Re: FAQ Additions

J. R. Molloy (
Mon, 22 Feb 1999 02:14:08 -0800

Tim Bates wrote,
>You can't make them do anything. They will do it for the same reason we
>allow dogs and butterflys to live. No more, no less.

Yes, some parallels exist there, but dogs and butterflies did not create, design, engineer, or program us to allow them to live. That makes a big difference, because the dog and the butterfly did not intend us to exist, but transhumanist scientists and technologists intend posthumans to exist. Intentional design prompts the "core elements of the programming, making part of an inviolable moral code" as the FAQ mentions.

If developers do _not_ program posthumans to "exist only to support our ponderous, antique bodies and dim-witted minds in luxury" as Morovec writes, then for what should (non-augmented) developers develop them? To assume command of Earth's destiny? To bypass the conscious intent of the human race? To tell us why we exist? Deus ex machina? No, if "you can't make them do anything" then you have no rational justification to build them. But you have every reason to _become_ a transhuman/posthuman.

If transhumans transform themselves into posthumans, non-augmented humans become the ones that you (as a transhuman) "can't make do anything." Then why should posthumans/transhumans treat non-augmented humans differently than non-augmented humans presently treat mentally retarded invalids?

Extropy conspires with life to evolve more highly complex adaptive ecological systems, and in so doing, creates higher consciousness as an epiphenomenon. Aside from living among us as "benevolent demigods", does the FAQ say anything about the possibility that posthumans may attain a consciousness of such cosmic proportions that the human will cannot sway it, much less comprehend it?

Notice, BTW, that although we walk around as "benevolent demigods" to the dogs and the butterflies, we do not do so among the apes and the monkeys... nor do we do so among the Neanderthals and the Cro Magnons. (This has something to do with war, territorial imperatives, and selection, I suppose.)

Shall the ecology of life on Earth somehow change, and now dictate that posthumanity _not_ extinguish Homo sapiens Sapiens by the same means that Homo sapiens Sapiens has extinguished prehistoric man? Perhaps we should transcend first, and then compose a FAQ?

We don't need to worry how posthumans will treat non-augmented humans, because posthumans will have their hands full trying to explain to non-augmented humans why they shouldn't continue killing each other in wars and doing similar retarded things (until they, I mean we, finally become extinct). Ultimately, natural law simply displaces non-augmented humans with transhumans/posthumans. Non-augmented humans will become another "missing link" in the evolution of hyper-complex intelligent systems.

This creates a public relations problem, does it? Well, who should we expect to handle this PR problem better, the non-augmented or the transhumans? No contest. Everyone will want to become a transhuman. I can see it happening already.
--J. R.