RE: sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 17:52:05 MST

Mark Walker wrote:
> You have expressed an aversion to deontology before but I
> that is the most
> natural and common defence of rights. I argue for a
> consquentialist form of
> a (neo-) Aristotelian ethic of Perfectionism in "Absolute
> Perfectionism"
> . Perfectionism is more
> individualistic than say a utilitarian form of conquentialism
> in that the
> pursuit of perfection is something that the individual must
> actively pursue
> rather than passively receive. There is no end to what we
> might due for
> others in on the classic utilitarian model, for a
> perfectionist we can at
> best provide individuals the preconditions for the pursuit of
> their own
> perfection. However, I don't know how extropianism sits with
> perfectionism,
> e.g., perfectionism still has scope for other regarding
> virtues rather than
> the virtue of selfishness, I don't know how this sits with
> Extropianism.
> Perhaps such virtues are considered gratuitous since we can
> always count on
> the invisible hand to catch those who stumble.

To me, the pursuit of perfection would imply a process with a beginning & an
end for each individual. Extropianism seems to imply a process of unbounded
improvement, ie: a beginning but no end. This would seem to be a significant

Further, your Absolute Perfectionism seems to imply an absolute standard of
perfection. This is completely contrary to the "self transformation" ethic
in transhumanism, which would encourage diversity, not sameness.

Really, I find the perfectionist ideal to be overly negative. We would be
defined in terms of what we have failed to attain, rather than who we are.


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