Techo Ethics

Ian Goddard (
Thu, 09 Sep 1999 14:34:21 -0400

At 08:41 AM 9/9/99 -0700, wrote:

>So, anyway, dumping ExI's implicit libertarian stance in favor of bland
>acceptance of any political viewpoint may have brought in more people, but
>as a (small-l) libertarian, it's been a major loss to me. I hope that
>proves to be worthwhile.

IAN: Promoting technology advance and particularly technology designed to interface directly with the human body and/or mind, such as implants, and at the same time abandoning a strict libertarian stance is arguably explicitly unethical. Why?

Libertarian principle is the private-property principle, period. The idea that technological advances are inherently a boon to humanity is only as valid as the ethics behind those who operate and control such technology. If they do not adhere to the strict private-property principle, the door is wide open to the subordination of the individual to "collective interests" as defined by those with the most power to enforce their definition of the "collective interest" with the aid of advanced technology. Based on the track record of human societies, technology advance minus a strict adherence to the private-property principle (PPP) is a recipe for the perfection of absolute tyranny.

While we desire technology advances that will empower the average individual by fostering independence from central powers, those in power are interested in technology that will empower those in power and foster subservience to them. Technology and its advance is not inherently ethical, and thus the anti-Luddite attitude expressed by Extropians minus the PPP is a surefire recipe for the worst technological nightmares that we can't even begin to imagine. By abandoning strict adherence to the PPP, the ExI opens the door to making the future a nightmare, to making technology our enemy.