Scientists create artificial life

This is a discussion on Scientists create artificial life within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Programmer_P The way I see it, there are 2 groups of people: 1. A group which believes ...

  1. #31
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Programmer_P View Post
    The way I see it, there are 2 groups of people:

    1. A group which believes in God.
    2. A group which does not.
    What about people like me that believe their is a higher being that could be labeled as a god? What if this higher being is not omnipotent? That would make it not a god, yet still something that's god-like.

    Personally I hate organized religion. It's the biggest hypocritical organization of hate and greed in the world. Churches of any sort should be barred from taking in money. It should be 100% volunteer.

  2. #32
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Tithing is expected, not compulsory.

  3. #33
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I don't believe in God, and I don't believe Christians do either, I think they just claim to (ie, they are lying*) in order to preserve the Church and the social order it represents. In the case of fundamentalism, this is a very old school, non-democratic, explicitly patriarchal (hence the abortion issue) hegemony which permits some people to exercise strict control over the lives of other people (eg, men over women). Hence, religion is only tangentially about morality -- it is really about POWER.
    That's sorta funny b/c in all my years at Bible college I was never taught that. Perhaps that power stuff was taught on the days I skipped classes. The main things I was taught at Bible college were
    • Personal experience and idealogies must be weighed and measured by the Bible - if personal experience does not match up with the Bible then always trust what the Bible says.
    • Truth, no matter whom it comes from or in what form is still truth - IE: All truth in the world does not originate in the church. Just b/c gravity is not mentioned in the Bible and is not considered 'theological' does not mean it is any less truth.
    • In order to lead you must first know how to follow or the best leaders are the best followers
    • Character is about who you are when no one is around - a lack of character will catch up with you (as evidenced by several moral failures of well known preachers)
    • In order to teach about the Bible you must first understand it on a much deeper level than those whom you are teaching
    • Church doctrine is essential to maintaining teaching consistency across a single denomination or fellowship (IE: all McDonald's hamburgers should taste like McDonald's hamburgers regardless of where the restaurant is)

    I could go on but none of my professors ever taught that the entire idea of being a pastor or preacher was so you could control your congregation. Hehe....if you actually did teach and preach like that you would probably be a McPastor (flipping burgers) in no time - you would get voted out of a job fast.

    So the whole idea that religion is about POWER is really news to me and that was my former career and what I spent 4 or 5 years learning about. Maybe I should have taken the elective 'How to control people 101' or possibly 'How to use religion to control the masses 101'.

    Not sure what planet you are from MK27 but your recent posts suggest you don't really live on planet earth - or perhaps you just visit from time to time. What is crazy here is that you are actually more ignorant about such a simple topic as religion than half the freshmen that would come in and want to debate until the wee hours of the morning. Most of the upper classmen would just roll their eyes and go to bed - honestly after all the classes and teaching we would rather talk about who won the World Series than debate about religion. You sorta get burned out after a few years and just want to graduate and get into your career. I'm sure it happens much the same in CS and any other field one has to spend 4 or more years studying for. But, take heart with your kind of theories you could really do well with the rest of the youtube conspiracy nuts.

    Anyways back to the discussion of scientists creating or re-programming life. Let's drop the abortion debate....I just mentioned it to bring up a bit of irony.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-21-2010 at 07:29 PM.

  4. #34
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Anyways back to the discussion of scientists creating or re-programming life. Let's drop the abortion debate....I just mentioned it to bring up a bit of irony.
    Now, now... You don't really believe this thread can be brought back on topic do you? Levity aside, I would like to see one, if not a few threads split off from this, to more fully flesh out some of the discussion points here.

  5. #35
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Haha. No I really don't think it will get back on track. Of course it is not really that far off topic. Certainly discussions about life also bring up discussions about God, abortion, and other debates having to do with the idea of life.

    This is a good discussion if not a bit broad for one thread. I would split it but I'm terrible with the mod tools so I'll leave that to the more experienced mods lest I mess something up.

  6. #36
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I can help.

    Abor... Oh! Right.

    Anyways. One question for you folks: Can you agree that at least for the simplest life forms, we in fact probably reached an important milestone with DNA sequencing? We basically know today most of what there is to know about the real juice of life. And probably what is still stopping us is not the knowledge, but the technology to assemble these simpler organisms.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #37
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Let me try to put the topic back in place.

