[ExI] IEET piece re "Problems of Transhumanism"

ablainey at aol.com ablainey at aol.com
Mon Feb 8 18:30:58 UTC 2010

 I agree Damien, Max's quote has little or nothing to do with democracy, rather the way it is played.
And now I have read the whole thing I can see I was right in my first impression.
Polarise the arguement even though the arguement itself is invalid. Since when is Liberal democracy the
opposite of totalitarianism? And how can Libertarianism be the opposite of liberal democracy, while argueing that
Libertarian transhumanists support totalitarianism ?? Neither is correct.

Contrived. Like I said, I read it before.


-----Original Message-----
From: Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 17:58
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 starts: 
<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 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20100208/5bd70e5a/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list