[extropy-chat] examples of rational irrationalism

Lúcio de Souza Coelho lucioc at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 15:45:31 UTC 2006

On 12/6/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> Why do you think that eliminating mankind is necessarily
> irrational?  Don't you concur with the (generally accepted
> here) version of what it means to be rational?  Namely,
> as Rafal put it, "rationality (to use the dictionary meaning)
> is optimizing behavior to achieve goals".   So if your goal
> is a pristine Earth free of unnatural (i.e. human) effects,
> then what's irrational about trying to get rid of everyone,
> including yourself?

Interesting definition of rationality, and I agree with it. And it
seems to me that a consequence of that definition is that rationality
(or Reason, for sort) by itself cannot create primary goals. At most
it can create (or rather infer) secondary goals necessary to achieve
primary goals (one can call them Motivations...) created by...
emotions. In the case of those Voluntary Extinction guys, their
emotions apparently include some sort of religious reverential feeling
about Nature and stuff, and so artificial interferences on Nature
should be minimized. And the natural rational consequence of that
Motivation is: Humanity should become extinct.

I can (and I do :) call them "environmentalist nutjobs", but that is
not a critique to their rationality. Rather, it is an indication that
*my* emotionally created primary goals are quite different from

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