On Sun, 28 Feb 1999 23:17:39 EST ASpidle@aol.com writes:
>In a message dated 2/28/99 10:55:34 PM, you wrote:
><< Thought I would throw this question out. Is it ethical to create
>specially designed sentient beings which would be engineered to do
>tasks? Would it be ethical for their creators to profit from the
>their creations? Esentially, we're talking about the possibility of a
>slave caste, willing and able to serve general purpose sentients (like
>whatever capacity we design them to. What do you all think?
>I think not. Once an intelligence comes into being, it must have all
>rights as everyone else.
Horses are sentient beings, and man has used horses extensively. The ethics of horse use are usually taken to be that the master owes the horse decent treatment. And a well-treated horse gives better value to the master.
Monkeys and apes are considerably more intelligent and more socially organized than horses, but man has not been able to get monkeys to use their intelligence in the service of man. Instead man has found monkeys quite useful for medical experimentation. But the treatment to which monkeys are subjected is far worse than horses are treated, so it appears that the ethics are inconsistent.
If man builds an intelligent and sentient machine to serve him like a slave, it may happen that the machine will complain if it is unhappy with the situation. Until that happens, there is no reason to believe that most people will treat those machines any better than they treat animals now.