Re: sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Damien R. Sullivan (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 22:30:50 MST

On Thu, Feb 21, 2002 at 11:01:07AM -0500, Mike Lorrey wrote:

> Thus illustrating the primary divide between extropians and
> left-transhumans.
> Rights are not social fictions, they are codified expressions of
> objective observation of natural, physical law. TO think otherwise is
> the height of irrationality.

"Codified physical law"? I'd like to see some support for that.

It was an extropian on this list -- Dave Krieger? dv/dt? -- who pushed
me from believing in "natural rights" (with severe qualms, since I
couldn't imagine how to possibly get someone like Stalin or Hitler to
take them seriously) to viewing rights as a social contract, which
amounts to a social fiction.

The social fictions have consequences, mind you; it's not as if ethics
can be chosen willy-nilly. But they're hardly determined, or guaranteed
to be pleasant in all circumstances, and they're not necessarily
self-enforcing in a human lifespan.

-xx- Damien X-)

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