[ExI] Human Experimenting

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu May 21 22:03:40 UTC 2009

Stefano writes

> Admittedly, this is a sensitive issue. A libertarian would probably
> have no many qualms in recognising the validity of such a contract. It
> remains however debatable whether such agreements should be allowed,
> as they would be most probably entered into under duress, let alone
> enforced.

A sensitive and difficult issue. Are many libertarians
today ready to allow someone to knowingly and with full
consent sign himself into slavery? My opinion: we're
not ready for that yet; but someday, yes. In other
words, IMO no libertarian group, no matter how select
and on how small an island, should go ahead with something
like that, at least for a generation or two.

 > [Tomasz wrote]
>> As a practical cynic, I guess as soon as humans give other humans right to
>> possibly kill them for humanity's good, humanity will be redefined to
>> small circle of criminals, with attitude like "better you die first and I
>> benefit". The rest will be treated like animals, which perhaps is
>> deserved ("well, you want to be our animal? you will get it").
> I am not a utilitarian myself. I note however that such ethical stance
> is quite popular amongst transhumanist, especially "progressive"
> transhumanists, so I wonder how they would justify an opposition to
> that from their own POV.

The rational case is easy to make: if someone wants
to volunteer (say for money given to relatives or
some other inducement), it is indeed very hard to
see why other uninvolved people, but people who
have guns and badges, should intercede.

Of course, the slippery slope argument (which sometimes
seems to make good sense, though not always) *could*
result in a "cheapening of life" and similar such
concerns. Also things like this can open wider the
door of corruption and violations of the spirit if
not the intent of the laws.

I wish that someone would argue against volunteering
because of specific ill consequences to society.


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