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Transhumanist Ethics

This topic is under construction, content will follow and discussion is intended to be fully open and transparent.

Transhumanist Ethics is envisioned as an ongoing discussion about ethics in governance, business, and individual sapient interactions.

Do the world’s ‘uncontacted’ tribes deserve to be left alone?

Allowing the habits of adults to be the future of new generations has definite ethical implications.

The Amish use their tradition of rumspringa to allow their children an informed choice.

H/T René

In my view yes. One other reason to encourage diversity is to minimise risk to the survival of our species e.g. from a virus or other biological threat. Maybe that is why we are built with diverse blood types.

That’s a tough question. As the linked article mentions those tribes are usually aware of the existence of the outside world and that they have superior tools and technology.

A perhaps not completely crazy comparison is see that situation as similar to our situation with extraterrestrials. If we just for a second assume that there are really UFOs of extraterrestrial origin, at least some of us “know” that they exist and have superiors tools and technology. Of course, there’s no totally compelling evidence that extraterrestrials really visit us with their UFOs, but it’s a possibility. But in the case that they actually exist and observe us, do they try to follow the “prime directive” from Star Trek? And will they show themselves openly when we reach some technological or social threshold? I think the answer is probably yes – after all, that behaviour would closely mimic our current behaviour towards those “uncontacted” tribes.

Would it make sense to apply the “prime directive” to “uncontacted” tribes? Well, what chance do they have to develop an industrial civilization within the next 1000 years on their own? Virtually none! If they want to contact us, we should provide help in the most benign way possible. They already know we exist, so showing ourselves to them shouldn’t harm them too much. The greatest problem really seems to be lacking immunity to “our” diseases. That’s a tough nut to crack. Maybe we should wait until we have the medical technology to immunize the tribes against the diseases to which we already have developed some resistance or immunity. Also, our current level of wisdom is still relatively small, so any kind of contact should be done really carefully and thoughtfully.

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“In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with psychologist Paul Bloom about the limitations of empathy as a guide to moral reasoning.”

“Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. Dr. Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author or editor of six books, including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.”

A university group (Emory University) focused on neuroethics may also be of interest to others.

I plan to use it as a reference as construction continues on the Transpolitica Transhumanist Ethics entry on F3.

I like your tactic of comparing earth tribes to extraterrestrial groups.

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This sounds like a very interesting project. Would you care to tell us more about its goals and how we can help you with that? I think, other people would be more eager to engage with it when they have an idea what this is all about.