[extropy-chat] Re: Moral Relativism

ben benboc at lineone.net
Tue May 10 22:16:05 UTC 2005

It's quite amusing how my original hypothetical scenario is being pulled 
in all sorts of directions, and is being subjected to various 

I simply meant it to be background to my questions about what relative 
and objective morality mean, or what they are taken to mean by different 
people (Which nobody actually answered directly, but i think i've got a 
handle on the ideas now).

Just to clear a couple of points up: The pregnancy is detected at a very 
early stage, i didn't say Sue was raped, (although i didn't say she 
wasn't, either), and I didn't hypothesise on the kind of people they are 
- religious, rational, conventional, unconventional, etc.

Samantha said:

"tsk, tsk.  There is no child. ....  I am amazed that supposedly 
intelligent people would speak in such terms of "slaying a child" ... 
Discussions like this make me very doubtful that humanity is bright 
enough to survive.   We seem to suffer recurring breakdowns in our 

Thank you for saying that, Samantha, you beat me to it.
This kind of language is designed to stir up emotional reactions, not 
have an intelligent debate.
It doesn't matter what you personally think about abortion, there's no 
need to use an alternative, emotionally-charged term that attempts to 
manipulate people's emotions. I would hope that that sort of tactic has 
no place on this list. I would hope that that sort of tactic *doesn't 
work* on the people reading this list.
Well, i can hope...

I'm pretty certain that humanity isn't bright enough to survive. That's 
why i'm a transhumanist. Those recurring breakdowns in our thinking are 
the pessimists half-empty glass. I prefer the 'half-full glass' 
viewpoint that we occasionally show bursts of joined-up thinking, and 
there's scope for them to grow longer and more frequent.
Of course, if i was an engineer, i would say the glass is too big. :-)


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