Re: Are guns extropian?

John Heritage (
Thu, 09 Jul 1998 19:34:37 -0400

At 06:45 PM 7/9/98 -0400, you wrote:
>I didn't want to get into the gun debate, but here goes...
>I don't want to say guns are bad, or argue about guns per se. I agree
>that it is extropian to be self-reliant and to protect oneself. And I
>certainly can see why many people would turn to guns for that purpose.
>In that case, guns *might* be a useful tool. But hammers, pencils, and
>shoes are also useful... But are they extropian?

Anything that serves us as a tool I would assume, would be extropian... Weapons can be used for useful purposes... This depends on whether or not you believe the ends justify the means --> I judge someone not on WHAT they did, but WHY they did it.. If you killed somebody.. that's fine.. as long as there is a really GOOD reason behind it, and it better benefits everyone overall.. :-)

>I don't think of gunpowder, explosives, and projectiles. I don't think
>of killing people. As I plan my extended life, I like to list all the
>things that I want to make occur in the future. Blowing someone's
>brains out is not one of them. I have no desire to pack a weapon and
>kill people who get in my way. If my plans would run into the point
>that I think I will have to become a killer, I think I would try to
>reshape my plans. If my plans get to the point, that I think that there
>is no way to avoid an unpleasant situation and that I am stuck with the
>situation that the universe has handed me, I think I would try to change
>the universe.

There are definitely "commonly accepted morals" involved here - I mean, to kill someone is to infringe on someone's right to live their life as they see it... for that fact alone, it shouldn't be done.. but if someone's life were to possibly cease all of humanity, then maybe you might be more open to killing them yourself? (aka hitler, stalin)

>When somebody comes into my office and lab to see the neat stuff that I
>want to demonstrate for the future. I want to show them my computers
>and state that those who can keep up with the technology will rule the
>future. I don't want to unlock my gun cabinet and explain that those
>who are better armed will rule the future.

I think people are generally good, and technology WILL rule the future over direct weapons.. but let us not forget technologically advanced weapons.. :-( they require technologically advanced countermeasures. The problem is, some people are more self-centered than others.. and to make matters worse, there are people who truly cannot understand and comprehend reality... people with 'mental problems' for whatever chemical/emotional reasons.. we cannot just ignore or banish these type of people, even the "good people" need to concentrate on weapons and weapons-countermeasures to keep ahead of the people who truly are out to just harm....

>I am so sick of hearing Heinlein's quote that "an armed society is a
>polite society." Frankly, I don't want to live in a society where I am
>afraid to call someone an asshole because they might blow me away. If
>politeness is based on fear of retribution, that's coersion. If I am
>that afraid to be rude to someone, why would I be any less afraid to
>speak out against someone, or to scientifically refute someone's ideas
>when they are wrong. I want future conversations based on rational
>debate, and not on retaliatory advantage. If I wanted that, I would
>just start e-mail-bombing anyone here who disagreed with me. In a war
>of network security, I think I would win. But that's not what I want.
>If I use a weapon to make someone act polite toward me, no respect has
>been gained.

This all has to do with maturity.

If someone points a gun at your head? What do you respect - the person holding the gun, or the gun itself?.

Most likely the gun itself :-).. so you're right, no respect has been gained...

(Yes I'm new to this list, so cut me some slack if I'm offbalance :-)

[The Human Mind Is Capable Of Solving The Problem Of The Human Mind]