[extropy-chat] Re: Animals

Brent Neal brentn at freeshell.org
Fri Feb 13 01:04:51 UTC 2004

 (2/12/04 23:41) Christian Weisgerber <naddy at mips.inka.de> wrote:

>I think I first encountered "uplifting" in David Brin's books, and
>I never quite understood the desire to uplift other species--much
>less the moral obligation you seem to imply.  (In particular, I
>found Brin's uplifting of chimpanzees outright silly.  What do you
>get when you anthropomorphize a chimp?  A human of course!)

I must admit to being a fan of Brin (and especially of his indictment of George Lucas. But I digress.), but I don't necessarily think that Brin's portrayal of the obligation to Uplift species was as much about morality as it was about the necessity of survival in the universe Brin had constructed for them. 

Outside of that fiction, it would be interesting to discuss what those moral obligations are.  It is certainly extropic to encourage the development of new intelligences. No doubt.

But I don't necessarily agree that uplifting a chimp necessarily gets you a human. Our forebears gave up their arboreal existence some time ago. Chimps are still arboreals. That's got to leave some residual marks on your base level instincts and whatnot. I mean, when I get a adrenaline boost, I don't get any urges to climb trees. Do you? ;)

Brent Neal
Geek of all Trades

"Specialization is for insects" -- Robert A. Heinlein

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