Re: Are guns extropian?

ChuckKuecker (
Fri, 10 Jul 1998 08:44:44 -0500

Hash: SHA1

At 02:34 AM 7/10/98 -0400, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

>So lets look at guns in light of the extropian principals and see
how they
>serve them. Since I may be biased, not being a gun owner, I would
like to hear
>from gun advocates to see how they rate guns as extropian.
>1. Do guns promote Boundless Expansion?
> My answer, no. Guns only limit or terminate someone's
ability for
> Boundless Expansion. I think guns are only useful where one
> decided that it is not possible for one's own future goals
to co-exist
> with anothers, so that the other's plans for the future must
> thwarted. The gun is the tool used to stop the other from
> achievingd their future goals. This seems anti-extropian by
> definition. Only by using this unextropian tool against an
> unextropian person, does this indirectly promote extropian
> by destroying competeing unextropian goals. This does not
> push extropians forward, but pushes the nonextropians
farther back.

If you look at this from a different angle, the gun can be used to prevent non-extropian persons from coercing the extropian.. They can allow you to continue your boundless expansion in the face of those who would stop you.

>2. Do guns promote Self-Transformation?
> My answer, no. Guns are not a tool for self-growth. This
is not
> applicable to guns.


>3. Do guns promote Dynamic Optimism?
> My answer, no. Guns are required for the worst-case or bad-
> scenario. It implies that coexistance is not possible,
> resolution is not possible, and that threat of death or
actual death
> will be required in future situations. This may be an
> assessment of the future, but it is not a positive
expectation or
> an optimistic one.

Unfortunately, unless you prepare for the worst case scenario, you will doubtless be bitten by it. Engineers NEVER ignore Murphy's Laws..

>4. Do guns promote Intelligent Technology?
> My answer, no. Guns are low-technology. Low-technology may
be the
> best answer in certain cases, but it is not high technology,
> intelligent technology, or extropian technology. Again,
this does not
> mean that guns aren't the right answer, but that they are
not the I.T.
> answer.

A high tech equivalent would be no more Extropian, except for the glitter value, unless the weapon was on the order of Van Vogt's Weapon Shops gus, which could not be used in violation of built-in laws..

>5. Do guns promote Spontaneous Order
> My answer, no... but I'm not totally sure about this one.
> Guns can support decentralized social coordination and
> liberty. I wouldn't call the use of guns a voluntaristic
> Guns are a coersive process to force someone to cooperate
who does not
> wish to do so. Tolerance requires acceptance, while guns
are used
> where other options are not acceptable. I don't think guns
work with
> long-term thinking. Guns seem more of an immediate reaction
with no
> chance for long-term consideration after they are used. I
do see
> where protecting one's own individual liberty could use
guns. But
> I don't see the guns fostering the liberty, but more of
> those who conflict with one's liberty.

Good conclusion.

>The bottom line: I think guns are low-tech, old-style tools. They
are not
>futuristic, intelligent technology. Guns destroy someone else's
future options
>to limit their potential. (Hopefully because that person's future
plans are
>deemed to be "bad".) They do not create options or expand future
>Guns are only useful in negative situations that are not progressing
in an
>extropian-desireable manner.

Please stop with the 'guns destroy' meme. A tool can not do anything without a user, and we must start forcing the concept of personal responsibility back into the public conciousness. Unless someone picks up a gun and uses it, it's just a lump of metal.

Every time the media repeats this line, people get more and more isulated from thinking of the person who used the gun, and his/her personal responsibility for their actions.

>Instead of pushing us "Onward and Upward", guns push our competition
>and Downward". In a competitive race this makes us seem farther
ahead by
>comparison, but it doesn't move us any closer to the finish line.
If there has
>to be a choice between "us" and "them", most people would choose
"us". But I
>would hope that future technology will develop effective tools to
protect "us"
>without having to destroy "them" in return. That would be an
extropian tool.

Guns cannot push our competition anywhere, unless we take them up and do some attacking. This does not seem particularly Extropian to me, and I will not be using my weapons except in self defense of imminent danger.

Why must we destroy anyone? How about education?

Chuck Kuecker

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