Human cryonization risks
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

[I]t is an elementary consequence of probability theory that even very improbable outcomes are very likely to happen, if we wait long enough. — Huw Price327 I have begun to consider that human cryonization has associated a high risk of extreme and lasting suffering. Imagine for a minute that cryonization works, and keeps the "I" alive, even if you think this is impossible. If it works, what probability do you think there is to be intense torture if your body is locked up in the facilities of a scientific complex, under a strange legal status, surrounded by the kind of scientists (some) who would do horrible experiments on rats or monkeys? What probability do you think there is that in a potentially infinite time, any of those scientists decide and can experiment with you horrible t...

How to recognize sentience?
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Two errors There are two very common assumptions in the issue of consciousness / sentience that I think are wrong: It is generally assumed that "in the absence of at least one centralized nervous system, consciousness will not arise." That is, if a being has no brain, he does not feel. But I think it's the other way around: if there is a functioning centralized nervous system, we can fairly s...


Implications of a plausible Sentience Platonism in the prevention of suffering
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Even if the probability of Sentience Platonism were extremely small, while there is a higher than zero probability, and considering that is not very clear where sentience comes from, we might think twice before disregarding this idea, because should it be true, its implications for preventing suffering would be immense. Platonism is considered an ontological dualism which proposes the existence...


Rationalism, empiricism and phantom extremities
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Versión en español publicada en el Blog de Vivelibre Apology of rationalism ... Epilepsy has historically been considered the "sacred disease" because of its connection with altered states of consciousness linked to a strong religiosity and mysticism. In Spain suffer some 400,000 people and many of us have been and seremos- witnesses of epileptic seizures, so it is certainly advisable to hav...

Reasons to reject veganism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Reasons not to be vegan: Veganism? What’s this? I ‘ve never listened talking about that topic. Stop eating animals? What do you want, that I starve to death? What am I going to eat? I am an animal of the human specie, omnivorous, with a diet esentially omnivorous. My parents were omnivorous, my grandparents were omnivorous and most of the rest of the people of my kind that exist or have exist...

Keys for avoid existential and technological risks
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Goodness, Courage, Patience, Intelligence and Awareness --> Honesty, Impartiality, Extreme kindness and Skepticism --> Transparence, Debate, Cooperation and Prudence Notes: The arrows A --> B must be read as "A" is the key to "B" "Key" is not "enough" but "something to focus on"

On the right of predators to life
David Olivier

It appears normal that the lion should eat the gazelle. But can a lion claim that the gazelle must donate her organs – in effect, her whole body – in order to fulfil her right to life? I don't see how this could be. Applying the standards we apply to humans, we should not kill the lions; but we should not let them eat the gazelles. If they cannot survive without eating the gazelles, they will d...


Suffering and ethics
Brian Tomasik

Many ethical value systems feel that extreme suffering commands particular moral urgency compared with other priorities. The agony of, say, Medieval-style torture is not necessarily compensated by other, smaller benefits. We should give special attention to reducing the net expected suffering of all sentient beings when deciding our actions. Animals significantly outnumber humans, and most peop...


Consciousness Realism. The Non-Eliminativist Physicalist View of Consciousness
Magnus Vinding

The non-eliminativist view of consciousness is the view that consciousness is real and that its existence cannot reasonably be doubted. All the beliefs we are aware of appear in consciousness, and hence to express disbelief in the existence of consciousness amounts to reading off and trusting at least some aspect of one?s conscious experience ? the thing believed not to exist ? which renders su...


Ontological Qualia: The Future of Personal Identity
Andrés Gómez Emilsson

*WARNING* If you are not psychologically robust, this *may* be a memetic hazard. It talks about ideas that may affect hedonic tone in people susceptible to bad philosophical experiences. What is personal identity? The word consciousness has many meanings. Some of them are mundane, such as “social awareness.” Others are extremely fundamental, like the nature of qualia. Likewise, personal identi...


