Re: Tough Questions

Michael S. Lorrey (
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 01:08:40 -0400 wrote:
> Patrick Wilken, <>, writes:
> > Many people on this list rightly fear and loath the tryanny of the majority
> > over that of the minority. One aspect of this is the tryanny of government
> > over peoples lives. The counter-problem has not had as much air time
> > (perhaps because the rights of an individual are seen - rightly in my
> > opinion - as so important).
> >
> > The tryanny of the minority over the majority is not as easy to deal with.
> > Do we allow everyone the right to have a pound of plutonium each and ready
> > instructions on how to build a bomb? Do we - as individuals (let's not get
> > into Statist distractions) - have an ethical right to stop this? If yes,
> > then what about nanotech, high powered AI all of which seem to pose even
> > greater risks. Do
> One possible position is to say that people can do anything at all as
> long as they don't actually hurt other people. They are responsible
> for exercising caution with whatever dangerous materials they are using.
> This solution is attractive because you don't have to go onto other
> people's property to inspect whether they have anything which might
> be dangerous, and if so, whether they are using it safely. It allows
> the maximal degree of local control over resources. Any approach which
> requires inspections from outside is going to be costly and inefficient,
> and will lead to "gaming" in which people try to hide their illegal
> activies, leading to more wasted effort.

To live in a free society, you must trust first in yourself to act responsibly, and if you beleive that people are more or less equal, you should be prepared to trust your fellow man an equal amount. Do you trust yourself with an atomic warhead? Would you hold a nation hostage to get what you want? If you trust yourself to not abuse such power you must trust your fellow man to not abuse such power.

Goverment becomes ovebearing over time because those on the left do not believe in their hearts in this principle, which is the heart of democratic society. Instead their first principle is "people are no damn good". This possibly might be because they actually don't trust themselves to begin with, or else they just see themselves as superior to everyone else. "I trust myself with a gun, but those damn black people in the big city are as bad as everyone says," is the type of attitude you get from this sort of people.

Then you have the small minded types, you know they types that say things like:

"Why would anyone ever need more than 640K of RAM?" "Why would anyone want to eat the apple? Living here in eden is much more enjoyable."
"Why would any normal person ever need a gun unless they intended to commit a crime?"
"If you are not a member of the Nazi Party, or of the Waffen SS or the RichsWehr or the Wehrmacht, then you are not a patriotic German, so you are a traitor, so you have no need of a gun." A city person thinks "Why would a normal person ever need dynamite unless they wanted to kill people with a bomb?" Totally ignoring or ignorant of the fact that the largest consumer of dynamite in the US is the American farmer....clearing stumps.
How about: Why would any person want to clone themselves unless they were racists who wanted to breed a master race and take over the world? or: Why would anyone want to do genetic engineering on humans unless they wanted to wipe out the human race with biological weapons? or: Why would anyone want to upload their minds and become a super-intelligence unless they wanted to enslave or wipe out humanity?

Such doubts of other human beings says more about YOUR state of mind and what YOU would do with such power, not about other people. You expect the worst of other people because you expect such behaviro from yourself, or you think you are so much better than anyone else. Here's a tip: grow up.

Mike Lorrey