Re: On uplifting

Brent Allsop (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 10:18:05 -0700

Twink <> brought up the great topic
of "uplifting"!

Did you coin this usage of this term or has it been used
before in this way?

I look forward to introducing my Dog to what it is like to
have richer color vision and the joys of greater intelligence... And
I also look forward to knowing what it is like to hear, smell and be
like a Dog...

> I agree, though the tests for sentience is a whole topic in itself.
> And a very important one I admit.:)

Yes. It also surely isn't a hard line which on one side
animals are sentient and on the other they are not. It's a very
broad, gradual and complex continuum. I'm sure echo-locating animals
such as bats and other animals, especially the higher ones mentioned
here like whales..., have sensations humans have never felt. In these
particular areas they would be "more sentient" than we are. "What is
it like to be a bat?" is the famous question by Nagal. What is it
like to be a fish with a hook in it's mouth? Does a fish feel pain
the same way we do or does its body just twitch and flex the way an
unfeeling machine might? It's probably neather of these but something
phenomenally different and we just don't yet know just what it IS

Until we can truly understand what and why phenomenal
sensations are, and can do things like objectively observe and eff
such feelings, we can't really accurately judge what is sentient and
what is not. Do single celled animals have any such phenomenal
feelings or conscious knowledge? I doubt it and would guess that
these are mostly simply mechanical. What about insects? Are they
purely abstractly mechanical or do they, too, experience some kind of
phenomenal feeling representations? Where is the line drawn between
what can feel and what can't? Until we know just what sensations are
and how they are employed by the various intelligent animals to
represent different kinds of knowledge and awareness, we can't yet
really know where to draw the line between what is and what isn't

> Play God!

Yes definitely! But shouldn't we be sure we are a good and
benevolent God? I don't think we should ever only "uplift" to a
limited degree so that lower life forms can be left as such to only be
our slaves or servants or whatever. There will be plenty of ways for
us all to do things mechanically without having to employ lessor
sentient life forms to do slave labor. If we have the right to be
uplifted via the help of other humans, I would think most lower
animals would deserve the same right. The difference between a dog
and us is nothing compared to the difference between us and a God

I look forward to being more sentient, and knowing what it is
like to be a bat, a dolphin playing in wakes, eagles soaring through
the Mountains... and to be God creating worlds and uplifting others
and experiencing things no animal has yet experienced... and I look
forward to equally sharing these sensations, feelings, and phenomenal
conscious knowledge and abilities with everyone and everything...

It doesn't matter what you are. What you can become is all
that matters to me.

Brent Allsop