Volume 1, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2006

Macro-Bushido: A Geoethical Consciousness
for an Info-Cultural Age

Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D.

page 4 of 9

Geneticists refer to diversity as "variation," meaning random mutations. These are essential for two reasons. First, variation Rothblattensures that when the environment changes ; as it always does ; there is a chance that some members of a species will be different enough to adapt to the changes. Second, diversity ensures that there are always new ways of interacting with the environment, some of which may be more conducive to effective propagation. Similarly, diversity among people ensures that there is enough difference among humans to give us a good chance of happening upon a more effective way to propagate ourselves. For example, those humans diverse enough to move off the earth may be best able to continue the human species if a catastrophe affects life on earth. Or, humans who figure out how to copy their minds into computers may hit upon a fantastically more effective way to replicate the soul of our species. But neither space travel nor cyber-consciousness is possible without absolute Loyalty to Natural Selection generally and in particular, to its principle of diversity.

Natural Selection also strongly favors cooperation, or unity, its second principle and therefore the second focal-point for Macro-Bushido Loyalty. Cooperation enables single beings to transcend their individual limitations in grappling with the challenges of effective replication in an uncertain and often hostile environment. By working in unison, individual beings can accomplish much they can not do alone. Furthermore, each act of cooperation is itself a sharing ; and therefore a replication ; of molecules, behaviors or ideas.

The ubiquity of communications reflects the power of the unity principle. For example, bringing millions of computers together to solve big problems in cancer genetics (such as via spare capacity "screen-saver" programs) transcends what any one computer can do. Solving some of these problems (e.g., new viruses) could spell the difference between success and failure for much of the human race. Therefore another way that a Macro-Bushido samurai shows Loyalty to Natural Selection is by being loyal to its second lord, the principle of unity.

Finally, Natural Selection seeks out that which quests for immortality. This third principle is achieved via self-replication. Species that endeavor to endure, via self-replication or reproduction, have a good chance of prevailing, subject to their mastery of diversity and unity. However species that evidence lackluster interest in immortality will not be around long, no matter how diverse or united they otherwise are. Humans love immortality. Until recently, this love could be expressed only through passing on human DNA and culture to offspring, or via hopes for metaphysical immortality such as living in heaven. Now there are the early beginnings of more direct immortality technology such as cloning and mind-uploading into computers. The Macro-Bushido samurai will fight for these new technologies because this expresses Loyalty to Natural Selection and to its quest for immortality.

As noted above, there can be no Loyalty without Honor. Natural Selection cannot be truly served if it is served shamefully or with disregard for the Bushido principles of Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness and Veracity. Why should the inanimate process of Natural Selection care if we do the "right thing" (Rectitude, Courage), or show respect for others (Benevolence, Politeness, Veracity)? Would not a prolifically replicating species prevail even if it were heartless, dishonest and unthinking? We cannot know why Natural Selection cares, other than to say that is the way this universe is "wired" or "programmed." But we know that Natural Selection does care, and clearly rewards the Honor of its loyal subjects. We know this because of all of the ways human society could have ended up ; and virtually every kind of society has been tried ; the one that prevailed is one based upon Honor and mutual respect. Natural Selection has had thousands of years and plenty of cultural variants from which to choose other cultural universals. Instead, it is the culture that extrapolates mutual respect (Honor) to emerge as the victor.

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