[ExI] Call To Libertarians

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Wed Feb 23 03:38:27 UTC 2011

On 02/22/2011 01:30 PM, David Lubkin wrote:
> 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.

I don't think that is the question at all.  You can't cure an ill by 
introducing another one.  If you think starving children are bad and 
have some means to do so I am sure you would happily donate those 
means.  If I think starving children are bad and coming to your house 
with a armed group to take a percentage of your savings purportedly to 
help them then there is no question that is wrong no matter how much we 
both believe (B).

> 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.

They would force other people

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

They are not equally caring at all.  The 'liberal' doesn't really buy 
(A) based on their actions.

> 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.

Sure.  And reality is the measure of which wants can be satisfied, 
including the reality of the rights of others involved.

- samantha

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