RE: Things extropians agree on

From: Terry Donaghe (
Date: Fri Jan 26 2001 - 08:54:08 MST

Comments In Line.... (for whatever it's worth - 2 cents??)

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Charlie Stross
> Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 5:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: Things extropians agree on
> In a spirit of non-confrontational rationalism, I'd like to see if we
> can compose a list of ideas that we *ALL* agree on.
> If you disagree with any of these memes, could you wave a hand and
> explain why?
> 1. Forcing our fellow human beings to live their lives as we see fit
> is unethical. (Persuading them of the error of their ways so that
> they _choose_ to live their lives by our lights is another matter.)
> 2. Initiating violence against someone is wrong; self-defense
> is right.

This is the standard libertarian propaganda. While I agree with it in
principle, I strongly doubt that a truly libertarian or anarcho-capitalistic
"government" would be of any actual benefit for the majority of humanity. I
don't think that we as a species are "mature" enough to deal with the amount
of responsibility that libertarianism requires - yet.

> 3. The scientific method provides a better way of evaluating reality
> than any religious dogma.

I completely agree with this. We can probably remove the word religious
though. Any form of dogma, I think, is bad. As far as religion goes, when
I speak about Extropianism or Nanotech or the singularity with people who
don't know much at all about those things, it comes out like some sort of
religious rant. Is Extropianism a religion? Just without dogma? I dunno.

> 4. Progress (increases in human intelligence, longevity, wealth, and
> happiness) is possible.

I think we all see this every single day. Not only is progress possible,
I'd say that it is inevitable over the long run. Maybe that's not *as* easy
to agree on though.

> 5. Central control is usually less efficient than distributed control.

This is kind of vague. I sort of agree with it, but don't know if it holds
for all cases...

> 6. Empowering people to learn, work, and transcend their
> limits is a good
> thing.

As long as the act of Empowering is voluntary. And as long as the
"empowerment" comes with no strings attached. This is kind of sticky.

> -- Charlie


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