[extropy-chat] Re: TransColloquium Meeting: Dealing with New Pope'sCampaign

nvitamore at austin.rr.com nvitamore at austin.rr.com
Wed Apr 27 17:53:08 UTC 2005


I think that Amara's post was an assumption that you are following for a 
good cause, but it is not what the ExI meeting is about. 

This is not a meeting about "moral relativism." 

This is a meeting "Dealing with New Pope's Campaign" and the reverberations 
that could follow, i.e., life-extension biotechnologies.   Also, I'm
wondering why no one picked up on the "cultural wars."

Toward progress! 


Original Message:
From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky sentience at pobox.com
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 09:34:05 -0700
To: wta-talk at transhumanism.org, extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Subject: [extropy-chat] Re: TransColloquium Meeting: Dealing	with
New	Pope'sCampaign

Hughes, James J. wrote:
>> until his 'moral relativism' idea is given as the official Church
>> doctrine, I think that the Extropy Institute should not assume too much
>> (yet) about what are the new Church policies.
> Also, among all the things that Cardinal Ratzinger has opposed over the 
> years, and seems likely to oppose as Pope, "moral relativism" is close to
> the bottom of the list of things I think we should be jumping to the 
> defense of.
> Yes, we believe in moral complexity, tolerance, acknowledgment that there
> are no moral absolutes, and that morals are the product of human reason
> feeling. But I'm not a defender of "moral relativism."

We believe?  Speak for yourself - in matters of belief, always.  I believe
moral complexity, intolerance, acknowledgment that moral absolutes can vary 
from mind to mind, and that morals are the product of human reason and 
feeling.  I am an opponent of moral relativism.  I don't say "we" about any
that and that's the main problem with trying to articulate a transhumanist 
position on it.

> What I think we should be focusing on is Benedict's likely focus on 
> bioethics:

Agreed.  From my perspective moral relativism is a complex philosophical 
confusion, something that needs to be explained more than fought.  But to 
fight for moral relativism is a very hard-to-defend ground on which to
one's battlefield, leaving aside that it's not worth defending.  Some
analyze that moral relativism helped kill off the Democratic party in the
and they may well be right.  See also "Higher Superstition".  How do you
people to fight for the idea that nothing is worth fighting for?  It may
a fine way to smile down at the philosophically unsophisticated from the 
coffeehouse, but it doesn't call a people to arms.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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