You sound like you actually *like* being trapped in these meat cages. And like you think it’s bad to want to escape a cage that does pretty much nothing except find new ways to hurt and malfunction.
We spend most of our lives with unfulfilled desires, and the occasional satisfactions that are all most of us can achieve are insufficient to outweigh these prolonged negative states. If we think that this is a tolerable state of affairs it is because we are, in Benatar’s view, victims of the illusion of pollyannaism. This illusion may have evolved because it helped our ancestors survive, but it is an illusion nonetheless. If we could see our lives objectively, we would see that they are not something we should inflict on anyone.
Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” So, also, he who has no why to live cannot bear with almost any how. Walker Percy claims that postmodern man “has forgotten his bad memories and conquered his present ills and … finds himself in the victorious secular city. His only problem now is to keep from blowing his brains out.” Singer et al. turn this problem into the explicit question of why we shouldn’t, and when it exposes the gaping vortex of nihilism at the center of their philosophy, they attempt to divert our gaze with posturing of bold discovery and heroic honesty.
Maybe most normal people enjoy their lives to a greater extent than the typical philosopher does. It wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad I’m here. I have unfulfilled desires, but I have also had a great deal of enjoyment. I experience a few minutes of profound joy every morning when my 5 year old gets out of bed, comes to my office, and crawls up into my lap for a still-sleepy hug — and by having her, I’ve made it possible for her to have that joy herself someday if she has a child of her own. This sort of utilitarian, weigh-everything-on-the-scales approach is the worst sort of academic pseudo-philosophical nonsense.
As a philosopher, Dr. Singer is surely aware that the notion that [the] world is getting worse every year has been around among philosophers for a very long time. But out in the real world, people do the millions of things they like to do — from roller skating to playing computer games to solving differential equations to flying hang-gliders … and many of these things we love to do involve our children.
Forget performance enhancement, optical implants, and all the other “upgrades” that the coming decades of progress towards the Singularity are supposed to bring. What about the distant (or at least remote) future, after we’ve transcended? Many transhumanists believe that our destiny is to continue expanding outward from the Earth, consuming the Solar System, the Galaxy, and eventually the entire Universe with our being. The exact nature of that being is still a matter of dispute — it may be bodies like our own but made to live much longer, or bodies that have been enhanced through mechanization, or robotic surrogates, or perhaps even Consciousness itself expanding on a computational substrate (see Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near for a depiction) — but the general idea of our inevitable expansion into the cosmos is the same.