Re: A Message to the Membership

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 19:53:20 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Robert Owen <> writes:
> > I understand "Transhumanism" to be a philosophy of life and neither a
> > social nor political ideology. It does not seem possible to me for us to
> > deduce or infer principles of government or public administration from
> > the axioms of our philosophy.
> A philosophy of life necessarily has political implications, even if
> it does not imply a system of government. For example, banning
> self-modification would be against the transhumanist values and a
> correct transhumanist response would be to work against such an
> attempted ban. Also, if there is a choice between different principles
> of government some may be good or bad as evaluated by the
> transhumanist values.

I suppose I would agree, Anders, that most philosophies of life have
social or cultural implications. What you describe is a situation in
which Extropians found themselves outlawed, or at least officially
prohibited from engaging in their practice. In the Western democracies
this would not be a political but a constitutional (i.e. legal) issue, and if
there was a remedy, it would be found in the courts, and not in social
or political action.

Further, it does not seem to me that the practice of Extropianism
depends on the vagaries of public opinion or sentiment, or on the
prevailing political climate. Of course one is free to imagine scenarios
in which this position is tested, but all of them seem unlikely to me.


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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