Re: What is rationality? (Was: Re: Public Relations (and the Extropian Elite))

Tony Benjamin Csoka (
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:18:25 -0700

den Otter wrote:

> A "rational" person/animal/being
> is *opportunistic*, and not bound by any rules that don't help to maximize
> his success.
I do not agrre.

> Of course, IRL such an entity would probably (and duely?) be
> called an "asshole" by most people.
I do agree.

> See, the very mild, sometimes even altruistic, "vibe" on the list is in no
> way what one (I) would call "rational" (unless faked, in which case it would
> be very rational indeed). It is seems to be in sharp contrast with the (otherwise)
> no-BS (classically rational) approach of extropianism. That's all. I'm not
> endorsing genocide or otherwise nasty behaviour, just a bit puzzled by this
> apparent contradiction.

The "vibe" seems pretty rational to me. One could propose that the
primary purpose of any living entity is to increase extropy. By killing
other conscious entities for material or other forms of gain, the net
"extropic content" of the universe is decreased. Personally, I think it
_is_ possible to make a tight link between personal ethics and
"rational" thought.


Tony B. Csoka