Re: is information the bottom line?

Tim Bates (
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 19:00:25 +1100

J. Eric Mortensen said to everyone

>Hello everyone, this seems to be a good time to come out of my
>transhumanist closet:

Sounds more like coming out of the creationist closet to me.

>Will you not agree that some day we may discover that
>the universe was created by some entity and that we in some
>way might ask it why it did so?

nope. never. Unless you have evidence that time is something other than the motion of matter, you must accept that just as it cannot be destroyed, it cannot be created.

Accepting this sort of possibility (like accepting that ESP "might" underlie much of what happens around us) travels under the guise of openness and sophistication, as in

"oh haven't you read Popper, aren't aware of Kuhn's work ...we must not be dogmatic"

However, it requires that we not be objectivists. It requires that we be willing to believe nothing and/or everything, because anything "might" be true.

ZhuangZi: Look how happy those fish are! HuiZi: You're not a fish; how can you know they are happy? ZhuangZi: You're not me; how do you know I don't know?

Now, HuiZi cannot deny this. What is he to do?

He cannot claim access to any objective knowledge, and so, in guiding his life he must either become dice-man, acting as a degenerate whimsy, or else simply follow the majority, or Stalin, or whoever claims to be in possession of the zeitgeist. That is the consequence of accepting that there is only zeitgeist. That was pretty much Kuhn's position: sucessive theories fit more data but they nevertheless are in no sense superior. He stated plainly in SSR that Einstein's theory is not objectively superior to Newtons, which in turn is not objectively superior to Aristotle's. The political counterpoint is the argument that there is no such thing as progress.

It requires us to think that Einstein's superior fit to the world is just a bit of good luck really, and that adding accessory hypotheses could make Newton everybit as good-a-fit-to-the-world (it could) and every bit as good. this latter i, and Lakatos, (and presumably most Objectivists) dispute.

Everyone should read Lakatos. Go and buy a copy now: it is a perfect reduction of the insights of Popper and Kuhn and tells you how honest science is done.

It has the strength of being written, as Rand's works do, by someone who has direct experience of what abandoning objectivity causes (i.e., slavery, poverty, and death).

Religion (creation) is a philosophy of human subjugation to "truths" which are immune to test. Transhumanism is a philosophy of boundless growth, premised on our objective knowledge of a world which has a nature.

much love ;-),


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