At some point society will have to tackle issues such as rights for AI and the more complex one that encompasses the real nature of our human experience and actual existence. That is to say, is it possible that the reality we think we understand may in fact be one of many options?
It is obvious to me that up until the 80s a greater percentage of American society was more forward thinking and many more people were less regressive than today. There was a persistent hope for a better life and increased opportunity in the air as new technologies emerged and were embraced. These technological advancements improved life exponentially from our recent past memories. At this time two things were also reality: religious fundamentalism had been waning and the greater majority of people sought to be more well informed, educated and much of society did not look down on academia and intellectualism.
Imagine the impact that learning one possible reality is that we are actually living in a digital simulation? How would this information impact a populace that can barely grasp the facts regarding the many embraced God myths from thousands of years ago?
If asked to make a decision, how could our society make responsible laws with regard to AI and the rights of organic machines capable of sentient thought. When today we could not even decide if a non-organic thinking machine was alive, a sentient being and deserving of the same rights as humans? How could we realistically have that conversation and not include the furry sentient life forms already in existence in the discussion?
America has huge swaths of society clinging to perceived thoughts from a book that was written by humans over 2000 years ago. These same people usually want others to live according to their perceived rule of that book. They have no inclination to tolerate differing lifestyles or ideas and will not act in the best interest of a forward looking society. These people currently hold back society with their private belief system and expect that all in society should want to go along for the ride because it's what they believe their version of "God" wants.
I say the hell with that!
To advance, society has to return to a thought process the founders of this country had. They understood the complexities a private belief system and knew these were individual rights to be kept with the individual. They precluded their inclusion in a public political system. They knew to separate the private beliefs of individuals from the public works and good in society.
Jefferson went so far as to rewrite a version of the bible (The Jefferson Bible,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible ). He removed most of the supernatural from it's pages and was left with a written belief system based on a doctrine of Christianity he believed Jesus espoused. Many of the founders were forward thinking men for their time. Today much of the "right" seem to be less evolved than they were in this regard. How will the future be won by Americans if we can't shuck off an idea that people in the mid to late 1700s had decided was negative to their mindset?
How much business opportunity will be lost by Americans who can't see a life without their old world divinity clouding their judgement. Is it not better for all society, indeed humanity, that we aspire to be a better people, to be better educated, grow businesses and create opportunity with new scientific knowledge, technology and ideas? How can we achieve this vision for a better world and more opportunity for Americans if we still allow those regressive mindset people, filled with judgement and some with hatred, to hold us back as they have in the recent past?
It is time to shuck off the ideas which pass as morals or values of the past which no longer realistically work. Instead we should embrace educated thought and the values which develop our character and intellect to achieve as a forward thinking nation again.