Re: Reforming Education

Robert Owen (
Sat, 09 Oct 1999 22:24:06 -0400

Dan Fabulich wrote:

> > Dan, this ignores my question - if I pay money to give my child an education
> > what financial reward do I get in return?

Unless I'm missing something here, I believe this asserts that all human beings are mercenaries in the service of egoism. If this is correct, it is an unutterably repugnant "moral" statement. If all human beings were really such, I would see no point in earning a living because living in the exclusive company of "the morally challenged" would have no merit.

This is so self-evident to any civilized and intelligent person that I don't see any need to qualify my statement as "my opinion."

> The whole PREMISE of this question is faulty. People don't act so as to
> get financial rewards, they act for UTILITY rewards. However, we should
> not expect that everything we do is done so as to acquire more money.
> This claim is obviously false.

While I might argue a bit about this generalization of Bentham and Mill to every human situation, what is important is that you find it necessary to make this statement to a presumably intelligent and refined audience.

> -unless you love someone-
> -nothing else makes any sense-
> e.e. cummings

May I just add that unless one is a sociopath, the affirmation of one's moral choices by a conscience that says: "Well done, good and faithful servant" should suffice. And one very good way to receive this enhancement of self-esteem is, when appropriate, to subordinate your own needs to the welfare of others whose lives might contain less "quiet despair", and more faith in themselves, more hope for a better future, as a result of your effort. Isn't this the mission of Extropians? Surely you don't believe that "when the ship is sinking, it's every man for himself".

Some members may ask: "Owen, what do your remarks have to do with extropianism?" Well, does it matter, until you deal with the would-be extropians in your membership who have not emotionally matured beyond the primary narcissism of a three year old?


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA