By Marius Turda
Crafting people and its corollary human enhancement is a contested subject, either in clinical sciences and the arts. With carrying on with advances in technological know-how and know-how, scientists and most of the people alike are conscious that the fundamental foundations of the human situation at the moment are at stake. This quantity contributes to this turning out to be physique of labor. It bargains insights into the various reflections and imaginaries that experience encouraged and legitimated either theoretical and useful programmes for crafting people, starting from the religious/spiritualist and the philosophical/cultural to the secular and the scientific/scientistic; from the non secular and mystical quest for human perfection to the biopolitical eugenic country of the 20 th century and present theories of human enhancement. This quantity discusses those subject matters in a synchronized manner, as interrelated variations of the main vital tale in background, that of human perfectibility.
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Additional resources for Crafting Humans: From Genesis to Eugenics and Beyond
Isaac was an itinerant figure, who had visited three continents in search for Kabbalistic lore. He was, therefore, an accomplished Kabbalist, who was, reputedly, acquainted with more forms of Kabbalah than anyone else before him. 17 The following passage of his consists in a discussion which took place during a seminary that reflects a Kabbalistic trend of which he was part, at least for a certain period: namely, a group related to ecstatic Kabbalah and influenced, in some part, by its views. This type of Kabbalah was strongly concerned with the Book of Yetzirah and its various commentaries,18 and there we also find a vivid interest in the concept of the Golem, conceived mainly as an intellectual creature.
A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion. As the title of the book indicates, the relationship between the magically generated Golem, and the technologically generated machine that would emerge from the development of cybernetics, was one of inspiration rather than menace. 4 Let me now turn to a short history of one aspect of European magical culture, the Golem, and a more optimistic and active approach that developed in Europe, since the late Middle Ages: an approach in which Man was conceived as being capable of becoming divine, or obtaining divine knowledge, and thus also capable of creating a creature, which was not negative, at least not in principle.
Nevertheless, there were also several forms of elitist magic, found, for example in some late forms of Neoplatonism, in Hermeticism and in their various echoes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We shall return to this issue later on in this chapter. There was a continuous tension between the magical approach and the religious one, since both competed on a common ground: guiding, to a certain extent, the behaviour of large masses of the population. The conflict between the long-term commitment of the religious approach and the short-term solution that magic and witchcraft promised created not only intellectual divergences between the two, but many well-known persecutions and exterminations – as in the case of the witch-hunts of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.