From On Point: In the age of the Internet, new worlds have flowered online — and giant communities engaged in virtual environments and role-playing games. The biggest of the massive multi-player online role-playing games is “World of Warcraft.” More than eleven million enthusiasts pay a monthly fee to immerse themselves in a vast digital world of elves and orcs and trolls and warfare. One of them is sociologist William Sims Bainbridge. Now he’s come out to say he may have found the future of human civilization in an online game.
The recent TED talk by Sam Harris brings important metaethical issues into the popular arena. Is there a way to establish the objectivity of morality, and in particular the objective bindingness of utilitarian morality?
While it may be impolitic now for technoprogressives to focus on uploading, for radical life extension advocates it is invaluable to have access to brief and compelling arguments in favor of the efficacy of such a process.
We’ve announced today that Kyle Munkittrick is joining the IEET in the position of Program Director: Envisioning the Future. So that you can get a better idea of who Kyle is and what he will bring to our organization, I conducted a brief online dialog with him.
Understanding human-technology relations is a project of significant import, both for transhumanists aiming to overcome our limitations through technological means and for ethicists interested in questions concerning technology’s influence on the human condition.
The beginning of the modern period in the pursuit of radical human enhancement and longevity can be traced to fin-de-siècle/early twentieth-century scientific and technological optimism and therapeutic activism.
Biologist and former Catholic priest Francisco J. Ayala has been awarded this year’s Templeton Prize for his work in affirming spirituality. His best-known popular book is probably Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion, published in 2007.
The body has a lot of change to go through on the path to post-humanity. There is a lot of room for improvement and enhancement. Even with all of these cool improvements and enhancements though, my cynical side emerges. While these would be great, are we giving ourselves too much credit that the choices we will make on the route to post-humanity will be practical? Isn’t society a little more vain that that? Seriously? The desire for youth and beauty is by no means a new phenomenon.
I have posted about universal health care coverage many, many times as an ethical and moral imperative. In the last year, my hopes (along with many other bioethicists, I’m sure) of attaining universal coverage have gone up, down and sideways, like a roller-coaster ride, exhilarating and frightening, with emotions ranging from inspiration to resignation. Now that the US House of Representative has finally passed a health reform bill, I’ve requested several bioethicists (and friends of the WBP) to share their thoughts on the ethical implications of the passage of this bill.
Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can—and should—be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
This summer IEET Fellow Ben Goertzel will teach the distance learning course “Special Topics in Sociology: Singularity Studies, the first accredited college course on the Singularity and associated technologies, through Rutgers University. The three-credit summer course will feature online lectures and discussions every Monday and Wednesday evening throughout the summer and is available to students internationally. The IEET’s J. Hughes, Natasha Vita-More and Aubrey de Grey will be among the guest lecturers.
Biodiversity loss. Land use. Freshwater use. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Stratospheric ozone. Ocean acidification. Climate change. Chemical Pollution. Aerosol loading in the atmosphere.
A team of 30 scientists across the globe have determined that the nine environmental processes named above must remain within specific limits, otherwise the “safe operating space” within which humankind can exist on Earth will be threatened.