Homo Deus
Yuval Noah Harari
Contributed by Andrea Barraza
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Review by David Runciman

According to David Runciman, Yuval Noah Harari is careful not to predict what he talks about in his book, specifically about the future of humans coming to pass. Harari is aware that the future is unknown and does not want to be wrongfully judged later. Where the author chose to keep his strongest opinions about the possible future, Runciman believes this to be an indirect reference to the present relationship between people and animals (Runciman np). Human beings will be in the same situation as animals of intelligence, where consciousness becomes the separating factor, and will likely suffer in the hands of those who possess the greater intelligence. Runciman also appears to agree to the idea poised by Harari where he indicates that much of the changes that will appear between human beings and animals will be based on the interaction they share between one another, as well as how they perceive the environment around them (Light 272). Thus, the case indicates that, with close interaction, human beings and animals are likely to share some characteristics and attain improved levels of intelligence.

David Runciman says Harari does not seem to be worried about the possibility of robots treating humans like the way they treat flies, with violence and lack of interest. Instead, he wants humans to consider how they treat animals in the industrialized farming systems; for example, pigs suffer when subjected to uncomfortable conditions or when they are separated from their young ones (Senior np). Harari thinks humans should change their ways in how they treat animals because people could possibly be subjected to the same, in time. Through such changes, they are likely to retain the major advantage that they have against other animals. The difference is pegged on the aspect of emotions, where they are likely to determine what is important for other animals, as well as the specific measures they may choose to stick with in a bid to ensure animals are accorded better life outcomes in the different phases of the life they experience.

Review by Jennifer Senior

In the review by Jennifer Senior, she states that Harari is more forthcoming in describing the changes that have taken place among the ‘Homo Deus,’ which has seen advancement in the skills possessed by human beings. Thus, the future man is likely to bear improved characteristics as compared to the current one. Senior accords Harari lots of respect for synthesizing information from a wide range of sources in a bid to represent the same in a more effective and clear manner. To that extent, he indicates that the author has a chance to show the reader a wide range of perspectives as held by different theorists in line with the changes that have taken place within man (Senior np). Harari, according to Senior, also showed the uniqueness demonstrated by the various positions as held by the Homo Deus. Specifically, at each stage, there was a development of different characteristics among them, which provided them with the ease of performing different activities that their predecessors could not appropriately handle.

Senior, however, argues that the reader needs to be more prepared when going through the book, whereby allowing them to be more critical of the various insights throughout the read. Granted, that some information provided by Hariri has been critiqued by several scholars for lacking proof of validity and logic (Senior np). Hence, the thinking of ‘Homo Deus’ is determined to be more of the author’s own conjecture, where it does little to retain some levels of consistency with the ideas held on by other individuals, specifically as it relates to the overall development of present-day man. Although Harari provides what appears to be a seamless argument, there are still some elements within it that lack proof of actuality, and which may need to be probed further to determine the accuracy of the information it contains, as well as various insights that may not be essential in determining the great strides that man has taken thus far.

Riku Sayuj Review

Sayuj indicates that the representation of Homo Deus is an exploration of the prophecy that an epochal evolution will take place; and, as expected, the evolution occurred and saw the advancement in various sectors within the lives of individuals, which included agriculture, cognitive capabilities, and the industrial revolution (Sayuj np). Sayuj also appears to commend Harari for the representation of the successes achieved under the developments that human beings have undertook, especially of those concerning ‘Homo Deus.’ Notably, mankind has had the chance to defeat some of the major enemies it has faced over the years, with some of these including war and famine. He also points out that the author has presented information correctly by stating how man has been on a continuous move to determine various ways through which it could seek for his survival, a concept that is majorly pegged on the aspect of outwitting some of the challenges faced over the years, and the stringent measures established to allow for the achievement of success in the same.

Sayuj also declares that Harari has been truthful in showing the changes that are likely to take place in the future. For instance, human beings are marching towards being machine-like, indicated by how they have consistently aimed to seek for automation to further improve upon their efficiency in various fields or industries (Sayuj np). As man seeks to advance their practices, the struggle for continued success will most likely come at the cost of humanity.

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