Chapter 3: The Great Debate
It started as a discussion among the inner circle of the biogenetics group - hints of apprehension at the enormity of the project and the consequences of their decisions. They wondered about the ramifications of those decisions being made and if they should be made at all. The debate spilled out onto the main theater of speculation, opening up questions for further discussion and analysis. Life was probably not something to be trifled with as it seemed to generate probabilities of its own. Intelligent life was even more fraught with possibilities that could have quite-unforeseen outcomes that were either enjoyable or devastating. As the creators of the physical universe knew, intelligence was not something to be taken lightly, primarily due to the unknown causalities of the actions that could be made by the entity itself.
Questions needed to be answered. How much intelligence should be provided? How long should it last? What depth should be given? And most important, what level of free will should be granted to the entity? The biological programming was not the issue; the degree of choice and free will engineered into the carbon-based being was. The creation of intelligence conjoined the chemical and biological genius of bio-engineering beyond the scope of their own ability to decide, even as a collective group. It was time for a discussion among all members; thus, the doors of the debate were flung open for all to share in the decision of biological creation’s future.
“My brothers, shouldn’t intelligence be left to itself to develop on its own? Did we not agree to leave the process of maturation to cause and effect? It would be of great concern if we were to provide a preprogrammed set of directives within the subconscious subroutines of our biological creations,” the Authorial, the second to be brought to life, stated.
“Yes, it may perhaps give the creation a head start and a guide to certain elements within life, but how can that be a cause for such concern?” the Primus, the first to be created, asked.
“It would seem we are guiding or manipulating the progress and process of the creation. Shouldn’t the creation be left to develop on its own? Are we to guide each and every step it takes throughout its existence? We need time to determine the best approach to the question at hand. The process of Chaos Coalescence is simpler and is not and cannot be tainted by our directives,” the Authorial replied.
“Yes, my brother, I agree with you that it is simpler. However, is it too simple? Should we not perhaps help or guide our creation to become like us in the sense of moral certitude and enjoyment of life itself? I say yes, we should provide for the most robust and best way for our creation to enjoy life and thrive within its environment,” the Primus stated. “The only way to do that is to give it a conscience, a preprogrammed set of chemical algorithms to guide it through life’s moral dilemmas. Life is based on relationships. It would be irresponsible if we were to omit the importance of that fact and not give help in the form of a conscience to assist in the development and maintenance of relationships.”
The debate started with the premise that perhaps intelligence should be left to grow within and expand as needed. The primary chemical bonds had been laid, and the synaptic processes were put in place, and chaos coalescence was allowed to bind the processes together. That was the foundation of many of the most critical minds involved, and that group called themselves the Random Intelligence Group (RI). However, a new idea emerged—the thought of providing the intelligence with all the chemical, biological, emotional and conscience structures, then allowing the consciousness of the entity to decide which direction to take as a result of its own free will. That became known as the Focused Intelligence Group (FI).
This created an uproar of concern, as it would seem that the creation of intelligence was deliberately manipulated and hence not allowed to grow outside of their influence. Also, the RI Group was extremely concerned over the implications of starting physical life out on perhaps the same level of intelligence as themselves. The FI Group argued for the same abilities to be given, because what they possessed provided for a more robust and developed hold on the enjoyment of life itself. Consequently, the debate raged on with hypothesis after hypothesis being presented and discarded without finality.
The great visionary and master worker of them all, the first to be brought to life, stood up, and all the other members went silent. It looked around and smiled with satisfaction.
“My brothers, we are at a crossroads of indecision. Perhaps the question is not whether conscience should or should not be applied, but for how long the life cycle of the biology should be programmed to terminate? We are not bound by any law or twist of conscience to end the life cycle of our creation. We are free to apply what is needed. I suggest we give humanity just enough time for us to determine if we are on the right path or not. Because of this approach, intelligent life will not dominate other forms of creation. I believe that to be a simple yet definitive solution to the problem. You, in the RI group, should be satisfied with this as it addresses your concerns and the base premise of your argument,” it said.
“Who shall determine the time allotment?” one engineer asked.
“It should be the Twelve Elders,” the Authorial answered.
“Yes, I concur. It should be the Twelve Elders and the Group of Seven,” the Primus answered.
So the decision was made, and the bioengineering process resumed on the creation of intelligence and its subsequent sister, free will.