Would a person whose immune system starts declining after puberty, and finally gives up before 123, be normal? This statement largely sums up my transhumanist view that “normal” is misunderstood. The physiological (cognitive and the somatic) state of human existence “normality” ought to be a state of enhancement.Depending on how many years before 123 (which is a higher life expectancy by far than even the richest, most silly supplement popping, most can-do futurologist can presently actually hope for) the obviously true answer to this question is: "yes." Of course it is normal for human beings to die before they arrive at 120.
And yet, in stirring defiance of actually existing actuarial life tables, not to mention actually existing dictionary definitions, Vita More (whose life is so much more than yours she changed her name to become a permanent advertisement of the fact) exhorts her fellow transhumanoid Robot Cultists to act as if what is "normal" for humans is a state of "enhancement" which actually doesn't exist. I should add, by the way, that in my opinion all culture is prosthetic and all prostheses are cultural and hence that using language, cultivating food crops, living in cities, not to mention most of the common or garden variety healthcare practices that actually exist that cure diseases and ease suffering, strictly speaking, constitute an acculturating prosthetic "enhancement" (and no doubt in other ways a circumscription or frustration) of human lifeways – which would mean that it is indeed already perfectly "normal" for human beings to be in some respects enhanced or articulated by culture while at once exactly as disease prone and vulnerable and mortal as we also actually are. But, of course, by "enhancement" what Vita More means to conjure is a human being genetically re-woven and awash with nanoscale robots and the usual futurological dog and pony show she and the other Robot Cultists have been monotonously riffing on for decades.
While transhumanists like to pretend that the real reason we don't live in the science fiction fantasy land they pine for is because there are sinister forces abroad in the land who worship disease or are terrified of the idea of living for centuries in sexy model bodies wallowing around in piles of treasure, the truth is that almost nobody on earth doesn't think it would be swell, caeteris paribus, to live in paradise but few people are idiotic enough to pretend that if they only clap louder this paradise will blossom into spontaneous existence, or, I must add, idiotic enough to join a Robot Cult and pretend that indulging in this kind of wish fulfillment fantasizing but then calling it Science! is somehow not idiotic anymore. Robot Cultists like to paint themselves as brave for devoting their adult lives to daydreaming about how awesome it would be if magic were real, then they like to paint themselves as progressive activists for pretending this daydreaming constitutes some kind of efficacious force for making daydreams real, then they like to rail against phantom armies of supremely powerful mortality-loving disease-loving luddites who presumably stand in the way of the spontaneous emergence of all the magic. Not to put too fine [a point -- thanks, TNA!] on it, all of this is quite palpably stupid.
Of course, there is plenty of greed and intolerance and superstition and fear holding back progress and there is plenty of work to be done solving our shared problems through scientific research and democratic reform, but none of that has anything to do with the magical thinking the Robot Cultists are peddling.