Re: Nietzsche (Was: Quoting Nietzsche)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 12:03:36 MST

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> I guess the Nietzschean overman would be
> a loud Zen master, not so much interested in teaching or contemplation
> as revelling in his promethean hyperpraxy.

That's as good a guess as any, I suppose, though you may have invented a word
as troublesome as Nietzsche's overman when you propose "hyperpraxy" as an
attribute of zenjin.

> Some parts of Nietzsche is clearly not compatible with the transhumanist
> perspective: the irrationalism and the idea of eternal return.

I don't find Nietzsche particularly favorable to irrationalism, but even
rationalists must deal with it rather than deny irrationalism, because it's
part of life, and eternal return (or recurrence) is, I think, more
transhumanist/extropian than the alternative: final death.

> Similarly, the idea that everything happens again and again and
> that progress is either a myth or something transient that has to be
> followed by decline, runs counter to the essentially irreversible
> character of transhumanism.

On the contrary, if transhumanity is possible, then according to the principle
of eternal recurrence, it has already happened in some other time-space
continuum, and this supports rather than contradicts the real character of
transhumanism, which is to theorize that transhumans are a possibility, which
theory is not shared by non-transhumanists.

> We need reason, science, empiricism and the
> belief in that we can progress to be transhumanists.

Nietzsche would probably agree, except for the "belief" that we can progress
to be transhumanists, because we need to do much more than merely believe it,
and in fact we need to exchange beliefs for actual accomplishments.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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