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David Pearce (philosopher)

David Pearce is co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association, currently rebranded and incorporated as Humanity+, Inc., and a prominent figure within the transhumanism movement. He approaches ethical issues from a lexical negative utilitarian perspective.Based in Brighton, England, Pearce maintains a series of websites devoted to transhumanist topics and what he calls the "hedonistic imperative", a moral obligation to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His self-published internet manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative , outlines how pharmacology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and neurosurgery could converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience from human and non-human life, replacing suffering with "gradients of bliss". Pearce calls this the "abolitionist project". Wikipedia

Citáty David Pearce (philosopher)

„From a young age, I've viewed the animals we abuse and kill as akin - functionally, intellectually and emotionally - to small children. Small children are vulnerable. Typically, they don't need "liberating."“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

Infants and toddlers in particular need looking after. The problem - when I was a teenager - was that most of interventions I could think of to alleviate wild animal suffering might easily make things worse in the long run. Thus if we sought to rescue herbivores, then obligate carnivores (and their young) would starve. If we were to phase out carnivorous predators altogether, then there would a population explosion of "prey" species. Lots of herbivores would then starve too. The food chain seemed an inexorable fact of the world - a fact as immutable as, say, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Only after reading Eric Drexler's classic "Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology" did I gradually come to realize that there were technical solutions to all these problems - notably in vitro meat, immunocontraception, neurochips to modulate behaviour, nanobots to manage marine ecosystems, and ultimately rewriting the vertebrate genome.

" Interview with Pensata Animal https://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/interviewoct2009.html", Pensata Animal, 25 Oct. 2009

„No amount of happiness enjoyed by some organisms can notionally justify the indescribable horrors of Auschwitz. [...] Nor can the fun and games outweigh the sporadic frightfulness of pain and despair that occurs every second of every day. For there's nothing inherently wrong with non-sentience or [...] non-existence; whereas there is something frightfully and self-intimatingly wrong with suffering.“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

2.7 Why Be Negative? https://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/hedon2.htm#negative*Negative-utilitarianism is only one particular denomination of a broad church to which the reader may well in any case not subscribe. Fortunately, the program can be defended on grounds that utilitarians of all stripes can agree on. So a defence will be mounted against critics of the theory and application of a utilitarian ethic in general. For in practice the most potent and effective means of curing unpleasantness is to ensure that a defining aspect of future states of mind is their permeation with the molecular chemistry of ecstasy: both genetically precoded and pharmacologically fine-tuned. Orthodox utilitarians will doubtless find the cornucopian abundance of bliss this strategy delivers is itself an extra source of moral value. Future generations of native ecstatics are unlikely to disagree.

2.7 Why Be Negative? https://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/hedon2.htm#negative
The Hedonistic Imperative https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/514875 (1995)

„A lot of people recoil from the word "drugs".“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

which is understandable given today's noxious street drugs and their uninspiring medical counterparts. Yet even academics and intellectuals in our society typically take the prototypical dumb drug, ethyl alcohol. If it's socially acceptable to take a drug that makes you temporarily happy and stupid, then why not rationally design drugs to make people perpetually happier and smarter? Presumably, in order to limit abuse-potential, one would want any ideal pleasure drug to be akin - in one limited but important sense - to nicotine, where the smoker's brain finely calibrates its optimal level: there is no uncontrolled dose-escalation.

" The Abolitionist Project https://www.abolitionist.com/", Talks given at the FHI (Oxford University) and the Charity International Happiness Conference, 2007

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„It's easy to support the status quo if one is not another of its victims.“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

Reply to Meet the people who want to turn predators into herbivores https://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/meet-the-people-who-want-to-turn-predators-into-vegans.html#comment-2393432394, TreeHugger, 4 Dec. 2015

„More controversially, technology can accelerate the transition from harming to helping free-living sentient beings: mankind's fitfully expanding "circle of compassion."“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

The civilising process needn't be species-specific but instead extend to free-living dwellers in tomorrow's wildlife parks. Every cubic metre of the biosphere will soon be computationally accessible to surveillance, micro-management and control. Fertility regulation via immunocontraception can replace Darwinian ecosystems governed by starvation and predation. Any species of obligate carnivore we choose to preserve can be genetically and behaviourally tweaked into harmlessness. Asphyxiation, disembowelling, and agonies of being eaten alive can pass into the dustbin of history.

" High-tech Jainism https://www.hedweb.com/transhumanism/neojainism.html", The World Transformed, Jul. 2014

„It is easy to romanticise, say, tigers or lions and cats. We admire their magnificent beauty, strength and agility. But we would regard their notional human counterparts as wanton psychopaths of the worst kind.“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

1.10 On the Misguided Romanticisation of Feline Psychopaths https://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/hedon1.htm#feline
The Hedonistic Imperative https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/514875 (1995)

„[H]ere we come to the nub of the issue: the alleged moral force of the term "natural."“

—  David Pearce (philosopher)

If any creature, by its very nature, causes terrible suffering, albeit unwittingly, is it morally wrong to change that nature? If a civilised human were to come to believe s/he had been committing acts that caused grievous pain for no good reason, then s/he would stop - and want other moral agents to prevent the recurrence of such behaviour. May we assume that the same would be true of a lion, if the lion were morally and cognitively "uplifted" so as to understand the ramifications of what (s)he was doing? Or a house cat tormenting a mouse? Or indeed a human sociopath?

" Reprogramming Predators https://www.hedweb.com/abolitionist-project/reprogramming-predators.html", BLTC Research, 2009

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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