Is Life the Ultimate Value? A Reassessment of Ayn Rand’s Ethics
Ole Martin Moen

We all value things. For example, we value friendships, prosperity, and knowledge. These seem to be good things and things worthy of pursuit. They seem better and more worthy of pursuit, at least, than do their opposites: enmity, poverty, and ignorance. A notable fact about the things we consider valuable is that most of them appear to be valuable not merely as things worth having for their ow...

Animal consciousness in cognitive ethology
Goizane Rodriguez Barroso

In the second half of the 20th century non human animal behavior started to be studied in cognitive terms. Comparative psychologists and ethologists studied perception, learning, categorization, memory, spatial cognition, numerosity, communication, language, social cognition, theory of mind, causal reasoning, and metacognition in non human animals. Cognitive ethology arose. I will introduce thi...

Stuff that repels the attention
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

We can think that the opposite of catching the attention is being unnoticed, but it is not true. Versión en español Sex and violence catch the attention. The red things catch the attention. The beautiful, dangerous and different things catch the attention. We can think that the opposite of catching the attention is being unnoticed. That is what happens with the common, the grey, the monotonou...

Value systems
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Value systems respond to the question "What is important?". Depending on the value systems that we prioritize, we will have one answer or another to moral issues. Value systems are those underlying principles that define and ethical considerations, and can not be (and therefore should not be) explained by others. I agree with Brian tomasik that we should seek convergence in value systems. In f...

The hedonistic imperative
David Pearce

The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life. The abolitionist project is hugely ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and morally urgent. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced...

Patterns, coherence, and the strange spaces of sentiocentrism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

‘The Universe’s instantaneous self-destruction button’, ‘to anesthetize or to assassinate’ or ‘The undiscovered infidelity’ are all explained ignoring the existence of individuals in the habitual sense of the word. Versión en español I'll define "conventional sentiocentrism" as the the moral position that considers that the ability to feel is the relevant criterion for establishing who are th...

Synthetic theory: Crisis and revolution
Máximo Sandín

From the very start, Darwinist theory suffered from significant weaknesses acknowledged by its author. Both the observation of natural species and the evidence derived from the fossil record were in direct conflict with two of its core concepts, natural selection and gradual change, giving rise to problems that deeply troubled Darwin and some of his followers. But these problems, clearly o...

Duality and Uniqueness
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Any sane person establishes a cutting distinction between every object of the Universe: I, and ‘everything else’. I am going to call this ‘Duality’. On the other hand, the Universe exists, there. And it doesn’t care at all what I think. The universe is unique, and I am going to call this ‘Uniqueness’. Obviously, there’s only one reality. The Uniqueness is true and the duality is fake. Now, dua...

What is Real? The subjective and the objective fact
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

The popular criterion presuppose the existence of the objective and solid fact as the generator of the doubtful subjetive experience. But the process is just the inverse, and their characteristics the opposed. The subjetive experience (I see a tree) provoke us the creation of one hypothesis (There is a tree). The subjetive experience is real, there are no doubt about it. However the objective h...

Talking to Michelangelo’s David or how a mathematician killed Goliat. Engineering and humanities
Olga Mucharraz

The Michelangelo’s David [ Note 1 ] has been classified like an "apolinear" or "herculear" representation [ Note 2 ] by several scholars. This double speech can be tragic if we don’t talk about it from the beginning. This double speech leads us to the current problem about male and female archetypes and to those of disciplines and professions. I have already talked about this Greek pithagori...

Asymmetry between pleasure and pain
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

I think there is no significant difference between the reasons why non-human animals whose future lives are going to be predictably negative do not commit suicide and the reasons why we humans do not commit suicide. The reason is the same: we were not designed to enjoy, but for the survival of our genes. Most lives, even human ones, are not worth living. In the case of nonhuman animals it is even worse. Pleasure and pain appear to be useful, and be in different ways, justifying the existence of both experiences. Pleasure is practical to motivate to "go" and pain is practical to motivate to "escape". But for matters related to entropy and the inherent scarcity of life / evolution, there ...


