We don’t live in scientifically or technologically advanced times. We live in a scientifically and technologically patchy world, one in which different societies, industries, individuals, and even specific roles of individuals have all adopted widely separated levels of technology.
The whole discussion about what we’ll find immoral in the future got me thinking about that little group often described as our collective “future”: children. We often hear about children as our future when someone says, “Think of the children!” or “We shouldn’t leave this problem for our children to solve!”
New technologies depend on uncommon materials, and society depends on new technologies. Which means that economies that develop the former and control the latter have something of an upper hand in today’s interconnected and technology-dependent world.
This article is not about nihilism, but about epistemology and ontology, the end result in the form of scientific value of existence. Ethics from a nihilist-like world makes sense in light of current theories of existence. Human V2.0, or posthumans, will have to deal with the same scientific paradigms as we do today. Their sped-up cognition may allow for paradigms to come and go quickly, but let’s imagine that the meaning to existence is still not answered, that it all comes down to agnostic, atheistic value.
Now that I’ve had some time to get to grips with my new position as Director of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, I thought it was high time I started letting people know something about where the Center will be heading over the next few years.
Dr. Patrick Lin, a Fellow of the IEET and an assistant professor of philosophy at California Polytechnic State University, was a featured guest on a recent edition of the NPR program “Talk of the Nation,” discussing the ethics of robot warfare.
I have often referred to myself as a progressive but I have felt increasingly uneasy doing so. The word -progressive’, like virtually every other term which refers to a political ideology, has become so broadly applied as to become virtually meaningless.
In the USA, the decades-long “war on drugs” has, according to most, been an abject failure. In Portugal, meanwhile, drug decriminalization has, according to some, been a resounding success. Is there a lesson to be learned?
Get this: Republicans on the Deficit Commission aren't just refusing to consider any tax increases. Now they're proposing tax decreases designed to help the rich while taking benefits from everyone else. Dealing with people like that is like negotiating with somebody who's high on drugs.
This week saw the return of Caprica. In its world with technology not too far beyond our own, Caprica jumped right back into action with a premiere remarkably relevant to transhumanism. While Sister Clarice seeks to attract followers to her religion with an artificial heaven, Daniel Graystone wants to win back his company with software to remove the pain of a loved one’s death.
The blog Rationally Speaking has just posted two articles about the transhumanist movement, one by Julia Galef that defends transhumanism, and another by Massimo Pigliucci that dismisses transhumanism as “irrelevant,” among other things.
I am focusing here on the main counterarguments that were raised against a thesis I put forward in my article “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism” (2009), namely that significant similarities can be found on a fundamental level between the concept of the posthuman, as put forward by some transhumanists, and Nietzsche’s concept of the overhuman. The articles with the counterarguments were published in the recent “Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms” issue of The Journal of Evolution and Technology (January-July 2010). As several commentators referred to identical issues, I decided that it would be appropriate not to respond to each of the articles individually, but to focus on the central arguments and to deal with the counterarguments mentioned in the various replies. I am concerned with each topic in a separate section. The sections are entitled as follows: 1. Technology and evolution; 2. Overcoming nihilism; 3. Politics and liberalism; 4. Utilitarianism or virtue ethics?; 5. The good Life; 6. Creativity and the will to power; 7. Immortality and longevity; 8. Logocentrism; 9. The Third Reich. When dealing with the various topics, I am not merely responding to counterarguments; I also raise questions concerning transhumanism and put forward my own views concerning some of the questions I am dealing with.
“In a world torn with strife and warfare, perhaps no problem is more important [than that of understanding and developing wisdom], as wisdom may be the only hope out of the bloodshed.” - Robert Sternberg