Transhumanism, Negative Utilitarianism, Bertrand Zobrist, Dan Brown’s Inferno, Biotechnology
At the present time, the argument about the utilization of advanced technology to sustain human lives is controversial. The employment of technology such as biotechnology, genomics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and cognitive neuroscience to redeem human beings from illness and death is called transhumanism. However, the focal point of this argument is to question the morality of transhumanism. Transhumanism and its proponents justify the various utilizations of technology that seek to ensure the advanced future of humanity. Thus, this notion corresponds to the theory of utilitarianism which legalizes the utilization of methods to guarantee the happiness of the majority. In this regard, this paper exhibits a case study from contemporary fiction to examine the transhumanist primary principle in the eyes of utilitarianism. The case study of this study is Bertrand Zobrist, a transhumanist scientist in Dan Brown’s Inferno, who seeks to utilize biotechnology to save the future of humanity. The conducted methodology of this study includes observations of a case study by extracting excerpts from the novel and applying discourse analysis. Hence, through the character of Zobrist, this study highlights the cross points between transhumanism and negative utilitarianism that prioritizes the reduction of pain in comparison to maximizing the happiness of the majority. Furthermore, the study seeks to debate the concept of negative utilitarian morality when it comes to examining the transhumanist aspect of Zobrist.