Map of existential alternatives to the sentient experience
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Sentience is the ability to experience sensations, to have subjective experiences. Usually it is assumed that sentience is produced in the being that experiments it. But there are actually more possibilities. A: Who feels? [1..10] B: What do we feel? [1..4] C: How much can one feel? [1..2] D: When does one feel? [1..4] E: Where does the sentient experience occur? [1..4] F: Why does the sentient experience occur? How is the sentient experience possible? What is its nature? [1..8] G: Why does the sentient experience occur? Does it have any purpose? [1..5] H: How much sentient experience is there? How available is it? [1..3] Versión en español Translated from spanish by Laura Paglia ...


What is a dream job?

Often we imagine we can work out what we’re passionate about in a flash of insight, while others think of their dream job as easy and highly paid. But we reviewed two decades of research into the causes of a satisfying life and career, drawing on over 60 studies, and we didn’t find much evidence for these views. Instead, we found six key ingredients of a dream job. They don’t include income, and they aren’t as simple as “following your passion”.


It isn’t only humans who should eat in-vitro meat. A lot of suffering is on the line.
Andrés Gómez Emilsson

Should humans wipe out all carnivorous animals so the succeeding generations of herbivores can live in peace? Let’s do a thought-experiment. Imagine we stumble across an advanced civilisation that has abolished predation, disease, famine, and all the horrors of primitive Darwinian life. The descendants of archaic lifeforms flourish unmolested in their wildlife parks – free living but not “wild”. Should we urge scrapping their regime of compassionate stewardship of the living world – and a return to asphyxiation, disembowelling and being eaten alive? Or is a happy biosphere best conserved intact?

How to prioritize the reduction of suffering?
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Versión en español What is the arithmetic of suffering? If we could assign a number to the intensity of the subjective experience of every sensation, it seems that the mathematics related to the operations among these values obey to some kind of “non lineal arithmetic”, where 2+2=5. This article does a research of some non lineal aspects, or at least, weird, of the “mathematics of suffering”. The reflection is oriented to the determination of the priorities in a project of global reduction of suffering. In conclusion, I stress the importance of reducing, in the first place, the most intense suffering, while other elements have a lot less importance, like the duration of the unpleasant ...

The radio metaphor explanation in the description of reality and subjectivity. The reality just as it could be
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Apparently, we are all different kind of people who get born and die. However, it would be more logical to think that we are all only one being who lives forever. Let´s see the radio metaphor. Versión en español In the 80s and through the BBS (before the internet) I run into a document that seemed to have been written by a madman. Among other things -and the author insisted on it- because the size was 5 MB (really too much for the time, when almost everything was only Bytes or Kilobytes size). The text was an obsessive essay about the reality where he described human beings as “silly terminals” of a huge computer, who tuned into another reality or Being, the same way that a radio receive...


The Mind’s Sky. Human Intelligence in a Cosmic Context
Timothy Ferris

Timothy Ferris develops in this book the following idea: human mind is composed by several entities. Decisions are taken by the common activity of them all. There is not a central entity to which all the others are subordinate. Nevertheless it exists something that we can call the "interpreter", that interprets the common decision as taken just by himself. This interpreter situated in the center related to language, would be the highest exponent of "I", but of a false one. This interpreter is essentially a liar, but it is useful and even essential for survival, and, if it is disconnected, mind can be opened to authentic truth. Not only relaxation and meditation, both present in all relig...

Biology: An old perspective
Máximo Sandín

The currently predominant scientific vision of the world originated in the "scientific revolution" begun in the XVI and XVII centuries by Copernicus, Galileo and Newton's theories. The technical and economic boom that produced the subsequent industrial revolution drove science towards a mechanistic, utilitarian approach to nature, the purpose of which was (and still is) to predict and control the studied phenomena. Until then, the close contact with nature inherent to Western and other cultures' lifestyles had engendered an "ecological" vision of "Mother Earth". Scientific perception of the world was aimed at understanding the meaning of natural phenomena (in a religious or philosophic...

