Re: transhumanist, extropian, MUTATIONIST!

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 14:52:58 -0700 (PDT)

The essay as a whole contains no real misrepresentation of facts, because it isn't about facts--it's just an ethical credo expressed by the device of speculating on the outcome of its opposite. But his speculations are no more believable than anyone else's, so it is likely that he is just preaching to the choir of those already disposed to share his values. The most telling line is this:

> No objective standard of value is possible unless it is
> grounded in nature, i.e. in objective reality.

Now this is something with which I wholeheartedly agree. His problem is that he then paints "nature" as if it is a static description of how things are--how we are. This completely ignores, even villifies, the simple objective fact that nature /is/ change. Nature /is/ progress and evolution. Standards of value must grow and evolve as we do, or else we will be stuck with the same "humanity" that caused wars and genocides and ignorance and poverty.

He is distressed that we don't respect "humanity", and he is right: much of human nature doesn't deserve respect, and we are not afraid to say so. But it is also human nature to improve, to grow, to learn from the mistakes of history. He recoils at the unpredictable future if technology is allowed to change human nature without limits, and again he is right: none of us knows what such a future will hold. But failing to use these technologies intelligently is just as scary and unpredictable. The technologies will be discovered either way; if humanity is not prepared for them, and still retains its evolution-hardened violent nature, it is the overcautious humans who will destroy themselves, not us.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
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