Saturday, March 23, 2024

End of Humanism: Man has no rights, world belongs to AI

Modern liberalism is founded on two pillars: materialism and humanism.

The pillar of materialism entails that there is no God, the universe is eternal and knowable through science, and that there is nothing divine about human beings. We are, like every other creature, a product of the process of natural evolution which began in primordial times when a bunch of chemicals bonded to create primitive living organisms.

The pillar of humanism entails that human beings enjoy a special status on earth because among all creatures only the humans possess consciousness, intelligence and individualism. Because of their unique mental attributes, humans have inalienable rights. They deserve to live in an egalitarian state, under the protection of a benevolent government.

After the Industrial Revolution, liberalism became a popular ideology because an industrial society could not prosper without a huge number of workers and consumers. In a society where almost everyone of working age was working and everyone was a consumer, it made sense to make the entire population feel that they had rights and were special.

But the idea that humans have rights, while other earthly creatures do not, is nothing more than a liberal ideological position. If there is no God, if there is nothing divine about human beings, then we are not special and we don’t have inalienable rights. In a Godless world, whether humans should have rights becomes a matter of philosophical opinion.

As new advances happen in the field of AI, it is certain that electronic systems will outstrip humans in intelligence. This AI will be super-intelligent but it won’t be conscious. But an industrial society does not need consciousness—it needs only intelligence to keep itself going. Since humans will be less intelligent than AI, they will be less valuable as workers.

Why should the political elite of the AI age agree to bequeath inalienable rights to ordinary humans who are less intelligent and less valuable as workers than the AI machines?

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