Re: Erik's Fallacy

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 14:33:45 -0400

At 11:53 PM 4/25/98 +0200, Erik Moeller wrote:

>> IAN: So "some cults are negative" and you think
>> "extropian ideas are negative," therefore ExI
>> is a cult. Supported further by the fact that
>> ExI holds regular meetings, and therefore per-
>> forms "rituals." Why bother with such strained
>> argumentation to achieve an insult? Just argue
>> over the philosophical principles. The insult
>> thing is just an ad hominem variety of counter.
>You should separate the "cult" discussion from the "principles" discussion.
>As I've already written in a private mail to Anders, I am a very lingual
>thinker and prefer to use the correct words. And I still think that the word
>"cult" applies to the ExI. It doesn't have anything to do with whether the
>ExI is positive or negative, it just means using the right terms to describe

IAN: I addressed that before: it seems to me that
your implying that your defining of ExI as a "cult"
is simply an objective linguistic analysis, no harm
or insult intended, but then you attempt to imply
"Scientology" and "ExI" are same thing since you
have defined both as "cult," even as you admit that
the two are not the same thing. In short, why not
just say: "I hate ExI and I'm going to attempt to
fit it into any demeaning category that I can" ?

If it can be so fit, then it is properly fit, but
I think ExI fits into "cult" only after considerable
stretching, so much so that the term "cult" is nulled.

>> BTW, your comments on the "optimism" post were
>> very enlightening and wise. My revolutionary
>> style is exactly what I've felt is reckless.
>> But I have trouble breaking out of it. Full
>> frontal attacks on a cover-up may in fact
>> only make it dig its heels in deeper.??
>I have followed your analysis of the TWA-800 cover-up and forwarded it to my
>friends. It was certainly interesting, but on the other hand, you have to
>ask yourself what you can achieve with this kind of information? Of course,
>you have to understand power structures -- but although I have much
>information about the JFK "incident", I will not try to convince anybody
>that the CIA are a bunch of killers, liars and generally evil guys. How
>could that possibly help anyone?

IAN: If they are killers, why should they
not be defined as such? How is defining a
killer not as a killer going to help anyone?
I think such would only ensure future killing.

You may follow up by saying, "If ExI is a
cult, why should it not be defined as a
cult?" To which I would reply that the
application of that definition to ExI is
strained at best, and as such serves no
useful function except to the extent that
it facilitates the application of an insult.

Your objections over the principles may or
may not be valid, but it seems to me that
this foray into "cultism" is tangential.

VISIT Ian Williams Goddard ---->