Re: How Many Points is a Soul?

Alexander Chislenko (
Sat, 02 Nov 1996 20:47:36 -0500

>> It is commonly accepted among sci-fi fans (and among you pretentious
>> SFers, as well) that "computers is people, too" -- that a machine can
>> be sentient or even sapient, and should be accorded the same respect as
>> a meat-person.

I do not have equal respect to *any* piece of meat.
It is reasonable to base respect or any other attitude to an object based
on its function, not implementation details.
"Implementationism" would be the most generic term for unfair discrimination.

Rationally speaking, there is no reason to believe that mindlessly evolved
meat-forms should be better than anything else imaginable. A proposition that
the only form of intelligence we know is the best possible one should come
with a good proof.
Current computers do not get much of my respect - but then, neither do many

If we want to start an *irrational* debate with unverifiable arguments (is
that a debate?) and call to "sacred values", then we can perform some rituals
with our computers and declare that they "should" be baptized, circumcised,
etc. I do not think these rituals would be any more ridiculous than they
are for humans.

[ Sprinkling the mouse with Holy Rubbing Alcohol, ]

Alexander Chislenko <>
Firefly Network, Inc.: <> 617-234-5452