Homo Deus
Yuval Noah Harari
Contributed by Andrea Barraza
Chapter 9
Summary

In this chapter, the author revisits the view of how human beings believe they are unique and hold a valuable position in relation to animals (Harari 326). Harari, however, shows three practical developments that are likely to make the belief obsolete. One of them is how “technological developments will make humans economically and militarily useless” (Harari 334). Technological developments are, thus, more focused on making human beings more sophisticated at the expense of improving their economic capability and feeling of safety and security. Additionally, Harari stipulates that more technological advancements imply that there is a high likelihood for human beings to fail in attaining the level of economic and military usefulness that may be required of them. As technologies continue to further advance, human beings are bound to lose two vital characteristics, with these being intelligence and consciousness. The author documents that “high intelligence always went hand in hand with a developed consciousness” (Harari 342). As indicated, armies are less likely to function properly without them, and therefore needs to be well-oriented to the ensuing effects that their association with advanced technology is likely to bring. There is also the view that “organisms are algorithms” (Harari 380); natural selection shapes their existence in the world, and the ones considered fit for the situation survives the worst scenarios.

Analysis

The presentation of the various elements, which are likely to make human beings lose its power, is deemed important especially as it relates to the position they hold in the world when compared to other animals. Because “humans will always have a unique ability” (Harari 380), they are considered to have the ability to identify far-better opportunities around them, as well as being equipped to survive in their own environments. Some of the concepts that are deemed as important characteristics among human beings include conscience and intelligence. Thus, where human beings appear to rely more on the application of technology, they are bound to lose the sense of the two virtues and the great control that they have upon their lives. While they are less likely to place importance on the need to show empathy, the interest in seeing them attaining paralleling levels of success is paramount. The reduced levels of intelligence among human beings is also likely to curtail their ability to further advancements that were made by their predecessors in different fields.

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