On 21 Feb 2001, at 13:54, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> You seem to assume that nearly all Islamic
> countries are run by religious leaders rather than politicians; this
> is not true.
**Not at all--but religion is a far more powerful force in all of
these nations than it is here, and Islamic leaders can and have been
toppled for religious reasons. There are lines they will not cross
(or will die or lose power upon crossing). Egypt? Look what happened
to Sadat for valuing international relations over religious
> See the Islamabad Declaration on Science and Technology:
> While there is definitely inertia in adopting new technology in many
> Islamic countries, I doubt it is because they are run by "rabid
> antitech nutballs" - that is not a description that would fit the
> Saudi family.
**Certainly not. But not all Islamic nations have such resources which
are desired by the industrialized world.
There are serious problems with civil liberties that
> are in my opinion the strongest reasons for technological inertia and
> underdevelopment, but they are not primarily of a religious nature.
**An awful lot of those civil liberties problems--particularly as
regards women--are, I would say, entirely of a religious nature.
You've got dudes patrolling the streets to make certain that women
are not dressed improperly, in some of these nations.
> Given the other stuff you wrote, I get the feeling you are rather
> convinced there is no intelligent life outside the Western cultural
> sphere? :-)
**Naaah. But the neares IL outside of it might be in the neighborhood
of Alpha Centauri.
**Hey, JOKE, okay?
**Our particular brand of intelligence happens to be more geared
toward technological innovation and advancement--which happens to
mean we can slaughter anyone else in a fight--which, rightly or
wrongly (and combined with a few strong cultural preferences, like
capitalism)--means we're dominant. Doesn't mean others don't have
things and systems of thought which are of great value and which
would never have arisen in Western culture.
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