Re: The Future and Nihilism (was Re: >H RE: Present dangers to transhumanism)

J. R. Molloy (
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 12:00:31 -0700

Brian Manning Delaney wrote,
>There are definitely some schools of thought that make such claims, but, in
>view they fail. How, after all, would one ground the notion that "the
purpose is
>to have fun"? Not that, personally I believe such a view has zero merit. I
>think it can't (easily, at least) be justified.

Avoiding boredom has to rank as our most important purpose, because if you bore folks, they just won't listen to you. No need to justify it, because the justification would only bore listeners that much more, and they'll tune out your message. Even the best ideas have to avoid boredom. Read, for example, the brief history of

>For me, this is a question, not a certainty about method: is it, indeed,
>one gets into the realm of mathematical proofs here? Or is it that one gets
>the realm of whether mathematical proofs are the right way to answer these
>questions? The former is Russell (more or less), the latter is
>Wittgenstein, in my view, was closer to being on the right track.

Wittgenstein offered (IMO) the best proof of hedonism: "7. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Trying to prove that you enjoy life for itself takes the fun out of it, for both sides of the dialogue.

>Empirically, yes, this is our only option. But in deciding whether or not
>might pervade our world, we can entertain other options.

I'll drink to that.

        .--,       .--,
       ( (  \.---./  ) )
      '.__/o    o\__.'
        ={=  ^  =}=
            >  -  <

"I don't want to make a religion (or ideology, or political movement) out of anti-entropy.
I'd just like to help extropic technologies evolve auto-catalytically toward transhumanity."
--Alligator Grundy (attributed to Jean Robaire Leakey-Gasquet)