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What would the implications be if humans embraced the notion of existential passage?
05-30-2009, 10:07 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2012 07:43 AM by essay author ws.)
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Dragons on the map, men in the crow's nest
(05-30-2009 07:41 PM)Avalon Wrote:  What if the notion of existential passage came to be a common belief...? The implications... could be both positive and negative...

Thank you, Avalon. Your list of possible positive and negative implications is food for thought. Hard food for hard thought, surely.

Of course this is all rather new, which is why it's hard. The argument for existential passage is a new perspective: a new crow's nest vantage above our metaphysical sea, as it were. I think it will take some time to survey the sea from this new vantage; some time to evaluate implications before we can mark down any agreed interpretation. At present the map of implications is still lightly penciled, with more unknown dragons than I'd like.

In Avalon's list of potentially positive implications, there are some which derive from the essay text. For readers who may be unfamiliar with the chapter in question: Chapter 18 - Potential Benefits presents interpretations or applications of existential passage which I felt sufficiently straightforward as to seem plausible. Briefly listed, I argued for the following potential benefits:
  1. one answer to the reciprocating ethicist, who asks, "Why should I do anything for posterity?"
  2. a clear meaning for the previously nebulous phrase, "common destiny"
  3. establishment of CNS as common criterion, both for existential passage and also for Singer's natural rights / ethical treatment
  4. a motive of self-interest, to stimulate Taylor's "moral concern" for other species

Even those four straightforward benefits are not entirely certain. Have I penciled coastline where in truth there is only cloudbank, or leviathan? I'd be grateful if forum participants were to take turns at the spyglass, reporting frankly what they see.

All the best,
Wayne Stewart
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Dragons on the map, men in the crow's nest - essay author ws - 05-30-2009 10:07 PM

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