[extropy-chat] Books: Harris; Religion and Reason

Mike Hayes l4point at gmail.com
Wed Jan 11 02:34:20 UTC 2006

All needed answers to these questions may be found in that sacred text known
as the  "futurama cartoon series"

Mike Hayes

On 1/10/06, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2006, at 5:18 PM, Robert Bradbury wrote:
> > Ok, lets see if I can keep this at an elevated level.
> >
> As opposed to?
> >
> > If there are those who would like to support my renomination to the
> > ExI Board based on the platform that all information as is feasible
> > should be preserved and that the execution of programs which seek
> > to destroy information without a substantive argument that such
> > information is worthless ( i.e. a legitimate reason to erase
> > information rather than simply an unjustified assertion that one
> > religion is right and another is wrong) should be terminated, I
> > would be willing to accept such a nomination.  Note carefully, that
> > I am *not* saying that the information potentially contained in
> > external programs should be erased ( e.g. current forms of capital
> > punishment) -- I am simply saying that the execution of programs
> > that would intentionally erase information without a really good
> > (proven) reason should cease execution.
> >
> I don't think positioning on "information" is particularly clear and
> therefore not a good platform.  How would this "cease execution" be
> implemented?  I wouldn't want to see a board member advocating nuking
> Iran, for instance or doing a Pat Robertson advocacy of assassinating
> people like Pat Robertson.
> > So, in some respects, I am throwing my glove down to the ExI
> > board.  Either you *are* or you are *not* extropic.  Harris has, in
> > my mind, outlined the problems with being a "tolerant" extropian.
> While I have less and less tolerance for a lot of imho brain damaged
> and brain damaging notions, beliefs and practices,  I am not
> altogether comfortable with hardline pronouncements about who and
> what is and is not extropic from you or any other supposed
> authority.  Discussions about such are fine though.
> >   The problem with that is that it means transhumanism rules and
> > extropianism falls.  In transhumansism (using its most basic
> > definitions) there is no moral compass.  One can become transhuman
> > along many vectors, some good, some bad.  With extropianism, there
> > is at least some guideline -- more information is good, information
> > destruction (entropy) is bad, allowing (or worse enabling) the
> > destruction of information is bad, etc..  This leads to the
> > questions of what paths will generate the most "good" information
> > the soonest (perhaps with the minimal destruction of *perceived*
> > less useful information)  and how does one deal with entirely
> > unexplored paths (where the information gain may have positive,
> > neutral or negative consequences).
> Perhaps in seeking elevated style you have become too abstract to
> make your meaning clear.  Please say more.
> - samantha
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