Re: sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Richard Steven Hack (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 02:17:38 MST

>Thus illustrating the primary divide between extropians and
>Rights are not social fictions, they are codified expressions of
>objective observation of natural, physical law. TO think otherwise is
>the height of irrationality.

I am by no means a "left transhuman" - whatever that is (a true Transhuman
is entirely above human politics except perhaps as an anarchist who
recognizes all human politics to be barnyard squabbles between primates).

A "right" is a redundant concept. Once you have identified a so-called
right (i.e., your "natural physical law"), what have you accomplished by
calling it a right? Have you secured it? Have you gotten anybody to agree
with it? Has the human Constitution of the United States protected your
"rights"? There are no rights. There is only "natural physical law" - to
the degree that our science has identified such. Most so-called "rights"
and their derivations are by no means physical law - they are social and
cultural conventions that vary from nation to nation, race to race, even
state to state or city to city. Ayn Rand (from whom I assume you derive
your philosophy) defined rights as "conditions of existence required by man
to survive as man". Again, this is a redundant and useless concept. In
Objectivist epistemology, one does not invent concepts without
purpose. The purpose of rights appears to be nothing but a fiction
intended to philosophically coerce others into accepting one's agenda which
cannot be supported by the realities of human nature and human society.

It is more profitable to deal with physical, social, and especially
economic realities without regard to vague and manipulatable
abstractions. And it is more rational.

Richard Steven Hack

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