Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tickle Me Cyborg

It noticed that an energy converter was producing an excess of acid, and since replacement parts were unobtainable, settled for a daily regime of chemicals designed to reduce the production of acid.  When the autofocus went out, clip-on external correction lenses were obtained and fitted.  It wasn't sure if it was still the machine it was when it rolled out of the chute.  And I'm still not.  I use artificial chemical and mechanical means to keep my body functioning, and I'm not sure if that makes me a human with augmentation, a cyborg, or what.

I've been chewing at this particular knot for years on this blog.  Say I get a prosthetic arm?  Am I a cyborg then?  What about two mechanical arms and tank tracks to replace the legs?  Or if I get a chip implanted in my brain to prevent spasms or give me relief from pain or suppress homicidal or deviantly sexual behaviour?  At what point do you say this human is human no longer?  Where is the point at which you say that this machine is now sentient and entitled to the same protection as any other sentient being?

Here I was trying to establish a morals and ethics precedent, thinking that people would not care about machines and say that I was overthinking things wayyyyyyyyyy too much.  And then, this.  Turns out all you have to do is set fire to an Elmo plushie to get backyard philosophers climbing out of the woodwork...

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