Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 07:25:06 MDT

On Thu, Jul 19, 2001 at 07:56:51AM -0700, Technotranscendence wrote:
> On Wednesday, July 18, 2001 5:19 AM Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > > I feel the need to repeat that I am not against capitalism -- I think it
> is
> > > very cool. I just don't think it is the answer to everything. And
> > > capitalism as religion scares the willies out of me, just as all
> religions do.
> >
> > Well, money is a measure of value, and isn't value exactly what all
> > religions strive to achieve? :-)
> I think this is confusing the issue.

I know, I was joking :-)

> I actually think "religion" in this debate is being used to smear anyone who
> argues in favor of a free market.

Yes, it is often the same kind of reasoning as calling extropianism a cult.
If something is called a religion, then it is often implied to lack
rational basis and its adherents will stick to their views regardless of
their actual truth.

> Now, I've actually presented arguments
> and evidence of why a free market works in various cases Mariam English and
> others have given us as examples of free market failure. Instead of
> actually answering me on this, Mariam has just piled up more examples. In
> other words, she can't reply to my specific arguments, so she moves on to
> other ones.
> To me this sounds a lot like when I debate with Creationists. They will
> tell me evolution is disproven by some case A. When I show them that they
> are wrong about A, they ignore this and bring up case B. When I show them
> that they are wrong about B, they ignore this and bring up case C. And so
> on. I think you get where I'm going.

Yes, it is an extremely common tactic among people who argue for a certain
belief, for which they have acquired a set of standard arguments but no
deeper underlying theory. Of course, when debating an opponent with the
same lack of theory it is just a question about having sharper and more
compelling examples and claims. But we are hopefully trying to go beyond

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:49 MDT