Re: SOC: Opposition to Transhumanism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 04:07:37 MST

"D.den Otter" <> writes:

> ----------
> > From: Anders Sandberg <>
> > You can be opposed against transhumanism and the things we hold dear
> > without being fanatic about them.
> ...but not without being stupid.

Not at all. I can imagine intelligent and well-educated non-stupid
people opposing transhumanism too, based on their values and knowledge
of how the world functions. They are in many ways more troublesome
than fanatics.

For example, imagine a sociologist who has studied the incidence of
burnout in our society who comes into contact with transhumanist
thinking. He will point out that the psychological effects of the
tremendous changes and speed-ups we are proposing will lead to burnout
and psychological distress on a massive scale, maybe so much that
society will desintegrate. The transhumanists will of course claim
that this will be fixed by technology , the adoption of transhumanist
thinking and self-help as well as reconfigurations of human
psychology. But the sociologist, drawing on his knowledge base in
social psychology and history, will regard this hypothesis as highly
unlikely to occur, in fact less likely than the hypothesis that this
is just transhumanists defending their own worldview (you can do a
completely correct Bayesian analysis of this situation and come to
this conclusion - given the priors of the sociologist). We of course
have slightly different information, and regard the first possibility
as more likely (even if we should always ask ourselves how much is due
to possibility two). So in the end he will disagree with us and if he
considers us dangerous, try to move against us.

In the above example both sides could try sharing their analysis and
facts, trying to make an analysis together both could agree on. But
even worse is if the basic values differ - a person valuing the
eternal and unchanging would be opposed to us in principle, and there
is no logical or emotional reason for him to change his values.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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