Re: >H apartheid and transhumanists

BilLee Miller (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 20:53:19 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, Phil Goetz wrote:

> > Transhuman Mailing List
> >
> > Phil Goetz wrote:
> > >I think that anyone who regarded themselves as a transhuman would
> > >necessarily be a bigot, since they would regard themselves as greater than
> > >human. So they would be racially bigoted against humans.
> > >
> > >If someone who regards themselves as transhuman has altered genes, then
> > they
> > >are calling themselves superior on the basis of their genes. It is a short
> > >hop from there to making judgements about different human races on the
> > basis
> > >of their genes. If transhumans are not so bigoted, I would guess it will
> > be
> > >more a matter of disinterest than of principle.
> > >
> > Hell, some of us don't need any cotton-picking genetic engineering to feel a
> > little superior. But that in itself doesn't make you a bigot in my book.
> > After all, I think I have a superior moral system to a god-believer, but I
> > don't think that makes me a religious (or anti-religious) bigot. As long as
> > my opinions are rational and I don't seek to deny rights to any other person
> > based upon their ethnic/religious status, who cares what my feelings
> > regarding our relative abilities are?
> Today, if someone goes out and surveys the literature,
> and gathers a lot of data, then publishes a book arguing on the basis of that
> data that, say, Asians are generally all-around smarter than Caucasians,
> those people are called racists. Rationality is irrelevant to the label.
> The only way not to be a racist today is to say that race and genetics
> makes no difference in behavior or intelligence or strength.
> Someone who regards themselves as genetically transhuman has taken the
> critical step of acknowledging that genetics makes a difference.
> I am not saying that the term "racist" is being applied incorrectly.
> I think it is correct. Someone who believes there are or can be
> significant observable behavioral differences correlated with race
> is a racist. And anyone who considered themselves transhuman would
> necessarily believe that. Once you believe that, it would be inconsistent
> not to consider that there might be behavioral differences between other
> human races, and once you consider that, you are a racist at heart.
> Phil

I've explained it before. I'll explain it again. There is absolutely no biological basis for the conceptual distinction of race. We're just as likely to be more genetically similar to a person of a different "race" as we are to a member of the same "race." Literally a racist is a person who believes in the existence. That belief tends to perpetuate these artificial divisions within heterogenous societies.

Ethnic groups have definitive existence. "Race" is a meaningless destructive aneristic illusion. Caucasians, for example, live in the Caucasus Mountains of Southern Russia. They have a distinct shared culture and even a unique non-Indoeuropean languistic heritage.

It is very easy to be non-racist. Simply discard the concept of "race" from your memplexes and attack it with uncompromising critical rationalism whenever it rears its ugly head. Is there discrimination of various subcultures and ethnic groups? There most definitely is, but it is based on subculture and ethnic groups. I think Richard Dawkins provided a strong argument group selection in _The Selfish Gene_ for most of us to reason that any major distinctions into massive human groups are probably memetic rather genetic.

And thus racism is slain not with a government program, but with a rational argument from a Cajun Extropian. Laissez les bons temps roulez.

In Liberty, For Extropy;
BilLee Miller
member, ExI