Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:53 pm
What I was talking about before is a cybernetic process, where there is continuity of consciousness between the bio part and the tech part...But this is very advanced stuff. So it may be a century or more away.
Yes, that's far beyond our capability today.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:53 pm
Would you want to program your own chatbot to entertain people after you're gone?
That would be fun. :yes:

But what about the ethics of cloning and creating a genetically superior race? China is not about to sign any agreement to refrain from doing this, and so do we have to do it, too, so as not to be defeated someday by their superior race?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:58 pm
But what about the ethics of cloning and creating a genetically superior race? China is not about to sign any agreement to refrain from doing this, and so do we have to do it, too, so as not to be defeated someday by their superior race?
Cloning is nothing. That's just creating twins.

Eugenics, like anything else, can be good or bad. It's basically what everyone does when they choose a mate-- and we wouldn't have most of the foods we have now without Eugenics, because it's really just a synonym for breeding. But, of course, it can be politicized. It was considered a terrible thing when Hitler did it, but is now considered a good thing when Blacks do it (of course, their methods differ). It also depends on what you consider a superior race and what you plan to do with it once you've got it.

What's your definition of a superior Human race?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Here is an article about China creating Super-Soldiers. But I can also imagine them eugenically creating Super Scientists or Super anything.

Is this something the rest of the world should worry about?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:04 am
Here is an article about China creating Super-Soldiers. But I can also imagine them eugenically creating Super Scientists or Super anything.
I think it would be great for them to genetically engineer a super-army. It will cost them trillions of dollars and in fifty years they'll be no better off than they are now.
Is this something the rest of the world should worry about?
Rockets can take us to Mars or send bombs to the other side of the world. It's all in what you do with it. Don't we want future generations to be better than we are?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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By "better", do you mean morally better? Physically better? Both? And how do we agree on what is "better" exactly?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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That's exactly it. Better can be a matter of context or opinion. Many people think that it's good to be religious. What would a better religious person be? More superstitious? More obedient? More intolerant?

Is genetic engineering a good thing if it allows humans to live in space or on other worlds?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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So we could build intelligent robots to live on Mars and colonize the planet. They wouldn't have to worry about food or oxygen. But would that make any sense?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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That's a little high level. I was thinking more about people who are immune to calcium loss and compromised immune systems in low gravity.

But do you think there's something wrong with engineering people who can live in more extreme environments, like high gravity or extreme radiation?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I don't know :lol: Seriously, I would love to hear ethicists debate this issue. Playing with nature concerns me. Yet we do it all the time with medical science without batting an eye.

In your eugenics of Mars example, would you be okay with us breeding an entirely different race of humans who are more adaptable to exo-planets with different gravities, temperatures, atmospheres, etc? Would there be any risks of doing so?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:35 am
Playing with nature concerns me. Yet we do it all the time with medical science without batting an eye.
We've been doing it since the beginning of time. Not only are people hard-wired to choose mates based on the anticipated quality of their offspring, but we wouldn't have any of our food animals or plants without genetic engineering.
In your eugenics of Mars example, would you be okay with us breeding an entirely different race of humans who are more adaptable to exo-planets with different gravities, temperatures, atmospheres, etc? Would there be any risks of doing so?
Many risks, which is one reason I'm not worried about armies of Chinese supermen. There's no such thing as a trait. There are only clusters of attributes that form a trait and that are inextricably linked to every other trait. Look at all the issues that breeding has caused in specialized dog breeds. A superman could very well come with supercancer or superpsychosis or supersomethingelse.

Do you think engineering people for immortality is immoral?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Yes. People need to die :lol: Won't we run out of room on this planet if they don't?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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We'll run out of room anyway, if people don't stop reproducing so much. Aren't we planning on expanding beyond the confines of the Earth?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Is it realistic we'll have the technology to colonize an earth-like planet light-years away any time soon? Or is it much more likely there will be moon or Martian colonies of humans in the coming century?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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The Solar System will definitely be colonized eventually, both in terms of the planets and artificial habitats. Interstellar travel will be a more ambitious undertaking, but the main thing to consider is how terrestrial life would interact with alien life that will likely already be there-- even migrating populations on Earth encountered difficulties with the local ecology.

