[ExI] Brain Implants Could Make the Death Penalty Obsolete
pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 10:37:39 UTC 2015
This transhumanist article has caused much controversy about
governments controlling people by implants.
How Brain Implants (and Other Technology) Could Make the Death Penalty Obsolete
Written by Zoltan Istvan July 21, 2015
Zoltan Istvan is a futurist, author of The Transhumanist Wager, and
founder of and presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party. He
writes an occasional column for Motherboard in which he ruminates on
the future beyond natural human ability.
It’s likely we will have cranial implants in two decades time that
will be able to send signals to our brains that manipulate our
behaviours. Those implants will be able to control out-of-control
tempers and violent actions—and maybe even unsavoury thoughts. This
type of tech raises the obvious question: Instead of killing someone
who has committed a terrible crime, should we instead alter their
brain and the way it functions to make them a better person?
Some people may complain that implants are too invasive and extreme.
But similar outcomes—especially in altering criminal’s minds to better
fit society’s goals—may be accomplished by genetic engineering,
nanotechnology, or even super drugs. In fact, many criminals are
already given powerful drugs, which make them quite different that
they might be without them. After all, some people—including
myself—believe much violent crime is a version of mental disease.
Regardless, in the future, it’s going to be hard to do anything wrong
anyway without being caught. Satellites, street cameras, drones, and
the public with their smartphone cameras (and in 20 years time their
bionic eyes) will capture everything. Simply put, physical crimes will
be much harder to commit. And if people knew they were going to be
caught, crime would drop noticeably.
What is upsetting people is 'mission creep'. You start by putting
implants in murderers only, then violent criminals, then terrorists,
then ---- why not just put implants in everybody? The TSA, NSA, etc
are already checking and monitoring everyone as possible suspects.
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