to me, there are two major aspects to religion -- the content and
one common, perhaps essential, feature of the content of all
religions is an absolute system of values. that is, the believers of the
religion accept certain values on faith alone. i do not feel that this
aspect of religion is amenable to something so decidedly rational as
on the other hand, i do not want to imply that no absolute value
exists (i do not know whether any does). the extropians, as a group, must
share certain values, and perhaps hold those as self-evident. rationalism
is almost certainly among these. perhaps it could serve as an absolute
meta-value for an extropian religion. however, so far i do not see any
difference between this "religion" and a scientific community.
i feel if there is anything from religion that would benefit the
extropian movement, it would be the formal aspect. another feature common
to all religions is the practice of ceremony.
i suspect that all human beings possess an inborn religious
instinct ... a need for purpose and faith ... for the "spiritual." this
aspect of religion is completely oriented to the subjective experience;
one can not say that any sentiment is untrue. perhaps this is what the
scientific community lacks (or rather, wants, but subconsciously and
therefore in-efficiently) and what the extropian movement can provide.
if there is anything shared as ubiquitously as rationalism amongst
extropians, it would be a forward-looking attitute, an anticipatory
excitement about the future. indeed, i daresay there is something
spiritual, some "faith" in this sentiment.
while "faith" may not sound very rational, it becomes so when we
consider ourselves as part of the whole rather than outside it. we are,
after all, still trapped in human brains. human brains need faith; in
fact, faith is probably one of the most powerful motivators (right after
now then, perhaps extropianism, as the step beyond science, should
provide some ceremony to reinforce its most valuable asset -- the
anticipation, however vague, that the future will be better, will be
_made_ better, than the present. in my opinion, this emphasis on the
formal element would maximize the benefits of religion while minimizing
its many detriments.
disciple of the god who does nothing,
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