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Exploring the edge.
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K21st
The Global Brain
"It is not guilty pride but the ceaselessly reawakened instinct of the game which calls forth new worlds." (Heraclitus Reloaded)
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    The evolutionary prospect of an ethical criterion

    Evolution is blind. No scientific theory was objected, rejected, and criticized so fervently and vehemently more than this theory, no matter how large is the amounting body of evidence. The very idea that all life and in particular mankind is shaped by arbitrary blind forces is a devastating blow to the belief that we humans are the crown of creation, the chosen ones, those for whom everything else was put into existence. It is a devastating blow to man’s uniqueness and superiority in creation.

    Mankind, like all life forms has emerged, it seems, out of more primitive life forms. There is no intelligent design, and no preordained destiny of greatness (or fall), and perhaps more devastating of all is the realization that the seat of the designer is vacant and we can take it, that is if we chose to take it, or dare to take it, perhaps we must take it. Maturity bites…

    The forces of evolution are blind yet they finally can be harnessed and directed. There seems to be no preordained destiny yet destiny can be created, or so it seems. Can we overlook such an opportunity? It is my belief that doing so is equivalent to betraying the core of human essence. We are far from understanding what consciousness is but it becomes apparent that the more man becomes conscious to the universe and himself in the universe, the more choices are opened, and proportionally less a priori givens are there for us as we establish our ethical values. Consciousness is the key to the emerging pattern of choices we confront, and in conscious reflection we must seek ethical criteria. Simultaneously, it is our ethical values that carve the space in which our collective consciousness further evolves. Our ethics is the vehicle by which we project ourselves into what we wish ourselves to be in our own eyes.

    This is why the very specific area of bioethics is so critical to the future of mankind. No matter what technology might or might not allow us, bioethics can be perceived as a transition point from blind evolution, to the conscious evolution of mankind, and eventually of life at large. Bioethics is not about legally regulating our methods of procreation, or the distribution and manipulation of our gene pool. It reaches much further than that; it touches the very essence of what we believe that makes us what we are. In freedom starts responsibility and human kind must brace itself to cope with an ever growing freedom. Natural selection has brought us to this point; conscious selection embodied in ethical criteria will set the path from now on.

    A sort of an epilogue

    As a concluding note, I have tried to outline here an approach to the ethics of human augmentation. It seems that augmenting the human biologically or otherwise is still an easier challenge than augmenting the human ethical outlook. Though the latter demands thinking capabilities and creative imagination we already have today in abundance. To augment our ethical outlook, means no less than augmenting our very nature and identity. This is a far reaching vision. I was hoping to stir some discussion in the collective mind space on this highly critical subject. The future is open :-)

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