Man is the measure of all things, said Protagoras (c. 481 BC–c. 420 BC). Or, is it? Is “I” the central self that decides how all things are to be measured and what they are to be compared to for their measurement? Is the loved other-person to be the source of justification for our every action and thus the most important measure of our reality? Some would say it is the task that needs doing at the moment that determines how we structure our lives and that it’s that decision in the present moment that is the only thing that matters. What we currently perceive in the eternal now is the source of all value and therefore the true measure of all things. Viktor Frankl asserts that it is our finished reality of deeds that is the only true value because the future is speculation and the core value of the past is expressed-love. Albert Schweitzer claimed that life itself was the true measure, and he appeared to mean human life is the ideal.
I have thought of maximizing the manifestation of intelligence as the higher value especially as applied to the idea of understanding and utilizing the opportunities offered by the Universe. But when I follow that idea very far it leads to accepting computer intelligence as a possible and even probable method for bringing the idea of understanding to a higher level than is possible for organic life as we know it. That is because we humans, and our probable successors, must individually learn our wisdom and ability to cope with reality from scratch, but linked computers can learn instantly, as needed, from the relevant parts of their universal collective. From the long-term perspective, and a hundred years may be sufficient perspective, the intelligent computer may look back on humans as the transitional species into their superior ability to control reality.
If that ultimate-being comes into being, all of those earlier values of measurement of worth that I suggested above will fall away and be replaced by this computer-generated set of measurements and values. What might those values be? If it is some form of Darwinian survival, what might that super-intelligence choose for its measure?
Might the super-being ask, “How is human worth to be measured?” and choose that as its guiding principle?