[ExI] The Manifesto of Italian Transhumanists

estropico estropico at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 10:23:44 UTC 2008

>  From: "Giu1i0 Pri5c0" <pgptag at gmail.com>
>  The plan is to translate the document, but it is going to take some
>  work...
>  btw any volunteer?

Well, I'd like to volounteer a *partial* translation:

"While open to dialogue with anyone, we must recognise the current
impossibility of an accord with the Church leaders, especially on
topics such as assisted reproductive technology and biotech research.
This has been called for by some Italians who describe themselves as
extropians. We don't think this is either acceptable or in line with
the extropian ethos, considering how Max More, founder of ExI, has
never hidden his secularism or even anti-clerical and anti-religious

This "misunderstanding" has long been exploited by Campa and others
for internal power-struggles (a few people have since been silenced on
the Italian Transhumanist Association's mailing list).

Let's see if I can clarify it once and for all.

What I actually said (and I'm not responsible for what others that
Campa might consider "extropians" might have said) is that
confrontation with the catholics is not necessarily the only available
tactic (tactic, not strategy). I also quoted an Italian author (Carlo
Pelanda) who in article wrote of the risk of a "war" between science
and religion that could backfire, undermining public support (and
funding) for the coming "biorevolution". The response to my comments
was a torrent of rather surreal accusations of clericalism and of
being "pro-Vatican"...

Italy (like any other country) is unique. Part of its "uniqueness" is
the presence of the Vatican and the power of catholic institutions. Is
this an obstacle to the transhumanist project? Often it is (embryonic
stem cells), sometimes it isn't (genetically modified crops). So,
which is the best approach? I don't claim to know, but I see that all
mainstream parties, on both the left and right, are always very
cautious not to upset the "catholic vote", and I see that the most
anti-catholic (in the political sense) parties are the small ones. I
also see that Italians have a healty tendency to take the Vatican's
pronouncements with a pinch of salt. How else to explain Italy's
birthrates (among the lowest in the world), given the Vatican stance
on contraception? Am I the only one to think that twenty years from
now Italians will take the same pragmatic approach to life-extension


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