Re: Extropianism & Theology

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 20:47:52 -0600

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> What systems in our brains produce an urge to
> worship, and why? I can't see any obvious evolutionary benefit from
> worshipping.

Atheists get lynched. Cult leaders rake in the cash. End of story.

That got started when some ur-theology (argued on grounds of strict what-passed-for-rationality) became a political issue. You don't need faith for that to happen (it was a long time before Occam's Razor), you just need political instincts.

> As I see it, we need to find ways of making extropianism or
> transhumanism as emotionally fulfilling as it is intellectually
> fulfilling. I think it can be done, but it is an unusual (i.e. new)
> use for psychology and critical thinking to come up with it.

I don't think you can do that without losing the truth. A meme optimized for rationality cannot compete on grounds of emotional fulfillment. Besides, believing something because it's warm n' fuzzy is itself irrational.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.