I really tire of the call to arms and desire to kill all who would oppose
"us". That is not what I see as part of an extropian future. That is simply
dropping to the level of the idiots that would push intolerant, radical
If we have large-scale intolerance in the world accompanied by retreat to
old time values then we extropians lose out big-time. It could delay the
spike for decades. :-(
What causes it? This should be the first question we ask.
Some would point to Islam, but there are many enlightened moslems, so I
don't think that sticks. Some would say poverty, and while I think that is
part of it, I don't think that is the whole story. The idiots who murder
doctors that perform abortions are not some poverty-stricken
third-worlders. However I think poverty does play a large part. I have an
extremist christian friend (well, kinda friend until she started seeing me
more as the devil's agent). She comes from a rather poor family where the
father regularly got drunk and beat the crap out of the mother and kids. I
think it was her harsh upbringing that instilled her fervent belief in what
amounts to a cruel god. And it is not just religion either. An atheist who
grows up under the stick rather than the carrot will likely hold lifelong
pessimistic and intolerant views of the human race too.
I think this is the crux of the matter.
How in heaven's name do we reverse this? That should be the second question.
Harsh conditions are very hard to undo. One of our immediate aims should be
to do what we can to spread wealth, well-being, and tolerance. I don't just
mean by giving all your money away -- that would do little good for anybody
at all. I mean use your influence where you can to help raise living
conditions for those around you. If you operate a factory then try to
ensure the workers don't undergo hardship. If you are a distributor then
try to ensure those things help people rather than poison or exploit them.
If you are a teacher, try to inspire people to learn and to help others. If
you have political influence then try to get leaders to be more tolerant
The main target should be the next generation. While some good can be done
for the current generations, and that will pass on to the next generation,
sadly I think adults who have already succumbed to extremist beliefs are
largely already lost. The best that can be done is lessen the pressure they
place upon their children by improving their living conditions and wealth.
That way the next generation have a chance of seeing that there is
something more to life.
To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Virtual Reality Association http://www.vr.org.au
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:13 MDT