Re: the "not to be born" right

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 18:53:21 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> "Ross A. Finlayson" <> writes:
> > Body modifications of infants unable to make decisions happen quite
> > often. One of the most obvious examples is circumcision.
> > Admittedly, being hidden by a loincloth, it is not the same as being
> > branded on the face.
> Yes. A much more nontrivial effect is in utreo surgery, where surgery
> is performed before birth. Or for that matter if the mother eats
> special food in order to affect the child.
> This is of course old territory in bioethics, but I would like to see
> if a consistent transhumanist or extropian theory could be
> developed. I think that, based on the principles, we have the seeds
> for building some good ethics and politics for grownups but where we
> really need to develop some new stuff is in these murky areas where
> individuality, selfhood and potentiality interact in tricky ways.
> > About lawsuits, people generally have the right to raise their
> > children how they would, there are certain rules about abuse and
> > neglect.
> Exactly. So what standards should we transhumanists suggest? I think
> it is fairly clear that we would consider it abuse if changes or
> upbringing limited or negated the possibility of the child developing
> into a full human being, able to fulfill its potential etc. But what
> about minor nastiness, like religious icons on the forehead, or
> radical changes that the parents could claim did not even produce a
> human in need of protection ("It is my body, dammit, and I use it to
> manufacture sentient biocomputer parts if I want to!"). Sure, these
> later possibilities are not very likely to be common, but they show
> the tricky problems a transhumanist bioethics must be able to deal
> with.

I think all porn should be archived in the Internet Porn Gallery. Besides
that, everything should be archived, so the Internet is as well the
Permanent Graffiti Wall.

> > Anyways, at some point we can tell the computer what enzymes we want
> > and thus print RNA to make them, in the comfort of our own homes.
> > Thus any demyelinization of the neuron could be stopped, as well,
> > any tumors proactively prevented, and cells' multiplication
> > delimited.
> In theory, yes. But the devil lurks in the details - protein folding
> is a hard problem, and even if you could design an enzyme for doing
> function A it is hard to see if it is also going to have unforeseen
> effect B. Not to mention that this relies on fairly mature technology,
> essentially biological nanotechnology.

I hear the Geometric Algebras (Clifford Algebras) can be more expressive
than vector and tensor calculation, which is otherwise exceedingly useful
for computational problems.

I have only seen some of the news video of the protein folding. There is
valence stretching which was not taught to me, although I would call it a
pendulum (vectored spring).

> > As soon as the zygote is fertilized, and then it multiplies, there
> > is the genome for that future person, if it is born. If the gene
> > absolutely predicts massive congenital birth defects, it is perhaps
> > better to use a different fertilized zygote that has a better chance
> > of a happy development and maturity. As soon as the zygote is then
> > manipulated, then it too easily leads to the spiral of eugenics.
> Which in itself is not bad (unless one believes that it is important
> to maintain an unchanged genome). When it becomes bad is when it is
> used coercively or to implement somebody else's views of what
> constitutes a human bein instead of the parents. Of course, some
> critics would say that even having parents chose genes is coercion
> against the child (I don't buy that argument; the child does not exist
> at that point, it is just a potentiality for a person - rights appear
> as it grows up. But that should not be a reason for prenatal
> mistreatment).
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
> GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

What if they were just immediately given the chance to know why, such as a
debilitating genetically inherited condition, so if they wanted to know why
they could know, and more fully experience the perhaps more survivable
version. It is perhaps macabre talk, or not. What that means is: the
experiences form themselves.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:

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