I love asking questions regarding sci-fi scenarios:
- If you could travel in time to any year before your birth, or any year after your death, where would you travel?
1a. Assuming you must remain in this very city, would you still choose the past/future?
1b. Assuming you can’t come back to the present time, would you still make the same choice?
1c. (assuming going to the past) are you afraid of what the future will bring?
1c. (assuming going to the future) do you think the world is becoming a better place?
- Say global warming wipes out most of humanity, we are left with 50 “breeding pairs”, the bare minimum viable population to restart humanity. Climate has stabilized. Some people argue that the planet is better off without us, others argue that we should go forth and multiply with our hard earned environmental lessons. In which camp are you?
2a. (assuming human lineage lives on) in order prevent inbreeding and genetic defects, the first few generations need to be ‘deliberately bred’. You may choose your romantic partner, but only in the happiest of coincidences will the couple both be genetically related to their son. All males must undergo vasectomy, and all fertilization will be done in vitro. Are you still willing to do this in order to save humanity?
2a. (assuming human lineage dies) a minority of the population goes rebel and decides to procreate. The genetic variability is not enough, and the human lineage will still fizzle out, but not without great deformities and suffering down the road. Do you think the rebels should be forced sterilized?
2b. (assuming human lineage lives on) the AI that matches genetic profiles offers two choices: retain phenotypical characteristics of differentiated populations (i.e. race), or simply ignore it. Ignoring it would result in homogenization of physical features. What do you vote?
2b. (assuming human lineage dies). AI discovers a simple procedure to stop aging. Do you take it?
- Far into the future we haven’t found signs of extraterrestial life (intelligent or not). Strangely enough, many planets seem to hold the pre-requisites for life, but there’s only water and rocks. We’ve ensured our survival through colonization. Would you think it’s our responsibility to “seed” life into these planets even if we don’t inhabit them?
3a. (assuming we seed life) Should we protect life from a force that would surely wipe out all life on that planet? (say, a huge asteroid that will surely collide if we don’t intervene).
3a. (assuming we don’t seed life) we eventually discover that life is a very fragile process, and these planets have had false starts where life died out because of random circumstances. Should humanity help a planet though its gestation of life? (say, adding an ozone layer so that UV doesn’t fry everything, but not interfere in the genetic process).