Blogs May 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm


"What the post-humanist understands is that technology is not, as Walter Benjamin once said, about mastering nature but "the relation between nature and man."

This an empty statement as it stands. What kind of relationship is it? A relationship of mastery?
Yes, but I-fairy? Sounds like an Episcopal Bishop.
For me, this is yet another example of Japan answering a question that nobody asked.
Hmmm? Not so sure how you deduce "the fact that conservative (and usually rural) Christians would be more offended by a gay couple being married....indefatigable."

I believe most humans would look at this marriage ceremony presided by a robot as an eccentricity in Japan regardless of their position on gay marriage. I also don't think it necessary to correlate the two situations (gay marriage and marriage by a robot). This event in Japan is sort of like that clown who married his pet in Germany (?) recently. Both are plain weird.
"Old Glory Insurance. For when the metal ones decide to come for you. And they will."
Presumably, robot clergy would obey the First Law of Robotics and not molest or assault their flocks.

Imagine a post human future in which androids could be programmed by a big knob on their forehead to be either gay or straight.

An angry girlfriend could get back at her b/f by switching his knob in a moment of passion.

An openly gay android could promote an Agenda by seeing how many gay switches he could turn on his favorite male androids.

Eventually it would become a giant Game of Life simulation or game of Go in which adjacent nodes try to get each other to "switch sides".

It is respect and reverence for the human that forces rejection of homosexuality.
@1: Yes. It is a relationship of mastery. Put a different way, it is what Aldo Leopold explained in A Sand County Almanac in 1949. In his argument for presenting a land ethic as a better way to confront humanity's relationship with nature, he remarked how "a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it."

In other words, until this relationship between humanity and everything else in nature — animals, plants, soil, water, etc. — is approached in this manner, then humanity will continue to exploit nature to its own self-serving end.
@9 It doesn't immediately strike me as a problem that mankind exploits nature. The problem is that man exploits man, in his present form when he is powerless and his environment, livelihood, and health are taken away, and in his future form, when he inhabits a scarcer, uglier, hotter, and more vicious world, simply because his ancestors couldn't rein themselves in when it counted. For all practical purposes we may agree, but what you call a crime against nature I call a crime against humanity, perpetrated by the powerful.
@8: You respect and revere people, so you tell them that they're evil and that God hates them all because of who they are. If you had a single speck of integrity in your body, you'd admit that your homophobia stems from your fear of anything or anyone different from you. Your type make me sick with your holier-than-thou posturing and condemnations.
Transhumanism takes a normal person's admiration for technology and transforms it to a religious fetishism that pretends that every single problem in the world can be solve with the right mathematical equation.

"Post human," "anti-human," what does any of this even mean? Nothing in this post has substance.

Call me a "humanist," but I'm proud of being one, precisely because I don't worship science and technology as a religion.
Anti-humanism is a pretty good description of a philosophy which holds sex as a necessary evil, women as a lesser creation, and the whole of this life as a distraction from an imagined paradise.
@10: Of course it doesn't immediately strike you as a problem: you value your anthropocentrism over nature as a superior trait of humanity over everything else.

Anthropocentrism, as with the faculty of language capability, is an inborn feature of humanity. Its roots are in the sense of self-awareness and faculty for abstraction. It means that the capacity to think in terms of humanity first — everything else second and subservient — is there from the start. The world view of exploitation over others without concern for those others is what is easier to learn and pass along. It's easier to behave as a dominator over anything any anyone regarded as impediments to that domination.

Humanity only evolves, en masse, once it acknowledges that domination (which isn't employed by every human social group, of course, but overwhelmingly employed by the dominant social groups alive now) is a self-defeating ends to its own survival. This is the test for humanism: one need not look to the way humanity treats other humans to see anti-humanism. One should look to the way a person, society, or people regards the reverence for "land" (in the Leopoldian sense) as either attractive or repulsive to its own perception of welfare. This is turn informs how humanity sees itself. Anything that which is not seen as the same is seen as the Other — whether people, animals, plants, water, or soil. If the Other is held with disdain, then humanism suffers to anti-humanism.
I feel the same way you do, Charles, regarding the same-sex marriage issue.

The majority of straights piss all over the very institution of marriage, with their multiple marriages, infidelity, and now robot-marriages, yet scream bloody hell if a gay/lesbian wants to marry the person they love.


