Re: Quest for trans guide.

From: Mikko Rauhala (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 11:38:44 MDT

On Tue, 2002-04-30 at 18:51, Mike & Donna Deering wrote:
> I realize that none of us can answer for the TG with any kind of confidence,
> but I still think it would be instructive to see some of your guesses.

Well, here's my take on the matters.

> 1.) Will there be punishments for past crimes? What is the fate of
> death row inmates at the time of the Singularity? What about people not yet
> caught? What about terrorists? Will there be a final day of reckoning?

Punishments are irrelevant when future crimes can be stopped without
them, as there is, in my view, no inherent value in causing involuntary
harm to anyone. I do hope the posthuman world is rid of such petty
revenge. (Of course, one can choose to shun such people if one likes.)

> 2.) Will people be protected from their own ignorance? What about
> children? What about babies? What about parental control?

The ignorance question is a hard one, as drawing the line between
persuasion and mind-control is difficult when talking about trans- and
posthumans dealing with humans. As for babies and children, they should
be treated consistently with the answer given below to question 3.
Parental control as such should be abolished when talking about beings
with citizenship rights. In your later mail you indicate that you fear
that irrevocable accidental harm may come to younger beings if such
controls are not in place, but in my view, if such accidents are still
possible, it's not much of a post-Singularity world.

> 3.) Is the "common good" going to include only humans? All intelligent
> life? How do you define intelligent? Animals? Trees? All life?
> Parasites? Ebola?

Well, assuming that the transition guide is non-specist, which is a
requirement anyway for properly dealing with possible alien cultures as
well as other species here on Earth, I'd trust ver (more so than any
human) to make the right, or at least consistent, call on these
questions based on any individual creature's cognitive abilities.

Personally I do hope that any being capable of having subjectively
valued conscious experiences (qualia) will have some rights. As for now,
I am a vegan to minimize any excess risk of violations of such rights
brought about by my own actions, but I don't pretend to know where the
actual line lies.

Mikko Rauhala - - <URL:>

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