Re: ECON The Abolition Of Work

J. R. Molloy (
Fri, 1 May 1998 12:41:37 -0700

>> I also think that the question of
whether humans should give rights to
>> machines is moot, the question of
whether machines will give rights to
>> is not.
>By this you seem to be implying that
very smart robots WOULDN'T grant us
>rights, and so, in order to protect our
rights, we shouldn't try to build
>them too smart.

If artificial life forms had just a
little more sentience than the average
human, they could easily see through the
myth of "rights." Preceding sentient
robots, one might imagine a robotic word
processor that could catalog the gamut
of human follies and provide coherent
deconstructions such that transhuman
extropians would not not to deal with
these elementary issues. We have the
stars to reach.

>It's true, smart robots might decide to
rob us of our rights. I'd like to
>think that they wouldn't, but that's
really just a guess. However, since
>we can only guess at this sort of
thing, the underlying premise behind an
>argument like this is that we shouldn't
try to create new entities smarter
>than ourselves, including
trans/posthuman children, if there's a
>that doing so will jeopardize our

This philosophy resembles the Amish, who
take their kids out of school at the
eighth grade to prevent them getting too

>If germline engineering turns out to be
a good way to build a better
>human, and that happens to mean that
our children will be superior to us
>in every way, does that mean we
shouldn't have smarter children? After
>all, it would be a moot question to ask
whether we should grant THEM
>rights... the question would be
whether they would grant rights to us.

Sounds like a pretty good question. But
again, since they would have enough
intelligence to surpass ideologies of
"rights", they would answer your
question with a salutary "no", and then
go on to more interesting things. Life
refuses to conform to the limits set for
it by concepts of "rights."