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Sentience

May 27, 2020 - Free Inquiry

Humanism Needs An Upgrade: Is Sentientism The Philosophy That Could Save The World?

Humanism Needs An Upgrade: Is Sentientism The Philosophy That Could Save The World?
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There is a little-known philosophy, well-founded in reality, that provides a sound basis for compassionate ethics and which will eventually become our predominant way of thinking.

That’s partly because adopting this philosophy will give us the best chance of addressing the world’s problems, from the climate change crisis to the impact of artificial general intelligence. The philosophy is sentientism. Like humanism, it commits to using evidence and reason and grants moral consideration to all humans. Sentientism then goes further. It grants degrees of moral consideration to all sentient beings—anything that can experience suffering or flourishing.

Let’s Take a Philosophical Journey

We should start by using evidence and reason as the basis of our beliefs, because reality is all there is. Fictional stories are real things too—as patterns of brain activity, states within computers, or as ink on a page—but the things those stories are about do not exist.

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