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Archive for the ‘ethics’ category

Aug 27, 2016

Is Anything Truly Random or Is There an Underlying Order to Everything?

Posted by in categories: ethics, quantum physics

A discussion that I have had often.


In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) wrote in “Ethics I”: “Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge.”

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Aug 24, 2016

Gene editing will challenge ethics at Biological Weapons Convention

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics, genetics

Anyone attending the Bioweapons Convention in December?


He signatory nations of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) will meet …to discuss the state of bioweapons globally…he world has radically changed s.

Aug 11, 2016

Why China is likely to spearhead the future of genetic enhancement

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics, genetics, neuroscience

G. Owen Schaefer, National University of Singapore

Would you want to alter your future children’s genes to make them smarter, stronger or better-looking? As the state of the science brings prospects like these closer to reality, an international debate has been raging over the ethics of enhancing human capacities with biotechnologies such as so-called smart pills, brain implants and gene editing. This discussion has only intensified in the past year with the advent of the CRISPR-cas9 gene editing tool, which raises the specter of tinkering with our DNA to improve traits like intelligence, athleticism and even moral reasoning.

Aug 4, 2016

FOREVER Identity: create your eternity

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

FOREVER Identity offers three distinct products to create and preserve your identity, biography, memory, personality, and physical aspects; and then, allowing interaction with future generations. FOREVER Identity combines artificial intelligence, decision, ethic and moral engines, semantic and ontology experts to provide cutting-edge products.

Aug 3, 2016

Would it be immoral to send out a generation starship?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, ethics, food, health, neuroscience, security, space travel

If human beings are ever to colonise other planets – which might become necessary for the survival of the species, given how far we have degraded this one – they will almost certainly have to use generation ships: spaceships that will support not just those who set out on them, but also their descendants. The vast distances between Earth and the nearest habitable planets, combined with the fact that we are unlikely ever to invent a way of travelling that exceeds the speed of light, ensures that many generations will be born, raised and die on board such a ship before it arrives at its destination.

A generation ship would have to be a whole society in microcosm, with hospitals and schools, living quarters and perhaps entertainment districts, a security force, maybe even a judiciary. It would need to be able to provide food for its crew, and that might require agriculture or aquaculture, perhaps even domestic animals (which might also be needed for the colonisation effort). Its design therefore presents a major challenge: not just to engineers but also to social scientists. How should the crew be selected and the environment structured to minimise interpersonal conflict? What size of population is optimal for it to remain committed to the single overarching project of colonising a new planet without too much of a risk of self-destructive boredom or excessive narrowing of the gene pool? Does mental health require that a quasi-natural environment be recreated within the ship (with trees, grass and perhaps undomesticated birds and small animals)?

As well as the technological and social challenges confronting the designers of such ships, there are fascinating philosophical and ethical issues that arise. The issue I want to focus on concerns the ethics of a project that locks the next generation into a form of living, the inauguration of which they had no say over, and that ensures their options are extremely limited.

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Jul 28, 2016

Diving into the Fountain of Youth with Aubrey de Grey

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, life extension

A new Aubrey de Grey podcast about the work SENS RF is conducting to cure age related diseases.


On today’s episode of Bulletproof Radio Dave and aging expert Aubrey de Grey talk about the 7 aging causes, morbidity & the ethics of immortality. Enjoy!

Jul 28, 2016

U.S. wary on biotech advances; gene editing, CRISPR ‘raising urgency’

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics

Hmmm.


We can rebuild him; we have the technology—but Americans question if we should in a new survey designed to assess attitudes to modern biotechnology advances.

A new report, based on a survey of 4,700 U.S. adults coming out of the Pew Research Center, looked at a range of views on certain advances in biology, with opinions split on the ethics and long-term problems associated with enhancing human capacity.

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Jul 27, 2016

How eco-friendly communes could change the future of housing — By Autumn Spanne | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, food, government, habitats

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“An increasing number of US landowners want to build commune-style villages that are completely self-sufficient and have a low carbon footprint”

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Jul 18, 2016

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Intelligence Agencies

Posted by in categories: ethics, health, robotics/AI

The defense community has already begun a healthy dialogue about the ethics of AI in combat systems.

Jul 16, 2016

Beware the Rise of Gerontocracy: Some Hard Lessons for Transhumanism, Not Least from Brexit

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, ethics, futurism, governance, government, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, neuroscience, policy, strategy, thought controlled, transhumanism

Transhumanists will know that the science fiction author Zoltan Istvan has unilaterally leveraged the movement into a political party contesting the 2016 US presidential election. To be sure, many transhumanists have contested Istvan’s own legitimacy, but there is no denying that he has generated enormous publicity for many key transhumanist ideas. Interestingly, his lead idea is that the state should do everything possible to uphold people’s right to live forever. Of course, he means to live forever in a healthy state, fit of mind and body. Istvan cleverly couches this policy as simply an extension of what voters already expect from medical research and welfare provision. And while he may be correct, the policy is fraught with hazards – especially if, as many transhumanists believe, we are on the verge of revealing the secrets to biological immortality.

In June, Istvan and I debated this matter at Brain Bar Budapest. Let me say, for the record, that I think that we are sufficiently close to this prospect that it is not too early to discuss its political and economic implications.

Two months before my encounter with Istvan, I was on a panel at the Edinburgh Science Festival with the great theorist of radical life extension Aubrey de Grey, where he declared that people who live indefinitely will seem like renovated vintage cars. Whatever else, he is suggesting that they would be frozen in time. He may actually be right about this. But is such a state desirable, given that throughout history radical change has been facilitated generational change? Specifically, two simple facts make the young open to doing things differently: The young have no memory of past practices working to anyone else’s benefit, and they have not had the time to invest in those practices to reap their benefits. Whatever good is to be found in the past is hearsay, as far as the young are concerned, which they are being asked to trust as they enter a world that they know is bound to change.

Questions have been already raised about whether tomorrow’s Methuselahs will wish to procreate at all, given the time available to them to realize dreams that in the past would have been transferred to their offspring. After all, as human life expectancy has increased 50% over the past century, the birth rate has correspondingly dropped. One can only imagine what will happen once ageing can be arrested, if not outright reversed!

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