Different Values (was The Transhumanist Racist)

Harvey Newstrom (newstrom@newstaffinc.com)
Sat, 12 Jun 1999 23:56:48 -0400

One of the biggest frustrations I have with this discussion list is the inability of people to understand the viewpoints of others. The very idea that the KKK would transform themselves into blacks if blacks were somehow proven to be a superior race is ludicrous. Even though racists claim to have scientific evidence for white superiority, they would never accept scientific evidence of black superiority. To speculate that they would clearly shows a lack of understanding of the mindset.

Most of the arguments on this list suffer from the same problem. People are constantly projecting their own ideas into the minds of others and then arguing straw-man points that were never actually expressed. People also assume that the other person must logically come to the same conclusion, or else they are intellectually dishonest. It doesn't occur to most people that the other side really believes what they say, and most importantly, that they have a different set of values or thought process. People really do differ on what they want out of life, what they believe to be "fair", what they believe to be "good", etc.

The same set of facts will lead different people to different value judgements. We can argue a scientific truth (like 2+2=4) until everyone agrees. We can never get agreement on value judgements. (Are guns good? Are copies really "me"? Do we want cameras watching us everywhere? Is so-and-so a good author? etc....)

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://newstrom@newstaffinc.com> <http://newstaffinc.com>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.