Re: RELIGION: The meaning of Life

Gregory Houston (
Fri, 14 Feb 1997 18:57:03 -0600

Reilly Jones wrote:

> Gregory has whined utopically about how bad it is to develop violent
> technology:

The above sounds more like a personal and verbally *violent* attack than
it does a rational argument. Replace the utopic thing with the extropian
concept of DYNAMIC OPTIMISM. No I do not believe we will always be
violent entities. The problem is once again in the lack of concern
people have for taking responsibility for their emotions. Most people
are unaware of the extent of their violent desires. Unaware of these
desires they are unable to *rationally* modify them. This issue has a
great deal less to do with morality than it does with psychology.
Morality is what the behaviorist sees on the surface, and from the
surface science attempts to treat the symptoms. We need to delve much
further into the psyche. Hitherto however science has completely lacked
the ability to work with such subjective [non-objective] matters. Thus
they are ignored entirely! Modern science attempts to rationalize the
subconscious away so that it does not have to deal with it.

> The act of turning towards extropy or turning towards entropy is a moral
> absolute.

A moral absolute? Ideally I'm sure, but how about in praxis. A person
can make a rational decision to keep a new years resolution, but if they
are unwilling to admit of their subconscious, and thus to create
techniques and technology for delving into it, that person may not be
able to keep that resolution do to the force of underlying,
unquestioned, subconscious emotions.

My interest in emotive responsibility and emotive concern in science is
not so that emotions take over, but just the very opposite. If we ignore
them then they control us without our being aware of it. Deny it and you
remain naive and determined.

> Those who have turned towards extropy, or the culture of life,
> must defend themselves from those who have turned towards entropy, or the
> culture of death.

No, by doing this you merely embrace the "culture of death" and become
one yourself. The extropian idea is ascension. Its about rising above
this primitive *rationality* of justifying violence and the appreciation
of violence and its tools.

> An entirely extropic vocation is to specialize in
> development of superior violent technology to prohibitively raise the cost
> of action to those who would destroy what one loves.

Circles and cylces. Repetition. Perpetuation of the same old thing.
"I've got bigger balls than you do." This need to show others that we
are stronger is caused by excess dopamine in the central nervous system.
It is primitive. Our governent sells arms to third world countries. We
then wait for them to pick them up and use them so that we can have an
excuse to dominate someone else, thus showing our strength, while
justifying our ludicrous "defense" budget. Intresting how its called a
defense budget, with the bias on defense rather than offense. I think
thats memetic propoganda myself.

> For a modern course in what prevents war, [SNIP]

Prevent is not the right word here. Postpone is better. Its still a
competition. Two entities struggling to create more powerful tools of
desctruction. One day, one of the entities might just develop its
offenseive technology faster than the other entity develops its
defensive technology. At this point the *stronger* offensive country has
control to either manipulate or destroy the other country.

Violence is perpetuated by an appreciation or desire for violence. You
cannot cease violence by being violent. You merely perpetuate the cycle.
How is that progressive? How is that rational? How is that extropian?

Look at our entertainment industry. It is fueled by our appreciation of
violence. It is fueled by our fear, hatred, and paranoia.

You have been arguing with me about how you are completely aware of all
your emotions and their underlying motivations. Well, perhaps you should
check where some of your violent urges come from. I believe the desire
to do violence is a projection upon others one's desire to have violence
done to him/herself. People have violent urges when they feel insecure.
That insecurity comes from within and without. It comes from within when
a person is unappreciative of themself, when they feel inadequate,
unable to consciously bare the feeling that they want to die, they will
often express this in violent thought, or the appreciation of violence
in entertainment, and when taken to the extreme they will commit actual
acts of violence. From without it comes when one is threatened by the
other, but if one breaks down emotively and thus rationally and chooses
to persist in playing the violent game with the other, then that fear
and paranoia will be cultivated. If we did not always react to insecure
feelings with immidiate violent feelings, then we might just be able to
use that same reactive mental energy to focus on creating *progressive*
non-violent alternatives.


Gregory Houston