sentience? ; )

From: John Grigg (
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 22:34:17 MDT

Eliezer wrote:
I see no reason why I should identify more with slaveowners who happen to be white more than I should identify with slaves who happen to be back. They're both humans, they're both sentients, and they're both a part of Earth's history. Why should I identify with one group above the other? Why should I accept "responsibility" for acts committed to people belonging to a group I never identified myself with? Because I have the same skin color? Now *that's* racist.

Eliezer, I think you meant BLACK and not back. Having finally made a mistake, I demand you surrender control of the Singularity list to Spike Jones! ;)

I like your thinking, but I somehow doubt you will ever get the masses to see it your way! Any luck doing so in Atlanta of all places? Ahh, the innocence of youth...

Damien wrote:
This is cryptic to the point of opacity. `Sentience' means `having the power of sense perception' (Concise Oxford Dictionary), or more loosely `the capacity to register feelings'. (For some weird reason, sf writers
long ago chose to distinguish intelligent [usually alien and baffling] beings as `sentients' when they meant what Poul Anderson later felicitously
dubbed `sophonts'; his coinage alas never caught on.)

Well, I learned something today! :) Those Betazoids in Star Trek sure were sentient! And here I thought the Vulcans best met that criteria.

And come to think of it, now I can actually consider myself sentient! Because as you all know, I do have feelings...

Damien continued:
Presumably Eliezer means that he's a guy richly, even especially, endowed with Feeeelings, including empathy for all the children of the Earth and indeed the cosmos. We can be sure that someone like that is flooded with empathy for the victims of egregious wrongs, and highly motivated to do what ve can to compensate for the evil effects of those wrongs.

Damien, I think you got Eliezer on this one! Boy, that intellect of yours combined with a fearsome wit is pretty scary...

I do honestly believe deep down he is a very empathetic individual as you pointed out. The excerpt you took for The Spike where he lashed out at the horrors of the world was an example to me of this.

And by the way, did you mean "ve" or "he" in your last line? lol You should hire my mother(former executive secretary, newsletter editor, writer) to be your proofreader! My own unrepentant grammar and spelling sins have brought such sorrow upon her...

best wishes,

John ;)
(hiding out in Alaska somewhere)

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