[ExI] Enhanced humans: the new arms (nephilim) race

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Oct 20 23:37:58 UTC 2010


> ...On Behalf Of Joseph Bloch
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Enhanced humans: the new arms (nephilim) race
> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> >
> > Ja.  If anything, transforming into a posthuman would automatically 
> > mean a dramatic gain in dignity.
> Unfortunately, one of the most common arguments I've run 
> across against Transhumanism is the "loss of human dignity" 
> argument. Casual dismissal isn't the right way to deal with 
> it, as it seems to be growing amongst those who can't find 
> any argument against Transhumanist technologies and 
> techniques from a utilitarian point of view... Joseph

I have heard it before.  I try the light hearted approach, pointing out that
I have so much dignity, I could lose quite a bit of it and never miss it.
But it isn't just me.  Look at the clothing we have now, and compare to the
clothing from a few hundred years ago.  They looked reaaallly stupid, as
dumb as those guys who wear their pants around their knees.  So we gained a
ton of dignity just by not wearing stupid looking clothing.  Looks like we
could give up all that and still be a breakeven with the old timers.
Another thing that has occurred in just the past couple hundred years or
less: universal warm running water in homes makes it possible to bathe every
day, so we don't go around stinking.  This is a huge human dignity advance,
which we could cash in and still at least break even.

Actually I agree Joseph.  The human dignity argument is a vague, almost
undefined notion that people pull out because they are masking something
else entirely: intolerance for human inequality.  If we develop a bunch of
posthuman technologies, the benefits will go wildly disproportionately to
those who are already advanced.  It already works that way: aborigines
didn't benefit much from the development of the PC or the internet.  They
are even farther behind now.

For reasons I don't fully comprehend, humans vary widely on their tolerance
for human inequality.  I see inequality as completely inevitable: advancing
technology gives godlike powers to those who master it and use it, but
actually harms those who eschew it.  The only way I can relate is to imagine
a group of people who do some mysterious procedure, resulting in their
having an average IQ of 160, live an average of 200 years, need to sleep
only four hours a week, make a ton of money, never get sick and can do 400
pull-ups.  It would feel threatening I suppose to live in a world where such
a people existed, especially if they kept that technology to themselves.  


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