At 01:21 AM 10/28/98 +0000, Nick Bostrom wrote:
>Here is one more suggestion at about the same level of detail: I
>wonder if not much of the fear surrounding everything to do with
>cloning and genetic engineering goes back to the trauma inflicted on
>our "collective mind" by the Nazi experience. Big taboos were created
>to prevent anything resembling Nazism from ever appearing again. And
>these taboos, or memetic defenses, don't take any risks; they
>attack memes that are not really Nazi if they bear any from of Nazi
>resemblance in the eyes of the unconscious mind of the people.
Nick, I do think the Nazi history is sometimes a source of fear and resistance. When I spoke at a conference in Germany about integration of technology into the human being to enhance function, a German women stood up and strongly hinted that I was a Nazi. This will keep happening to us. I think it's important, when responding, to stress that we want these technologies to be available but we are utterly opposed to compelling anyone to use them. (That's an important reason for having the Open Society principle.) We may face more difficulties if the day comes when a group of transhumanists form who *do* want to force everyone to upgrade according to the groups plans.
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