RE: Why do we seek to transcend ourselves?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Jul 15 2002 - 08:08:11 MDT

Anand and Eli,

I agree, in my off-the-cuff response I missed a very important and obvious
answer, which is

4) We humans have many other goals, such as continuing our race and helping
humans and other species to be happy and productive, which we believe will
be more effectively achievable if we have greater intelligence at our

I just e-mailed the dude who asked me that question with this addition.

Duuuhhh! Obviously I was not introspecting very thoroughly in answering
that e-mail, as this "missed" motivation is certainly one of my own major
ones.... Maybe it's too early in the morning to be thinking about


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Anand
> Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 7:32 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Why do we seek to transcend ourselves?
> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> >
> > Someone just asked me this question in a private e-mail:
> >
> > "P.S, I have always wondered one thing, if i may ask you this?
> > Why do we as humans, feel the need to create something with the
> possibility
> > of being much greater than us? interms of Intelligence and
> awareness (And
> > even possibly, in Physical Strength.) I figured I would ask you this,
> > because you are a scientist."
> A lot of us have dreams but many do not know how to effectively
> achieve them.
> One of my dreams has been to _effectively_ help people (e.g., by improving
> their choices in life). Learning how to effectively help people is one
> problem and the main determinant of our ability to solve it is
> our quality of
> intelligence. Therefore, solving the problem of effectively and safely
> improving our quality of intelligence is the most effective way
> to solve all
> remaining problems.
> Mr. Yudkowsky's response to the above question is similar to my
> own; however,
> I did have the response in mind before I received Mr. Yudkowsky's
> message, so
> I'm only guilty of implicit copying.
> Sincerely,
> Anand

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