Re: neo-luddites are "US Taliban" (was Re: "Cloning Breakthrough " not one)

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 09:35:34 MST wrote:

The notion of thwarting attempts to escape justice via suicide is new
to me. What would you do if you restored a suicide bomber from a backup?
There wouldn't be much point in giving him the death penalty. So what
is the idea, would you torture him? That doesn't seem very enlightened.

### This notion was explored by Stanislaw Lem in one of his short stories,
where a robotic philosopher, who formulated an ideology eerily similar to
communism and thereby contributed to horrible suffering, is being
resurrected using electronic methods by a group of reactionaries, tortured,
killed, and resurrected again. And the poor wight doesn't even know about
the effects his ideology had on the society after his (first) death.

That short story persuaded me, about 20 years ago when I first read it, that
the idea of "deserving of punishment", as some inherent quality of a person
and the results of vis activities, is wrong. Since then I came to see
punishment in a purely instrumental fashion, a way of deterring future
wrongness, not erasing past evil.

Yet, resurrection of suicidal miscreants might be actually quite a good
deterrent, especially against those who, like me, espouse the "state"
concept of personal identity (as opposed to the "continuation" concept). I
don't know how it would work against theists.


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