Re: Selfishness vs Altruism; an outdated dicotomy?

Natasha Vita-More (
Sat, 20 Nov 1999 12:23:22 -0800

At 11:55 PM 11/16/99 EST, Glen Finney wrote:

> I have been thinking lately about the whole selfish vs selfless debate,
>and about how both sides seem to me to be missing something. I used to
>preach what I referred to as benevolent self-interest (yes this is very
>similar to certain ideas in venturism and extrosattvaism), but even that
>seems less than complete of a description now to me.

I understand you sentiment in this post and was swayed by its mellifluous tone.

At a time when the overcoming death is the war cry in the battle on disease, it seems that the common sense perspective would require one to be self-aware and self-protective. If the mission is to overcome death and enhance our humanness, the element of collaborative cooperation is imperative to achieving the goal and winning the battle. In that I see this directive - overcoming diseases and the finality of death - as the foundation for our future as transhumanists, the concerns of selfishness vs. altruism seem to loose momentum. I believe you express this sentiment below:

>I believe that the most important quality in the universe is self. But
>not my self alone. (snip) I believe in
>responsibilities of proximity and scale and competence. (snip)

As you, I find altruism hanging on a coat rack in an antiqued chamber. Kindness is more available and capable of bringing a positive result, especially in a transhumansit spirituality, and also self esteem works nicely with self-responsibility.