System Identification And The Future Of Humanity
US Air Force Mathematician David Lee descibes the system identification problem below in The Cost Analyst's Companion.
"You're given an input F(t), and output g(t), predict the output h(t) of the system if given a new input."
This seemingly innoccous engineering problem metaphorically describes a lot of what has recently happened to the human condition. We have confused ourselves of what constitutes the creation of a human being , and therefore are no longer particularly certain if all of the outputs we could possibly classify as human beings are of equal value.
When we were still certain that we all became human beings the same way and that we all had certain rights and responsibilities that flowed from that state of being. As long as we kept that basic code straight, we were fine and could all just get along. Or as Thomas Jefferson put it -
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..." - Declaration of Independence.
This statement inhered a large number of assumptions that not everyone in the country, or in the rest of the world, willing swalloed whole. Every time we deviated from it, we wound up with nothing but trouble. The 3/5ths Compromise, the Pro-Choice Movement, even The NAZI's in Germany all found ways to skirt this basic premise. However, prior to the Euthanasia Movement, all of these deviations from the principle laid out by Mr. Jefferson, had one common denominator.
Each of the the three situations where innocent human beings were either enslaved or killed involved a philosophical subterfuge. This involved taking groups of people, namely Africans, Jews and unborn infants, and classifying them as something other than human.
Prior to the Euthanasia Movement, an individual, defined specifically as a human being, had engage in totally despicable bahavior , e.g. to murder others, before anyone in society sanctioned their killing as a just process. What is happening in the case of Terry Schiavo, and what happened in the cases of everyone Jack Kervorkian "helped", is a new level of moral depravity.
Now we no longer have the same respect for humanity. It's as if the process by which humans are created can produce a different output than the one identified by Thomas Jefferson. When it comes to basic humanity, we no longer feel confident that we have the system identification of what being human is and what being human entails completely figured out. This could kill every one of us one day, really!
Update I - The Jawa Report suggests that another Founding Father has been totally left out of the equation during the ongoing 'Euthanasia' of Teri Schiavo.
Update II - Michelle Malkin reports that Terri Schiavo's Brother-In-Law has been quoted as saying that Terri's dehydration is just a "natural part of the dying process."