Rationalism and altruism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Three ways in which love rationality is shown: love as an act consequence of the desire to love love as the better solution of prisioners dilemma with communication open individualism and empty individualism

Negative utilitarianism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

In some way, pleasure and pain could be "traded". But some suffering is too high that can't be traded (or, is like "infinite"). But the symmetrical is not true: there's no happiness that can make worth the worst experiences. This is why I say I am negative utilitarian (NU). But some people say I am classical utilitarian (CU) in daily experiences (between some degrees of happiness and suffering) and negative utilitarian (NU) in hard experiences. Ok. I could say that I'm a classical utilitarian with belief in infinite negative experiences (CU-∞) instead of negative utilitarian (NU). But the point is although the value of these experiences in is -∞, there are different kinds o...

Ethics is a masquerade, the show must go on
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Next I introduce the idea that ethics is a farce while there is genuine cooperation and altruism between individuals, and I make some proposals to maximize altruism, compatible with previous ideas.


Interests, preferences, pain and suffering
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

There are people who say that we negative utilitarians are obsessed with pain, and they are right. Versión en español These people say that there is not only physical pain (or "pain") but also psychic pain (or "suffering") and that this suffering can also be horrible, and they are right. They also say there are more things in life. That there are other interests, not only the interest in ceasing to suffer, but also the interest in enjoying, and here also are right. They also say that there is not only (physical) pleasure, but a whole range of very complex psychic satisfactions that are desirable, and that’s right. They say that there are masochists for whom small "pains" can be cause o...


Sentience platonism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Abstract I'll call sentience platonism the idea that experiences exist by themselves, regardless of sentient beings who experience them. Even if the probability of sentience platonism were very small, while there is a higher than zero probability, we might think twice before disregarding it, because the implications on prevent suffering would be immense. Introduction The philosopher Known as Plato (Aristocles) lived from 427 b. C. to 347 b. C. was a student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle. The adjective platonic is commonly used to refer to the existence of universals or Ideas. For example, the appleness and the redness redness are universals of a specific red apple. Platonism ...


Symmetry between emergentism and immersionism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

Emergentism and immersionism are two symmetrical metaphysical approaches to describe reality. In the emergentist approach "material things" (materials), grouped in a certain way, generate individuality (the self). Additionally, the individual experiences the existence of "experiential things", such as the feeling of cold or love, but this "experiential reality" is considered an epiphenomenon or even denied (eliminativism). In the immersionist approach, "experiential things" (experiences), ungrouped in a certain way, generate individuality (the self). Additionally, the individual experiences the existence of "material things", such as a gold atom or a planet, but this "material reality" ...

First ideas on Sentience Platonism
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

"Sentience platonism": that could be the name for the idea that I tried to explain in the "open mic" at sentience conference 2016. It's one type of dualism (well... to be more accurate... it's one type of non-monism, because could be compatible with dualism, trialism, cuatrialism...) and is close to "open individualism" but it's quite different. The idea is: experiences exist as platonic entities, and our subjective experiences are instantiations of this platonic things. Like the Redness of the things that are red, the tableness of all different tables, or the threeness of the things that are in sets of three (of course, if those platonic things do exist!). The point is that, if true, if...


A short introduction to free will disillusion
Chandler Klebs

Definitions and Refutations of Free Will There are many different ways that people define "free will". This confusion over words is partly why the debate even continues. What I want to do is first give a small definition and refutation for those who are in a hurry. Quick Refutation The average person who has never read any philosophy about free will believes that free will is nothing more than the ability to "make choices". By such a definition, you could try to argue that free will exists. This is not what the debate has been about. It has all been about the word "free" in "free will". If people said they do things of their own will, then it makes sense, if they said that they do thin...


