Re : Polemics for longevity

From: Joao Pedro de Magalhaes (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2000 - 09:11:55 MST


>Have fun! This might add some rigor to the discussion.

Thanks for your link but my problem is not just population increase and
environmental crisis. I think that the present human species' members are
evil, destructive, stupid and selfish creatures (and I'm not claiming myself
as an exception). However, I think that there has been a major evolution
from an intellectual and cultural point of view in the human masses of
civilized countries in the past centuries that presently continues and,
hopefully, will continue. And that is why I don't think it's good for the
species to freeze our society in the present time by ending aging tomorrow.
So, I believe that the best for the species as a whole would be to have germ
GE and other technological improvements to the human species before we
endure in eradicating aging -- of course that this goes against my personal
ambitions and that is why I would be delighted if a cure for aging was
discovered tomorrow.

Now, answering GBurch:

>Humans, their technology and their effect on their environment are "natural"
>because consciousness and its products developed as part of the spontaneous
>order of the terran biosphere. Thus the concept of a "natural" environment
>distinct from humanity (or posthumanity), per se, is untenable.

I have one word for you: demagogy. I believe it's because of writing things
like this that, as you wrote, 'there is apparently a common caricature of
extropians as "selfish, greedy despoilers of the environment"'.

Look, I'm not an environmentalist. My views are basically the same as the
ones Robert expressed in his response to me (although, and as I mentioned,
our "thresdhold" views might diverge). But I do think the extropian
philosophy is a anti-environmentalist. It's the old American view of
free-market and anarcho-capitalism -- bound to generate huge wealth but also
enormous social problems (as the US have) and ecological disruption (as the
US have and are causing on other countries such as Nigeria, Angola, the
Middle East, Indonesia, etc.).


Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
The University of Namur (FUNDP)
Unit of Cellular Biochemistry & Biology
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
B-5000 Namur BELGIUM

Fax: + 32 81 724135
Phone: + 32 81 724133
Reason's Triumph:

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