Extant Philosophy: Proactionary Principle vs. Precautionary Principle

Extant table discussion

Hideki Yasumoto: “The possibilities are limitless, no?”

Dr. John Woods: “Well, I’m not sure I’d say limitless…”

Yasumoto: “…but making sense of the independent activity in Ethan’s brain would be a huge step toward our understanding of human consciousness, right? Not to mention the potential path to immortality.”

Femi Dodd: “Immortality? I don’t understand.”

Mr. Woods: “I think Mr. Yasumoto is referring to the theory that, once the neural pathways are fully decoded, it would be possible to copy a human brain and upload it into a Humanich’s body.”

Yasumoto: “So it’s possible then?”

Mr. Woods: “Theoretically, but…”

Dodd: “Just because we can do it doesn’t mean we should do it.”

Mr. Woods: “For once, I agree with Ms. Dodd. Anyway, to suggest that understanding Ethan’s cognitive leaps is akin to understanding human consciousness – it’s not just premature; it’s wrong. After all, human beings can’t learn a language in a single day, so Ethan shouldn’t be able to either. I think we should install some kind of governing mechanism.”

Molly Woods: “What?”

Mr. Woods: “To slow down his development.”

Mrs. Woods: “But that goes against everything you’ve ever said.”

Yasumoto: “So you think Ethan’s progress should be allowed to continue?”

Mrs. Woods: “Well, I don’t know. But I do know that we’re not Gods. We’re just parents. And all we can do is give him the best of ourselves and then whatever happens, happens, right? We just have to wait and see.”

Mr. Woods: “To wait and see is to expose Ethan to a needless risk.”

Mrs. Woods: “Well no risk, no reward.”

(Extant s01e07 – “More in Heaven and Earth”)


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