    Do you think it is unethical to create an artificial non-human life? A human life?
    If we created an artificial life, should it have any less "rights" of a natural one?
    Would you consider living any form of robot (for example one with a very advanced A.I.)?

    My opinion would be "No", "Depends", "No", "No".

  8. #38
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Um...let's see.

    1. No
    2. Depends. I've seen too many Hollywood movies to answer this without bias.
    3. Not sure if I can define life that needs rights and life that does not. Very hard question. Cells don't really care about rights even if you give them some. Definitely needs some clarification and definition before that can be answered.
    4. Depends.

  9. #39
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    For example, it is not legal (I guess) to take a dog, throw gasoline on it and set it on fire. On the other hand, if you get your dog robot, take a baseball bat and smash it to pieces it is perfectly legal. In that sense the living dogs has more rights than the robot dog.

    In other words, would the fact that the being is artificial make it different in terms of rights (ethical and legal)? Or would it be considered "natural" for that purpose?

    Think about artificial animals/pets, not bacteria. Bacteria don't have rights obviously

  10. #40
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Actually I'd like to contort the question a bit. When you have a robot that can interact with you, contort its face, and react to violence, then you're really going to see the worst come out in people. Robots may very well be protected from abuse at some point, if only because they're damn expensive, or maybe because you married it. So rather than are they alive it's been asked to me: are they legally people? Sure.

    edit: Well damn, got pre-empted and forgot my own opinion.

    My robot wife probably will by things, so she pays for her rights too. Who cares if she is alive.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 05-21-2010 at 08:52 PM.

  11. #41
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Question 1 has always be a problem to me. I don't really know. I have trouble dealing with that and could never find in others or in me a compelling argument either way. However on one thing I'll be clear. Whatever answer I'd choose for human life would always be the same for an animal of any kind. I make no distinction. To me this is not a matter of who's who.

    Question 2 is yes. Completely. Absolutely. Unquestionably.

    Question 3 is yes. Bubba explains this well. It reflects my reasoning. As soon as we create an independent, self-sufficient, cognitive artificial life-form, we created a life form.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #42
    Programming Ninja In-T...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpaulgib View Post
    What about people like me that believe their is a higher being that could be labeled as a god? What if this higher being is not omnipotent? That would make it not a god, yet still something that's god-like.
    Then I would say you are most definitely in Group 2, since there is only one true and living God. There is none other but Him, and His name is Jesus. And he is omnipotent.
    Personally I hate organized religion. It's the biggest hypocritical organization of hate and greed in the world. Churches of any sort should be barred from taking in money. It should be 100% volunteer.
    Personally I'm not all that in favor of "organized religion" either. I am part of a small fellowship of believers, and we don't believe you have to a building with a steeple on top to make it into the kingdom of heaven. Its more about obeying Paul's gospel, which is basically a mirror of what Jesus preached when he was on earth. The two commandments which all the other ones in the OT hang on are "Love God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself".
    As for tithes, we believe in tithing of course, but we do not try to force people to tithe. It is an matter which is generally left to a person's own conscience.

  13. #43
    Programming Ninja In-T...
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Let me try to put the topic back in place.

    Do you think it is unethical to create an artificial non-human life? A human life?
    If we created an artificial life, should it have any less "rights" of a natural one?
    Would you consider living any form of robot (for example one with a very advanced A.I.)?

    My opinion would be "No", "Depends", "No", "No".
    1. Most definitely, YES. It is unethical, unnatural, immoral, and inhuman.
    2. Technically, I don't believe we should create an artificial life, period, but if it happens, I say most definitely, it should not have the same rights as humans. Just watch I-Robot with Will Smith... The robots try to take over the world, and murder all the humans.
    3. No, a robot is just a computerized being, not a living creature. Even if you give it "artificial life". Its just not the same as real, natural, living things.

  14. #44
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Wait. I slept through I Robot, so if you would express your opinion another way or with a better movie I would be grateful.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Wait. I slept through I Robot, so if you would express your opinion another way or with a better movie I would be grateful.
    I can't tell if that's sarcastic or not...
    If its sarcastic, I wont bother.

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