Re: Sacred Cows

Dr. Rich Artym (
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 01:48:11 GMT

I knew what I was letting myself in for when I made the reference to
sacred cows without giving the slightest hint of a justification.
However, I decided that I would risk it, because to go over old ground
would open old wounds and be entirely negative. The response from the
list was undeservedly generous, I thought! :-)

It's nice to see several people openly invite the exorcism though.
I'm still hesitant about whether revisiting the issues involved would
be more enlightening than damaging. As it happens, a few of you pulled
some minor cows out from under the carpet without any coaxing, which
I suppose is good.

In message <>,
Anders Sandberg writes:

> Beware of that kind of invitation - now you might get a lot of people
> hunting your sacred cows.

Excellent! :-) [The experience of the transhuman list may indicate the
opposite though: people are too polite to hunt with impunity, so it
doesn't happen and the cows continue grazing.]

> One obvious sacred cow you have seems to be that you don't have any; try
> imagining that you have views that you cannot question.

Hardly. I have the Mother of all Cows, and I've institutionalized her
by the simple strategem of making her axiomatic in TransIndividualism.
I don't need to imagine having views that I cannot question; I have.
This does at least have the benefit that the bovine sanctity is overt
rather than covered up by handwaving justifications. It goes without
saying that I also have a zillion others cows around the place as well,
no doubt. It's a veritable farm, but I should also say that compared
to some it is barely a window-box, because I almost completely discard
the bovine herds related to humanist value sets that are so common even
on this list. [Not a good topic at parties, I have found. :-)]

>From another of Ander's excellent items:

> Of course, a more worrying possibility is that we take them for granted
> and don't see them. One way to find out, is to think about the last time
> you discussed extropianism with somebody and got angry at their
> arguments - sacred cows tend to hide near such sore spots.

Yes! This is very, very true. Unexpected anger ==> Sacred Cow Alert.


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