Mainstreaming--wasRe: US bill to ban all forms of human cloning

From: John Marlow (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:21:23 MDT

On 28 Apr 2001, at 0:24, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 27, 2001 at 04:08:04PM -0400, Ben Goertzel wrote:
> >
> > It is indeed hard to grasp the mind-set of people who support this bill.
> >

#I'll give you a big part of it right here: They're opposed to the
artificial creation of life for the express purpose of profit or
experimentation/torture or spare parts. As am I--for which I've
recently been labeled a neoludd, moron, technophobe, etc. etc.
(really quite an entertaining accusation, but I digress...). Were I
these things, I'd support this bill, which I do not.

> > This sort of thing serves as a reminder that what we take as obvious, the
> > majority of people think is ~really far out there~.

#Glad to see someone realizes this.

> It is also a sign that we need to make more inroads in mainstream
> thinking. It is not enough for people to have heard of nanotechnology or
> even know what it is, they better be able to integrate it with an
> ethical discourse.

#Couldn't agree more--yet when morality/ethics issues are raised
here, they are ignored at best, dismissed or ridiculed at worst. 'Tis
troubling, to say the least. The term "techno-cheerleader" (coined
by..?) is not at all inappropriate.

#There is ***in general*** no sense of balance, of restraint, of
forethought, caution, or consideration of consequences. Pointing this
out draws ad hominem attacks--first refuge of those unable to support
their positions with reason.

#It would be very easy to do a dismissive writeup on the movement,
presenting the views of the most hotheaded and vocal individuals as
being typical and representative (taking great care to note their
affiliations), and print it somewhere prominent. I would not do such
a thing--both because it would (I hope) be inaccurate and also
because I agree with many of the concepts espoused by transhumanism--
but others may well.

#Transhumanists themselves do their cause far more damage than any
neoluddite opponent could hope to manage. This was the meaning of my
"not ready for prime time" comment. The general observations made
with that comment explain why. The Principles and the practice do not
coincide. As I said then, this is a pity.

> The way to fight this is to deal with the underlying memes that make
> people make this kind of silly decision. We need to show why our pet
> projects are not just beneficial but ethical, and why banning them would
> be both impractical and immoral.

#Excellent suggestion--and sites such as yours provide an excellent
resource for those interested in or new to TH.


> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
> GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

John Marlow

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