From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Nov 16 2000 - 11:13:14 MST

Nicq MacDonald wrote:

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

As someone who spent a number of years as an energy analyst, developing energy
conservation technologies, you don't know what you are talking about. Every
trend in resource cost is downward, and availability is upward. Stopy buying the
Green lies.

> > 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.

Though Max does occasionally tell me when I've been posting to frequently.

> > 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?

Oh, you really are a mess, aren't you? Resources do not get 'destroyed'. They
just get reallocated. Every technological advancement allows the amount of
resources needed to produce every dollar of economic activity to decrease all
the time. Where do you think all the wealth of our economy comes from? It didn't
just come from us trading iron and corn back and forth and paying a wage.
Technology increases productivity, which decreases the amount of resources you
need to live an ever higher standard of living. Get off the Malthusian BS, he
was disproven long ago.

> > 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.

No, its a process.

> > 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.

No, its an ascending paradigm based on factual data. I quite understand how you
are so confused. Gnostics were living by the same sort of omen-ism as Harvey
described was typical of ancient Hebrews, and other beleivers in gematria. If
every group of sheep in a field stands for a number or prophesy as a concrete
fact, it is easy to see how the gnostics would regard their 'knowledge' as being
fact based rather than just theology.

> > 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.

This is quite so, but not dogmatically. If you know anything about the Gnostics,
the main reason they were declared a heresy by Rome was their refusal to bow
down to dogma. Refusal to accept dogma is not itself a dogma, something about
which you seem to be confused.

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