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#405996 - 12/17/09 12:28 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Nemo]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10118
You are hit on a sunny afternoon by a meteor and your body is vaporized. You wake up in a hospital bed and are informed by the doctor there that you are actually a clone of the original "you" who was killed by the meteor and your memories of your former life were uploaded into your cloned brain.

You feel just like yourself. You remember everything about your life (including how the IRS loves you). You find it very hard to believe that a former "version" of you was killed.


Barring belief in a soul, I would not believe that the clone is "you." It may mimic the behaviors of its parent copy precisely, it may believe in every regard that it is the original, but it would not be the same stream of consciousness.

Granted, there's a good deal of debate as to what exactly consciousness is within transhumanist thought. In particular, how much of the brain could be replaced before it ceases to be the same consciousness? After all, you're left wondering if replacing the brain bit by bit would permit the same consciousness to exist once the entire brain is replaced. But it's almost certain that suddenly and catostrophically destroying the original, then starting a cloned copy somewhere else, would simply result in a separate being and consciousness that resembles the original in all regards.

Ironically it would probably be a perfectly acceptable replacement for your original to everyone around you, since they perhaps could not tell the difference - but the person it matters most to, you, would be quite dead.

The rest of your scenarios sound generally acceptable, though I think the concept sometimes used to argue them is one of existential devaulation. Take your "life simulation" scenario, for example. Sure, I'd take that over nothing. But would I feel like I lost something? Quite possibly. It might even be euphoric at first if the simulation allows you to do things you could not do in life. But who an say what mental effect it would have after time, to know that you can no longer even perceive what or where you are? Could be a bit troublesome knowing that someone need only pull a plug without you even being able to see them, much less respond, to end your existence, nevermind the knowledge that "accomplishment" is now a relative thing. After all, why "build" or "create" when the program itself can simulate anything you would make effortlessly?

Finally, a counter scenario, simply to play devil's advocate (purely for illustration of an alternate situation, since obviously I would not choose to bleed to death, and I'm not especially creeped out by science):

You are fatally wounded, by mishap, violence, or whatever. Your family is present, but you are bleeding profusely and any rational assessment would see that you have a few minutes at best - and you are a minimum of fifteen minutes from aid.

Do you go into a panic of demands for help ASAP, or do you calmly spend your final moments wisely with those around you, realizing that in this case, death is in fact inevitable?

To me, the sensible thing in any case is to see what is likely to be possible, and make the best of it. Real personal/ethical questions of this nature in a modern context rarely revolve around such black and white choices. Is it better to accept a few months or a year of remaining life with cancer, with painkillers to make it livable, or is it better to take a gamble on buying, at most, a few more months at the risk of feeling more miserable than ever?

Any sane person would call for help rather than bleed to death, or take a procedure that carries little risk and may completely renew their health. But it is far less clear where the line is drawn between quantity and quality of life.
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"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#406000 - 12/17/09 02:57 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TheAbysmal]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
As pro-transhumanist as I am, there are times when I read things that I just think should be left to volition.

So, I say "Live and let die, unless it’s me."
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#406044 - 12/17/09 02:43 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 12494
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Quote:
Any sane person would call for help rather than bleed to death, or take a procedure that carries little risk and may completely renew their health. But it is far less clear where the line is drawn between quantity and quality of life.


I quite agree.

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#406047 - 12/17/09 02:53 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: prenna]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Actually they were saying on that "Did you Know 2009" thing, that a 1000 dollar computer will be able to out-compute the entire human race by 2049.

But all a computer can do is what is programmed to do.
True Artificial Intelligence could mean amazing advancements, but our bad "Arnold" movies could become a close reality as well.

The future is looking great though!
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#406048 - 12/17/09 03:28 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: ArtAche86]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 990
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: ArtAche86
But all a computer can do is what is programmed to do.
True Artificial Intelligence could mean amazing advancements, but our bad "Arnold" movies could become a close reality as well.


One thing to remember about true AI, is that just because a computer is made to be able to think on its own, does not mean that it’s necessarily going to have the same instincts or desires that an animal or a person would have (unless, of course, someone programmed it to).

For instance, you could have a computer that is able to think, and make intelligent decisions, but that would have no ego to placate, like a human would. There’s no reason why a machine would need to be programmed with a desire for power or even a sense of self preservation.

