Re: POL: Abortion-neutral Extropian Principles

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 19:07:32 -0600

Tim Hruby wrote:
> A question more closely related to Extropianism (at least the political
> threads thereof) is the view of the Principles on whether the state should
> be imposing a certain view of morality on individuals. But that question
> is broader than and different from the issue of the _morality_ of abortion.

Not at all! The point others have been trying to make is that outlawing abortion is legislating morality, irrespective of the *actual* morality, and thus against the Extropian Principles. My point is that there exists a plausible position stating that abortion is not "immoral", it is "violating the right to life of another sentient", and thus prohibited by the Extropian Principles.

Since no additional definition is provided to the fundamental questions of abortion by the Extropian axioms, and since the Extropians themselves are divided, it is erroneous to state that Extropians are for, or against, abortion - which is a statement I've seen, both on this list, and in articles about Extropians.

Is abortion controversial? Yes, but it's a controversy it well deserves! The stakes are either millions of innocent lives or the freedom of millions of innocent women. And, if the Extropian Principles had some bearing on it, we shouldn't hesitate to say so, just as we don't hesitate to make controversial statements about the utility of cryonics or intelligence enhancement. But they don't, and we shouldn't embroil Extropians qua Extropians in the conflict.

--          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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