Re: gender apartheid and transhumanists

Max More (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 09:46:56 -0800

At 11:22 AM 11/17/98 -0500, Phil Goetz wrote:
>The only way not to be a racist today is to say that race and genetics
>makes no difference in behavior or intelligence or strength.

If this were correct, then any informed person would have to be called a racist, since the evidence that genetics makes a difference is overwhelming. I think this shows that what you're saying is not correct.

>I am not saying that the term "racist" is being applied incorrectly.
>I think it is correct. Someone who believes there are or can be
>significant observable behavioral differences correlated with race
>is a racist. And anyone who considered themselves transhuman would
>necessarily believe that. Once you believe that, it would be inconsistent
>not to consider that there might be behavioral differences between other
>human races, and once you consider that, you are a racist at heart.

In some discussions, I've heard a distinction made between "racialist" and "racist". A racialist would be one who holds that differences in intelligence or other abilities correlates significantly with race (however races are defined in today's age of massive intermixing), but does not necessarily claim that this justifies different (negative) treatment. But the term "racist" clearly implies more than a factual observation; it implies a recommendation to treat some groups worse than others. In this sense, transhumanism is certainly not inherently racist, nor does it have any particular tendency to be racist. The many transhumanists I've know seem to be some of the least racist people (as well as finding variation in sexual preference to be a trivial matter).

It seems to me that transhumanists, looking ahead to massive self-redesign, will have little interest in an individuals racial background or sexual orientation. That doesn't mean a transhumanist must like all *cultures* which may be associated with particular races in particular societies.


Max More, Ph.D.
<> or <>
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute:,