[ExI] Cosmopolitanism, collective epistemology and other issues

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 23:45:32 UTC 2016

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 8:09 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

Exactly. I find patriotism downright disturbing - when people wave flags, I
> half expect them to start a lynch mob. I tend to trust people who wave
> around ideas (although I know that sometimes that makes them even more
> dangerous).

### While I share your unease when confronted by masses of people acting in
unison (except for symphonic orchestras), I would pause before passing
judgment and look at what kind of flags they are weaving. British flags
don't scare me, except maybe in the context of a soccer match.

Patriotism is not hatred of the other, it's love of your own. Sure, if you
love some people a lot there is less love left for others but it does not
imply a willingness to go out of your way to harm them.

Xenophobia and chauvinism on the other hand, do. A poster example of a
xenophobic, violent ideology is orthodox Islam, which would have both you
and I lynched, if it ever invaded our society.

By all means, if you see an unruly mob waving a green or black flag of the
prophet, I advise you to run, and this is not hyperbole.


> Of course, there is also the problem that a lot of cosmopolitans are
> actually just a bit western internationalist, as Ross Doutat pointed out:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/opinion/sunday/the-myth-of-cosmopolitanism.html?_r=0
> I am deeply annoyed that I recognize myself so much in his description - I
> want to be a *proper* cosmopolist rather than just in the internationalist
> tribe.

### If cosmopolitanism were defined by valuing inferior cultures as equal
to the Western civilization, then I am not cosmopolitan, despite holding
two passports, speaking 4 languages and living thousands of miles and
thousands of memes away from where I was born.

It is up to every individual to make the right choices, if needed defying
and rejecting his native culture. A true cosmopolitan is someone who
strives to join the common human effort to build a better future but this
clearly includes discarding lesser visions.

So don't worry, Anders, you *are* a true cosmopolitan :)

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