Re: Declare war on Leon Kass, not each other

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Nov 24 2001 - 05:52:36 MST

On Sat, Nov 24, 2001 at 02:19:09AM -0500, J. Hughes wrote:
> I think transhumanist goals would be advanced better if the list paid more
> attention to the radical bioconservativism's progress via the Bush
> administration, for instance in the case of bioethicist in chief Leon
> Kass. - J. Hughes

Exactly. And Kass is also aware (see his last year piece against cloning
in The New Republic) that there exists an evolutionary avant garde that
is for such technologies - us - and he thinks they must be stopped. He
explicitely said that a posthuman future must be prevented. Nice to
know he has the president's ear, isn't it?

While Kass can be faily easily attacked through his relatively sloppy
statements and ethical reasoning, he has a great network. I would
consider him somewhat less dangerous than Rifkin and RAFI, but he still
represents a dangerous opponent.

What we need is not just to show how wrong his arguments are, we also
need to develop a transhumanist bioethical thought. We have discussed it
a bit here and there, but we need a lot of more development before it
can stand on its own. Unless we can show a better alternative to
bioconservative bioethics the debate will always move between the
bioconservatives and the more liberal bioethics, not anywhere near our
"bioradicalism". So even a compromise in bioethics will be on the
conservative side.

As an example for something we could try developing further is my
TransVision text on morphological freedom:
Another good text to start with is J. Huges "Embracing Change with All
Four Arms: A Post-Humanist Defense of Genetic Engineering" (which I
really like):

Any other good examples we could work with? The fact that we have
somewhat different political default assumptions doesn't mean we can't
see the unifying principles.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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