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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Don Limuti: on 6/5/14 at 21:45pm UTC, wrote Hi Roberto, I am voting very favorably for your essay and your thesis. ...

Margriet O'Regan: on 6/5/14 at 2:21am UTC, wrote Hello Roberto ~ “However, at the moment, the anthropic dilemma still...

Peter Jackson: on 6/3/14 at 11:23am UTC, wrote Roberto, I disagree with criticisms above and commend you approach,...

KoGuan Leo: on 6/1/14 at 13:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Roberto, I congratulate you to speak out for Anthropic imperative...

Robert de Neufville: on 5/24/14 at 1:28am UTC, wrote Excellent essay, Roberto. You give an expert summary of main of the same...

max comess: on 5/18/14 at 7:03am UTC, wrote Roberto, Interesting essay. I focused mainly on the risks of...

Michael muteru: on 5/16/14 at 13:02pm UTC, wrote Roberto Nice essay,very rich in ideas,Imagine the universe as a...

Anonymous: on 5/8/14 at 21:44pm UTC, wrote Roberto - Thank you for the thoughtful essay. I like your analysis...


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FQXi FORUM
May 24, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: AN ANTHROPIC PROGRAM FOR THE LONG-TERM SURVIVAL OF HUMANKIND by Roberto Paura [refresh]
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Author Roberto Paura wrote on Apr. 25, 2014 @ 13:15 GMT
Essay Abstract

Humanity is facing an “anthropic dilemma”: if the life is so rare in the universe, considering how many problems limit its rise, why our universe seems “just right” to host life? At the moment, the anthropic dilemma still lacks the right answer and, starting from our empirical evidences, it postulates the uniqueness of the Mankind, the sole intelligent life form able to understand and contemplate the Universe. Such a postulate it's here called "anthropic postulate". This postulate imposes that Hans Jonas'€™ moral responsibility must comprehend the humanity as a whole, present and future generations. The plausible uniqueness, or at least the extreme rarity of the human experience, entails the burden of its preservation from any kind of lethal menace. Given the extremely high vulnerability of our planet, the timeline of such a responsibility should be prolonged 'till the time when humanity will be able to face an exodus towards the outer space, out of the solar system. So, it is possible to postulate the following "anthropic imperative": it’s necessary to undertake all the actions to guarantee the undefined survival of the mankind through time. The anthropic program presented in this paper is a first proposal aimed to find challenges and possible solution to the fulfilment of this imperative.

Author Bio

Roberto Paura is co-founder and president of the Italian Institute for the Future, a centre for futures studies based in Naples, Italy. He is also a science journalist and was columnist for the science channel of Fanpage.it, a leading Italian online newspaper. Since 2011, he works for Città della Scienza, the first Italian science centre, in the communication area and for the organization of the annual exhibition "€œRemote Future". His latest book is "Futuro in progress" (IIF Press).

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Anonymous wrote on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 04:06 GMT
Hi Roberto,

I found your polarization of views exaggerated, I am sure there is a lot of middle ground.

"The plausible uniqueness, or at least the extreme rarity of the human experience, entails the burden of its preservation from any kind of lethal menace." What about the uniqueness of the variety of non human life?

Your arguments are well set out. I liked your list. It is clearly expressed and that makes it a pleasure to read. Good luck, Georgina

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Author Roberto Paura replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 14:09 GMT
Hi Georgina, thanks for your comment! Of course my position is a little bit exaggerated. It comes from the wish to reply to all the ideological positions against the long-term survival of humankind. According to them, humankind is just one of a very large number of lifeforms on Earth. It is right, of course. But we must emphasize the uniqueness of humankind: there are a lot of lifeforms, but just one intelligent civilization. We must fight to preserve it for the forthcoming generations, even if some ecologists think we must eradicate the civilization to save Earth.

Roberto

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Mark Avrum Gubrud wrote on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 09:06 GMT
Thoughtful essay, but I don't understand why it takes 4 pages to decide that we should choose human flourishing over extinction or why we need the idea that we're special in the universe to validate our will to survive and flourish. Also, it's hardly true that uranium is (as a practical matter) a limited resource, plus there's Th, so that is not the reason for preferring solar as a main solution.

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Author Roberto Paura replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 14:23 GMT
Dear Mark,

thank you for your comment. With respect to the lenght of the theoretical considerations in the essay, read my answer above. Regarding uranium, from a long-term point of view it's a limited resource if we compare it to solar energy. Of course it is not a short-term problem.

Roberto

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Michael Allan wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 13:34 GMT
Hello Roberto, May I offer a short, but sincere critique of your essay? I would ask you to return the favour. Here's my policy on that. - Mike

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James Dunn wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 19:51 GMT
My view of the fault of the Fermi Paradox is that we in-general do not consider the extents to which we are capable of evolving in a few thousand years with technological enhancements.

Are the God(s) people pray to the aliens we seek. As such, they are a part of every atom of our bodies; they are ever present.

For the sake of promoting broad perspective.

The concept: You will...

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 14:41 GMT
Dear Mr. Paura,

Your essay was truly fascinating to read, and I do hope that it does well in the competition. I do hope you do not mind me leaving a comment about it.

