Re: A Classical Humanist Worldview

From: I William Wiser (
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 16:05:33 MDT

I see both points of view here. I don't think Rick is
suggesting anyone give up on trying to stay alive but
rather that people focus on helping both themselves
and humanity. Such an approach yields a warmer
reception. That is I believe what most of us are doing
but it gets frustrating watching the lemmings marching
off the cliff so we yell about not dying.

I see this as a spin issue. Helping yourself is good.
Helping most other people is good. I seem some
ideas suggested in these massages that sound paradoxical but they are not.

Helping future humanity seems a bit nebulous though.
Humanity is a stream of people at various ages. To
try to guess what future humans will be like and help
them in some way other than working on the present
and near future is a bit to speculative for my taste. I
don't think the future needs our help as much as the
present. Folks in the future will probably have it pretty


I. William Wiser []
Life Extension and Quality of Life Consultant

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eugene Leitl" <>
To: "Rick Potvin" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: A Classical Humanist Worldview

> On Tue, 2 Oct 2001, Rick Potvin wrote:
> >
> >
> > Do you read the Extropy posts thinking that Extropian Transhumanism
> > represents the ideas that lead to a glorious future for mankind? I did,
> Screw mankind. Assuming it can made to work it does sound like a rather
> enjoyable personal solution, though. It would seem to be fun to hang out
> with likeminded. We could do some pretty cool stuff.
> > at one time. Then I discovered "Classical Humanism". Only by truly
> Don't they teach these creepy classical humanism things at school in your
> place?
> > understanding the past will you understand the possible futures that lay
> > ahead. Review history with me at the above link, and discover the fatal
> > flaws in the transhumanisms, including Extropianism.
> Fatal flaws, my ass.
> > Physical immortalists are working to accomplish longer, open-ended
> > lifespans and increased personal capabilities by working directly on
> > life extension, suspended animation and related technologies. There is
> Yeeep. At least, they should be working, and not just mouthing off about
> it. (Which reminds me of something, I'm just not sure about what).
> > another kind of immortality that has existed for thousands of years
> > and that will be essential to the progress in extending individual
> > human lives indefinitely. It could be referred to as "noospheric
> > immortality".
> This better be good.
> > Noospheric immortality, in a Classical Humanist sense, is accomplished
> > by discovering a new universal physical principle that contributes to
> Classical Humanists have no clue about physics, nor do they wish to get
> into posession of said clue. Otherwise, they would stop being Classical
> Humanists, and become somebody else.
> > the progress and well-being of future generations of mankind. Those
> I don't care about future generation. Well-being of future generations is
> a side effect of personal immortality in the rational selfishness context.
> > future generations, in a Classical Humanist education system, will
> > strive to relive the original discovery of the new physical principle
> > as they themselves prepare to uncover still newer universal physical
> > principles. By living in such a "simulteneity of eternity", with great
> Garbage.
> > minds of the past, future generations lead to yet more human expansion
> > and success. Man's mastery over the universe leads to his increase in
> > population, extraterrestrial progress, and creates the preconditions
> > neccessary to significantly increasing human lifespan.
> More garbage. This is so new-agey, it makes me want to puke.
> Immortality. Now. That's the kickstarter. And you know what, we could pull
> it off, if we try hard enough.
> > Within the context of Classical Humanism, proponents of physical
> > immortality, can experience the apparently built-in human satisfaction
> > of acquiring "meaning" in thier lives by contributing to the success
> > of future human generations and thus "making their mark in the world"
> They must have skipped to install that "human satisfaction" module in this
> unit at the fab. Thank you, I can get my "meaning" elsewhere. If you get
> my "meaning".
> > whether or not they themselves accomplish scientific immortality to
> > any significant degree. By doing so in a Classical Humanist way, they
> The Classical Humanist way is to feed the worms, I thought?
> > maximize the possibilities for presevering and extending their own
> > lives, as well, by maximizing the possibilities for promoting physical
> By feeding the worms?
> > economic progress that leads to true wealth creation and political
> > progress that recognizes human equality and that serves to limit
> > oligarchic tendencies in society. Conversely, people who tend toward
> > Classical Humanist values will find physical immortalism a much more
> > attractive idea worth working on because Classical Humanist physical
> > immortalists are, like them, interested in noospheric immortality by
> WTF is noospheric immortality?
> > contributing to mankind's future generations. Regular physical
> I see, by being remembered as one of them who has fed the worms.
> > immortalists, on the other hand, consider only personal physical
> > immortality to be of value and do not consider their participation and
> > eternal existence in the noosphere as something of value.
> > "Classical humanism" is an historically proven web of ideas that lays
> "Historically proven" in this context = no good.
> > the best foundation for progress. The ideas which constitute it can be
> Feeding the worms is not my idea of progress.
> > found in a wide array of times and cultures throughout human history,
> > though more strongly and notably at some points than others. Physical
> > immortalism, on the other hand, has had few adherents. By considering
> Ha! Ha! Ha!
> > physical immortalism within a Classical Humanist framework, the idea
> > of living forever will become as natural an idea as civilization
> > itself and, in addition, become more quickly achievable than through
> > any other set of social, political and economic ideas. If cryonicists
> > are looking for a way to increase their numbers, Classical Humanism
> > deserves to be examined thoroughly.
> Nope.

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