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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    The Dalai Lama, a transhumanist?

    "And at the end, like the crack of a whip he said: "I think that one day, the part of the brain which brings feelings should be removed, then we should be like robots, and ourselves become part machines. That would be good, actually. That would be super!" and he laughed...

    Was he then joking? Or is the Dalai Lama a singularitarian transhumanist and he laughed so that those who were not ready could pretend and not take him seriously?"

    this video and the whole transcript via David Orban's Blog

    Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link

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    3LSZVJA9     Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link here is...hes very...(religious ecstasy)...nice answer...

    "Fundamental differences () technology and human being.
    Technology, no feeling of pain and pleasure.
    The human being, with mind, with emotion, with feelings of pain and pleasure...
    Therefore technology, science, I think mainly technology...
    suppose to provide happier life.
    so technology and science should serve the human being.
    Should not be human being become slave for money or technology. ()
    So therefore, generally, modern education
    not adecuate regarding promotion
    for keeping our inner values.
    So that's why I'm telling my friends:
    now we need more () attention for our inner values.
    I think one day, the part of our brain which brings feeling
    should remove then we should be like robots
    and ourselves become part machines,
    that good right now()."

    No man, he was joking.
    He begun by criticizing the present lack of care
    for human values in our education (or this guy's education, anyway).

    You can continue thinking whatever you want, of course.

    Everybody knows that the best plan is not to become part machines, but to create machines that are able to more or less mimic our external behavior and then shoot ourselves in the mouth.

    For those that are still not evolved enough
    to see the advantages of that plan,
    scientists have recently come up with a less radical solution.
    It's called castration-o-rama.
    Castration-o-rama is like a first step towards
    higher enlightenment and it quickly leaves the
    not-evolved-enough subject ready to
    take the final leap of transhumanist faith.

    In the meantime, I think Jonathan Swift's modest proposal of feeding the children of poor people to the rich, making them useful for society, and relieving their parents from their burden, is a project that demands more attention.

    No, seriously.

    Wildcat     Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link
    seriously, I hope you are correct 3LS
    paulteagan     Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link
    I think he was half-joking. For the purposes of peace, if you did not have an ability to be happy nor sad about something, were biologically stuck in the middle, then you would be at peace by default. Cut out the part of the brain that discriminates between good and bad, manipulate your genes to grow backwards in evolution until you are an ape, or transmogrify yourself into a piece of stone; any of these methods will result in a sort of peace due to your inability to know anything otherwise.

    However our feelings are not the problem. A perception of a problem is the problem. You can either cut out the part of the brain that "feels" and eliminate the perception of the problem, or just stop perceiving a problem in the first place.
    TheLogos     Tue, Jan 8, 2008  Permanent link
    Well either way, what else is there to live for but feelings? I sure can't seem to find anything rational, so feelings seem to be the next best thing. (yea he was joking...)
    3LSZVJA9     Wed, Jan 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Leaving aside ontological matters, that are always good to discuss, what bothers me the most, is that will to distort a person s in order to make it match with one s own espectations. Even the question that was posed was desperately aiming for an afirmative transhumanist statement.
    Back to the ontological matter, why would it be that the transhumanist hope attracts this kind of followers.
    Im beggining to perceive this as one more mutation of a very very old social tendency.
    I still can t quite put my finger on it.
    Wildcat     Wed, Jan 9, 2008  Permanent link
    3LS, actually i think that I agree with you, the question that was posed was probably a 'faux pas', though i do not think that it was aiming at an affirmative transhumanist statement. nevertheless, the value of the interviewer's question stays with the fact that asking such an illustrious person as the Dalai Lama (I happen to like him) such a question, highlights the differences in perception in modern day views and perspectives concerning different values of different people.

    as to your so called "ontological matter" you asked :
    why would it be that the transhumanist hope attracts this kind of followers.

    so first, what exactly is ontological here?
    and second, what "kind" of followers are you referring to?
    and third, and last, each and every world view carries with it both the danger and the benefit of mutating ideas, and to my eyes, this is not an inherent negative, but the very freedom of expression of a narrative that does not allow an idea to stagnate.
    (just as an aside, i saw the whole thing as totally hilarious..:-)
    3LSZVJA9     Wed, Jan 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Ontology as in
    The study of conceptions of reality and the nature of being

    What kind of followers.
    Those who put their hopes of salvation on a future event, a solution that others will provide them. Those who project their own natural anguish in the whole of humanity and human existence, freeing themselves of the responsability of having to actually face small facts.
    Those who put blames on someone or something else.
    And most of all, those who need to convince others.
    Bah, nevermind.
    Life is good.