From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 14:33:44 MST

Of course, extropy has been called a cult before, usually by trolls,
much like yourself. As there is no particular OTHER reason to call
extropianism a cult, (as I'll attempt to show), usually they fall back
on calling us dogmatists, which, I have to presume, is what you were
driving at in your parody of an extropian calling deep-ecologists "the

As I've said before, no extropian is my leader. None of them tell me
what to do, or what to believe. I've disagreed with Max More, for
example, time and again. I'm sure I will in the future.

I think he and I agree that there is not only a non-trivial chance of
apocalyptic disaster in the next century, (a possibility which
everyone became aware of around the time of the cold war,) but also a
chance of unprecedented wealth, longevity, and, dare I say it,
happiness. Neither of these possibilities is inevitable, though I
think they're quite likely outcomes of the next century or two.

But it is in holding these beliefs *tentatively*, and in not allowing
our beliefs to be determined by a leader or any other person, that we
demonstrate our rationality (in particular, our rejection of dogma).
We are not cultists or dogmatists of any other kind.

I don't know much about Gnosticism. I do know that typical Gnostics
have tended to prioritize the "spiritual" realm over the "physical"
realm. I rather doubt most extropians would agree with that.

Being "apocalyptic" is in the spirit of Gnosticism (along with many
other religions), but there are plenty of obvious reasons why you
might expect *something* big to happen in the next century. For one
thing, our weapons have gotten drastically bigger. The potential for
doom at our own hands is so obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning.
For another, our population is still growing exponentially, with all
of the benefits and drawbacks that entails. Finally, Moore's law,
along with what we already know about physics and computer science,
seem to suggest that our creations will begin to get very interesting
as we learn more and more about how to make our computers faster.

However, most Gnostics also hold that gnosis, a special kind of arcane
knowledge, is what you need to survive apocalypse. While I think most
of us agree that you can make yourself more powerful if you know more,
knowledge by itself won't make you better off. I rather doubt that
there will be a mystic quiz at the end of time; if anybody here DOES
think that, I rather doubt they believe that this is view is
particularly relevant to extropy.

So, we are neither cultists, nor Gnostic. Make of that what you will.


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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