[ExI] IEET piece re "Problems of Transhumanism"

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Mon Feb 8 18:19:04 UTC 2010

Sorry, I was so busy working on something.  (I was just writing an article
for The Scavenger and was referencing _The Judas Mandala_ and had to go to
Amazon to get an image in case ...) 

Now to answer your post, I was simply was referring to the "libertarian
transhumanist" phrase which takes away from the value of what James' article
because this is old and worn-out.  

Nlogo1.tif Natasha Vita-More

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Damien
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 11:59 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] IEET piece re "Problems of Transhumanism"

On 2/8/2010 11:35 AM, Damien Broderick wrote:

>Natasha Vita-More :
>> So what?

> Eh?

To expand on that: Isn't what I quoted to the point of Hughes' essay, which

<Transhumanists, like Enlightenment partisans in general, believe that human
nature can be improved but are conflicted about whether liberal democracy is
the best path to betterment. The liberal tradition within the Enlightenment
has argued that individuals are best at finding their own interests and
should be left to improve themselves in self-determined ways.>

BUT, he goes on below,

<The 2005 and 2007 surveys of the members of the World Transhumanist
Association (WTA, 2005; WTA, 2007) asked, "Although we may devise better
political systems in the future, do you believe that multi-party democracies
with civil liberties for individuals are the best of the existing political
orders?" A third of the respondents were unwilling to affirm the superiority
of liberal democracy among existing political systems. Transhumanist Max
More, for instance, looks toward a post-democratic minarchy>

and follows with the quote from Max I've now cited twice, which you don't
think is relevant (I suppose). Is it really irrelevant? Perhaps so. Here it
is again:

<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? >

I certainly don't think that Max's comment on "monkey politics" is a
disparagement of *democracy* but rather of tribal power plays, hierarchies
of force and authority, etc. And his views are certainly inconsistent with
Hughes' glib opening comment about a supposed >H "tendency to disparage
liberal democracy in favor of the rule by dei ex machina and technocratic
elites." But it doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of the position
that "liberal democracy is the best path to betterment," which is where
Hughes started.

Damien Broderick
extropy-chat mailing list
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list