“Man is autonomous, and each person is able to determine his own selfhood and destiny. This is a given,” said Dr. Agrippa. “The first step is to invite the patient to assert his own volition and ego dominance. Once he has repudiated any other power or force, he is ready for the ritual we call the summons.”
Today, we are now expected to celebrate “gender modification,” and a recent YouTube video featured a British male who had undergone eighteen surgeries to emerge as a “non-binary Korean person,” complete with facial eyelid surgery so he could “be who he always knew himself to be.”
Is trans-species modification the next step? This imaginary dialogue speculates on the Frankensteinian Future…
The date is 2030.
The scene is the lobby of The Frankenstein Biological Technologies Clinic. Set in a minimalistic parkland, the chrome and smoked glass clinic is the latest in high-tech, modernistic architecture.
Dressed in a white lab coat, Dr. Victoria Frankenstein strides forward to greet a visitor to her clinic, the eminent German philosopher Cornelius Agrippa. With blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun, she is slim, elegant and superbly professional. With a shaved head and trimmed beard, Dr. Agrippa is in his late sixties, with the physique of a former special forces soldier.
Frankenstein: Dr. Agrippa, what a great honor. I am such a fan of your work. Welcome to FBT! I hope you’ll join us for lunch.
When she says “lunch,” a menu appears on a flat screen embedded in the wall and a computerized voice says, “Take a moment to view today’s lunch menu. Remember at FBT we are here to help you have it your way.”
Agrippa: Thank you. I have already eaten, but perhaps after our tour a small snack will be sufficient. Not much. An apple perhaps?
F: Of course, of course. No problem at all. Before we begin our tour, may I ask the reason for your visit?
A: Your work integrating organic artificial intelligence systems with human biology has been truly impressive, but I would like to speak with you about the next phase of evolution and introduce you to some of our technologies.
F: Yes, certainly. Let’s begin our tour. You are aware, I believe of my great-great grandfather’s pioneering work in human reconstruction and resuscitation?
A: Indeed. Dr. Frankenstein was a genuine pioneer in human biological technology. If I may modestly point out, he was aware of my work from an earlier age.
F: I had heard your name mentioned in grandfather’s diaries, but we are referring to an ancestor of yours am I correct? The original Cornelius Agrippa was a sixteenth-century philosopher of the occult, was he not?
A: Yes. That is correct. He too was a pioneer of the possible. He explored the hidden ways of the ancient wisdom of Babylon, Egypt, the Far East… his true discovery was that all the religions and philosophies of the past lead in the same direction. They all lead humanity to worship the same Grand Master…. the Great Architect if you like.
F: I love that idea… that we are climbing the same mountain, but by different paths.
A: That is one way of putting it. The real question, of course, is a philosophical one. The reason the different religions are much the same is because they all lead to the same empty place. This insight we can learn from the Buddha. Accepting the great negation—to learn the profundity of the void—the great darkness. That is true wisdom.
F: How very interesting! I love philosophy. So fascinating, but you know our work here is more about making people happy. We are pro-choice. Giving people power over their own lives is why I trained as a physician. At first, I worked in reproductive health care providing choice for women, but then I realized that I wanted to practice reconstructive surgery to give people an even wider range of choice.
A: You are referring to cosmetic surgeries? Surely this is no more than an exercise in vanity?
F: Too often that is the public perception. All they seem to be interested in is the facelifts that have gone wrong for celebrities. This is unfair. We have now perfected the procedures. Most of the surgeries are automated and low level—Rhinoplasties, orthodontics, facial line erasure, botox, collagen injections. These procedures are now so commonplace that most of them are conducted by our latest robotic doctors and nurses.
Frankenstein and Agrippa go through double doors into a large room with coffin like machines lined up on either side. Tubes and wires extend from the machines and are plumbed into the walls. There is a low hum, and Dr. Frankenstein says in a hushed tone…
F: This is our automated cosmetic zone.The patient simply chooses from the touch screen which procedures he wants, and within a few hours he is out, bandaged up neatly and ready to be moved to the facilitated healing rooms where the wounds are heat-treated and chemically healed. By the afternoon he is out in the street with his reconditioned face!
F: Some of the body transformations still require a longer procedure. Breast enhancement and reduction, liposuction, posterior implants, leg lengthening, genital enhancement, and height adjustment have yet to be completely automated.
A: Do you find your services to be increasing in popularity?
F: The automated procedures are becoming as commonplace as a visit to the dentist used to be, but we are most interested in the more extensive transformations. We believe each individual should be able to decide not only who he is but who he wants to be.
A: Again, if you don’t mind me pointing it out, this is a philosophical matter. It is summed up in the ancient motto, “Do what you will, but harm no one.” Man is autonomous, and each person is able to determine his own selfhood and destiny. This is a given.
F: It was actually your work on the recognition of existential self-individuation that helped us move on from routine cosmetic surgeries to custom surgery.
A: Custom surgery?
F: Yes. As you are aware, with the use of hormone treatment and gender reassignment surgery we are already able to convert so-called males and females to the opposite sex, but we now also offer complete ethno-racial conversion.
F: Let us say the patient is a biological, negroid male. Through skin bleaching, rhinoplasty, labial-reduction hormone treatment, hair transplants, and genital modification he can become a Caucasian female. Similarly, using facial surgery, mastectomy, lip augmentation, epidermal dye, and genital reconstruction an oriental female can be transformed to an African-American male.
A: Impressive, but don’t you agree that this individuation process is time consuming and expensive? Why not simply eliminate the binary gender and various racial distinguishing features completely?
F: We are certainly finding that with increased racial diversity and fifty-three gender choices the surgery and therapy choices are complicated. What do you suggest?
A: Move procreation to the labs. The old-fashioned method of conception, gestation and childbirth is painful, messy, and awkward for everyone. Modify the genetic sequence to produce one homogenized human race with features from all the major racial groups.
Then, instead, of varied gender and racial transitions simply have one straightforward procedure. Give everyone the same balance of hormones to create a neuter individual. The surgery would be simple. Just remove the male external genitalia and female reproductive organs—which are troublesome anyway—and streamline the whole process. Make the area smooth with just a functional orifice for waste elimination. The process is called binary neutralization.
F: This is a brilliant idea, and so much simpler! In fact, with the proper legislation and the support of the sexual non-binary lobby we could make this mandatory for all children at birth!