[extropy-chat] On Gut Feelings
dirk.bruere at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 00:26:09 UTC 2006
On 1/14/06, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
> On Jan 14, 2006, at 6:54 AM, Jack Parkinson wrote:
> The fairly recent acrimonious political debate in this forum and the
> airing of the WTA 'dirty laundry' has made me wonder a little about the
> reliability of the 'gut-feeling' as an arbiter of what intelligent life
> ought to be listening and paying attention to.
> In the case of Danila Medvedev: To be sure, I am no apologist for Stalin:
> But - I do believe in free speech. I see no benefits whatsoever in sweeping
> unpalatable political facts - or even unpalatable political fictions and
> delusions - beneath some metaphorical carpet. We are reasonable people (or
> should be) and able to engage/reject a topic with reason and informed
> Wholesale rewriting of history and denial of atrocities has nothing to do
> with reason on informed debate. Such denials are not debatable.
ie some things are beyond debate because we all know them to be
Doesn't sound very Extropian to me.
So I was somewhat taken aback some time ago when I mildly remonstrated
> against the ad-hominem attacks Danila Medvedev was being subjected to on the
> WTA list and was promptly denounced as a 'commie' and an admirer of Hitler
> and Pol-Pot. Almost immediately the signal to noise ratio made further
> discussion impossible. Pity - because something important was lost. Reasoned
> response was sacrificed (eventually moderated out) because a few individuals
> persisted in their pejorative attacks - making it clear that their
> sacrosanct world view was not to be threatened on THEIR list...
> The notion that all opinions no matter how absurd or evil are worthy of
> defense and serious consideration is shallow thinking.
That has no bearing on whether someone who holds one of those 'absurd or
evil' beliefs should be allowed to make a case.
This list, this group, and the values it generally shares (values which some
> members sometimes seek to ferociously protect) has no comfortable sanction
> on what will and will not be a part of our extropian future. We each have
> our subjective reality. All the things that this group (or some elements of
> it) might seek to exclude will continue to be factors influencing the future
> regardless of your willingness to admit them or not. So what is the point of
> limiting debate? The truth is - there is no point - if you admit that
> reality is more important than the maintenance of some fictional
> I do get to decide what I sanction and abhor. So do groups of people and
> organizations. By what they sanction and stand for they will be judged.
> Debate is not limited. Having such an open mind that your brains fall out
> is not "debate" or respect for reality.
You have just decided that some things are *not* to be debated - not just by
you but everyone here.
Just my opinion: But moderation might be (could be):
> 1. Anything goes - provided it has an extropian angle.
> mostly the way things are here.
> 2. Politics, religion and sexual preference are exclusively the
> preserve and prerogative of the writer. Respect them.
> What does this "respect" of politics or religion mean? Does it mean that
> we don't rigorously examine and criticize each other's notions in these
> areas? If so then I am not interested.
I'm not big on the US definitions of 'tolerance' and 'respect' . Too often
they mean unquestioning quasi-acceptance.
In reality what they mean is that we allow freedom of expression for all
parties, pro and con, and we respect the right of a person to hold 'absurd
or evil' beliefs.
> 1. Although you may seriously doubt the mental health of the
> poster - you may attack the concept/proposition as outlined in the post ONLY
> on reasoned, rational grounds. Under NO circumstances will you
> resort to pejorative labelling: ie, telling the author s/he is
> crazy/commie/anarchist/etc etc, or otherwise attempt to discredit the person
> rather than the argument. If you do so - you will get moderated out
> of the discussion forthwith.
> Yes, again part of this list.
I think this whole storm is pointing to the need for there to be a *true*
And that means one where Transhumanists are not thrown out because of their
political beliefs (or debating/expressing them), be they Stalinists,
Libertarians, Socialists, Nazis, Raelians or Prometheans.
When someone seriously puts together such an org I will consider joining.
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