Re: This War Is Not About Terror, But About Islam (Article)

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 00:41:39 MDT

I'm keeping the Subject line intact because I want the thread
to flow through in the archives -- though I think the topic
has gone off in a very different direction.

Samantha asked (regarding my comments on the blind beliefs of religions):
> Is that a blind belief? Scientific validation is not the only
> way to come to what one considers valid and crucially important.
> I don't think Extropians are required to only find value and/or
> validation by science and not by anything else ever in any
> aspect of their existence.

I'd quote the first paragraph of section 7 of the Extropian principles:

> Extropians affirm reason, critical inquiry, intellectual independence, and
> honesty. We reject blind faith and the passive, comfortable thinking that
> leads to dogma, conformity, and stagnation. Our commitment to positive
> self-transformation requires us to analyze critically our current beliefs,
> behaviors, and strategies. Extropians therefore prefer readily to admit
> error and to learn from it rather than to profess infallibility. We prefer
> analytical thought to fuzzy but comfortable delusion, empiricism to
> mysticism, and independent evaluation to conformity. We affirm a philosophy of
> life but distance ourselves from dogma, whether religious, political, or
> personal, because of its blind faith, debasement of human worth, and systematic
> irrationality.

My comments were intended to speak to *blind* belief. I.e. belief
uninformd as to the probability of historical reality and/or
beliefs that are in conflict with known (accepted) laws of
physics/chemistry/evolution, etc. Now, I myself have raised the question
of precisely *what* Christaian miracles could be accounted for
by advanced nanotechnology on the extropian list -- so I am
*not* avoiding explanations that may "rock the boat".

There is a distinct difference between "blind" belief and "experiential"
belief. I believe those differences to be significant. However
"experiential" belief must deal with "consentual" belief (presumably
the scientific reality). In the face of significant evidence to
the contrary -- I am going to trust that my senses may have experienced
a misperception rather than go against commonly accepted scientific
principles. I will none-the-less place those scientific principles
on trial for examination with regard to their validity. That I
believe is the Extropic path. If what one has experienced is
in conflict with the generally accepted reality then one should
place the whole body of evidence on trial.

If it turns out we are in a simulation and "personal" experiences
can be manipulated at the whim of those running the simulation, then
one might expect the development of significant dichotomies in
personal experiences. In that event. the confirmation of ones
experiences as being valid would become increasingly justified.
If such justifications prove increasingly difficult, then
assumptions regarding the actual reality of this environment
should be called into question and appropriate reponses taken.

Tonight, I have no idea "what" precisely such responses should be.


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