Re: Guns are a specious issue (was Re: Are guns extropian?)

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 10 Jul 1998 18:04:10 -0400

Michael M. Butler wrote:

> If guns save lives, they are extropian.
> If pencils save lives, they are extropian.
> Both are extropian _sometimes_.

Exactly. It depends on its use, like any tool.

> A pencil is a deadly weapon, too. I can think of an even half dozen ways to
> take a human life with one, and I'm not even a student of such matters.
> As the individual capacity to direct energy and shape matter becomes
> greater, the number of things which could be turned to foul ends can only
> increase. Unless you want to page Gort and have his robot buddies run
> things. I don't feature living in a remake of "The Day The Earth Stood
> Still." Do you?
> Think of guns as the existence proof, the "you must be at least this tall"
> sign and the politician's litmus test for an extropian world/universe.
> >When I think of extropianism, transhumanism, or futurism, I think of
> >science and technology. I want to gain life-extension through advanced
> >biochemistry. I want to gain exploration through spaceships. I want to
> >gain processing power through nanocomputers.
> ...
> >If my plans would run into the point
> >that I think I will have to become a killer, I think I would try to
> >reshape my plans. If my plans get to the point, that I think that there
> >is no way to avoid an unpleasant situation and that I am stuck with the
> >situation that the universe has handed me, I think I would try to change
> >the universe.
> Indeed. Hear hear. Saving your own life is changing the universe, is it not?

Yes. If you are an extropian researcher who develops nanoprobes that can reconstruct cryogenically frozen humans, then you are saving litterally billions of lives. If a government agent comes to you, points a gun in your face and tries to kill you, is your killing that agent right or wrong? There is a difference between killing and murder.

> >When somebody comes into my office and lab to see the neat stuff that I
> >want to demonstrate for the future. I want to show them my computers
> >and state that those who can keep up with the technology will rule the
> >future. I don't want to unlock my gun cabinet and explain that those
> >who are better armed will rule the future.
> As more power is concentrated in your computers, expect them-and-yourself
> to be treated exactly the way others-and-their-guns are treated. How are
> you going to prove you have a trigger lock on that GP assembler, hombre?
> How are you going to convince me you can be trusted with that Orion engine
> you plan to build?

How do I know that you can be trusted with the power supply that keeps hundreds of AI's alive???

> >If I use a weapon to make someone act polite toward me, no respect has
> >been gained.

"It is better to be loved than feared, but if you cannot be loved, then make sure you are feared."

> Fools are fools, no matter what they have in their hands. The problem here
> is impulse control, not guns. Self government makes the whole gun matter a
> non-issue. Absent more prevalent self government, the human race has a very
> dim future.

Hardly. Self government mandates self defense to whatever level the individual feels negates the accepted risk level.

Mike Lorrey