How A.I. Could Eliminate Human Meaning and Purpose

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Are We Starting to Face a Crisis of Meaning and Purpose?

Could technology be making many of us less well off by forcing people to sacrifice meaning and purpose in their lives for short-term pleasure and convenience?

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Victor Frankel, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, believed humans have a “will to meaning”.
  • Automation appears to be destroying more jobs than it creates, and employment is a main source of meaning and purpose for people throughout history.
  • Jobs that will be created by technology and automation will be increasingly low-paid, unstable, and without benefits.
  • Income inequality continues to get worse, not better, giving more opportunities to fewer ‘haves,’ and fewer opportunities for the greater number of ‘have nots.’
  • Technology appears to be contributing to mental disorders such as anxiety, ADHD symptoms, and worse.
  • We’re becoming more addicted to the short-term pleasures of technology, hindering our ability to accomplish personal goals.
  • Many tasks that used to provide a sense of accomplishment, like researching the answer to a question, are fully automated by technological services (i.e., Alexa, Google, etc.).
  • and many more issues such as the global warming crisis, increasing debt, etc.

A.I. and Technology to the Rescue

However, many experts and scientists claim that if we continue to develop and embrace technology for a long enough period of time, eventually it will take care of all of the issues it caused that I outlined above and give humans the opportunity to create more meaning and purpose in their lives than ever before.

  • experience anything we want, especially through virtual reality as games would be so life-like we won’t be able to tell the difference between VR and real life
  • eliminate aging and even possibly death
  • even eliminate suffering for all conscious beings, and more.
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Transhumanists like David Pearce believe technology will replace suffering with “gradients of bliss.”
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Why Finding Meaning May Get Harder, Despite an Over Abundance of Resources

Well, let’s skeptically examine the four tenets I went over, of course, there’s much more, but you’ll get an idea that finding meaning despite an overabundance of resources, may be harder than you think.

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Tenet #1.Analyzed — Advanced Technology Will Make It So We’ll Never Have to Work a Job Again

Having an occupation is a healthy way to feel a sense of purpose, even if you’re not happy 100% of the time with it.

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A.I. could replace every type of job including those involving compassion like nurses and doctors.
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Would our hobbies become less meaningful in the future, despite far more time to dedicate to them?

Tenet #2. Analyzed — Experience Anything We Wish Through Life-like Virtual Reality

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Computing power continues to exponentially increase each year.
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Robert Nozick 1938–2002
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Tenet #3. Analyzed — We Could End Aging and Possibly Death

Transhumanists believe that not only could we end aging since many researchers believe it’s a disease that can be cured, but potentially avoid all forms of death though theorized technology like mind-uploading or clone replication.

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There’s not a lot of pressure, if any, to connect with and appreciate the people in our lives today if we are going to live forever. thanks to technology.

Tenet #4. Analyzed — We Could Eliminate Pain and Suffering Entirely

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R.N. Smart 1927–2001
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In Conclusion — What Do You Think?

Is humanity destined for a Utopia filled with mindless, painless zombies (or “posthumans”) who have no element of human meaning in their lives?

  • Actively choose to stop embracing new technology — Some groups of people may choose to stop embracing technology or certain aspects of it in order to preserve meaning in their lives, while others continue to embrace it. The lower-tech tribes could be delegated their own land to build a society where they could live peacefully, undisturbed.
  • Create Worldwide Bio-liberty laws — Bio-liberty laws could include the right to not have anything technological implanted into us or collect information about us unless we consent to it, the right to die when we want using assisted suicide (if aging is eradicated), the right to not be genetically altered while in utero or as children (think designer babies), and more.
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Answers to Important Philosophical Questions. Questions About Cherished Philosophical Answers. — Visit my YouTube Channel: https://tinyurl.com/thinkingdeeply.

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