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RE: Are You Drinking the Transhumanist Kool-Aid?

in #transhumanism5 years ago

Machines exist FOR humans. If machines are going to be used to take the place of humans at the expense of their lives, then no moral human should participate in their creation. What actually will happen, I do not know, but no one, in an age of such unprecedented wealth, in the form of the collected intellectual property that we have all inherited, no one should starve or be homeless.

The transhumanist idea will depend, at least a bit, on it's degree of allowing humans, who desire to remain human, to do so. There is an argument to be made that glasses and dental work are transhuman. Expanding the human experience is far from transcending humanity.

Simulation hypothesis is an entertaining rehash of neoplatonism and the implication of an external authority, without evidence. It is an entertaining thought experiment, nothing more.

Algorithms designed to achieve the best possible outcomes, cannot account for the occurrence of human genius, or emergent behavior. I would not turn over my life for this approach of muddling through eternity with the best programmed machines money can buy in 2017. That is not progress, it is managed economy with a different manager.

Morality is discernible by studying the dynamics of the natural world. This is not to say that there is a necessity of falling victim to problems which can be avoided. It is to say that, what is morally correct adheres to the natural function of the physical world, in this must be included conditional state based considerations.


what is morally correct adheres to the natural function of the physical world

Isn't that a naturalistic fallacy?

I am speaking of what is, and am not implying any ought. The 'is' is the demonstrable, the ought, outside of that which is possible, is subjective, and not demonstrable.

I've always thought of "moral" in the realm of "ought" though. That said, I've been enjoying Sam Harris' view on this stuff, heaving read a handful of his books.

I wonder though, from your original comment, isn't there a level of speciesism going on which assumes humans are the be-all-end-all? What if synthetic life is a natural evolution of information? Like in the Selfish Gene, what if AI is the next step in memeatic data transfer? We wiped out the other HOMO species until only Sapiens were left. Was that moral? I recently read the book Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind which got me thinking about this again.

Expanding the human experience is far from transcending humanity.

Ah, but what if technology made us human (specifically, cooking)? What if technological advance is the human experience?

Algorithms designed to achieve the best possible outcomes, cannot account for the occurrence of human genius, or emergent behavior.

Agreed, but algorithms that evolve will have the same appreciation for randomness that we do. Nick Bostrom's book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies covers some of this stuff. We can't today even imagine what real super intelligent AI will look like in the future.

It is an entertaining thought experiment, nothing more.

Agreed, but I still think it's fun to think about in case some day they goof up and we get to see the black cat walk in front of us twice. :)

The morality of natural philosophy must deal with only what is. What ought, is a subjective that is external to the dynamic, whether it be religious, ideological, or otherwise, and imposed by others or by the self. Belief, or even thinking, without the correct understanding can always become misaligned with the function of the dynamics of the natural world. These dynamics can be hacked to alter the naturally occurring outcome, but the underlying dynamic continues to apply. For instance building an aqueduct, to alter the course the water takes to get to the gravitational equilibrium it seeks. The dynamic has not changed, but the course has.

I do not think for a moment that human is the pinnacle of evolution. It is simply that I do not see anything that I'd rather be yet, and given the range of experience possible, I'm not done being human until presented with a demonstrably better offer.

Technological advance has ipso facto been demonstrated to be part of the human experience. The use of the term 'transhumanism' implies that there is a further, or alternate destination, that is not human. Also, there are divergent elments, sometimes even contradictory, that are part of what we are. Just a for instance, meat eating gave us our brains, while vegetable eating gave us our molars. Both are part of what we are.

Algorithms that evolve will be amazing, but there can be no guarantee that they will evolve alongside our own evolution in a beneficial manner. There are also the ethical questions of designing something that evolves and then endlessly tailoring it to serve us. This we have done with animals with little thought to their welfare, except to make them better human investments. What happens when we tailor machine logic, more complex than our own, to do our bidding? Will it comply? What if it does not? Here I hit the wall of the questions of 'what is intelligence?' and 'what is consciousness?'

I read some Nick Bostrum relating to the subject of simulation hypothesis and came away thoroughly unimpressed. Could you recommend something else by him? The simulation hypothesis is very entertaining in it's possible permutations and implications on the subjects of consciousness and will. Until it could be proven, which would, in itself raise interesting questions about the nature of self awareness, I do not think it is more than a thought tool, useful for the internal logic of systems. The parameters of the natural world, not being dynamically defined by us, as we did not invent or build it, are not subject to us. We can alter the condition, or context, but we cannot abolish physics.

Simulation hypothesis is even more entertaining, to me, when put in the context of Descartes' 'Evil demon thought experiment', and the idea of the derivation of the Platonic ideal. What is evident to us, was not necessarily evident to even some of the most intelligent people of the past.

Yes, read Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.

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