You clearly indicated that humanity was unique, but then you seemed to concentrate on only listing alarming abstractions about the state of an abstract universe that were not in the least unique.

As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my essay REALITY, ONCE, everything in the real Universe is unique, once. Unique is neither alarming nor beguiling.

Regards,

Joe Fisher

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Anonymous wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 21:44 GMT
Roberto -

Thank you for the thoughtful essay. I like your analysis leading to the anthropic postulate - while we may speculate endlessly on the possibility of extra-terrestrial life or the nature of a multiverse, all of the evidence so far is that humanity is unique. Arguably, we are therefore accountable to all lives past and present and for all potential future lives.

The challenge many of us have been dealing with in our essays (mine is The Tip of the Spear) is how do we motivate the shared goals and moral framework that will bring about the desired behaviors of our fellow-travelers and institutions so that we can tackle and solve the problems that we face now and in the future. I don't think any of us have quite answered this challenge.

Cheers - George Gantz

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Michael muteru wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 13:02 GMT
Roberto

Nice essay,very rich in ideas,Imagine the universe as a Olympicfield/pitch where many sporting events take place simultaneously.Would a Discus throwers injured arm affect the perfomance of an athlete in the same field doing say javelin or steeplechase ? Thats the main challenge anthropocentrism is merely Biological perception(illusion).All other animals too are intuitively primed to think they are the centre of the universe,-thats why The anthropic principle also has a cosmological basis see my paper here(http://vixra.org/abs/1312.0169) This should not be misunderstood,We must seek answers within the reality we inhabit.i address that here-http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2101 in my essay , LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF THE SUN: REALITIES, PERILS ESCAPADES MAN, PLANET AND KARDASHEV SCALE.MAKING THE GREAT TRANSITION by Michael muteru.Hope you find time to rate/review.Thanks all the best

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max david comess wrote on May. 18, 2014 @ 07:03 GMT
Roberto,

Interesting essay. I focused mainly on the risks of runaway artificial intelligence in my essay, but I definitely am aware of the other risks you mention as well. Overall well thought out.

Max

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Robert de Neufville wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 01:28 GMT
Excellent essay, Roberto. You give an expert summary of main of the same issues I cover in my own essay. I think you are absolutely right that we need as a species to embark on a conscious anthropic program. I loved that you put forward a smart, specific plan for how we should proceed. And I agree completely that we need to advocate this anthropic program with global decision-makers. They won't take action without public pressure. I hope if you get a chance you will take a look at my essay. Good luck in the contest in any case—your essay deserves to do well.

Best,

Robert de Neufville

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 13:51 GMT
Dear Roberto,

I congratulate you to speak out for Anthropic imperative against the paradigm of "random chance" existence. I shared this random chance paradigm before I discovered KQID and KQID revealed shockingly new oaradigm that supports the Anthropic Imperative that you spoke about. You wrote that. I applaud and share: "Humanity is facing an “anthropic dilemma”: if the life is...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 11:23 GMT
Roberto,

I disagree with criticisms above and commend you approach, analysis and propositions. I agree something such as a "Commission for the Anthropic Program should be constituted" because most of our focus is presently very short term and long term policy has no 'authority'.

While I agree that "anthropocentrism has been continuously losing ground" I suggest it exists in layers, and needs to loose ground far more quickly to allow better ways of thinking, to in turn allow the better understanding of nature that history proves drives us forward.

Our current thinking is 'sun-centric' (the barycentric rest frame). My essay suggests we must see past that, galaxy centric, local group centric, cluster and even 'supercluster centric' to fully understand nature, and the universe (unification of physics). At present even when staring us in the face the answers that will ensure our future can't be 'seen'!

I agree our; "responsibility should be prolonged 'till the time when humanity will be able to face an exodus towards the outer space, out of the solar system.' But also suggest that by then we must be thinking beyond this galaxy if we really wish for long term survival in what may well be a cyclic cosmology.

The amount of unheralded 1 scores my essay has attracted yet it's high number of scores demonstrates a real polarisation of thinking. Top marks for seeing that alone. I fear we may have a lot of work to do to escape what seems like a current developmental and theoretical 'rut'.

I hope you manage to read my allegorical essay set a little in the future.

Best wishes

Peter

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Margriet Anne O'Regan wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 02:21 GMT
Hello Roberto ~

“However, at the moment, the anthropic dilemma still lacks the right answer

and, starting from our empirical evidences, it postulates the uniqueness of the Mankind, the sole intelligent form of life able to understand and contemplate the Universe. Such a postulate it’s here called “anthropic postulate”.

“Anthropic postulate” . “Anthropic...

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Don Limuti wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 21:45 GMT
Hi Roberto,

I am voting very favorably for your essay and your thesis. There seems to be a "trend" to glorify nature and vilify humans. And we forget that humans are an important part of nature. Your essay helps balance the scale. Humans and Nature will evolve toward a better world (IMHO) and there are risks that you pointed out.

My attempt to mitigate the risk is in my essay on education, you should take a look.

Thanks,

Don Limuti

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