Deep Thoughts (was Re: camera tech for crime prevention)
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 11:00:49 EDT

In a message dated 10/5/1999 11:49:04 AM EST, writes:

<<Posthumanity transcends belief, or it remains human. The concepts of "should"
and "improvement" belong to the world of human perception.>>

This statement, if I understand it properly, seems to assume that the concepts of belief and improvement are exclusively human. I do not think this to be necessarily true. I think these concepts could be part of the worldview of different sentient beings, and may continue into posthumanity (or at least some branches thereof). I do not think that it is necessary to reject all that is human to become posthuman. However, I acknowledge the possibility that I may be wrong. It is my hope to discover the answer personally.

<< Transhumanity leaves all this behind. Benevolence, responsibility, and all
other facets of the meme-bound mind evaporate in the pure coherence of that which replaces it with unknowable purity. The timeless and inexhaustible unifying physical principles underlying the ground of being surpass anything now imaginable by humans. <burp>>

I happen to value my memes and my mind; I revel in the self. I do not believe that these and the "physical principles underlying the ground of being" are mutually exclusive. I do not seek purity, but heterogeneity, ever growing expanding becoming. I do not think that Transhumanity requires I leave behind who I have been, but rather that I build upon it.

<<Choice itself prevents complete integration with reality. When you do not choose
at all, then reality displaces choice, then you and reality coincide.>>

Aren't I already integrated with reality? I am a facet of reality which chooses. Now who's being dualistic? Maybe I do not fully understand, but that doesn't make me any less integrated with reality.

<<Unavoidably, planning prevents one from transcending desire, because a plan has
a goal, and consequently it comes out of desire. Moralism and dualism separate
you from direct experience of reality.>>

I agree, plans come from goals, and goals come from desire. I am uncertain of whether moralism and dualism separate one from a direct experience of reality. If so, I do not need to have a direct experience, and will make do with an indirect one.

<< The desire to do good, IOW good intentions, as every conscientious student
of ethics learns, often leads to unintended consequences.>>

Very true, but you only state a subset of the truth. All intentions of a less than omniscient, omnipotent being will have unintended consequences, as a limited being will not be able to predict all of the causal cascade of any event. However, in the absense of intention, all consequences are unintended. The question is whether one has intentions or not. I have desires which lead to intentions, and will try to maximize the occurrence of good consequences, and limit the occurrence of evil consequences (since my intention is to increase good and decrease evil, in general evil consequences are unintended). Yes, my actions will have both good and evil consequences; I accept this fact.

<< Nevertheless, if one knows enough to recognize the biological basis of
morality, as Richard Dawkins has expertly explained it, one can simply do what feels right, with the confidence that countless generations of evolution have refined this feeling to match your species' best interests in evolving to higher understanding via more complex adaptive systems (organisms).>>

Funny, I always thought evolution was refining methods to pass on genetic information. As for doing what feels right due to it being the result of countless generations; I always pay close attention to what feels right, but I do not let it rule me. I agree there is hard won wisdom there, but it is not perfect, and must be weighed on the scales of reason. And remember, what is in my species best interests is not always in my best interests, or even in the best interests of life in general.

<< As I pause to look out the window, and imagine how these words will
register with you, it occurs to me that you already know all this, and that this conversation merely serves to signal our mutual understanding by using English as a device of re-affirmation. The most important things in life, we always figure out for ourselves. Language allows us to know that others have the same ability.>>

I suspect that I do not have the same understanding as you, or at least we externally manifest it differently. I have purposely worded my responses in a egocentric manner for that is what I believe, and that is who I am. To do otherwise would be dishonest.

Yet, I have often wondered if the paths of desire and of no desire do not merge somewhere on the far horizon....well, I will continue on my path and see where it leads.

<< Namaste, I honor the manifestation of knowledge in you. <gets up to go for a walk in the morning sunshine> >>

Thank you. May your walk be a good one.

Glen Finney