Re: Olympic piety

Ben Goertzel (
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 13:47:29 +0800

Hello again folks,

I didn't mean to distract the conversation onto libertarianism versus
collectivism -- I understand that y'all are mostly libertarian-oriented
and probably don't want to argue politics with someone who fundamentally
disagrees with you.

What worries me really is the link between transhumanism and
individualism -- a link which is reflected in Libertarian politics.

Transhumanism, to me, means going beyond humanity -- but it is not
necessarily an INDIVIDUAL quest, is it? Can't we think in terms of the
whole human race transcending itself?

As I see it, none of us truly has an individual "self" -- the self
is a social/cultural construct. We are all, in the end, made up
of EACH OTHER. (This sounds flaky perhaps, but as I have shown in my
book "Chaotic Logic" it can be put on a mathematical basis).
It is true that in becoming trans-human we may lose our "selves" as
currently conceived and thus lose this fundamental sociality. But
it is also possible that sociality is inherent to intelligence. IN
fact it is my inclination to believe this is true (as I argued in
a recent paper in Informatica called "Artificial Selfhood," also
contained at my website

If sociality is a necessary part of mind, then we need to be thinking
about transhumanism on a social rather than just individual level.
This is not really a criticism of Extropianism as it stands, more a
call for a different sort of emphasis.

ben g