[ExI] Call To Libertarians

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Tue Feb 22 21:30:59 UTC 2011

Samantha wrote:

>That is probably my rule of 5 for the day so shutting up.

Spike waived the limit for discussing libertarianism through the 
24th, at least as it applies to transhumanism --

>We haven't really had a libertarian discussion here for a good 
>while.  In light of Darren's comments above, I propose a temporary 
>open season on the specific topic of transhumanism and 
>libertarianism.  Free number of posts on all that for five days

My rule of thumb for assessing the ethics of a governmental policy is 
to consider whether it would be ethical if it involved a handful of 
people, e.g., "Spike and Samantha "vote" that I don't need both a 
laptop and a tablet and I must give my tablet to Samantha. If I 
refuse, they will beat me up." is equivalent to a progressive tax code.

This simplification also highlights the differences in political 
philosophies. Probably all of us would agree that

(A) Initiation of force is bad.
(B) Starving children is bad.

The question is which is worse. A libertarian would say initiation of 
force is unacceptable; figure out some other way to feed starving 
children. A liberal would say that starving children is unacceptable 
and so be it if force is necessary to avoid it.

Two equally smart, rational, caring people can reasonably prioritize 
differently and rigorously derive different conclusions.

Looking in a transhumanist future, as long as we are distinct 
individuals, there will be room for competition, cooperation, and 
trade. That is something we talked about on the original list. Keith, 
if I'm not mistaken, wanted to have a quadrillion copies of himself 
with starships off exploring the universe, to report back to each 
other at our end-of-the-universe party. There are no limits to want. 
You can always want more than you have or more than exists.

Could we be a single computronium borganism? I suspect not. I think 
that as long as there's transmission lag, a system that big will be a society.

And, therefore, the same choices apply if I want what you have as they do now.

Democracy, though, doesn't seem a viable concept in a transhumanist 
future. We'd all be too different in capabilities for "one being, one vote."

-- David.

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