[extropy-chat] Is the Golden Rule rational?

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Tue Dec 12 05:41:10 UTC 2006

Thomas wrote:

> I wonder how an extropic Golden Rule
> would read.  I think its essence is
> equal justice.

Could you describe and/or provide some examples of how "equal justice"
might work?  I'm aware of a great deal of injustice in the world, but I
suppose I think of it as a symptom of more fundamental problems, rather
than as a problem that could be solved in any way direct way.  As a
father I never treated my children equally, but tried to nurture each of
them differently according to their particular character, strengths,
weaknesses, and needs.  Of course they didn't have the necessary context
to appreciate this and would sometimes claim that I wasn't being fair.
Harrison Bergeron comes to mind.

> What little I know of systems theory
> seems to favor sacrificing smaller systems
> (individuals) to the good of larger systems.

Well, what I know of systems theory never included the idea of
"sacrificing" as you seem to be using it, and I don't think you're
referring to fuses or other such frangible components.  My understanding
of systems theory involves ideas of optimization within constraints with
each subsystem or component playing an essential role. I don't find any
injustice in tires wearing out before the engine, nor of privates being
shot at while the general works in an office.  

Going along with an apparent underdog theme in some of your posts, there
certainly is a gradient of power and attendant abuses in society, but I
don't see that as a result of systems thinking--seems (to me) more like
the result of dimly aware slightly evolved primates who really could use
some systems thinking.

Maybe I'm missing your point, or maybe we're exploring some biases here.
Can you provide some examples? 

> As an individual I'm interested in avoiding
> the "tyranny of the majority" and in
> contributing to an expanding
> "cooperative environment." 

You have my full agreement and support here.

> The break point
> between these two goals seems to be the
> willingness to use coercion.  

I fail to grasp your point here.  Please elaborate?

> I've been
> struggling to conceive a society of
> unanimous spheres

Did you perhaps intend to say autonomous spheres?

> wherein each individual
> can fully identify with the larger
> sphere-system and where the variety of
> spheres could interact sans coercion.

I think I'm with you here. It sounds similar to my dream of positive-sum
social decision-making replacing today's predominate system of
competition over scarcity.

> Paul Wafker's Natural Social Contract
> <http://morelife.org/ssip/solutions/NSC.html>
> is an example of a tool that might help
> establish safe social spheres.  I like
> the idea of citizenship by agreement
> rather than by default.

I spent over an hour reading this web site but what did I get from it?
Only that it appeared to be nearly a stream of consciousness dump from
someone who had apparently spent many years reading and rereading Ayn
Rand, Libertarian, and Austrian School material until it wore ruts in
his brain.  There are probably people on this list who know him
personally; I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. He uses many of the same
phrases I do so it was a bit scary.
> I think I would like to live in a sphere
> with no collective property title and, 
> thus, no public treasury, no corporate 
> veil nor community property disputes.  
> Our brainstems' territorial impulses 
> might be muted to a sub violent level 
> when each of us is solely responsible
> (and liable) for what we have and what
> we do with it.  I've moved in this 
> direction in my personal life and 
> thereby distanced myself from some
> infantile impulses (mine and others').

Sounds like you're taking the first steps...

> Now, how do I expand the scope of my 
> interactions in a sphere that seems 
> to oscillate between altruism and 
> solipsism with little in between?

Well, what skills do you have and what do you like to do?

- Jef

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