A simple mystical explanation
Andrés Gómez Emilsson

Maybe "consciousness" is just level 1 of something that has many levels. Psychedelics, notably, sometimes can give the impression (or maybe acquintance?) with a sort of "metaconsciousness" that simply escapes people's imagination entirely in normal circumstances. In that case, maybe our suffering is really just a parody of the real thing, which is far worse in ways currently unimaginable. Is this universe a sandbox to solve cosmic problems? Weird to entertain. But at least that would allow for the existence of a benevolent God. If we are creating information useful that can actually help reduce "true" or "ontologically superior" forms of suffering, then our suffering can certainly be just...

What is real? The importance of point of view
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

In my opinion, all the scientific knowledge has been built on a false hypothesis. All. This has not proved to be a big problem because in the results obtained do not noted any difference in relation to this hypothesis. Just like what happened with the classical mechanics newtonian opposite the relativistic Einstein. But we are in a different context. Quantum physics tell us about impossible worlds, far away from the daily experience. Movies such as Matrix remind us that we don´t have any really good argument to discard the possibility of that all our universe is a big simulation. Ultimately, all the universe seems to consist, simply, in information. Those arguments that were supporti...

Next of Kin. What Chimpanzees Have Taught Me About Who We Are
Roger Fouts

Chimpanzees are able to understand oral language and communicate among them and with human beings through the language of signs (for deaf people). Besides, as Roger Fouts describes it, they think and act in such a similar way as human beings do, that it is easy to recognize in them close relations, why not think of them as our cousins. Roger Fouts has spent thirty years of his life doing research on the origins of human intelligence and human language. He has proved through his works and shown through audiovisual material that chimpanzees are able to use language. The author taught this communication system to Whasoe, a chimpanzee female that taught it to her adopted son and ma...


Subjectivity is neither created nor destroyed, only revealed
Manuel de la Herrán Gascón

We distinguish in the barking of a dog or the meowing of a cat their expressions of happiness and unhappiness, because even if they are different from human expressions, we are able to recognize the similarities. The fact that we do not see any similarity in the expressions of a shrimp or an ant, or even in those cases when the subjective experience is not expressed, this does not mean that the experience does not exist. Translated from spanish by Laura Paglia What is subjectivity? The sudden, unexpected death of a loved being often leaves us in shock. The monotonous life is perceived as unreal, we feel something transcendent boiling within us. It is beyond comprehensible to exist and,...

Evolution as an Universal Process
Dott. Amrit Sorli

In the article Conservation/Entropy Domains of Free and Bound Energy, John A. Gowan says: Gravity conserves entropy; for example, in the cosmic gravitational collapse of the "Big Crunch", the total heat loss and entropy of the Universe is reversed; in such a case, the total entropy of the Universe sums to zero. Gravity replaces positive spatial entropy with a metrically equivalent positive temporal entropy; spatial expansion is reduced because it funds the temporal component of the total entropy equation (1). In the universe the entropy of matter is continuously increasing and the entropy of life is continuously decreasing. The total entropy of the universe sums to zero. From t...

Life and consciousness: Phenomena originated by the electromagnetic unity?
Cornelio González Valdenebro

Greece, China and Minor Asia knew since very ancient times the stone called magnetite, name given to this mineral because it came from the Greek province called Magnesia, and which had the property of attracting or being attracted by iron. Around year 1300 b. C., the compass, legacy of the Chinese, -who used earth magnetism to orientate their maritime navigation with this instrument-, started to be used in the West. Nevertheless, it wasn't until 1600 that British physician and physicist William Gilbert made the first attempt to apply the scientific method to the study of electricity and magnetism, and published his book De magnete. In 1831, another Englishman, Michael Faraday (1791...

Evolution of the man

The human species is an animal species of Cordata type, Vertebrata subtype, Mammalian class, Primates order, Hominoidea superfamily, Hominida family, Homo genre, sapiens species. As we observed, it is an animal perfectly classified and placed in the taxonomic groups, according to its morphological and anathomical characteristics. The species Homo sapiens is very young; it arose about 200 thousand years ago, in Africa. If we compared this age with the 3 million years that has the life of a species of mammal, we give us account that it is a recently born species... And nevertheless, our cultural evolution is so accelerated, that is totally phased out with the biological evolution. Besid...

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