How do you envision first contact with an intelligent alien species?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I'm optimistic that any race intelligent enough to master interstellar flight is also enlightened enough to be kind and loving toward all sentient beings.

So I believe the Star Trek model makes sense. We'll be contacted by advanced beings once we're on the verge of interstellar capability ourselves. They'll send us a message -- although I'm not sure by what means. The message will welcome ask us to send a delegation to meet with their delegation.

What is your scenario?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I see two possible scenarios. The most likely is that we receive a signal that is directed at us-- either because they are close enough to have detected our civilization, or because they targeted the most likely planets they could see, or because they send signals to every solar system willy nilly. The second most likely is the arrival of a probe, programmed with all the information about their civilization and manned by an AI programmed to be an ambassador. This is less likely because it is a far more expensive proposition, more vulnerable to failure, and it would require certainty that a technological civilization will be waiting at the destination.

Is it possible for an alien species to be so alien that their definition of kind and loving will be at odds with ours, though it may be equally legitimate?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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Yes, for sure.

For example, I think it's remotely possible that trees are advanced intelligence visiting us and checking us out. Their kindness consists of allowing us to chop them down and burn them, which doesn't harm them because their "tree-ness" is a mere corporeal representation of their true noncorporeal essence.

Why do you think the Star Trek first-contact model is unlikely to happen?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I don't think there's any way to travel faster than light or bypass the speed of light in any way that is practical. So no civilization will ever be crossing back and forth between stars like we cross the ocean.

Do you think there are moral issues with uplifting the intelligence of other species?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I'm surprised you're not more optimistic about some day creating warp speed. Humans are pretty crafty.

By "uplifting the intelligence of other species", do you mean trying to, say, make snails as smart as humans?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:00 am
I'm surprised you're not more optimistic about some day creating warp speed. Humans are pretty crafty.
If it's possible, we'll do it, but I don't think it's possible. If it were, the first species to come along would dominate the galaxy, and I doubt if we're the first.
By "uplifting the intelligence of other species", do you mean trying to, say, make snails as smart as humans?
I was thinking more about gorillas or dolphins, but yeah.

Do you think a species can be intelligent enough to achieve space travel, but just not interested?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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RJDiogenes wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:52 pm
Do you think a species can be intelligent enough to achieve space travel, but just not interested?
That's an interesting questions because it gets at the "ability" versus "motivation" debate. Men and women, for example, have equal musical ability and equal comical ability, but there are far more male than female comics and far more male than female musicians because apparently women are less motivated to excel in these areas.

Why do you suppose humans evolved this way?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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I don't believe that they did, so no explanation is needed. Psychologically men and women are generally the same and the physical differences are all about reproduction, which, while it appears significant, is a tiny fraction of the entire structure. Societal difference all come down to baby making.

What do you think would happen if we met an alien species who had one gender that was superior to the other? Or actually had real races, which were not equal?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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^^ Actually I think I read somewhere that all the different varieties of human races are astonishingly similar compared to other animals. Can you imagine human varieties differing as much as dog varieties? It boggles the mind.

If we met an alien race with truly unequal genders, I think we'd have a lot of trouble with it. It would certainly make us feel uncomfortable. And you may be asking if we're "ready" to encounter intelligent alien life that is so different we can't even wrap our puny minds around the differences.

If humans are so intolerant of each other, what hope is there that we'd be tolerant of a race of Alpha Centaurians?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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scottydog wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:22 am
^^ Actually I think I read somewhere that all the different varieties of human races are astonishingly similar compared to other animals.
That's because there's no such thing as race. At best, it's a social construct, at worst a lie, but really it's just stupidity.
Can you imagine human varieties differing as much as dog varieties? It boggles the mind.
That's a possibility for the future, though.
If humans are so intolerant of each other, what hope is there that we'd be tolerant of a race of Alpha Centaurians?
Depends on their level of military superiority, I suppose. :lol:
If we met an alien race with truly unequal genders, I think we'd have a lot of trouble with it. It would certainly make us feel uncomfortable.
Which would be worse, inferior males or inferior females?
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Re: Questions Only VI: How Much Is Too Much?

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We're so politically correct these days that a race of inferior males would probably be much better received :lol:

If an intelligent alien race looked like, say, a worm, would there be any hope of us being able to live in harmony side by side with them?
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