If you could create sentient life, would it have any rights?

by sabastious 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • sabastious

    This topic has been looked at many times in science fiction, Star Trek's Data comes to mind.

    There were actually a few episodes that considered the ethics of creating life. Do you have a responsibility to it at all? Or is it ethical to do what you want with it, sense Ethics are relative?


  • gubberningbody

    There are n+1 ways to look at this:

    1. The traditional way, which would be to say that as creator you get to make the rules.

    2. The existential way, which would be to say that the word "rights" has reference to the self, and if there exists a "self", as we imagine in the case of a sentient being then there would be "rights" as viewed from the perspective of that "self" and "rights" as viewed by the creator.

    3. "Rights" also imply another form of existential explanation, and this is the matter of construction. If one is constructed so as to ot only be sentient, but to also have "free will", albeit limited, then one would necessarily have the "right" to at least think one thing and perhaps do or not do it. That ability to think would allow that you exercised your "rights" in at least that regard.


    The final thing to consider is that the business of being a creator does not mean that you yourself might not have a creator.

    The uber creator might have been designed in such a way so as to imagine that it was the uber-all-that-is, but in point of fact was not. It could believe it to be true, but lacking any evidence outside itself we could say that this being would lack justified true belief.

    It could not know with any grounds for knowledge beyond itself. In a sense then would be less able to justify its own ideas than one that existed within the realm of that particular being, for example you and me.

    It would have no more "rights" than those of any being it ostensibly created.

    How can any being really know that it is experiencing what is real?

    How could a professed uber-being-without-any-beginning really know that its thoughts in this regard were in fact true?

    It could very well be that this being was being tricked, and was nothing more than a disembodied brain in a vat, subject to the illusions of its own matrix, but unable to wake up.

  • sabastious

    I was talking with my wife in the car last night. I said "What if God IS like the toltalitarian ruler in the Bible? What if he DOES demand worship and actually DOESN'T have 'perfect justice.'"

    I came to the conclusion that I would rather not have life.


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