From: Nicq MacDonald (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 16:51:27 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

I wasn't calling it a cult- I was just referring to the attitude many
extropians have regarding "The Singularity". We're running out of
resources, destroying our environment- yet you seem to think that we'll be
saved by this occurence. I think otherwise.

> 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'll disagree too.

> 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.

By apocalypse, I was not referring to disaster, but to rapture. Where is
all this wealth going to come from, with our resources destroyed by the
wasteful behavior of the 20th century? Where is this longevity going to
come from, with our veins filled with carcinogens and our bodies bombarded
by radiation? Where is this happiness going to come from, with our
spirituality destroyed by "flatlander" philosophers, our arts smashed by a
media concerned only with profits, living in a world where we work from
sunup until sundown with no hope for another world hereafter?

> 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.

Rationalism is a dogma in of itself.

> 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.

Yes, but they were working from an ascending paradigm. Extropianism is
Gnosticism reversed, the exact same stand within a descending paradigm.

> 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.

Ah, this is where you are incorrect. Gnosticism isn't just about posessing
the knowledge- it's about using it. Extropianism is about knowledge as
well, and the gaining of a form of arcane knowledge- Artificial
intelligence, nanotech, etc.


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