[extropy-chat] Is the Golden Rule rational?

Thomas thomas at thomasoliver.net
Tue Dec 12 09:31:41 UTC 2006

On Dec 11, 2006, at 10:41 PM, Jef Allbright wrote:

> 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.

I'm really not reaching for the unattainable here.  I didn't  
appreciate having my case dismissed because I named the real humans  
who wronged me instead of the statutory agent for their stinking  
little corporation.  They outnumbered me and had a little more money  
to buy into a system of dodging the responsibility of keeping their  
agreement.  Equal justice works to give every citizen (no favored  
classes) recourse, as direct as possible, with due process.  I'm not  
speaking of coerced equality.  That's a ghastly thought!
>> 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.

So how do such beings get to be president?  Is there no direct way to  
prevent that?
> Maybe I'm missing your point, or maybe we're exploring some biases  
> here.
> Can you provide some examples?

I think if the private were drafted, that would be an injustice.   
There's a difference between a natural hierarchy based on strength or  
intelligence (ability) and a contrived and manipulated systematic  
hierarchy based on intimidation just as there is a difference between  
natural consequences for actions and contrived added punishments.  If  
you run a red light you have a collision (naturally) or you may get a  
citation (contrived).  I do not favor any system that ramps up the  
level of compulsion in society.
>> 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?

Sorry, that was confusing.
On the one hand I'm individuating from society and on the other I'm  
merging.  Facing the possibility of being coerced furthers withdrawal  
and discourages contribution.  Otherwise the two goals are compatible.

>> I've been
>> struggling to conceive a society of
>> unanimous spheres
> Did you perhaps intend to say autonomous spheres?

No, but lets include that.  I'm afraid I over economized with my  
words.  To rephrase: I've been struggling to conceive a society of  
autonomous spheres comprised of individuals in unanimous accord.
>> 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.

I'd definitely like to hear more on this!

>> 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 don't think I'd sign that contract, but I would subscribe to the  
extropian Golden Rule sphere.
>> 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?

I'm a musician and I enjoy performing and producing recordings.
> - Jef

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