Re: Where to look for the answers for ourselves

From: Michael LaTorra (
Date: Wed Apr 26 2000 - 20:05:52 MDT

I agree with John about this. Human beings have an enormous capacity for
self-deception, no matter what their stated beliefs about religion and
science. We tend to see what we want to see and believe what we want to
believe. Remember the reports from reputable scientists about "polywater"
back in the late '60s? (It turned out to be the result of contaminated lab
equipment.) Before that there were many reports by astronomers from the
early 1900s of the alleged planet Vulcan orbiting between Mercury and the
Sun. And so it goes....

Our capacity to delude ourselves is generally a subconscious response to our
desire for fame, or self-esteem, or simply to dampen the fear of our own

Extropians perhaps have a clearer appreciation of this than others, as we
prepare to "take arms against this sea of troubles and by opposing, end
them" -- not with suicide, as Hamlet contemplated with those words, but by
putting an end to death itself.

That being said, I must confess that we, too, can fool ourselves into
believing that uploading, or resuscitation from cryonic storage, or the
singularity, etc. will happen soon enough for us all. My own sense of the
situation is that we might be the parents, or grandparents, of the
generation that puts an end to death. In the meantime, we've got to do what
we can to help bring that about even if, like Moses, we never enter the
Promised Land.

(But there could still be hope! After all, Tipler could be right and we'll
all be resurrected as immortal emulations at the Omega Point. Or maybe
that's the biggest self-deception of all, given the number of Tipler's
testable hypotheses that have not proven true.)

Whether we make it or not, I believe that our memes, and the individuals who
carry them forward in time, will live and never die!

Regards to all,
Mike LaTorra

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 13:29:47 PDT
From: "john grigg" <>
Subject: Where to look for the answers for ourselves

Spike wrote:
>We only need to each look within ourselves to know the answers.

Is it that simple? I doubt that. I believe people(atheists included) can
be very good at unconscious self-deception even when they think they are
being objective.


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