Re: Wingdahl's question: (Was) italian interest

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 18:53:59 MDT writes:

> In a message dated 7/7/2000 1:31:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> >
> > The question is really about philosophical principles, can one advocate
> > transhumanism while sharing stasist views upon society?
> Absolutely. And people do.
> Such a person will not be in 100% accord with the Extropian principles that
> Max has set forth, but they can be in accord with their own. And this should
> not be a call to begin wars and name calling! We've witnessed the
> fruitlessness of that all too often.

Let's not hide behind diversity as an excuse for an 'anything goes'
approach to transhumanism. If we say that no matter how inconsistent,
how impractical and how abhorrent a view is it can still be
transhumanism if it accepts some parts of what we currently consider a
transhumanist agenda, then we will not have any use of our diversity
of view because there will be no view left.

"Sure, those transhumanists advocate state sponsored life extension
treatments but only for party members, while *those* transhumanists
believe in the imminent eschaton where the omega-angels will upload us
into the astral planes, and yes, that group of transhumanists think
that we should use genetic engineering to become neanderthals again
and return to nature. But *my* kind of transhumanists do not want

> Philosophical convictions about economics, spiritual and ethical
> concerns about computers/biotech/AI will often arrive at differing
> solutions for social concerns - in other words, all the complicated
> issues are not resolved. We must expect divergent experiential and
> political views. If they do not concur with YOUR particular brand of
> reasoning, the best you can do is try to show the offending person
> that you are correct. You cannot expect all transhumanists to view
> things in a way you find axiomatic.

The problem Waldemar tries to point out is that right now we cannot
even do that. Sure, we can have a debate about guns, taxes or the best
way of financing research - but that debate will not be based on
transhumanist principles. Instead it will almost by necessity be based
on other philosophical or political systems and we get just a rehash
of the same old debates we hear elsewhere. How often do we read
someone discussing how different economic policies fit the extropian
principles? Here we should let ourselves be led by reason and
transhumanist ideas rather than our previous political
convictions. But that means we need to develop our basic transhumanist
core philosophy further.

We need to relate transhumanism to the here and now. That will of
course get messy and I agree that we will likely not reach neat
consensus on everything. But we cannot say that all views are equally
good or equally transhumanist, just as we cannot say that
transhumanism should not deal with current or near-future politics -
that will only play into the hands of other, anti- or
non-transhumanist ideas.

> Diversity is to be expected.

Strength through diversity!

Unity through strength!

Unity - Strength - Mass!


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

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