Sunday, April 18, 2010

Post-Human Humans, Star Trek ?

A lot of futuristic things I come across tend to be a bit scary... including things from the 1950s.. I mean, back then, people thought we would be driving in space cars, and wearing clothing that looks like it's straight out of the Jetsons... of course, none of this stuff ever came true.

And, like I thought after I read the first paragraph of Monday's reading, I was a bit unnerved. To think that Earth would one day become a society of advanced people that essentially created 're-creations' of their former ancestors to see what they're like is rather disturbing..

Let's think about this, and the philosophy of the mind for a second... If they were created, could we accept them as sentient beings ? Would they have the memories of our former selves, and the feelings that go along with them ? Are the computers that are being discussed powerful enough to do that ?

I don't feel that we'll get that far... Nor do I think we need to... Why, you might ask ? Well, if we create our former selves, we might run into the problem we see in the Star Trek episode, where Cmdr. Data's 'right to choose' is being discussed. Lt Cmdr Riker seems to think that the gentleman who wants to take Data away has ulterior motives (ultimately attributing them to slavery...)

What could become of these 'former selves' ? Could we use them to influence the future ? to change the course of history ? What if the 'post-humans' decide to conjur up the founding fathers of our country ? This is something that has enormous implications to everyone, everywhere...

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