Notes philosophy politics

Chapter 2: The Anthropocene (Homo Deus)

The Garden of Eden

In the Garden of Eden myth, humans are punished for their curiosity and wish to gain knowledge. God expels them from paradise. But in the myth about Newton and the apple, nobody berates the scientist for his efforts – just the opposite.

Teachers all over the world propagate the story of Newton to encourage curiosity – implying that if we knew enough, we could create paradise here on earth.

But God is present in the Newton myth – Newton himself is God.

When enough scientific knowledge is accumulated, humankind will become divine – we will come full circle to the biblical Tree of Knowledge.

Archaic hunter-gatherers were just another species of animal. Farmers saw themselves as the apex of creation. Scientists will upgrade us into gods.

Animal-Human Relations a Prelude?

In recent years, many of our relationships with animals have come into question. We have become much more interested in the lives of lower life forms, but perhaps this is because we will become one ourselves, not very long from now.

Artificial Intelligence will undoubtedly be more intelligent than we are, and if that is true, should we then surrender our fate to it? Should we allow it to kill a human if it determines that it is the best course of action? And if it shouldn’t be allowed to do that, why should humans be able to do so with pigs and cows?

Perhaps humans have a magical spark that is unique to us. But if that were the case, where did it come from, and how can we be sure that AI cannot attain it?

Read Homo Deus

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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