Can you imagine a perfect world, where there is no war, no disease, no violence, no poverty, no death, and only happiness? I can’t, but maybe you can, if you eliminate the humans from this image and replace them all by perfect working automata. I, however, cannot imagine what a perfect automaton would look like, how it would act and work in a perfect automata society because I think these automata, although running perfectly smoothly, will miss
something only humans have: they strive to be even more perfect. In this post, I will try to elaborate on why I think humans should not be replaced by “perfect” automata.
What is perfection? Often, when we talk about perfection we mean that everything is working as it should and there are no problems. In this case, we usually talk about machines and artifacts. But when we think about the perfect human or the perfect life, perfection seems to be more than just a human or a life without problems. Perfection, in this sense, is more like an ultimate and utopic goal to strive for. Ultimate, because it is the highest level that can be reached; it is the best. Utopic, because it can be argued that there is no perfection, you can always do better.
Exactly this difference between perfection for machines and perfection for humans is why we should cherish humanity: perfect working automata will do exactly what they have to do, they follow protocol, never questioning if there is a better way. Human beings ask questions, we think and we act and sometimes we act without thinking. We are imperfect, but we strive to be better, we have goals and dreams. Humans are living; we have something to live for. We want to achieve something before we will be gone forever.
But what about war, poverty, and disease, don’t we want to ban this from the world? I agree that these things are an ugly part of humanity, but I also think these bad things are part of our humanity. They are the reason there can also be good. In my opinion, death is needed to be able to live. That is why I think that replacing humans with automata isn’t a good solution to eliminate the bad things from the world. Yes, in this perfect machine world, there will be no war, no disease, no poverty, and no sadness, but will there be peace, health, richness, and happiness? I don’t think so. I think there will be numbness and emptiness. In my opinion, humanity is something to fight for, because humans can give meaning and value to their life and their world which automata never can.