Re: ExI = Truth First ?

Max More (
Sat, 16 May 1998 10:45:15 -0700

At 03:58 AM 5/16/98 -0700, yWax wrote:
>The Extropian Principles are big on "we believes" (i.e. BEST DO IT SO)
>but lack the "why we believe" that so many Extropians seem confused
>about. So why hasn't Extropianism got a core value, utilitarian or
>otherwise? Why exactly do Extropians seek BEST DO IT SO? Eh?

I know what you mean by the first part of the above, but I think the way
you put it could be misleading. The Principles are not big on "we believe",
except in the most general sense. The Extropian Principles -- by my
deliberate design -- do *not* specify particular beliefs. They only express
a few general attitudes and approaches and values that Extropians hold. It
is not intended as a system of beliefs. The idea is to present a coherent
grouping of attitudes and values without restricting the specific beliefs
of Extropians. Thus, the Principles do not say which methods Extropian
should use to extend life, they do not say that Extropians should sign up
for cryonics, they do not specify the details of a economic or political
system, they do not specify how an operating system should be designed for
maximum intelligence, etc.

The lack of "why we believe" is also deliberate. There will be a continuing
healthy disagreement about why each of us holds these values and attitudes.
I have no interest in pushing Extropians into a particular way or reason
for holding these values. Some of us see these values as utterly arbitrary
-- just ones we happen to prefer; others of us think that these values can
be objectively validated; others think values lie somewhere in between
these extremes. Some of us think that knowledge is based on certain,
axiomatic foundations, others take a pancritical rationalist approach.

This absence of specifying "why we believe" or the details of "what we
believe" is a feature, not a bug! I intended that from the start as a
preventive measure against dogmatism (something that can threaten any
philosophy of life). (That's also one reason why the dishonest use of
"cult" in regard to Extropian thinking pisses me off so much!)

Discussion of these specific questions among us is a good thing, but I want
to make sure that we understand that the Principles do not and should not
attempt to define these answers.



Max More, Ph.D.
Updated website (Jan 98):
President, Extropy Institute:,