Your sickness seems self induced.
No one but you brought them up.

Homosexuality perverts the most basic elements of human instinct and desire.
Respect and concern for integrity of the species demands that it; and other deviant tastes people may cultivate, such as pedophilia and bestiality; be rejected outright.

Take two aspirin and spend a little time with a Jr High biology textbook.
You'll feel better in the morning.
@7, Great your knob-on-the-forehead controled android sexuality has totally ruined P.K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep" for me: now I'll always wonder if androids are having erotic dreams featuring electronic sheep. That's just sick.
@16 - blah, blah, blah, bitch, bitch, bitch, all day long about your desire for inequality towards gays and lesbians.

Speaking of God, let's all thank Him that I, for one, do not consider you any type or form of expert on human sexuality or behavior, nor do I even give you the slightest bit of integrity in knowing who/what gets to participate in life, love and equal rights.

In others words, blow your "opinion" out your sorry ass.
It's possible the lack of outrage also stems, however obliquely, from the history of sacramental theology.

Marriage is the one sacrament (or sacramental rite, depending on whether you are Roman Catholic or Anglican) that is enacted by the couple themselves. A priest is only present to witness and to bless the covenant, but does not him- or herself consecrate or "make" it happen. Being blessed by a robot has some interesting theological implications, but it does not render the marriage invalid: only the people making promises can break those promises.

As an aside, as a lady priest, can I just say that I find it deeply interesting that the robot officiant has pigtails? There is something also post-gender in this, considering that women clergy still tend to freak people in the U.S. out.
@18 - blah, blah, blah, bitch, bitch, bitch, all day long about your imagined "inequality" towards homosexuals.

Name one law in this nation that treats homosexuals differently than heterosexuals.
@14 My "anthropocentric" point of view, just like yours, requires conservation of nature and respect for its possibilities, just for different reasons. You're telling me that anthropocentrism is the big problem, and I'm saying that the problem is lack of prudence and a lack of compassion for other human beings. Could you explain why it is that an ally should abandon the anthropocentric point of view if it generates the same political and practical results? Or maybe there is some inherent contradiction in anthropocentric environmentalism, in which case could you show me what it is?
I think we ought to automate (computerize roboticize roombacize whatever) the entire priest-class. Just think.. mo more "youth-pastor" horrors, no more buggering choir boys; just the occasional "kill all humans" - an equitable exchange by any measure.

<insert image=Futurama's_preacherbot> yay-ya!
@20 -- Are you joking or is this some new anti-gay meme we'll spend 10 minutes refuting?……
The laws you link treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally.
Name one law in this nation that treats homosexuals differently than heterosexuals.
@24 -- You're right. Either no law or very few laws specifically differentiate between "homosexuals" and "heterosexuals."

However, if I pass laws that make quacking illegal, laws that make swimming illegal, laws that make flying while wet illegal, laws that make waddling illegal, and laws that make taking bread-crumbs from excited children illegal, I have made laws that treat ducks differently than non-ducks. This is true even if I never specifically call out ducks in my laws.

Or, according to your logic, there are no laws in this country that treat pedophiles differently than adult-ophiles.

Just to recapitulate, folks:

There are NO laws in this nation that treats homosexuals differently than heterosexuals.

Homosexuals recieve EQUAL treatment under the law.
"No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual." Florida Statute 63.042(3)
BOOM. Now what, bitch?

Unless this is some sort of bizarre polygamous marriage, the robot didn't marry the people. At most, it "officiated" - and doubtless, the couple had to file whatever other appropriate forms, have whatever required witnesses, etc. I don't know whether the officiant at Japanese civil weddings has to be licensed by the state.

In short, either the couple did all that was actually required under Japanese law, or the didn't (and presumably the wedding would have no validity.)

The net result, though, is a heterosexual couple.

I don't see why conservative Christians should be any more outraged by this than by non-religious weddings conducted by Elvis impersonators, sky-divers, Starfleet reenactors, or anyone else. If they are going to object based on religious franchising issues (must be a priest, etc), then all these are equally to be tsk-tsk'd over, if not, the couple is still straight.

I have never heard a single straight conservative Christian object to gay marriage on the basis of who conducts the service.

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