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Losing the Argument is actually a Win? posted 29 May 2009 in NeuropathLosing the Argument is actually a Win? by sciborg3, Commoner

So I was reading Bakker's lecture on the terrifying implications of advanced neuroscience in the hands of those who would use it to preserve power or extend it via tyrannical means.

However, imagine another group of people who in fact wish to create a paradise on earth. After all, even if we are just biological robots (especially because we are) the only thing that matters is the alleviation of suffering, extending to the perceived suffering of denying choice, frustation/guilt at being an addict, remembering being molested, etc. I see things going (centuries from now) like this (if all goes well):

1. Advances in neuroscience likely precede advances in cloning. But assume we become sufficiently advanced at both.

2. We create a better (smarter, quicker, stronger BUT less "evil") race that have "better" brains either through cloning or the surgical improvement of willing individuals' minds. Some people might want more willpower, some might want to erase memories, etc.

3. This hopefully leads to a world in which, eventually, the only people who exist are those who choose to get the surgery, were cloned as part of this new improved humanity, and anyone who chooses not to do this - I predict this latter group goes extinct because of natural selection.

4. Eventually all that's left are the new humans. They can continually try being in love with each other, being gay/straight and attempting different tasks/emotions. There will likely continue to be those who choose to only have the emotions the world gives them, but I believe this meme will be selected out as well.

5. This is essentially a group of people that can edit out negative emotions so long as the agent personally chooses to do so. This preserves the morality of personal autonomy as well as allows people to remove unwanted psychological baggage.

In the end, we simply will have gifted the world to a better, more noble race than that which blind chance created. They will exist, essentially, in a Paradise of their (and thus our) making where they are free to pursue interests of their choosing and capable of reforming their minds/bodies as they desire.

Will there still be pain, loss, etc? Almost definitely, but much of suffering will be chosen because the sufferer finds it meaningful, which in essence preserves whatever autonomy there could exist in a universe where the mind is a machine because we keep the moral notion that we can't, or i can't get rid of : that people need to be able to choose the things that happen to them...even if they aren't choosing anything in reality. Why? Because there would be suffering if somehow they realized what had been done to them AND I know I would suffer if I forced someone to change against their knowledge/"will".

I don't think scenario is a likely one, far more likely we end up turned into drones for the Evil Empire, but there is cause for hope that neuroscience can forestall suffering in a meaningful way - as one poster said, what if Neil had gone around making Buddhas instead of promoting suffering.

ps. forgive my atrocious use of punctuation/spellinh. view post


Losing the Argument is actually a Win? posted 03 July 2009 in NeuropathLosing the Argument is actually a Win? by Callan S., Auditor

Edit out negative emotions? And which ones are those? Somehow, with godlike clarity, people will know for sure that some are negative, and exactly which ones are negative? view post


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