ETHICS: reprogramming others, trials, justice (was Re:

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Fri, 04 Jul 1997 19:08:54 -0700

>Won't it be great once we can just use nanotechnology to reprogram these
>individuals! No more prisons, no more executions, just plain old
>Shawn M. Johnson


Are you joking, or have you made up your mind about this?
I'm not being sarcastic here--but I have a very mixed reaction
to the notion of "fixing" people, especially without their consent.

Extinguishing them *might* be more ethical. I'm not sure.

I have another series of bones to pick with the entire idea of
"trials"--they seem to be mostly about making the local mass of
primates feel better. _Sometimes_ that includes feeling like you'd
have gotten a fair shake if you were in the defendant's shoes, but
I daresay that's not prominent in the mind of many of today's jurors.

Is that (palliating the masses' feelings) all "justice" amounts to?

One of the fundamental pivots of my current researches is the whole
matter of "fairness". I suspect it relates to 1) the universe
making sense and being predictable and 2) comfort (see #1).

Correction to above re "trials":
Unless they are trials pertaining to extinction as an outcome.
And then they're not about justice per se, but strategic sessions:
see the second half of _Have Spacesuit, Will Travel_.

One thing is clear: "banishment" is probably not a viable strategy
once civilizations (or whatever they are by then) span galactic arms...


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