#9 David Pearce - Technology Can Replace Suffering With Bliss

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Can we eliminate suffering?

David Pearce thinks so. He is a British philosopher who has played a key role in defining and promoting transhumanism – a movement that challenges humans to explore what it means to go beyond our biological evolved limitations and constraints.

He is most known for Hedonist Imperative, a manifesto he wrote in 1995 which outlines how modern technology can and should be used to eliminate all suffering in all sentient life, replacing it with bliss. David calls this the abolitionist project.
What we talk about

4:13​ – How do you define suffering?
7:03​ – What is hedonic zero?
8:21​ – What is negative utilitarianism and why do you promote it?
11:45​ – Is painless death a type of suffering?
13:16​ – Is suffering essential to create meaning for humans?
20:20​ – What are the steps you see for eliminating suffering? And can it start today?
29:07​ – After we reduce suffering, will our hedonic default reset and we’ll suffer anyway?
34:22​ – Why sensitivity between different hedonic states is important
36:31​ – Why did evolution design let suffering evolve?
39:40​ – Do depressed people have a better understanding of the world?
41:54​ – Delegating human suffering to machines
44:09​ – How do you characterise addiction? Is it good or bad?
49:21​ – Are short-term pleasures (like smoking) that turn into addiction worth it?
51:44​ – Are plants consciousness and if so, what is your take on veganism and vegetarianism?
55:36​ – Why would a human brain produce consciousness and a plant would not?
1:00:15​ – Have you noticed any progress since the time you published ‘The Hedonistic Imperative’?

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