Re: MORALITY: right & wrong (was: A Bioethical Foundation for Human Rights)

From: Wei Dai (
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 11:57:54 MST

On Thu, Nov 08, 2001 at 04:51:03PM +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> The extropian perspective is different in that it questions traditional
> ideas of human nature and identity. We can envision many apparently
> physically possible and perhaps future scenarios were traditional
> boundaries are transcended. For that we need to think about what we
> mean by freedom, since when we enter the mainstream debate many of the
> traditional concepts of freedom are often used against us, or rather
> the very flexible use of the term 'coercion'. Are we coercing others
> into a transhuman lifestyle by attempting to achieve it for ourselves
> (since the economic competition becomes stronger)? I would say no, but
> a surprising number of people think so, and hence they think we are
> anti-freedom. It might sound like a silly argument, but when many
> people view it as acceptable it is not silly anymore, it is dangerous.

I define freedom as access to choices. Being freedom-loving means
valuing other people's access to choices, and therefore not trying to
restrict their range of choices unless necessary to serve a great good.
Here restrict means not just physically prevent a choice, but also making
the consequences of that choice less pleasant.

I would defend the extropian enterprise this way. The current lifestyles
are not self-sustaining or self-sustainable, thus the choice of remaining
in those lifestyles is not available anyway. What we're trying to do is
achieve a lifestyle, for ourselves and others, that does offer the
greatest range of choices, compared to the alternatives that are possible.

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