Re: TERRORISM: Is genocide the logical solution?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 17:54:04 MDT

When we start counting lives as if they are just counters in
some game and nothing else we welcome and create a Holocaust
scenario where all of those opposed to our great plan for the
good of all are seen as expendable and the sooner and more
efficiently expended, the better. This is utterly morally wrong
and cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, lead to a better
world for the survivors.

The 50,000,000 / year are people dying already of causes mostly
unrelated to anything the Taliban or other groups are doing.
Wiping out such groups (if you could) would at most have
marginal effect on speeding up technological progress to
eliminate those 50 megadeaths that are the current annuals
status quo. But it would have huge effects on the opinion and
conscience of all involved and the rest of
world. Such talk, even as talk, is incredibly corrosive and

If you tried to take out all un- or anti- extropic forces you
would have very little of the world population left and many of
your own would be out to wipe you off the face of the planet.
Don't go there.

Besides, it is not Afghanistan that is the problem. The
approximately 100,000 trained guerilla Islamic fundamentalists
are spread across at least 23 countries. There is no way to get
them all within reason.

What you are proposing is far far more mad, pointless, inhumane
and utterly unproductive than any funametalist terrorist
rhetoric I've heard.

- samantha

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> I know that by raising this issue, I am going to take a large
> amount of flak. But that is the purpose of the Extropian
> list -- to engage in rational discussion of ideas -- even
> if those ideas may seem repulsive at first.
> Those of us who believe in the extropian/transhumanist perspectives
> expect that the world is likely to undergo a significant adjustment
> of its perspective over the next 10-30 years. These will include
> such developments as artificial intelligence, molecular nanotechnology,
> the elimination of aging and death and the feasibility of uploading
> our minds into much more robust hardware.
> We also know, from calculations that I and Eliezer (independently)
> have done, that the annual cost between where we are now and the
> full manifestation of what we expect is feasible is of the order
> of 50 million lives per year. That is approximately 10,000 times
> the number of lives lost in the WTC attacks.
> According to the CIA world fact book, the population of Afganistan
> is ~25 million people. In contrast the population of the U.S.
> is 280+ million people and the world is 6+ billion. It is highly
> unlikely that the population of Afganistan will make a significant
> contribution to the development of the advanced technological era
> we expect. In fact their ongoing existence seems likely to be
> directed towards negatively impacting that development. To the
> extent that the activities of individuals in Afganistan, or the
> support of such individuals by the leaders or population at large
> delay the development of the era we anticipate, we can assign
> a cost to it.
> >From my perspective the analysis is relatively simple. If the
> population of Afganistan, or the people supported by them
> delay the onset of an era of advanced technological capabilities
> by 6 months or more, the value of their lives is negative.
> >From a rational position, *if* the case can be made that the
> Afgani position & politics is likely to result in the diversion
> of resources and delay the development of the technologies we anticipate
> developing by more than 6 months, then a plan of genocide to
> bury the country in rubble seems justified.
> Is this feasible? It would appear to be the case. 100 Minutemann III
> ICBMs could launch 300+ Ktons each at Afganistan. This roughly
> translates to over 1 ton TNT/person. While this is unlikely to
> kill everyone, it is likely to knock the population back to the
> sub-cave-person level and make a large negative impact on the
> feasibility of staging terrorist activities from that country.
> Of course the downside will be in the likelyhood that it may have
> in promoting individuals and countries in developing similar
> capabilities. But of course once the line has been crossed, there
> are relatively few barriers towards the use of nuclear weapons to
> continue knocking down potential terrorists as needs require.
> Robert

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