Comment on Changing our minds

Wildcat Sun, Nov 22, 2009
Space weaver:" Should we take the reins of our future evolution? Should we engage in a coordinated, large scale, project of augmenting our brains (and eventually our biology) and by that to radically change our minds and our very human nature? What are the values and the ethical precepts that can guide us in addressing such question?"

 some very good points and questions here indeed.

Let me try and address some of these

The question of: “ should we take the reins of our future evolution? Is for me a no-brainer, there is no doubt not only that we should, but in fact that we are already taking our future evolution in our hands (though I will submit to you that those so called :”Hands” are at present few and non-representational of the larger part of humanity). The fact that only a few hands are involved in the process is for me the main problem here; it is not only a problem of scale but an issue that glides right into the problem of ethics and values, the fact of change in itself is a simple point compared to the radical deformity a partial, to say the least, transformation implies.
If only a very small part of humanity decides, our futures will be not only doomed to strife and battle stations but probably will eventually bear the hallmark of separation and discrimination compared to which our old Neolithic-chauvinistic-racial and other biases will seem child’s fodder.
Therefore the first (value-ethics ) question that should be implied by yours is : how to increase participation in the change? or put differently to what extent a coordinated large scale project of augmentation (brains and bodies) is feasible and desirable given no direct and immediate consent and participation of the large mass of humanity.
The issue is a very complex one and to my eyes is a fundamental of a personal approach to large (all humans implicative) systems, when a decision by a particular influences the lives of others (many ,many others in this case).

I recently heard in a conversation someone proposing to put mind enhancing drugs in the water systems of the world, by that improving the overall mood-intellect- disposition and so on, of the entire world population. Irrespective for the moment of the actual feasibility of such an attempt (probably impossible at present) the question that I asked was concerning the ethics of such an act, and I am certainly unsure of the answer, the implications are so vast and so all encompassing that a fundamental and full philosophical investigation is necessary to come to some kind of basic understanding and view concerning such a large scale intervention.

Would you personally (given the technical possibility and actual opportunity) perform such an all-encompassing act of improving humanity without direct consent? (please note that in this gedanken experiment no negative side effects are known to exist at the time of the act, in other words, the consideration should be only on ethical grounds)