Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
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David Pearce - Interview: on the nature of consciousness and mind

March 06, 2013

David Pearce is a British utilitarian philosopher. He believes and promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative[3] outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as “paradise engineering”. A transhumanist and a vegan, Pearce believes that we (or our future posthuman descendants) have a responsibility not only to avoid cruelty to animals within human society but also to alleviate the suffering of animals in the wild.



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Posted by CygnusX1  on  03/06  at  05:45 PM

@ David

Concerning the Limbic system, internal manifestation of God, conscience, morality and aspirations for Heaven and "paradise engineering" – would like to know your thoughts regarding the analogy of "Super Ego" here and what part this may possibly play in aspiring to recalibrating our hedonic setpoint? Or perhaps you may feel that conscience is the arbiter of suffering, in which case it may be better to overcome this burden altogether?

Is depression, (intellectual), directly linked via the limbic system to this burden of internal conscience and Super ego perhaps, in which case it would seem logical to discard with this? Darwinian moods, jealousy, fear, self loathing, hatred, may all be linked with the heavy burden of Super ego and less to do with chemistry, or at least may be exacerbated by intellect?

Assuming Human intellect has raised us ethically and morally above primates, (by way of this phenomenal "Super ego"), it would thus follow that we are cause of our own suffering, and could possibly be much more capable of recalibrating our sensitivity to suffering and embrace of joy without extreme genetic tweaking, but rather tweaking of intellect and understanding of the root causes of suffering, (I am alluding to Buddhism here also)?

Sublime bliss, eternal joy, state of perpetual grace and serenity may then be the characterisation of enlightenment and awareness of Self and the burdensome Super ego and it’s taming?

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