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Old 10-21-2008, 09:09 PM   #1
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Transhumanist rights

Transhumanism, for those who don't know, is the belief that technology will solve the problems inherent in the human condition. Disease, weakness, greed, ect, will either be bred out of us through the utilization of advanced technology, either in terms of perfecting the flesh, or simply replacing it. The basic word, "trans-humanism" literally means going beyond what is human, what is "god given" as natural.

To that end, how far does a "human" go? If Star Trek is any example, the "super-humans" to which the infamous Khan belonged, was not regarded as human, as evident in their treatment by "normal" people. Clearly, though somewhat more predisposed to violence as they were bred as soldiers, they were superior to "normal" humans. They were faster, stronger, smarter, if only somewhat limited due to their isolation from modern times. Clearly however, they were possessed of a human form, and of human function, enhanced human strengths and some prevalent weaknesses. But yet, for all their humanity, they were not regarded as humans.

We have soldiers coming home from Iraq missing major body parts, and through innovative technology, we are able to build functional, if not rather limited, robotic replacement limbs, and it is believed that we are within close grasp of utilizing the own system by which humans grow to simply grow NEW limbs. Ones that may or may not be superior to their predecessors. There has also been a recent development of a robot powered by an organic brain. Machines are also getting close to passing the Turing test(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...re/7666246.stm).

So at what point do you think, and hence, at what point do you think we as a whole, should say "that's not human anymore."? Certainly a man with 4 prosthetic limbs, an artificial heart, hearing aids and glasses is getting pretty close to the classic Star Wars line of "more machine than man" and implied from the statement, therefore not entitled to the same treatment as other organic beings would be afforded.

Or should their be a limit at all? Should sentience be the only qualifier for entitlement to "human" rights? If that's the case, how would you determine a machine is sentient if it's so human you can't tell it apart from a person? Is that good programming? Or is that true sentience? Or does nothing have true sentience, and "rights" are simply handed out arbitrarily, which brings me back to my original question: How far would you take "human rights" in application to "improved" humans, "modified(genetic)" humans, and "cybernetic" humans?


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Old 10-21-2008, 10:20 PM   #2
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If I'm going to be a cyborg, I demand I be made to look like Iron Man but with navy blue paint.


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Old 10-21-2008, 10:27 PM   #3
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I see no problem with cybernetics of any kind. To be honest, I find the idea that you become less human if you have parts replaced to be rather ridiculous - humanity's greatest strength, our most vaunted ability, is our intelligence and our ability to learn, both of which reside in the brain.

If you were conceived with a human genetic code, you deserve human rights. I don't care if you're a clone or if you're so cybernetically modified that the only thing you're completely machine, or more likely, a machine with a fleshy brain. You're still a human. You deserve human rights.

Now, Aliens, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter.

As for a Robot, well...if it looks like a man and talks like a man, who is to say it is not a man? And even if not, we would create these robots, which would, in essence, make them the children of the Human Race. As such, wouldn't they be human by virtue of being the children of humanity?
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian View Post
If you were conceived with a human genetic code, you deserve human rights. I don't care if you're a clone or if you're so cybernetically modified that the only thing you're completely machine, or more likely, a machine with a fleshy brain. You're still a human. You deserve human rights.
So, a machine, no matter how human in it's thinking, could never be treated like a human(in a rights sense)?


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Old 10-21-2008, 10:31 PM   #5
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Edited my above post to address Robots.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:04 AM   #6
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I think genetically modifiying people is a little bit too far. It just depends on the person that you ask. You might get the, "It is the parents choice", arguement, but I think that there are a multitude of negative outcomes by genetically modifing humans. Not everyone can be perfect. I don't think that anyone should be made perfect. We are all imperfect. That is the way that it has always been. If we want smarter kids, then why don't we start teaching them better and holding them to a much higher standard. If we want kids that are not obese, then lets show them how to be more active and live a healthy lifestyle. Actually teach them. To get to the point, I think that there would be far to many negative outcomes if we genetically alter humans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Or should their be a limit at all?
Well, I say that if this person absolutely needs it, then yes. But a question arises, what about the great number of people that have been involved in horrific accidents, ect. and their body left ravaged? What would you do, if you had the choice:

a) Spend unprecedented amounts of money to save a man/woman's life when they are already close to death
b) Let them pass on

Cost. Can we afford to save the hundreds/thousands that are involved in accidents. We would be talking about a lot of money here. There are a lot of angles that have to be looked at.

