I’ve taken a break from writing for a while. Like all things though, it is good to take a break and then return hopefully refreshed.
Or in this case – more pissed off than ever.
If you aren’t familiar with the concepts that I’ve used on this site – here is a quick refresher.
I believe that shortly (within the next two decades) humanity will be able to copy their minds to software – attaining immortality. These copies might be called codops (hence the website name) or really CODOPs (Computerized Doppelgangers).
But, what, are we really copying? Is humanity moral? If the copies are of immoral people what will they do once they have achieved immortality? – and a side order of what is morality and what is moral?
Now to the specific things that have pissed me off about humanity today.
“Teenage girl burned alive in Pakistan for ‘marrying without family consent‘” – you can read the article, but I’ll sum it up here.
- Boy meets girl or girl meets boy. They meet in school, probably high school or similar.
- Boy tries to marry girl. Several times he is rejected by the girls family.
- Girl and boy elope and get married. (age 17)
- Girl’s family beat the living shit out of girl “so severely she was bleeding from her mouth and nose”
- Zeenat’s (the girl) family planned and spoke to Zeenat encouraging her to come back for reconciliation in order to kill her (this is called first degree murder in the USA).
- Hassan’s (the boy) family encourages Zeenat to reconcile with her family.
- Zeenat’s family ties her to a bed, soaks her in kerosene, sets her on fire.
- Neighbors come to help; however, Zeenat’s family block them from entering the home.
- Zeenat’s mother is arrested for the crime of murdering her daughter.
So, there it is. Humanity in its prime. As much as people might argue that it is not religion it is culturally caused – I fail to be able to separate religion from culture. Even as an atheist my culture is the culture of Christianity because the majority of people in the region where I live are Christian.
One would question why only the mother is under arrest. It seems unlikely that just one person would be able to both hold down and tie up another person.
Can you imagine if any of these people attain immortality what their moral levels would be? What are these people capable of doing to other people? If they become immortal and there are biological people left who are not like themselves – what would they do to them?
Now, back to the culture/religion point.
- This is not an isolated incidence. Noted in the article – this is the 3rd honor killing this month in Pakistan.
- When people from Pakistan move to other countries – they bring honor killings with them as honor killings are on the rise in the US and the UK.
- Noted in the article, a woman who helped a friend to elope was strangled and set on fire (to death) by the local tribal council. The very people that are supposed to be responsible for moral actions in the village.
How many people would survive a morality test (should we be able to design one) to be of a good enough character to be virtualized and potentially live forever?
Of course, this isn’t about any one religion or just a localized area of culture. Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and other religions have people in them now that react very similarly. The commonality tends to be the presence of the religion and the depth of the belief.
For example: Person A believes in a religion. They go to their chosen temple or church, pray as they believe they have to, wear garb or jewelry to show their belief. They interact every day with people of other religions and while they do not believe in those religions they do nothing to those people or to people that do not believe in any religion. Person B believes in a religion. They go to temple or church, pray as described in their traditions or religious texts. They limit their interaction with people of other religions and have only a concept that atheists or agnostics cannot be moral people. When faced with activities that are counter to what they believe they ‘correct’ people for this behavior (such as this case in France) . The idea of fighting for their ‘people’ or their group over all other groups is an idea that they embrace.
There are many different categories of belief between Person A and Person B. And over time people who are religious probably migrate between these two levels of belief. Person A is not a threat to anyone. Person B is a threat to everyone, even fellow believers of that specific creed. As shown in the various conflicts around the world – Person B is perfectly willing to believe that other believers don’t believe enough and should be prosecuted as much as people who believe in completely different religions.
Who will write the rules as to who can become codops? A codop, in a very real way will be able to communicate directly with computerized machinery. They could pose a threat unless they have a strong moral compass to anyone, anywhere around the world.
Nothing happens with humanity in a void. In this case there is a lot of cultural reinforcement that goes along with the killing of a daughter. It is a preventative as the story propagates through the village, local region, and even the world that women should not make decisions for themselves. That when they make decisions for themselves and they are the ‘wrong’ decisions, there is a price to pay and that price is your life.