[ExI] If anyone wants to Respond to the IEET piece re "Promblems of Transhumanism"

Max More max at maxmore.com
Mon Feb 8 18:18:26 UTC 2010

Damien, you seem to be suggesting ("Still, Max is quoted as saying") 
that Hughes "implication of antidemocratic or top-down bias" is 
understandable because of my statement that "Democratic arrangements 
have no intrinsic value; they have value only to the extent that they 
enable us to achieve shared goals while protecting our freedom." If 
so, I don't understand how you can say that. Saying that democratic 
arrangements (as they exist at any particular time) have no intrinsic 
value is not in the least equivalent to saying that authoritarian 
control is better. Should we not strive for something better than the 
ugly system of democracy that currently exists? Are authoritarian 
arrangements the only conceivable alternative?

Perhaps you use "democracy" far more broadly than I do. If you mean 
it such that it covers all possible non-authoritarian systems, then 
your interpretation makes sense. I prefer to restrict it to the 
systems we have seen historically, which are crude attempts to 
convert the desires of people in general into governance through 
various forms of majority voting.


Damien wrote:
>As far as the actual quote in James Hughe's essay goes, does it
>misrepresent Max's thinking on the topic at issue? This next quote would
>suggest that Hughe's implication of antidemocratic or top-down bias (if
>that's what he means) is wrong:
><OPEN SOCIETY: Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech,
>freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social
>control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power.
>Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion.
>Openness to improvement rather than a static utopia. [...] I find it
>both amusing and revolting to observe socialist transhumanists who
>characterize themselves as "democratic transhumanists" but use the term
>"democracy" as a cover for using governmental power to compel everyone
>to fit into their notion of "equality." Democracy, in the more generally
>accepted sense, is an important way of implementing the principle of
>Open Society.>
>Still, Max is quoted as saying
><Democratic arrangements have no intrinsic value; they have value 
>only to the extent that they enable us to achieve shared goals while 
>protecting our freedom. Surely, as we strive to transcend the 
>biological limitations of human nature, we can also improve upon 
>monkey politics? >

Max More, Ph.D.
Strategic Philosopher
The Proactionary Project
Extropy Institute Founder
max at maxmore.com

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