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Jun 01, 2005

Comments

Duke

Hi Graham,

One thing you may want to consider is how humans already have a tendency either directly or indirectly, to cause the extinction of animals we consider inferior. If earth attacks Mars, I dont think Mars would give earth the option or possibility for the same "nuisance" to occur again i.e. the elimination of earth or its containment (e.g. no space travel).

Duke

Graham Glass

Hi Duke,

I don't think that Mars would destroy Earth because it would set a bad example for future generations of Martians and burden the current generation with a heavy heart.

I think they would be prouder to deal with the situation in a way that demonstrates their technical and moral superiority to Earth. In addition, it would also underscore that humanity really had made it from version 1.0 to 2.0.

Cheers,
Graham

Ben

I love this story but I believe it has two weaknesses. The first concerns the nature of the separatists. The second, the eventual relationship between digital and non-digital beings.

The separatists are innacurrately portrayed as the God-believing antithesis to liberal-minded technologists. Religiously motivated atrocities aside, throughout history, God-believing scientists have made some of the most useful advancements in scientific knowledge ever. They continue to do so to this day.

God-believing (and Christians) technologists avidly pursue technological advance for the creation of a better society as much as any atheist or agnostic. The difference between them is God-believers claim to know who powers them and what their technology advance really reflects - a greater understanding of the true nature of creation (and by implication, the creator). This is, in fact, my view.

Much to the disbelief of atheists and agnostics, many God-believers don't use God as an excuse to rest in ignorance. The opposite is true, they avidly seek information through science for *because* they want to know God better. They are insatiable about this.

Unlike atheists and agnostics, God-believers do not believe their discovery and innovation is a reflection of their intrinsic Darwinian genius. It is, instead, a breathtaking and inspiring revelation of THE creator, unfolded in perfect time. C.S. Lewis was a masterful scifi writer who believed this.

To fix this part of your plot, I would more believe a story of a power hungry ruler who tries to dominate earth, leading to a small group of freedom-believing (maybe God-believing, maybe not) technologists who escape to Mars to create a new society. This is a more realistic historical pattern. Heck, the U.S.A. started this way.

Humans are devolving physically while evolving and increasing general knowledge. This fits with your idea that we will use genetic engineering to address our increasing physical problems.

One thing I wonder, how will digital humans demonstrate a self-consciousness? This would be a prerequisite to understanding and adhering to any kind of morality, let alone the 'higher' morality you mention.

This morality is fundamental to a stable society of beings. I don't see the digital beings as ever existing as a sibling society. I believe they will always be subservient to those with a moral capacity.

The self-consciousness problem, I believe, cannot be overcome by technology. It is what is meant to have a soul and what makes us 'human.' Without morality, given our intellectual capacity, we would self-destruct. I think the same thing would be true for digital beings.

I will venture to say no amount of genetic engineering will be able create or imbue a soul into a digital creation. We might fake it but that's as close as we'll get. Just admitting and trying to explain such a thing as a soul is enough of a problem.

As such, digital beings will always be subservient. Given this, they may approximate but will never replace the biological kind. This changes the your final outcome in a number of subtle ways.

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Destiny

  • Destiny is my science fiction movie about the future of humanity. It's an epic, similar in breadth and scope to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    To see the 18 minute video, click on the graphic below.

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