[ExI] Morphological freedom

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Feb 26 09:07:46 UTC 2016

On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 5:45 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> A chapter I wrote about morphological freedom, maybe of interest:
> http://aleph.se/papers/MF2.pdf
> ### I read your chapter with interest. A few remarks:

I don't think that morphological freedom is an inalienable right, even in a
liberal ethical framework. On one hand, wards are persons, yet their rights
are legitimately abridged by others. On the other hand, if a person has a
right to suicide, then lesser, self-imposed limitations on their mode of
being are legitimate as well, which includes the right to limit one's
cognition irreversibly, erase some or all memories, or deprive oneself of
the desire to modify self. One may even have the right to rescind one's
right to modification by joining a legal system which does not recognize
it, or by assigning the rights to modify oneself to others.

You mention the harm principle, and the fact that by modifying the
definition of an illegitimate harm one can achieve arbitrary normative
goals. I would tend to see this problem as one of constructing an in-group.
Those who have inappropriate notions of what constitutes an illegitimate
(i.e. punishable, legally actionable) harm, cannot be members of my
in-group. One has to choose his friends well.

There are a couple of minor spelling errors.

You quote Carrico. His convoluted style is difficult to parse but you
provide a benign translation of his views as an extension of social
democracy to the question of body modification. I tend to take a much
darker view - he wants to keep some of us, makers, as perpetual slaves of
others, the takers, all covered with the gobbledygook about non-duressed
choice. You can rely on him to endorse slavery while claiming to be a
champion of freedom.

I am unabashedly ableist.

My own position, relevant to my chosen in-group, is that existing ingroup
members generally have full ownership rights to their own bodies and minds,
unless they voluntarily relinquish them (in a meaning much different from
Carrico's "non-duressed choice"), and this entails the right to modify
themselves using the resources they have at their disposal. This does not
entail a duty on others to provide such resources. New members of the
in-group such as children and other wards should be gifted such ownership
rights on achieving the age of majority, or be allowed to pay a market
price to purchase such rights. The details of modification rights should be
freely tradeable among in-group members.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20160226/c3f558c8/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list