By way of foratv,
Julia Galef, president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, describes humanity as slave to its own genes: that is, people exist solely to perpetuate their DNA. Furthermore, she argues, we have to contend with the fact that “the genes don’t care about us.”
It’s silly to claim that “our genes don’t care” or that “our genes don’t care about strangers on the other side of the world” or that genes don’t care “about the distant future of humanity.” I mean yes genes don’t care but this is because the simplistic, anachronistic, and contradictory conceptual frameworks provided by the favored child of the European Enlightenment, applied reason, lends itself to the aforementioned.
For example, what does it mean to assert that at the molecular lever our genes don’t care but that at an individual level we do care? Where does one stop and the other begin? In addition, how does one negotiate this conflict with Julia’s underlying notion that humanity is a slave to its genes?
The video features an interesting concluding quote from a book by Keith Stanovich that states, “If you don’t want to be the captive of your genes, then you had better be rational.” Not much of a thought to be quite honest. After all, how does one apply rationality to technologies address this “problem” while also addressing the expected complex, difficult and unpredictable social, economic and cultural conditions that arise from these technological “solutions”?
In my opinion, you can’t. At least not through traditional frameworks.