Often times when we think about artificial intelligence the tendency is to assume that the more “human” the computer’s thought process is, the closer to intelligent it becomes. But actually there is no reason to assume that a machine such as this would have any of the attributes that would cause it to be the kind of threat that we see in the movies. In fact, I would think that the best AI would still be created to be as logical as possible and without those more “irrational” attributes that we animals have been born with in order to aid in our survival.
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#406064 - 12/17/09 07:23 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: John Prophet]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Quite true.

I still think it would be cool to make an android that could fully duplicate the intricacies of human behavior. It would just be a trip to have full blown conversations with a thing that could come up with its own opinions and insights, and emotional investments; then to realize it's a machine.

I could say more on this subject but I'll reserve that for downstairs.
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#406065 - 12/17/09 07:26 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: NapalmNick]
Iscariot Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 144
Loc: United States
I can hear the bleeding hearts fighting for android rights already... "Computers are people too!"
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"Much Madness is divinest Sense..."

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#406066 - 12/17/09 08:32 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Iscariot]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Well, to me the "issue" of android slavery is pretty simple: if the machine is programmed to have emotions, self-determination, and other human aspects, then it is a life-form.

If it does not have these attributes, slave away!

The only legitimate complication I can foresee is whether or not it would be ethical to remove humanized programming after having already introduced it. Personally, if I had an android that I programmed to be autonomous, I couldn't find it in my heart to take that away from it; what other people do with theirs is their business. Because the issue is whether or not the thing is property, and questioning the possibility that by removing such programming could be murder.
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#406067 - 12/17/09 08:41 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: NapalmNick]
Iscariot Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 144
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
Well, to me the "issue" of android slavery is pretty simple: if the machine is programmed to have emotions, self-determination, and other human aspects, then it is a life-form.



How do you define "emotion"? I mean, NCPs in video games mimic human emotion now. Where does the line between genuine and mimicked emotion get drawn?
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"Much Madness is divinest Sense..."

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#406076 - 12/17/09 09:11 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: NapalmNick]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
>>It would just be a trip to have full blown conversations with a thing that could come up with its own opinions and insights, and emotional investments; then to realize it's a machine.

It is sort of like talking to a human, only it is a machine of the flesh.
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#406077 - 12/17/09 09:28 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Discipline]
Iscariot Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 144
Loc: United States
>> It is sort of like talking to a human, only it is a machine of the flesh.

And for the average person, just as programmable. coopdevil
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"Much Madness is divinest Sense..."

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#406078 - 12/17/09 09:28 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Discipline]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1019
Yeah... I realized it may have been read and disregarded as quickly. Also, though, I never really know who else is reading.

I can remember a few Aha! moments from my first days here. smile

"Live and let die, unless it’s me."

I like it. Brisk and useful.
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Refuse to die.

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#406079 - 12/17/09 09:36 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TheAbysmal]
Iscariot Offline


Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 144
Loc: United States
>> Do you go into a panic of demands for help ASAP, or do you calmly spend your final moments wisely with those around you, realizing that in this case, death is in fact inevitable?

Just had an odd thought. (Probably because I'm wasting time instead of studying for my Chemistry final...) but, technically, couldn't the above scenario be considered "self destructive pride?"

I'm sure that's not what Dr. LaVey meant when we wrote about self destructive pride, but I mean if you think about it, you're keeping your pride and it will kill you... haha


Edited by Iscariot (12/17/09 09:36 PM)
Edit Reason: I can't spell...
_________________________
"Much Madness is divinest Sense..."

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#406081 - 12/17/09 10:22 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Iscariot]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Quote:
Where does the line between genuine and mimicked emotion get drawn?

Well, that is a good question, and incidentally one I do not have an answer for. The reason I say this is because I personally do not understand what in the human brain causes us to feel emotion. I'm sure someone else here could explain that, however.

Without delving into too much of the specifics, I'll simply say that I'm confident that "genuine" emotions will be able to be produced by non-biological life-forms in the future.
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#406082 - 12/17/09 10:29 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Iscariot]
Drimlybunk Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 928
Loc: California
Quote:
couldn't the above scenario be considered "self destructive pride?"


I think it depends on who you're making the decision for. If you're trying to impress someone with your bravery in the face of death - that's just silly. Likewise if you feel your death will advance some "cause."

Thinking that you can save yourself, however, and wasting your last moments on a impossibility could be equally counter productive.

Don't we live each day to the fullest so that if and when we are staring death in the face we don't have to worry so much how we handles those last few moments? I think that "honorable death" is sort of a Hollywood myth, real people with the ability to save themselves do or make a mess of themselves trying.


Edited by Drimlybunk (12/17/09 10:30 PM)
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