor to the total discretion of the single community (based on extreme communitarianism). Instead, binding guidelines must be developed at the supranational level for individuals and communities.

16. Transhumanism advocates the well-being of all sentient beings and recognizes the equality and freedom of all forms of self-conscious life.

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