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

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Jan 12 20:26:30 UTC 2006

On Jan 11, 2006, at 4:24 PM, Jef Allbright wrote:
> Harvey -
> Some of Robert's statements can really push people's buttons, but
> consider that this is the guy who repeatedly argues for saving *all*
> information, especially the more complex forms, as in living humans,
> as being intrinsically good.  He even argues for preserving society's
> worst offender's, in a deactivated state, rather than executing them.

Nuking part of the planet most definitely will lose information.  The  
argument was that it could save more information than it lost IIRC.   
But that was a bit of a stretch as it makes a series of HUGE  

> When Robert has proposed destroying some portion of that which he very
> publicly and very obviously values, he was trying to promote
> intelligent debate about a certain class of decision-making that is
> very difficult for many people to even consider, let alone decide.

The methods used did not and likely cannot lead to "intelligent debate".

> Sometimes a military leader is faced with the difficult choice of
> sacrificing some of his troops in order to save the rest.  Sometimes
> an individual will sacrifice himself to allow others to survive in an
> overloaded lifeboat.  Sometimes a surgeon will advise a patient to
> undergo radical amputation in order to have a chance at life.
> Sometimes a politician will risk loss of popularity in order to
> contribute to a greater good.

And all to often major atrocities are committed in the name of "the  
greater good".

> And too often people recoil in moral repugnance for lack of seeing the
> bigger picture.

There was no satisfactory "big picture" convincingly enough painted  
to justify mass murder.

- samantha

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list