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Should sentience be the only qualifier for entitlement to "human" rights?
No I don't think that setience should be a qualifier for entitlement to "human" rights. Not at all. Mainly because they are simply not human. They are machine. All humans deserve rights, but IMHO, not robots.

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Old 10-22-2008, 12:16 AM   #7
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I think genetically modifiying people is a little bit too far. It just depends on the person that you ask. You might get the, "It is the parents choice", arguement, but I think that there are a multitude of negative outcomes by genetically modifing humans. Not everyone can be perfect. I don't think that anyone should be made perfect. We are all imperfect. That is the way that it has always been. If we want smarter kids, then why don't we start teaching them better and holding them to a much higher standard. If we want kids that are not obese, then lets show them how to be more active and live a healthy lifestyle. Actually teach them. To get to the point, I think that there would be far to many negative outcomes if we genetically alter humans.
I don't necessarily mean making perfect people, as the UK is working on already, there's the possibility of human-animal hybrids. And of course, not all of these would be made by two consenting adults, there's quite the possibility that they'll be grown in a tube in some factory or science lab.

Quote:
Well, I say that if this person absolutely needs it, then yes. But a question arises, what about the great number of people that have been involved in horrific accidents, ect. and their body left ravaged? What would you do, if you had the choice:
Current prostetic limbs aren't that expensive. Presumably as technology advances, the best stuff will always be pricey, but as we can get along with last years computer, I'm sure people can get away with model T-800 arm instead of T-1000 arm.

Quote:
No I don't think that setience should be a qualifier for entitlement to "human" rights. Not at all. Mainly because they are simply not human. They are machine. All humans deserve rights, but IMHO, not robots.
So, if sentience does not define our right to rights, and robots who are just like us can't have them, why do we get rights in the first place? Because *higher power* says so? Because our DNA says we're human? Why does that make us any different than lions? We certainly seem to be as adept in killing as any wild animal.


"So if you go to Washington, it's buildings clean and nice. Bring a pack of matches...and we'll burn the White House twice!"

"Nobody's talking about extermination. No one ever does. They just do it." - Magneto

"Don't solicit for your sister, that's not nice, unless you get a good percentage of her price."
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
Current prostetic limbs aren't that expensive. Presumably as technology advances, the best stuff will always be pricey, but as we can get along with last years computer, I'm sure people can get away with model T-800 arm instead of T-1000 arm.
Definately. I agree.

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Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
So, if sentience does not define our right to rights, and robots who are just like us can't have them, why do we get rights in the first place? Because *higher power* says so? Because our DNA says we're human? Why does that make us any different than lions? We certainly seem to be as adept in killing as any wild animal.
Why should a lion get human rights in the first place? What sort of rights are you even talking about for animals/robots?

The right to marry another robot?
spoiler:
I know that you are gonna think/say something about the right to marry humans as well, but that would be caused by their programming.


I was refering to robots, not animals anyways.

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Old 11-29-2008, 01:56 AM   #9
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It has been said by many qualified physicians that mankind is upon the verge of prolonging life to an indeterminable degree, with current advances in medical technology. Apparently like so many fictions, money is fast becoming the only issue.

So the question becomes one of morality. At what cost is this individual life prolonged? What is their treatment of other life? Finally, how is sanity preserved where the inherent measures are all removed? I mean where money buys me eternity, what is my regard for you, who has no money?
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