Re: Different Values (was The Transhumanist Racist)

Eric Ruud (
Sat, 12 Jun 1999 23:39:34 -0700

From: Harvey Newstrom <> To: Extropians List <> Sent: Saturday, June 12, 1999 8:56 PM
Subject: Different Values (was The Transhumanist Racist)

> 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
> constantly projecting their own ideas into the minds of others and then
> arguing straw-man points that were never actually expressed.

Amen to that, brother. It boggles the mind how much people just talk past each other. (and no, I'm not speaking from my own experiences, I'm speaking of observations on the group).

People also
> assume that the other person must logically come to the same conclusion,
> 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
> 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....)

Although I don't think it's wise to expect a consensus, I think that if people have a truly open mind we could be doing a lot better than we are. I think it's at least worth trying to explain to someone else where you're coming from. I guess if they can't listen to what you're saying, well, then we're all screwed :)