[ExI] 'Militant Atheists' (Was: Religion & transhumanism (not the usual!))

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Fri Sep 9 16:15:47 UTC 2011

On Fri, 9 Sep 2011, Stefano Vaj wrote:

> 2011/9/9 john clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>
> >
> > On Thu, 9/8/11, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > "I'm pretty bemused - if not dismayed - by all this bandying about of the term 'militant atheist' as if it actually meant something."
> >
> > The stage magician Penn Jillette calls himself a militant atheist, he says it means that not only does he not believe in God he doesn't believe anybody else does either. Incidentally his new book "God No" is pretty funny.
> I am a little confused about the exact nuance of the word "militant"
> in (contemporary? US? UK?) English.
> The Italian and French equivalent are a somewhat more emphatic to
> indicate an activist of a given cause (activism sounding like a more
> low-level and/or trivial or slightly disparaged form of militantism).

I'd say the same goes with Polish - activists demonstrate and root for 
their cause, but are more or less benign. Militants shoot, burn and 
destroy whatever they think stands on their beloved ideal's way at the 
moment. There is a lot of place in between, and how one divides this place 
depends on ones agenda.

Oh, there are vandals too - like drunken trash who burn old church 
because it gives them few minutes of fun.

> So, would we qualifiy as "transhumanist militants" in English?
> Provided of course that we actually do something more than hanging
> around in mailing lists, that is? :-)

Right now the folks around t-h are rather well educated and rational, 
maybe even clever :-). But wait few decades and you will see every kind of 
mob subscribing to the word. Including those who, say, would break into 
Alcor to play baseball with frozen heads. Watch "Clockwork Orange" and 
every few minutes talk to yourself "Alex is a transhumanist".

Nowadays, there are not enough activists to give birth to militant 
branches. Drunken transhumanist trash is not going to happen in the next 
20 years or so. Just my thought.

On the other hand, just talking and loling (like spike often does) about 
some ideas might be perceived as "militant" by some anal opponents.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list