11 May 2008

Claiming our rightful destiny

The following is adapted from a comment I wrote at this posting at the excellent Black Sun Journal (which I recommend to everyone interested in the subject). I though it fit in well here too, with the debate on transhumanism below.

The Luddites and pro-deathers have almost as limited a concept of “nature” as they do of what defines our identity as humans.

Our intelligence is our species’s natural armament for survival, just as much as the shell of a tortoise or the speed of a gazelle.

It’s in the nature of intelligence that it creates tools and improves them. It’s natural that human intelligence creates technological progress over time, and that this progress accelerates.

The achievement of the Singularity will be just as much a part of the natural development of humanity as the transformation into a butterfly is of the natural development of a caterpillar.

Chell, who is one of my favorite bloggers but who approaches this particular issue from a philosophical stance almost 180 degrees removed from mine, said that it makes no sense to fix things that are not broken, and that the natural cycle of life and death (and the current level of our intelligence) are not “broken”.

A caterpillar is not “broken”, but to halt its transformation into a butterfly and keep it a caterpillar forever would be a hideous and grotesque violation of its nature, if anything would be.

I don't want mankind to remain a caterpillar forever. And it will not.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous handmaiden said...

I love the term "pro-deathers" because that's what it appears people that are resisting human advancement & human control over human destiny are advocating.

It’s natural that human intelligence creates technological progress over time, and that this progress accelerates. I agree with this mainly because history has proven it to be true. It doesn't take a Rocket scientist to figure it out. The problem is as you say one of limited concept This "limited concept" has been foisted upon us by so called authorities that are only boinging(sp?)around inside the box, so to speak. They've had the floor for a couple of thousand years...

12 May, 2008 01:39  
Blogger vishesh said...

well i just read the previous post...my reaction is this:-

while what you say sounds good,we need to see the emotional aspect of a human.i noticed this when i changed from science stream to commerce.just imagine if the playing field is not the same...just imagine if the below poverty line countries where kids haven't seen the basic things we have are given such powers...

before we evolve to that level,we need to bring the entire race to the same level...and this is a task which cannot happen for all of us are different.since we are all not robots,we have our own identity and our minds will still be cynical...
and because of that even if we stop ageing we will destroy ourselves..
it is a basic tendency all creatures have..the urge to destroy...

until the playing field is level,destruction will be inevitable...

but i believe what you said might happen,hopefully we can protect our selves from ourselves..

12 May, 2008 22:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Handmaiden -- I'd also like to see the term "pro-life" reclaimed from the anti-abortionists. Those of us who advocate actually preserving life are much more worthy of it.

Vishesh -- While it's true that "the urge to destroy" is part of us and probably always will be, a lot of human violence is rooted in conflicts over resources. That being the case, a richer world should be a more peaceful world (in general the per-capita level of violence in the world has declined over the last few centuries). I think a world where people expected unlimited lifespans would also be more peaceful, since people would have all the more to lose by being killed in war.

I do disagree that "before we evolve to that level, we need to bring the entire race to the same level". By that argument, we should not have pressed forward with developing computers or the internet until the whole world had been brought up to the economic and technological level of, say, the United States in 1950. If we'd followed that path, we still wouldn't have modern computers or the internet, and the whole world would be poorer for it. If the advanced nations keep pushing ahead to the utmost of their ability, ultimately the whole world benefits.

Thanks for commenting.

13 May, 2008 05:13  
Blogger vishesh said...

see the reason for the computer was different,it wasn't meant to be for the common man...and well peace because you don't wanna die alright...but others want you dead? i hope i am offending you but can your country be without picking others? can it think that it is their problem?

13 May, 2008 10:13  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

see the reason for the computer was different,it wasn't meant to be for the common man

Many things were not meant for the common man, but nevertheless ended up in his hands. The computer is certainly one of them.

and well peace because you don't wanna die alright...but others want you dead?

Increased prosperity will eliminate the cause of some wars, but not of all. As for aggression committed for non-economic reasons (such as religious fanaticism as in the case of al-Qa'idah), well, at least the more advanced our technology, the better we will be able to deal with it.

i hope i am offending you but can your country be without picking others? can it think that it is their problem?

I'm not sure I understand this correctly.

13 May, 2008 11:15  
Blogger vishesh said...

ops...damn i think i missed a not there...i meant not offending....


and well aren't all terrorist organisations using the internet? and death created by non-economic motives...hmmm....money is not the money thing...there are so many more things...

13 May, 2008 21:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you

08 July, 2011 13:27  

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