Re: Erik's Fallacy

Erik Moeller (
Sat, 25 Apr 1998 21:19:44 +0200

>>This is obvious. Most Scientologists would probably also be annoyed
>>when Scientology was called a cult by others.

> IAN: Ouch! What a low blow!

Not at all. I just wanted to show that the members of a cult often do not
like to be called members of a cult, and I needed to give an example we
agree on.

> IAN: Erik, what your saying is illogical by the
> very facts that you concede. Your trying to imply
> that ExI is a member of a subset of cults that even
> you admit does not exist. IF (a very BIG if) ExI does
> fall into the set of cults (and by your standards, so
> would any organization with a set of principles), it's
> then a member of a subset of cults that does NOT inter-
> sect with the subset of cults of which cults such as
> Scientology are a member. However, as your reply to
> Natasha proves, you are implying that ExI is a member
> of the subset of "bad cults," even as in your latter
> reply to me above, you admit it's NOT such a member!

You completely and probably deliberately misinterpreted my reply to Natasha.
Although I see fascist tendencies in some of the consequences of Extropian
ideas, especially the free market meme (a wrong subset of the individual
freedom meme, wrong because enterprises are no individuals), I do not think
that the ExI directly supports or conveys such tendencies.

I would not call the ExI a sect, but I would call Scientology a sect. I
would, however, call both cults. Because "cult" is a very broad word, many
groups fit under this description. Most, but not all of them are negative.
The ExI is, in my opinion, negative because it promotes ideas that are,
based on my knowledge, harmful to humanity. That's why I am an
Anti-Extropian. The ExI is, however, not negative because it robs its
members of their possessions, executes brainwashing or has a strong (if any)
hierarchy. AFAIK, none of these attributes apply to ExI.

> It seems to me, Erik, that your simply engaging in
> gratuitous cruelty against some very good people.
> You argue that ExI falls into the definitional set
> of "cult," then note that it's not your fault that
> "cult" has negative connotations, as if your just
> an innocent bystander in this, and yet then you do
> all that you can to rub that negative connotation
> in a deeply as you can (as illogical as I've just
> shown it to be), obviously, simply BECAUSE you
> know it's hurting some very decent people. Why?

Some very decent people? Define decent. I indeed said that it is not my
fault that "cult" has negative connotations. These connotations are, again,
brainwashing, loss of possessions, strong hierarchy and so on. That doesn't
make ExI positive, and I never said that I like the idea of Extropy. See my
reply to John Clark's "Words Hurt" for a summary of what I dislike about
ExI. Most of these attributes, however, do not make ExI a cult and one
attribute which I both totally reject and which is "cultish" is Max More's
policy not to allow criticism on this list. As I *am* still on this list,
and criticism has taken place, I am not sure what to think about it now. I
would need an "official" statement from Max on this.

To summarize: Extropy is a cult, but that's not the main reason why it is

I have no interest to hurt anybody. I don't think that I have hurt anybody.

Erik Moeller