[extropy-chat] re: embedded in open hearts (Meta/EP)

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Tue Apr 12 17:02:36 UTC 2005

Samantha writes:
> Is there any level of evil that you would stand up against even if to 
> do so would quite likely put your life in jeopardy?  Sometimes I wonder 
> if we are not at a distinct disadvantage against those who may 
> willingly put themselves in harm's way for what they believe is 
> sufficiently important.

Keep in mind that other people don't just rush out at the spur of the
moment and put their lives on the line to stand up to evil.  It takes a
long process to get one's mental frame of mind into shape to be ready to
make this sacrifice.

This is much of what military training is about.  The whole process is
designed to shape and mold young, malleable minds and prepare them to
make these kinds of sacrifices.  They are trained to habitual obedience
to orders by constantly requiring them to complete trivial and difficult
tasks.  At the same time, they develop a strong espirit de corps and
attachment to their fellow soldiers, who become their brothers in arms
and de facto family.  It is these factors which lead the soldier to
stand and fight rather than to run when he first comes under fire.

It's likely that you or I could be equally well molded into soldiers for
the Extropian cause, if the proper circumstances arose.  We are social
beings; the mere fact that we are here together on this list, engaging
in social discussion, proves that.  We crave interaction and the society
of others.  Military and terrorist training play on those human needs
and use them to turn people into self-sacrificing killers.  Humanity has
thousands of years of experience in exactly how to achieve these goals.
Chances are that most of us could be transformed in just this way.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list