Re: Gardening is Extropian (was) Are you an extropian? Re: Voluntary simpl...

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Thu Jun 08 2000 - 23:38:13 MDT

Well of course I have to defer to Max if he deigns to jump into this morass,
but my view:

Everyone has their own view of what it means to be an Extropian. The
obvious problem is that the line has to be drawn somewhere. If you have
mormons, communists, etc. suddenly saying they believe they are Extropians,
where are we headed then? I think the principles are there to provide some
basic level, or backbone, of structure to draw that needed line. And if
you fall to the other side of the line, then I don't think you can
reasonably argue that you are an Extropian. There is nothing wrong
with that, but I think people should go make their own sets of basic
principles that they can live with; call it Queenetropy or Crocktropy
or whatever, but identify yourself with some kind of word with some
REAL MEANING behind it. If you call yourself a member of a philosophy
that has a specific list of principles, and yet you do not agree with
them all, then as you say it is a simple tautology that you are
not actually a member of that philosophy, and continuing to use the
term to describe yourself is either self-deceptive or insulting to

Is it any wonder that with so many differing views of what Extropianism
is, that we have so much ongoing noise/conflict on the list along with
little actual progress?

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > Why will you not concede the point: you may consider yourself an Extropian
> > if you agree with the principles (and in my opinion follow them). You are
> > not an Extropian if you cannot do that.
> That's a silly tautology: "I define X as people who believe Y, so
> people who don't believe Y are not X". So what? The opposition
> isn't arguing that, though they might think they are. What they're
> really arguing is one of (a) The use of words to identify things
> should be less rigorous than set theory in some contexts; (b) the
> set of people who believe Y really /ought/ to believe Y', so the word
> X should refer to Y'-believers as well; (c) while belief in Y is
> common among those calling themselves X, it's really a consequence
> of those people having condition Z (which may or may not include
> beliefs), so we ought to use X to refer to Z-people, most of whom
> also happen to believe in Y, but not necessarily; (d) Y itself is
> so imprecisely defined that some people we don't think are X might
> actually be X after all, because their vision of Y is clearer.
> All of those are prefectly rational reasons for people to call
> themselves "Extropian" when they espouse beliefs that are apparently
> contrary to the principles. Those people really ought to more
> clearly state which of the above (or some other one I might have
> missed) is the case, and argue for it more clearly, but we can't
> dismiss them with tautologies and bluster over definitions.

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