[ExI] Human Experimenting

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri May 22 16:25:26 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 6:10 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> That would invalidate most contracts. The idea of a contract is that
> you agree to something at the time and then can't break the contract
> (unless that was explicitly part of the agreement) even though you
> change your mind.

I am perplexed. Not being a "libertarian", I see nothing special in
the fact that some contracts are valid and enforceable, some are valid
but not enforceable, some are void, some are even forbidden. And, to
get back to the topic of this thread, I simply do not approve of
excessive restrictions to contracts pertaining to human experimenting
from an ideological POV, especially in view of their adverse effects
on transhumanism-relevant R&D.

But if one considers the ability to engage oneself contractually as a
primordial right, and not as a commitment by a given legal system to
recognise some legal consequences out of certain statements in a
certain form under certain circumstances, I am not sure that there is
a fully satisfactory answer as to why it would not be possible to sell
oneself into slavery.

In fact, all contractual provisions that do not immediately transfer
title to something are in the nature of a promise to keep a given
behaviour in the future - or to refrain therefrom.

I "promise to be good" is not legally binding simply because the
object of the promise is not specific enough, not because it concerns
the future...

Stefano Vaj

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