Re: A Bioethical Foundation for Human Rights

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 19:19:29 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

As for how much bad mental software can be undone, I think you are
unduly negative. There is a huge difference between the frontal lobe
insufficiency that makes many criminals "incurable" and merely a
self-reinforcing belief system. Still hard to deal with, and I doubt it
is workable to "treat" everybody for having the wrong memes (why them
and not us?), but there are other ways: gain the support from the vast
majority of moderate, average people for your ideas, and the
fundamentalists will be "treated" every day in their societies, the less
hardcore members slowly having their faith eroded and the real hardcore
members increasingly isolated and with less support.

### I fully agree with you here. I agree that the mere presence of
irrational beliefs is not a sufficient reason to disregard somebody's right
to live, and the more benign methods of extirpating bad memes which you
mention here are superior to most heavy-handed approaches, in most
circumstances. However, the commision of murder(=killing of an innocent
self-aware entity against its wishes) or even a verifiable willingness to
commit murder, is reason enough to lose the right to live.

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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