Abstract: Most agree that our lives and our world are better if we are happier. So linking the moral goal of greater happiness with our biological understanding of happiness seems obvious. Let us think of the position that it is permissible for individuals to make this linkage—to use pharmacology and other technologies in the service of increased happiness—as the ‘bio-happiness’ proposal. Several different technologies might be used in pursuit of this goal, e.g., pharmacological agents (“happy pills” ) might be developed, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select embryos with genes associated with a high level of happiness, or genetically engineering embryos for happiness. Most of the paper is devoted to defending bio-happiness against criticisms. The field of which may be characterized as follows:
(1) Happiness is not of moral importance.
(2) Bio-happiness cannot increase our happiness.
(3) Bio-happiness will come at too great a cost to other moral values.
Dec 27, 2006
Hughes Manifests in the C-RealmC-Realm
The producer of the C-Realm podcast, “kmo,” talks with Dr. Hughes about human enhancement and Buddhism, and then with Chip Walter, author of Thumbs, Toes, and Tears: And Other Traits That Make Us Human, about taking an active role in human evolution. MP3
Dec 16, 2006
I ain’t givin’ up on sleepby George Dvorsky
Dec 3, 2006
Macro-Bushido: A Geoethical Consciousness for an Info-Cultural Ageby Martine Rothblatt
Macro-Bushido is a set of ethical guidelines for the modern Info-Cultural Age based on Bushido, the unwritten code of ethics that guided Japan’s samurai until about one hundred years ago. The seven principles of Bushido are: Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Veracity, Honor and Loyalty. Rothblatt dissects each principle and explains how it could be applied to the modern world and in particular, to emerging cyberconsciousness. Rothblatt argues that upholding Macro-Bushido in today’s world will result in many benefits, among them that humans may be saved from the consequences of shortsightedness by refocusing their attention on loyalty to a higher goal. In addition, a class of modern samurai may emerge to help keep humanity loyal to the objectives of diversity, unity and immortality. These ideals are invaluable as we arrive at personal cyberconsciousness within humanity’s quest for survival.
Download the PDF here.
Nov 20, 2006
Hughes quoted on virtue engineering of marriage
Executive Director James Hughes was interviewed for an article in the McGill Daily on the use of neurochemicals to enhance marital bonding and fidelity.
Nov 4, 2006
A System-Theoretic Analysis of Focused Cognition,and its Implications for the Emergence of Self andby Ben Goertzel
Abstract: A unifying framework for the description and analysis of focused cognitive processes is presented, based on the system-theoretic notions of forward and backward synthesis. Forward synthesis iteratively creates combinations, seeded from an initial focus-set of mental items; backward synthesis takes a set of mental items and tries to create them iteratively via forward-synthesis. The utility of a dynamic involving alternating forward and backward synthesis is discussed. The phenomenal self and the shifting focus of attention, two critical aspects of cognitive systems, are hypothesized to emerge as strange attractors of this alternating dynamic. In a companion paper, this framework is used to provide a systematic typology for the various cognitive agents in the Novamente AI system, including probabilistic inference, evolutionary learning, attention allocation, credit assignment, concept creation and others.
Oct 25, 2006
Protopanpsychism and the consciousness conundrum, or why we shouldn’t assume uploadsby George Dvorsky
Despite grandiose and cocksure proclamations to the contrary, consciousness is still a hard problem in science. Aside from (currently) untestable theories and philosophical musings, how matter organizes itself such that it is capable of experiencing subjectivity and qualia is an utter mystery.
Mar 3, 2006
The Abolition of SufferingChangesurfer Radio
Rossi is one of the founders of The Abolitionist Society, a group devoted to the use of psychopharmaceuticals and neurotechnology to allow people to become as happy as they can be. “The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health.”
Feb 17, 2006
The Illusiveness Of Immortalityby J. Hughes
Death And Anti-Death, Volume 3: Fifty Years After Einstein, One Hundred Fifty Years After Kierkegaard
Charles Tandy, Ph.D., Editor
Volume Three ISBN-13: 978-0-9743472-6-4
Volume Three ISBN-10: 0-9743472-6-4
Distributed By Ingram
- “Recent Developments In The Ethics, Science, And Politics Of Life-Extension” by Nick Bostrom
- “The Illusiveness Of Immortality” by James J. Hughes
- “Universal Superlongevity: Is It Inevitable And Is It Good?” by Mark Walker
Feb 11, 2005
Co-Creator TheologyChangesurfer Radio
Dr. J. chats with Ted Peters, a theologian at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union, and author of Playing God? Genetic Determinism and Human Freedom and For the Love of Children: Genetic Technology and the Future of the Family. (Originally broadcast February 2005)