Re: Transhumanist Declaration (Now New And Improved!)

den Otter (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 16:30:13 +0200

> From: Technotranscendence <>

> At 11:06 AM 4/11/98 -0000, Sean Kenny <> wrote:
> >Michael Lorrey wrote
> >> a Capitalist does not beleive in the use of government to enforce one's
> >> own advantage,
> >
> >On the contrary, a capitalist will use anything, even government, even
> >murder to enforce his/her own advantage
> Do you or does anyone assume, if they agree with this, that a non-
> capitalist will do otherwise? The record of many variants of non-
> capitalist -- communist, fascist, welfare statist -- seems to show a
> lack of concern for the means, though not on a retail but on a
> wholesale level.

What it all boils down to is that any rational person (including transhumanists
who after all emphasize rationality quite heavily) will use any means that
are available to him to reach his goals. Sometimes his actions will benefit
others, sometimes they will be neutral, and sometimes people will get hurt.
A rational person will recognize that most ethics and morals are nothing
but artificial (extra) burdens on the way to ascension. Life is difficult enough
as it is. Castigating yourself with piontless self-imposed rules and
regulations is pure S&M.

Knowing this is being on the right path to enlightenment.

Ah, you might say, that would mean folks like Hitler, Stalin, the IRA and
any damn street robber are enlightened. Not so. The other part of enlighten-
ment is seeking technotranscendence (immortality, increased intelligence,
physical strenght etc. through rational means like technology). To achieve
this one needs a lot of foresight, which includes keeping a relatively low profile
and (thus) minimizing the number of (potentially) dangerous enemies. Also,
being nice can pay off in several ways, ranging from simply "a good feeling" to
substantial material gain.

So there's a rational basis for being generally nice. But, unlike many less
user friendly philosophies Enlightened Rationalism (TM)* does not forbid the
use of force, including the use of force "just for fun". It just says "keep an
eye on the consequences", which is, wel...rational. So if you feel like it, and
think that you can get away with all means go ahead!

All this may sound ok for individual use, but would this work for society as a
whole? Yes. Most people are not "evil" by nature. Just a bit opportunistic,
which is only rational. A society based on Enlightened Rationalism (TM)
would rid itself of the true assholes quite quickly and then become stable
and pleasant to live in, free of such nonsense as the war on drugs and
the persecution of victimless crime in general. After all, most problems
are caused by ridiculous, sanctimonious rules and standards, and people
not being able to live up to them an getting frustrated because of it.
Setting the morals too high only breeds corruption, lies and blackmail,
and sooner or later those who helped to perpetuate the system will be
eaten by it themselves.

Of course "society" isn't going to adopt this kind of rational thinking anytime
soon, which is too bad for them but doesn't matter otherwise since E.R. is
highly suited to be practiced on an individual basis in a "hostile" environment.

Well, enough wisdom for one day...

(*) To recap: Enlightened Rationlism (TM) is a branch on the transhumanistic
tree. It supports all basic tenets of regular transhumanism/extropianism except
those that unreasonably limit the freedom of the (rational) individual. For example,
E.R. is neutral on the issues of increasing diversity and being "life promoting".
These are matters of individual choice and depend on the situation. E.R. supports
no existing political party or movement, and is not compatible with any [other]
political or religious philosophies. Enlightened Rationalists seek to become
Powers, but also try to make the most of (have fun) all the intermediate phases.

Btw, suggestions for a better sounding name are welcome; "Enlightened
Rationalism" is too long and sounds too pompous-assed.